For my 10th Gunpla build, I decided to go with what I’ve realized is my favorite style mobile suit- the basic mass produced GM grunt suit. It doesn’t have the bulk of the Zeon type suits, the flair of the Gundam suits, or the color of the IBO flavors of Gunpla. But something about its simple, no nonsense design appeals to me.
While I enjoyed building the High Grade GM/GM, I’ve realized it’s a lot easier to work in 1/100 scale. Easier on the hands, and easier on the eyes. And while this is an older kit, dating back to 2002, I was very impressed with its detail looking over the parts.
After the requisite nipping and denubbing, I hooked everything up on my pterodactyl clamps and sprayed on a good coat of Badger Stynylrez Primer. For the frame parts, I used black, and for the outer armor, I used gray.
The inner frame received a heavy dry brush of Citadel’s Leadbelcher, followed my a heavy wash of Nuln Oil. Once that was dry, I went back over it all with a lighter drybrush of Citadel’s Runefang Steel to brighten up the raised edges and detail. A few parts here and there were picked out in aluminum, and the piston actuators received a coat of Vallejo Mecha Color 69.011 Dark Red.
You’ll notice in one of the photos below that I compare the unarmored leg with one fully built. All that detail is hidden. But I’m OK with that. I know when it is all said and done, no one will see it. Perhaps the person who eventually buys it may take a piece of armor off here or there, just to take a look, but even that is probably a small chance.
Now, I won’t try and say I paint it for personal pride. I know me- I’m lazy. While I certainly want to do a good job, I’m realistic. Sometimes expending effort in some areas is not really justified from a dollars and cents perspective.
I suppose what really drives me is I enjoy the journey. I like painting all the bits. Seeing how I can make it look. I don’t know that I’m all that concerned about it looking good, when you get right down to it. (Some folks are probably saying “And it shows!” 🙂 ) The simple truth is, I am having fun. I approach it with the same mindset I did when I was 10 years old. It’s just fun. I think sometimes in this day of hypercritical contests and online groups, modelers (sadly) lose that.
At some point, I think you really have to step back and ask “Am I having fun? Am I actually enjoying the hobby?” If the answer is no… maybe you need to rethink things. (Maybe not… everyone is different, certainly.) At the very least, accept the fact that many others are doing this just for the fun of it. No accolades, no fame. Just “here it is, I did this, I had fun”.
Because sometimes it’s really about diversion from the quagmire that life can be.
I digress… this is a model blog, not a philosophy blog, right? 😉
For the outer armor, I’d planned to do a sort of pre-shade. While I don’t always preshade, when I do, I preshade with a darker version of the base color. (Even though I’m not the most interesting modeler in the world… 🙂 ) For the darker color, I used Vallejo’s Mecha Color Dark Red, the same as I’d used previously on the piston actuators.
And just as I’d found with my Schwalbe Graze, I was really impressed with the Mecha Color line of paints. It went down very smooth, very vivid, and was not particularly finicky. When I sat back and looked at my “preshade”, I decided I wanted to let more of this color shine through than I originally planned. So instead of going in heavy with another coat of primary red, I just sort of misted it around, leaving quite a bit of the dark red showing through. I then lightened up the primary red a bit, to a more pinkish color, and used that to add some highlights. I was really happy with how it turned out. I think the use of that dark red really gives it a rich, deep look.
For the lighter armor parts, I started with a coat of Ammo of Mig’s A.Mig-082 US APC Interior Green, which actually was part of the “Green Mechas” paint set. I really liked the color. Next, I sprayed on Vallejo Mecha Color 69.025 Light Green, to provide a bit of shading.
All of the panel lines were then given a coat of Nuln Oil from Citadel.
I still have quite a bit to do- building the weapons, painting a few ancillary bits, and of course decals and the weathering.
This kit is really fun. It’s sufficiently detailed out of the box to give plenty of value in painting and weathering, yet provides a good palette if you want to do additional panel line scribing and detailing.
Most of all, though… I am enjoying the journey.