Not All Tests WIP

July 10th, 2017

In April of 2017 Those Gundam Guys hatched a scheme to surprise Tatsu Hobby and the local NorCal Gunpla modelers by showing up at their Spring contest, which they called The Blue and Yellow Ball. The contest theme was kits that were at least 70% blue and/or yellow and it applied to ALL models that were entered. I had a blue HGUC Zaku I, but it was kind of old and it seemed like the thing to do with a theme contest was to try to build something new for that contest theme. So I got one of my stupid ideas and decided to literally build a blue and yellow Ball using some old Titan Test Team decals I had left over from a very old project. Since I only had a few days to spare, I chose the HGUC kit, only made one of the two, and completed it in 4 days.

Later in the year with AX and GBWC looming, this was the only thing Gundam I had built since the previous summer, so it had to be my entry. The Ball is a pretty un-sexy design, there’s no getting around that, and GBWC is supposed to be a big showcase and all so I felt like I had to do a little something more with it. My original goal was just to dig out a completed but unused shield from the old TTT build and damage it so it looked like the Ball was performing some salvage. Then I found out that Kawaguchi was attending AX this year and would be judging so I felt like I had to take it to a higher level. This diorama came together in only two weeks. That’s CRAZY fast for me and only happened because my wife (a school teacher on Summer break) gave me a pass to do nothing but eat, sleep, go to work, and build this model, and for two weeks that’s all I did. I finished it around 10pm the night before Anime Expo started. When I took it out of the box to set it up you could smell the fumes.

Aside from the mad dash (or maybe because of it) I had a lot of fun putting this together. I tend to overthink things but that was impossible with the timeline I had so I just went for it. The project happened very organically and came together layer after layer. It felt good to do that. I’ve been questioning my skills a lot the last year or so as I haven’t found a lot of time to build and I’ve failed to complete a lot of projects (and meanwhile lots of my friends are knocking out amazing stuff…). It was a confidence-booster to quickly build this kind of multi-media/multi- skill-set project and pull off the vision I had in my head for it. If I didn’t have a well of experience to draw from, I don’t think I could have finished this inside the short “no time for a mistake” schedule I was working with.

Parts were hacked apart with wire cutters. Where those cuts were the final product, I made a point to use the cutters to begin the cut but then tear the part, not cut it cleanly. For the Hazel pats, I cut the parts with wire cutters and Dremel bits, then went into the “finer” damage with some smaller carving Dremel bits. After basic painting and decal work, I went crazy with the weathering techniques. I used the salt technique, filter washes, panel line washes, airbrushed smoke, Tamiya weathering pastels, and dry brushing, all applied in various layers for the desired effect. I used different weathering approaches on the backdrop, the green Zaku parts, the gray and white debris, and the Hazel debris, either to signify different damage, different ages of damage, or simply because some colors were light and some were dark and some weathering techniques only shoe well on one or the other.

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