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dmjung

Bandai Unicorn mech

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While I was waiting for the new epoxy hardener to come in this week, I decided, hey, why not start another build? Because I like building...finishing happens so rarely that I don't know if I'd like that or not.

 

So this was on sale for about $33....

 

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Bandai HGUC 1/144 Full Armor Unicorn Gundam (Destroy Mode). I've never built one of these and supposedly they're molded in all the proper colors and fit nicely. So no painting. "Full Armor" and "Destroy Mode" pretty much sold me without any research on the kit.

 

So has lots of parts...so much for my next build being easy.

 

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And who am I kidding, of course I'm going to paint it. Wait, half the colors are a mix of Mr Color paints that I don't have. Yay, an excuse to buy more paint. And since I couldn't wait, hours spent on paint cross-references showed a mixture of Vallejo and Lifecolor that I have on hand matches one mixture that I need. White Tamiya primer is white so I'm half way there...thought about glossing over that, but I kind of like the satin look of this primer. We'll see...if I get it about done, then a screw-up with a gloss coat will give an excuse to strip it and start over. (Did I mention I like building more than finishing?)

 

First set of parts painted and curing...

 

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And this is what it would look like if I actually finish it...

 

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Modeling is fun. And yes, I will build just about anything. :)

 

--David

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Neat looking project! That's a very nifty parts holder set-up you have there! :smiley20: Now where's my duct tape.......

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I don't know where I saw somebody's workbench where they had one of those so I can't take credit for what was a totally brilliant idea. I think you can buy something like it from Mr Hobby or somebody which would look nicer, but this was free other than spending about 15 minutes cutting up a box and taping the bundle together. Best 15 minutes I've spent building something to help with modeling. If I do another one I'll probably make it a bit wider and less tall.

 

--David

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Well, this is an "easy" build...meaning I'm not having to spend any time figuring out how to make something fit properly. There's a horrendous number of pieces and the green-tinted clear parts incorporated into the body make fixing seams non-trivial. I'm only 3/4 of the way through the first page of instructions and only have the upper torso built. Paint instructions are vague and would be impossible without assuming the sprues are approximate. Maybe its there in the text, but it would have been nice to label what it is you're building and have color call-outs on each step. Oh well, other than my probably non-canon color scheme here and there, its been kind of fun and I'll probably build another Gundam.

 

Front torso...

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Back torso...I'll let someone else make the obligatory joke about the nice rack for the missiles.

 

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--David

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Parts and parts and parts...this would go faster, but I keep finding a piece to this jigsaw puzzle that didn't get cleaned up, primed, and painted. Probably should have prepared every single piece ahead of time, then sub-assemblies and then final assembly.

 

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And there's a few parts on sticks sitting in a box not in the pictures...and a bunch still on the sprue. I guess part of the attraction is the blind-assembly transformer-ish...takes a while before enough sub-assemblies are brought together to see exactly what it is you're building.

 

--David

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Wow, my mind just shut down trying to figure out what was what! Nice work so far, this is looking good!

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Alrighty...two boots. The whole time I was assembling them the old Traffic tune The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys kept running through my mind...

 

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10 parts in each boot. I can just imagine the engineers cackling about the parts count and daring each other to see how many parts one assembly could consist of...probably got paid by the piece.

 

--David

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The upper torso is kind of done...unless I come across some parts I missed. I think there's about eleventy-billion parts here.

 

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I have a new-found respect for the guys who build these and know what they're doing.

 

--David

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Under the heading of "it's never too late to do the right thing...." This morning I'm clipping the remaining parts and prepping.

 

At least for this kit, there haven't been many exposed seams on sub-assemblies so rather than start-stop-start-stop to get a missed part ready might as well get them all ready.

 

Here's the remaining clear green tinted parts clipped and ready to be degreased/washed and dipped in Future.

 

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I had to label each part on the stick for this kit since as far as I can tell they're just an angular "something" that may be mostly swallowed up into another part/assembly.

 

--David

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That's a pretty interesting technique for prepping parts. Nice. Well done on the torso too. I can relate; these guys who make this incredible models sure know what they are doing.

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When I load up the airbrush with these custom colors I want to do as many as I can at one time. Right now every stick clip I own has a part on it which is a record for me...about 60 or so. And there's still a bunch of parts still on the sprue.

 

Bandai has an interesting molding technique making the parts in the intended color. One sprue might have two or three different plastic colors...some interesting engineering going on. And that means I found some more green-tinted clear parts on a sprue at the bottom of the pile. Heh.

 

--David

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Another bazillion parts and a leg is birthed. And what leg wouldn't be complete without a set of missile launchers.

 

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I had hoped to finish it for the Arlington show on Saturday, but there's at least a hundred parts still on the sprue and we're heading out tomorrow to see some friends so not going to happen. I guess I could pull an all-niter, but the purpose of taking the day off was to relax rather than being comatose. Although I guess it's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

 

Ordered a bunch more skewers and clips to make more part sticks now that I see how I should approach these Gundam things.

