I had teased this project before, and that was as stupid as me teasing my book in its first draft state. Live in learn.

This project took a year, but don’t let that fool you. The actual time I spent painting this and finishing it, in my head, was maybe about 2 months. The rest of that was spent buying all the tools and paint, screwing up, and taking breaks cause I spent a lot of money. So, to me, I like what I did but it doesn’t reflect a year’s worth of work. But hey, that’s for you all to decide.

The Kits Itself

It’s not a bad high grade, with only a few annoyances. Being a late Universal Century suit, before they all started deflating by F91, he’s much taller than the average high grade. The articulation is good, so you’ll be able to pull off some dynamic poses easily if you’re good at that. Unfortunately, this kit is very fiddly, and I ended up making it worse after finishing painting. The piece that holds the V-Fin tends to fall off when moving the head. The back skirts rely on fiction to stay in place despite having the gimmick of opening up to reveal some back thrusts. It’s too loose of a grip, and super glue is only recommended as long as you don’t squeeze it by mistake or put it down on a bed. It may be my copy, but the construction on the top of the leg leg, where you connect it to the waist, is horrid. Moving it around causes it to come apart, leaving behind the polycap on the ball joint. Most of these issues I solved with ol’ reliable super glue, but it doesn’t stop this from being one of the fiddliest kits I have ever built. Maybe be my own stupidity, or the kit’s construction and parts, or even just my copy.

With all that being said, don’t get this kit alone. Sure it’s 23 bucks compared to the 47 dollar real grade Unicorn Gundam, but it doesn’t transform, and the only weapon is the beam magnum. Not even beam saber effect parts. So, on its own, it’s not great. If you do want to display the destroy and unicorn mode at 1/144 scale, you could get both for 43. But, if you want the real package, just get the real grade.

My Vision

What I had wanted from this project changed a lot. Originally, I had wanted to darken most of the colors to reflect what I understood of the suit while watching the show: A Gundam with a Newtype destroying system to instill the supremacy of the Federation. I wanted to shade the white, paint the psycho-frame, paint the grey in dark metal, and paint the blue in a darker color, which I learned would be Titan colors. As you can see in the picture, about 2/4 of that happened.

I decided to do instead just weather the kit instead of a full on repaint. Yes, even the white with a different shade of white. The end result was actually described by a gunpla discord chat as the Unicorn during its first episode if the fire had actually done damage. Some also said it looked like a firecracker effect, and others said it’s like it just took on a cruiser’s whole thruster. My vision was a Unicorn that had just survived being in a massive explosion and walking out.

My Process During the Project

A lot of the time spent was buying paint, using some of it, using none of it, and messing up so much I probably smashed a table. There’s a bunch of excess nothing, so I’ll tell you the important bits.

My first screw up was what type of primer I had used. Kyrlon 2x primer + paint. If you just cringed, then you’re either a knowledgeable expert angry that no one listens to your blog posts, or I just reminded you of your stupidity? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. I’m not taking this joke further; you’re all beautiful people.

For those who don’t know (and or not outed), Krylon’s paint is a hardware spray can that contain acetone, which is terrible for Gunpla pieces because it melts into the plastic. I learned this the hard way when I PURPLE POWERed the paint away and saw that some spots of grey (I used grey primer on all some of the white armor) would not rub away. It was permanently marked on the plastic. It also left it in a flat state as if I used flat clear top coat (topcoat is clear paint used to “save” your progress). I had fucked up hard…like my-

Despite that, I did use this as an opportunity to weather because, strangely, I liked the way it turned out. Not only did it do the flat coat I wanted anyway, but the way the grey was marked gave it the kind of shading I liked. It was its own type of weathering that I personally found pretty good. Because I liked consistency, I purposely primed all of the rest of the white armor in Krylon grey primer and wiped it off a day later. I then used silver, which I can’t remember was from this Testors weathering set or Mr. hobby stainless steel, and brushed it on some of the grey. Only in some areas since I wanted both to create an effect of bare metal and debri. I really liked what I came up with, even if you can barely see the silver on the white without the flash.

