A kit like the MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka, which every Gunplar eagerly awaited, is one of those special kits that brings Gunplars together and this has culminated in another Group Build, or Gauntlet as we’ve come to call them, appearing on the Gundam Australia Forum.
I’ve previously been involved in Group Builds on GAF for the MG ReZEL (the Ironman) and, of course, the PG Strike Freedom which is where Busterbeam first dropped the word ‘Gauntlet’ and turned into a massive Group Build of a massive Gundam complete with massive explosions and saw my entry turn into Courage, and it was the old, now lost to the ages version of the Gundam Australia Forum that saw the Sinanju Group Build which lead to me meeting some amazing fellow Gunplar Bloggers such as ASM, Busterbeam, Lupes and produced the Yellowbird, perhaps my best work to date.
This Nu Gundam Gauntlet was conceived by Lupes and allows builders a chance to apply themselves to the Nu Gundam Ver. Ka in several different categories such as Speed Style (a race for straight builders), Hyperspeed Style, (Open) Gangnam Style for people doing paint and/or modifications, and a very unique category dubbed NewType Style wherein Nu Gundams submitted have to be in the color scheme of one of the Mobile Suits Ray Amuro has been known to pilot. Myself, I went with (Open) Gangnam Style. (Hey… Sexy Lady)
This Group Build came at a perfect time. I had a week off from work for the New Year’s holidays so I spent the nights building and the days (clear, sunny days) applying paint. Now that I’m sitting down at a computer again I can write my entry and show my work so far.
Being the end of the year, it’s freakin’ cold here in Kanto. While the temperatures are similar to where I am from, for some reason it just feels much colder here. Perhaps that has something to do with the lack of insulation and central heating in most Japanese homes. Instead Japanese homes feature other heat generating methods such as a 24 hour bath machine which keeps your full bath water a certain temperature all the time (for us 40 degrees Celsius), and something called a Kotatsu.
Underneath the table and blanket is an electric heater so those sitting around can keep their lower bodies nice and toasty. The cat loves it, too. I pulled the Kotatsu out of the closet only a few weeks ago and it will make a perfect Work Table. You can see I’ve got my OOB Nu ready to help me out with the GAF Nu.
I know more or less how I want the scheme to go and it involves frame painting so I decided to build certain sections of the frame and paint as whole units. Once I got started though I was having so much fun I just kept going and built the entire frame. One thing I did do, however, was to leave off any white or other colored armor parts as well as the whole cockpit.
There is a little white armor part that goes on the lower back of the torso and is used for locking it in place. You can see it’s not there.
I have certain plans for painting the frame having exposed parts certain colors. To get an idea what frame is exposed with the kit in various poses I played around with the completed kit and took mental notes.
Something I always try to do on painted builds is to paint the moving parts such as pistons, etc, and Nu Gundam has some big ones.
When playing around with the completed kit I found some areas I wanted to address or modify particularly the hatches/thrusters on the back of the legs.
I really love the Nu Gundam’s legs and the thrusters and their housings look great however they don’t open enough to allow easy viewing of the thruster itself. I aimed to change that.
Looking at the frame I could see a bit of plastic that seemed to hinder the upwards motion of the top thruster.
One great aspect of this new Polystyrene frame is that it is really easy to modify. In this instance all I needed was my design knife.
Not bad for just eyeing it.
With that done I tested out the range of movement but it still seemed hampered.
So more plastic was removed.
This was more to my satisfaction.
Once I did reassemble the leg I noticed that the movement didn’t go all the way my cut should have allowed it to.
I realized this is because of the shape of the moving part itself and if I were to cut into that it would be very noticeable when the thruster hatches are closed so I opted to leave it as it is and quit while ahead.
Next I had to figure something out for the lower thruster.
This was actually much easier. I simply cut some of the frame away.
Now these things open up.
Nu and improved!
(I’ll get my coat.)
After that was done I took the whole thing apart again and divided up the parts by what color they would be painted.
The majority of the frame will be Light Gun Metal, while other parts will be Gloss Aluminum, and a small amount Silver Leaf.
Thrusters… I’m not sure yet.
I also did this.
So the next day was sunny and I was able to paint the Light Gun Metal parts. The next day however was damp and cold so I had to wait to do the Silver Leaf and Gloss Aluminum (and others). Once I did get all the paint applied this is how it looked.
And the thrusters ended up being Dark Gun Metal with Bright red interior.
Because I feel good about how the frame turned out, allow me to post some more shots.
With that done I had to think about what I wanted to do with the psycho frame. At first I thought about making it a red, but clear red wouldn’t work I would need a metallic red. I wasn’t sold on that idea as I kind of like the green so I settled on Candy Lime Green.
It definitely pops more.
Once dry I put all the parts in place.
Best part about painting the psycho frame; no need to use the foils.
Here’s an area of the kit I think turned out really well.
By painting the one piece gloss aluminum I was able to show some part differentiation in the elbow.
The next day I painted the blue armor parts. There are two blues on the Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. The main color and the supplementary color Bandai supplies stickers for. I opted to use two similar in color paints, Tamiya Dark Blue and Tamiya Racing Blue. I painted some of the yellow parts the lighter Racing Blue.
As well as painting the stickers Bandai wants you to put over the armor. Then I painted the parts I needed to build the head and torso and put that all back together.
The V Fin is Silver with Clear Orange over top while the vents are just silver. The chin is Metallic Black.
More to come!