 

--David

Edited by dmjung

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Well, decided to get everything together that was painted and see where I was...

 

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I may take him to the show like this and finish up the weapons/armor next week. It really is nice to build a well engineered kit for a change.

 

--David

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On the home stretch now. I think the only big thing left is a couple of large booster rocket thingies.

 

If one Gatling gun isn't enough, then six isn't too many...

 

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There's a fourth shield assembly not shown that's in an un-deployed configuration. The green tinted parts turned out better than I thought they would. Just cleaned them up and dipped in Future.

 

--David

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So...way too much time spent on these two cylinders:

 

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Bandai almost got it right, but one length-wise seam on each assembly was just enough off to jack me up. Only had to strip them down and start over once, so that's a positive. Thought I was about done last week and then dropped one right after spraying a thick coat of auto filler/primer. Heh.

 

--David

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So it's an ARMED unicorn mech....that'll dull the colors in your rainbow! :smiley2:

 

I can also relate to being a klutz. Just yesterday I primed two engine nacelles and set them and their stands aside to dry, only to knock them over and into each other 2minutes later! :smiley7: It's not that they didn't need further sanding and priming, but it's still frustrating!

 

Nice progress!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Yep, armed and packing plenty of Skittles too...

 

All that grunting and groaning led to final booster assembly. The main cylinders had a bit of a grey tint compared to the ends, but I decided to leave it for some additional contrast.

 

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I'm about down to deciding whether to decal this beast...didn't come with any, but I picked up some. I think I'll at least do the bigger ones. And I want to fabricate some lenses from the clear pink sprue for some of the sensors.

 

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Then maybe an overcoat so I can totally screw it up... :)

 

--David

Edited by dmjung
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The idea to make the gun sight lenses out of the pink sprue was a good one. But after some messing around I decided that was more work than I wanted to do so we'll just paint them pink as indicated, black wash, and some Future. Although with my shaking hands I'm not sure this was any easier.

 

Didn't feel like disassembling everything so the Gatling sights would be horizontal for the wash, but with an articulated model and base...lean back and say 'ah'.

 

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Still debating on decals.

 

--David

 

 

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OK, I quit debating on doing decals and thought I'd give them another try...it's been about thirty years and the nightmares have stopped, so why not?

 

The kit came without any decals, only a very small set of stickers which probably should have been a clue. However Bandai makes a set of generic decals in 1/144 for the Unicorn and I bought that official sheet along with a couple of cheap Chinese knock-off sets on eBay because I'm cheap.

 

This is the stripe on one of the boosters cut from an old Microscale full sheet of red decal off eBay...not sure how I ever truly lived before eBay. Rippling is from the MicroSet and is gone now. Haven't shot a cover coat yet as I'm debating whether I like it or not. I'm leaning "not" right now.

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There are three shields and they have this unicorn head thing. Perusing the instructions on the internet for the 1/100 kit which does come with decals led me to do this on all three shields:

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Eh, I'm not really digging how this looks, but that was exactly what and where the other kit's instructions showed. Hmmph--if you don't like something, keep looking, so the Unicorn Ver Ka version shows something different in this area that looks nicer to me. (Ver Ka versions are apparently designed by some Gundam-modeler-god-guy who really likes decals.)

 

So remove the unicorn head decals and start over. Pull out the cheap Chinese decals and watch that disintegrate in the Microset. Hmmm. OK, try the one of the pair off that Bandai sheet...

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Looks better to me, but I need three and there's only two. So I spend a friggen 100 dollars on stuff I'll never build while getting another set of decals of which I bought two sheets this time. And I'm sure this is going to really blow when I get around to shooting the clear satin...

 

Hopefully the nightmares won't start again, but for some reason everything smells like vinegar now.

 

--David

 

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I got some green alligators, some long neck geese, some cats and rats and elephants...but no unicorn!

 

Keep plugging along; as for the skewered shish-ka-bob look of parts you started with, it looks very cool!

 

Bill

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I got some green alligators, some long neck geese, some cats and rats and elephants...but no unicorn!

 

"...the humpy-back camels and the chimpanzees..."

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I had to look up the lyrics. It would work better with a bigger scale, but I wonder what kind of marking could be an obscure reference to the song. Just "Irish Rovers" maybe?

 

--David

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How about a shamrock with a dogs sillouette inside it?

 

Bill

Edited by WildBill50

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How about a shamrock with a dogs sillouette inside it?

 

Bill

 

I like it.

 

--David

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I decided to do a bunch of these decals in order to get this mastered. And I figured out the cheap Chinese ones as well. Helps to read their specific directions--these happen to take quite a bit longer soaking to release from the backing. Too bad I already jacked up the only copies of some warning stripes I really wanted to use. Oh, well.

 

So stencils in 1/144 for just a few of the weapons...haven't top coated yet so they're a bit shiny.

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