Please, however, never take this as me saying to do this for weathering. Avoid Krylon or any paint with acetone at all cost. In fact, never go to Home Depot. For anything for that matter. As if you own your own house in this economy. Go to Hobby Lobby, Micheals, or any hobby location. I recommend GSI Creos My Surfacer for priming. Use me as an example of what not to do. Save yourself the hassle and money.

The next was the “inner frame” and the verniers. Not the psychoframe. I ended up leaving it alone that besides breaking some pieces by mistake. Like before, I used Krylon black primer because gloss black is great for this. I wanted something dark, since this was envisioned and painted before that debacle, so I went with Mr. Metal Color Dark Iron. All good, right?

I hand painted it. Yes, I hand painted using airbrush specific paint. The result turned out amazingly. Granted, I messed up because, when I painted it, it like melted the primer which in turn melted some of the plastic. It’s hard to explain, but hand painting it jumbled up the pigments, probably because of the thinner I used. Another mistake (mistake number 3) I used Mr Hobby Rapid Thinner even though Mr Metal Color was already pre-thinned. This will bite me in the ass later when I used an airbrush to paint my Gouf Custom’s gatling shield.

Anyway, I did get the result I wanted after brushing it and buffering with a toothbrush. I love the way it looks. It looks like real metal. Although, admittedly, I’m wondering if this is even Dark Iron anymore after all that thinner. Maybe it’s just iron now. But, I still like what I got. Mr Metal Color is gorgeous. After that, I learned how to handbrush smaller details so I could paint the tubes on the back of the leg joint and the screws for the arm joints. This was when I learned the joy of hand painting. Nowadays, I love this so much more than airbrushing, although my airbrush is an overpriced piece of junk. I loved how this turned out. It’s my favorite aspect of this paint job. I’m still experimenting with other metallic paints to see which one I like the most for when I get an actual inner frame, but Dark Iron is up there. As if anyone is actually gonna see an inner frame

Finally, the v-fin. I hated painting this. Admittedly, most of the struggle was me not understanding how to properly use masking tape. I would never push too hard, which allowed paint to seep in and I was really bad with cutting it without cutting the part. The problem with the v fin is that it was molded in yellow. But the lore accurate look is a majority of white and the whole of the front is in gold.

Thanks for the pain and suffering you beautifully animated asshole. Image from Tenor

The front and back are okay, but the sides had to be white which meant I had to be careful about either the gold or white to seep onto each other. See, what I didn’t realize was that, even if that were to happen, it’s really fuckin small from far away so it’s not like anyone would notice except me! But nope. I had to be perfect. I kept messing up, using so much white primer and alchohol to strip it, to the point where I broke the original v-fin. I ordered a new one. RIP mechapartsguy, you were a real one. Eventually, I painted the whole thing in white, and handpainted the gold. It was going so well…and then my brush split in half and got gold on the side. I finished up, put the model on the shelf, and never looked back.

Since this kit only came with the Beam Magnum, I only had to worry about painting that. Originally, I was gonna paint it like the “inner frame” parts and the verniers. But I was tired by that point and just used black surfacer for the body and silver ex marker for the molded in cartridge. I think it turned out alright, but I want to paint weapons with much more creativity and effort later on.

Overall

I was really dumb with this project. I thought I did the proper research, but I didn’t, and I messed up because of it. Acetone, breaking parts, and my absolute perfectionism despite being a newbie. I still like what I am came up with and I learned a lot of what I like and don’t like, but I know I can do better with less destructive methods. Also, I learned not to paint a whole limb cause now one of the legs can never bend an again and I broke the peg trying to free it. So, like normal, see me as an inspiration of what not to do for anything. Because I am dumb.

Here’s a gallery of it. Sorry for the lack of good poses. Also, the back is really clean. By this point, I left for college, so I never got to finish it…also I was done with this project. I am gonna dry brush it once I get back, so it fits more with the cohesiveness, but afterwards I’m moving on. Anyway, I hope you learned something from my stupidity and let me know how I did? Is it bad, is it good, or is it mid? Anyway, see ya!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s