Sunday, June 3, 2012

HG 1/144 RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee Theatrical Version

Howdy folks? Been a while since I last blogged, too busy with work and coordinating orders recently. But hey, here I am haha!

Just a brief background on what this kit is all about:

This limited edition kit can only be purchased by watching the Special Screening of Gundam Unicorn Episode 5: Black Unicorn. Bandai however released several photos of this kit way before Episode 5 was shown in Theaters, thus creating hype and excitement. My friends were eager to visit the Special Screening not because of the movie, but because of this kit. We've read posts that other countries sold these kits after the movie and we prayed hard for it. Our prayers were answered. Big thanks to my buddies Romeo and Bryan for securing a box for me, I couldn't make it to the Special Screening coz I had meet-ups with customers that day.

The kit costs 1,600 Philippine Pesos which is equivalent to the following currencies approximately to give you an idea if your local seller is at the right price:

  • 37 U.S. / Australian Dollars
  • 2050 Indian Rupees
  • 117 Malaysian Ringgits
  • 290 Hong Kong Dollars 
The kit is similar to the HGUC 1/144 Sinanju Red Comet Sparkle which was released last year, October 2011. Honestly: that kit didn't catch my attention despite my undying fanaticism of the RX-0 Unicorn and Sinanju, Filipino's called it the Sinanju "Toothpaste". Things changed now, I'm gonna hunt for those older kits haha! On with the photos!

Box Face: one look and you know that this kit is special if you'll ask me
Box Side: shows you how the finished kit should look like
Box Side: has photos of the HGUC 1/144 line-up
Psychoframe "Sparkle" Plates: I was skeptical at first, not sure if the Sparkle approach would work for the Banshee (coz it didn't for the Sinanju IMO), but let's give it a shot!
Dark Blue Plates: now this is what I consider to be the best feature of this kit. Should make up about 70-80% of your kit's contents. How deep yet transparent they are really rocks...
Silver/Chrome Plate: this plate has a matte-like finish to it. Looks cool to me, I believe the Sinanju Red Comet has this kind of plate as well for its Rifle and such
[A] Plate Transparent Violet or Purple: a part of the [A] Plate has these transparent parts for the Banshee's Back Pack and feet. Kudos to Bandai for this idea, should blend well with the Dark Blue transparent parts.
[A] Plate Dull Gold: ughh, as expected, the kit has these Dull Gold parts . I'm thinking if I would give them a quick coat of Tamiya Gold to match the shine of the other parts... Will find out as I build...
Foil Stickers: now this is a big boo-boo for Bandai. The kit has a  lot of stickers which translates to "masking" for me. I only use the stickers for the eyes and nowhere else...
Instruction Manual: whoever's in charge of kit manuals must be EXTREMELY LAZY. They don't even bother changing the Front Manual Photo... Been Bandai's tradition now, like in the ANA kits, HG 00 Seven Sword Inspection, HG RX-0 Unicorn Pearl variations...
The bane of all Clear/Metallic Gunpla kits remains: NUBMARKS! Good thing my Black marker hid the nubmark easily, thanks to the dark hue of the parts.
Chest Unit finished. Reason why I built this is to check if there's any real need to paint the Dull Gold parts of the kit. After seeing this, I came to a decision to paint them.
Will post photos of the masking process of the kit next time and possible issues you might encounter while building your own. This might be one hell of a bloody masking challenge since all the stickers were intended for the details... But overall: I love this kit, Gundam Unicorn Series fans would not be disappointed! ^^

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MG 1/100 Banshee Ver. Ka Final Battle

2012 is shaping up to be a great year for Bandai. Started out with the MG HeavyArms EW (which should be out today in Japan by now), followed by awesome RG Add-ons, specifically, the RG SkyGrasper and GrandSlam Hobby Japan freebie.

The HGUC Banshee DT-Mode and Unicorn Mode was just released this January. Guess what? Bandai didn't wait long enough and announced the MG 1/100 Banshee kit for a March 2012 Release.

Great right? Although I could hear the wails and cries of Gunpla collectors/modellers who just purchased the HG versions. But Bandai did not stop there, behold, the MG 1/100 Banshee Ver. Ka Final Battle:

The kit would be available from the Bandai Pro Hobby Online Shop. A few notes about this kit from what i've researched so far:
  • This version may not have the Armed Armor VN and Armed Armor BS that the MG 1/100 Banshee OVA version has. [unconfirmed]  
  • The pscyhoframe would be a blue/green color, indicating that the Banshee's full power mode may be similar to the Unicorn Full Armor.
  • As shown in the 3rd photo, the kit may have a Light-up or LED feature [unconfirmed]. Read this from a post in Tomopop.
  • Kit may not be available outside Japan. [unconfirmed]
  • March 2012 Release, simultaenously with the OVA version? Its anyone's guess at this point.
Details are quite sketchy at this point, but rest assured that I would keep a VERY close eye on this kit, since i'm a die-hard Unicorn fan. Thanks for viewing!

