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Posts Tagged ‘Gundam Unicorn’

The Unicorn That Was a Boomerang

March 28th, 2012 No comments

Only in my world would that sentence make sense.

This was going to be a post, but this was a pretty massive project, so I decided to make it into my usual In-Progress and Completed pages.

In mid-January I called up Steve at Bluefin and had him send over the Unicorn (again) for refurbishment. We last left the Unicorn in a case of Star Wars-like “used future” weathering in an attempt to make lemonade once the clearcoat on the Unicorn turned VERY yellow from sun exposure, and it suffered a fair amount of dings and staining in being shipped cross country. We started with this:

Unicorn_Redo-7

We last left the Unicorn looking like this...

Stripped parts - Decals and most yellowing are gone.

Stripped parts - Decals and most yellowing are gone.

And ended up about 6 weeks and 123.5 man-hours later with this:

Love the red!

Love the red!

Completed rearview

Completed rearview


Follow this Link to the Unicorn WIP

Follow this Link to the Completed Unicorn Gundam Gallery

(A Little) Model Building Progress

February 25th, 2012 No comments

I spent most of December and January working on the house in preparation for a baby we’ve got coming in April. When I could spare a little time I worked on a mega-size Zaku for Roy at Robot4Less. It’s all painted and awaiting clearcoats and decals/weathering but in the last few days my focus is on the Bluefin Unicorn. I’m excited to get it done, the shading came out pretty nice.

As if I needed to divide my attention further, I started another project. A couple weeks ago one of my built models sold at Robot4Less and I had some money burning a hole in my pocket. So, I went on a detail parts shopping spree. I bought photoetch parts for 3 Valkyries, 2 Sherman tanks, a truck, a jeep and a Quad Gun Tractor, as well as gun barrels for the Shermans and a resin cockpit set for my Tamiya F-16.

Then last week I got sick and was home two days from work. I hate painting when I’ve got a cold (because of runny nose and sneezing not working out under a respirator mask, yuck) so I didn’t want to work on the Mega Zaku and I had just got the PE parts for the Quad Gun Tractor so I pulled that kit out and went to work on it. I’m doing a bunch of kitbashing/scratchbuilding on it to turn it into a remote-control command vehicle for my Jin-Roh Patlabor (JRP).

The first thing I did was make room for a rear-facing pilot. I cut a rectangle out of the roof and built a box on top of it to give the pilot some headroom and space for a TV monitor so he can see where the JRP is going. Next I built a little TV screen that will have a camera-eye-view decal on it.

I had to swap parts for the pilot, using the arms and legs of the Canadian driver figure that comes with the kit with a Nazi torso and head so he looks right. I’ll have to use some sanding and putty to turn his shorts-and-scrunch-socks-wearing legs into pants-and-jackboots-wearing legs.

I installed some rails across the two center rear seat bases to provide a seat mount for the pilot since he’s backwards and off center. Next I went to town with another new tool, my punch and die set. It makes hole, discs, and if you line them up right, rings from holes in discs.

I used these to make some low-tech-looking electronics for the cockpit. I also installed a base and a mount for a large antenna mast (think news van).

Next I built a little control column using plastic bits, more punched discs and the handles from a 1/35 scale .50 caliber machine gun.

Here’s how the cockpit looks put together:

In this last picture I moved the box on the left that sat on the wheel well to the floor because it got lost behind the antenna mast.

I’ll still add some wiring and maybe a few more bits. It occurred to me that the real Gun tractor has a bunch of hatches/tool boxes that open into the rear and I’ve just made disappear. I’ll probably build something to represent that some of them are still there and maybe make the others look welded shut.

On the outside of the Gun Tractor I sealed off the normally tarp-covered “sunroof” and I’m planning to “up armor” the Gun Tractor in the way that modern Humvees serving in Iraq/Afghanistan are with some plastic plate. I’m also thinking of putting in the windows backwards and framing them to look like thick ballistic glass.

Unicorn Done!

October 5th, 2011 No comments

During the week, Casval dropped by on the way home from work at Bluefin and brought me the Unicorn’s head. It was in terrible shape! It was much yellower than the rest of the Unicorn, especially the left side. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture before I started work, but here’s how it looked after an hour or two of sanding:

Those really yellow areas… the whole head looked like that. This was much yellower that the other yellow parts on the body of the unicorn, which presented a problem because the pastels weren’t going to cover it and painting over it all would make the head whiter than the body.

