ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam WIP : Problems and Solutions

It’s been quite a while since I started building the 1/100 scale Seed Destiny model kit, ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice, from Bandai. Unfortunately, professional and personal issues made interrupt the build several time for a very long time. Finally with the weather clearing up and some time on my hands, I intend to finish it over the next week.

Being the first kit I assemble and fully paint from head to toes, it was naturally a victim of many mistakes which I will describe here and discuss possible solutions, so that hopefully someone trying this for a first time, will be able to avoid some of them.

The first thing one should do is decide the method of painting, depending on your decision of using brushes or an airbrush, the approach to the build will be different. I won’t go into too much detail, but I myself had thought of using brushes at first and started building the kit with that in mind, later I decided to switch to an airbrush and the result was allot of masking (that could have been avoided if I had planned for airbrushing from the beginning), which is a lengthy and boring process.

Afterwards we start preparing the parts, which include sanding and gluing to remove seams and flash and get a smooth surface. Depending on the kit it may need putty for repairing defects on the cast, in my case I didn’t use any. Here I made the first couple of mistakes. For one I didn’t glue the parts properly, as you really need to maintain pressure on the parts being glued while it dries, and to make things worse I also didn’t sand some parts properly. It’s important to spend some time at this phase to carefully remove all defects and seam lines. This will reflect greatly on the finished kit.

Next comes the priming. For this I used a can a of Surfacer 1000. It’s good stuff but one must avoid over priming, as that will fade the details and will make it easier to scratch the paint when you are moving some parts of the kit for posing. Using the can is quick and easy, but the liquid bottles for use in an airbrush are much cheaper, last a long time and give you much more control so I realy must recommend those above the spray cans.

After priming I sanded the parts to make sure the surface was smooth, and that actually turned out good (I was surprised I didn’t ruin anything there hehe) .

With the priming done it was time to mask and start painting the colors. I used gunze acrylic, the black and white I diluted with water, which gave a realty nasty finish and lots of running paint. With the red paint I used Isopropyl alcohol 91% instead, and although it was much harder to clean the airbrush, the finish was so much better that I don’t see myself using water ever again. It drys much faster too.

Though in general the result was decent I missed some spots in the paint job, but I’ll be going over those in a moment. My truly huge mistake comes next. I top coated the kit with Gunze’s matt top coat. Why was this so bad ? Keep reading, I’ll show you in a moment. The top coat in itself come out good, it really enhanced the look of the kit, unfortunately matt coats are not a good surface for panel lining. The way the matt look is achieved is by making the surface grainy which makes the light not reflect straight out, which the gloss finished do in order to achieve the shiny look. The problem with this is that for lines to be straight they must be drawn over a straight surface, so there is no way to effectively draw straight lines over a matt coat.

See this next coupe of pictures:


If you look closely you can see (especially in the first picture) that the paint flowed in a very irregular pattern. That is due the surface being improper for this work and not that the marker I used is bad. I actually tried a technical pen on some lines and that allowed me to really feel how irregular the surface is. The gundam markers being much rougher don’t give you that sensitivity.

Another issue that was made worse by the excess of primer and top coat, was that the details where much shallower which also made it even harder to follow the lines, which ultimately resulted on those ugly pictures above.

As you can see in the first picture there is another problem there. Some bits where not painted as they should. This happened because of improper lighting when I was painting them which made me miss it even when I was reviewing the paint job, on all the coats … So take special care to always have good illumination and paint preferably by day.

Anyway even with all these problems for a first it’s actualy coming out a little better then I expected, this picture doesn’t look so bad I think hehe.


Next I will be painting the lifter and the green area of the chest. In these I will use a gloss top coat and will exclusively use a technical pen for panel lining instead of the GM001 gundam marker. When it’s done I’ll post my conclusions here. I just hope it turns out better !


2 responses to “ZGMF-X19A Infinite Justice Gundam WIP : Problems and Solutions

  1. Hum, perhaps there’s something you could do which I forgot to mention. Do you make the lines immedeately or do you use any sort of tool to work on them before inking them?

    Before I ink the panel lines what I normally do is making them deeper. What I mean is I use an engraver ( http://www.hlj.com/product/HSGTL2 ) but I’m considering getting two scribbing tools ( http://www.hlj.com/product/OLF13B ) ( http://www.hlj.com/product/HSGTT-1 ) which I think it helps a lot in working on existing panel lines or to make new ones.

  2. That’s actually something I forgot to mention. Indeed I didn’t made em deeper instead I made them shallower. My first colors where painted with water thinned acrylics and the results where really bad. Most of the kit doesn’t suffer from that mistake fortunately.

    I don’t have a scribbing tool by I do plan on getting em for my third kit (second one is black so no panel lines hehe)

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