Edit: 01/26/12 10:21am

Just confirmed some info by visiting the official Bandai Pro Hobby Online Shop item details, took screenshots for you guys to see:

The only thing left to check though is: will it light up! Let's cross our fingers!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

MG QanT WIP: Tamiya Base Coats and Blues

I've been trying to find the closest blue finish possible to the MG QanT blue parts for quite some time now. Now that I'm on full throttle to finish the kit, I decided to conduct a little experiment and see for myself. But before that, a little Painting 101:

  • Primers such as Tamiya's Fine Surface Primer (available in Gray and White) improves the part's cohesion with the paint. Priming parts is not required since the paint would still stick to the part, but priming gives extra "strength" to the paint.
  • Sanding the part prior to priming is critical though for best results. 
  • Base Coats allows you to change the saturation (shade). See the photos below:

Tamiya TS Racing Blue with different Base Coats (Left to Right): TS Silver Leaf, TS Gun Metal and TS Black

However, I have a can of TS Blue and TS Brilliant Blue and decided to try them out, here's the results:

As far as I can see, non-Metallic Colors like the Blue and Brilliant Blue did not change regardless what Base Coat I used, where as the Racing Blue's saturation changed drastically as the Base Coat got darker. In short, Metallic Colors gets the most benefit out of Base Coats.

Still didn't find the perfect blue for my kit but I would try other Tamiya Blue paints such as:

  • French Blue
  • Metallic Blue
  • Light Blue
  • Mica Blue
  • Telefonica Blue
  • Deep Metallic Blue
  • Light Metal Blue
Now I believe what I've read for the past year that Blue is one of the toughest colors to use in Gunpla modelling. Check out Tamiya's Synthetic Lacquer TS and Acrylic XF Paint Color Charts!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

MG QanT Snapbuild Complete!

Done with snapbuilding the kit. Checked out parts for detailing and which parts to be extra careful with or consider (paint scratches!). Tried my Bandai LEDs too. Some of my thoughts below, but photos first:

Kit Pros:

  • Articulation, one of the strongest points of 00 kits as far as I know.
  • near zero seamlines, Bandai manufactured the kit with that in mind, you hardly need your cement for this guy
  • sleek and sexy, the QanT's appearance gives me a humanoid-like impression, design is quite unique for me
  • LEDs! one of the few MG kits with LEDs. Well they're Setsuna suits and the GNX anyway...
Kit Cons:
  • Spent 15-20mins making him hold his sword, the peg ain't strong enough and the other peg that attaches to the forearm does not really help much!
  • Backpack is kinda loose, maybe because of the humongous shield's weight? Gotta fix that...
  • White parts on the side skirt keep on falling off!
Would start the grueling sanding process next week, gotta work tomorrow night, and I don't have my decals too yet so I better chill for a while. Thanks for viewing! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

HG 00 Raiser ANA X Gundam Sky Project

Finally, a chance to snap some photos. With my trusty Canon Ixus 105 and a Bandai Blue Lightning Base plus loads of patience, took some photos of my 00 Raiser kit. Comments are more than welcome, thanks!

Thanks for viewing!

Friday, January 6, 2012


One of my New Year Resolutions was: TO BUILD MORE KITS. So here I am, starting off with the QanT. My own Full Saber add-on would be arriving anytime so I figured this would be the best choice to kick-start the year. I already had an MG QanT WIP but for some reason I cannot finish it, nor do I have the will/determination to do so, so I got myself a fresh MG QanT kit hehe.

What is the best way to build and paint a kit? Paint then build it? Or build, paint then rebuild?

Well here's my approach: I snap-build the kit first. I check out which parts are covered and does not need to be painted/detailed and which parts I could modify or detail. I also take note of which parts I should be very careful with. I know this is time consuming but it saves me some paint if I follow this process (and Tamiya cans aint cheap mind you).

Managed to build the head and body unit yesterday, and I'm on Rest Day today so I would build like mad hehe.

After an hour:

My own rendition of the half-missing, crawling zombie girl from The Walking Dead Season 1. 

After 12 hours:

God i'm slow, had a 6-hour sleep, but at least i'm making progress hehe! I personally think that the MG QanT has superb articulation. Thanks to its skirt and ankle design (cough Seed kits cough), you can make your own Martial Arts poses with ease. Tomorrow: WEAPONS!! Thanks for viewing!

MG Heavy Arms EW Official Box Art!

How bad-ass can this get! I'm sure there's truckloads of Gunpla fanatics raving about this now! Can't wait for my own box! LOL!