My solution was to mask off all the non-white parts of the head and apply a mist coat of white from a spray can of Mr. Color Gundam Color White (or whatever it’s called). At this point it was whiter than the body, but hopefully close enough that the pastels would blend it in.

Next, I got to work with the pastels, though I never got a good after picture because near the end I was rushing to get it done so that Steve could deliver it to be carefully boxed up in a new crate for its next cross-country trip.

I fixed a couple of other issues. Casval pointed out that the leg thrusters were still their original gray, so I pulled them off (a pain in the ass given that I couldn’t get a straight shot at the screws that held them in place) and stuck them on skewers (they barely held…).

Another thing I did was to glue on one of the backpack thrusters that had stripped out and could no longer be held in place by its screw:

The thumb was broken and the beam rifle was swinging loosely in the hand, so I expoxied it securely in place:

I then wiped off the excess epoxy with alcohol. The large Gundam statues I had seen in Hong Kong had similarly damaged hands, but they had been kind of sloppily fixed, so I wanted to do better.

After the glue dried, I painted over it with Tamiya Medium Gray. Luckily it was a near-perfect match.

Back to the head, I sprayed a flat coat over the pastels on the head and then paint chipped it with Testor’s Steel. About this time it was Saturday morning around 10 AM and Steve called wondering if I could wrap things up. So I let the steel dry as much as possible and then flat –coated it again, so I could mask off the V-Fin:

It had gotten a bit scratched in the sanding process, but then when I pulled that masking tape off after painting the head, some of the paint came off, so a repaint was necessary.

As soon as it was dry I took off the tape and within 15 minutes Jose was there with the big truck to pick it up. I never got a good after picture, they’re all either backlit or in super-bright sunshine, but I did get one final shot…

In all, I put in about 9-10 hours on this project. I’m glad it came out looking a lot better, but I had a real alte night last Friday, first working on the Unicorn, then working on my own model. I’m still scrambling to finish My Dom for OrangeCon.

Unicorn Gundam… Otra Vez

September 27th, 2011 No comments

For those that are Spanish-impaired, “Otra Vez” means “Again”…

Steve at Bluefin called us up last week hoping to get some TLC for the Unicorn. Back in early summer we spruced up the 7-foot-tall Unicorn he got from Bandai with some extra detailing and decals. Unfortunately, the polyurethane clearcoat we used yellowed pretty badly (especially after being baked in the heat of a container and then left out in the sun during transport back and forth across the country). Also, the Unicorn took some damage from rough handling.

Since Clem and Angel will be out of town and I’m trying like hell to get my GM Team build done we didn’t have a lot of time to work. We debated repainting the whole thing but thought that would take up too much time so we went with weathering it with the idea to make all the yellowing and scrapes look like battle wear.

Your typical garage: washer, dryer, lawnmower, kid’s toys, 7-foot-tall robot…
Gundam in my Garage

I took delivery Saturday morning and had to explain to all my neighbors what the heck this thing was. You see, I build these models and the nationwide distributor is local and we help him out sometimes, blah blah blah. I’m a anime Gunpla nerd freak.

Angel, Clem (Gamerabaenre) and Manny (mbizzle) came over around noon on Sunday and after a bit of debate the Mexicans got to weathering using medium gray pastels while the Chinese guy started adding paint chips. We were going to put him on supplies, but…

Gundam Group Effort 1

Gundam Group Effort 2

Anyway, the Unicorn has no head at the moment. It’s somewhere in a box in the Bluefin warehouse. Somewhere. We weathered the rest of it in just a few hours and then the other guys all poisoned themselves as we did a group flatcoat. I had my mask, so I had fun watching them turn red and then run out of the garage for some air and hen run back in and keep spraying.

Unicorn Weathering Complete

Unicorn Weathering Complete

Unicorn Weathering Complete

Unicorn Weathering Complete

I think it came out pretty good. It looks like a ship out of star wars all stained and discolored. It’s got a lot more definition now and looks a lot less like a chunk of wood. Clem said since it’s all beat up and missing a head we should pose the gun pointing up in the famous “final shot” pose. Haha!