The Justice is done, so now is time for the Blitz. This one will also be used for experiments, though less than the last one and different. I plan on giving it a gloss finish and will also change the color scheme slightly to make it darker and the joints metal.
My first impressions of the kit, is that although it will need little masking compared with the Justice, it looses pose-ability, especially in the arms since they are only single jointed, and in the shoulders. It also needs quite a bit of seem fixing, but this is good, since I really need to increase my skills on that field and want to try some new things. It’s major problem though, is that the parts have quite a bit of visible flash while the Justice had none, which will have to be dealt with.
Here are the parts cut from the sprue. I then proceeded to fill some gaps and glue some seams. After a day waiting for the glue and putty to completely dry I sanded and cleaned the parts getting them ready for priming. Unfortunately in one part I sanded a bit too much and erased some details. Nothing an engraver won’t fix, but I will have to be more careful sanding next time, as I also damaged some parts slightly .
Here they are after priming and resting inside my booth to dry while safe from dust. While priming I ran into some problems. First can failed and splattered the paint instead of spaying it smooth, then I went through a whole other can. No problem, I just got my bottled surfacer, thinner and airbrush, and painted what was left. The splattering of the first can made me spend too much primer though, it would probably more cleaver to strip the paint.
I won’t use primer cans again. They spend too much paint, which for small parts is not appropriate, they are more expensive than bottled primer and you have less control with them. Even though using primer in the airbrush takes more time and effort, the results are vastly superior, and this hobby is not about rushing things anyway.
Here a couple of examples :
This first part had it’s seems fixed with putty. For some reason a good deal of that putty disappeared. This will need some fixing.
This second one had it’s seems fixed with glue. Looks quite good, don’t you think ?
This last one was partly fixed with glue part with putty. In general it looks nice, it’s biggest problem is that it was one of the prime victims of the splattering mentioned above. I will probably have to sand and prime it again.
With the primer dry and cured, some free time and relatively good weather I proceeded to paint the Blitz. I will paint this kit with black, white, yellow, steel, purple and red, in this order. It was pretty easy to decide the order, the black is the main color over most of the kit as well the choice I made for pre-shading, so only a handful of parts wouldn’t be touched, of these the only one color that could be painted independent of the black were the white darts. The next two the yellow and steel, where chosen because I had no need to redo any masking, whereas the red and purple will need quite a bit of masking over the black, so this where chosen for last.
This was a very long session since it was really allot of black parts. It was also very productive. As I am aiming to make it glossy, the technique for painting is slightly different from painting flat. When painting flat all that is needed is to obtain a good coverage of the kit, but when trying to achieve glossiness this isn’t enough, besides a good coverage you have to lay down a a couple of good wet coats in order to make the paint really shine. The problem is that, by doing this it gets easier to make puddles and runs of paint. I did some but nothing big, and after all these parts I think I got the hang of it.
Next I had planned to paint the yellow and the steel, but it was a very unpleasant painting session. I wanted the yellow to be glossy as well, but since this was pre-shaded and I didn’t want to cover the shading completely I had to be extra careful. Unfortunately I abused in the shield, which a very small section and I lost control of the paint there and made a mess, the v-fin was also too thick with yellow but it’s somewhat okay, and the claws are also okay, though not very homogeneous. I’ll have to check later today how the paint dry to decide if I will need to redo the shield.
After this it was disaster after disaster. First I managed to spill my bottle of steel when I was preparing the paint, fortunately there was just enough left in the bottle, and I proceeded to paint after cleaning the mess.
On the contrary of painting glossy colors metallics are quite easy, even easier than flats since you don’t even have to insure total coverage. When painting metallics the one thing to remember is to paint them above black, the tone will come out great and even if you don’t achieve 100% coverage it will still look very good. So despite the loss of the whole bottle of paint I was happy with the result, this was exactly the look I was aiming for.
So here I am with not so good yellow parts and nice metallic parts, all in all I considered it a good productive exercise where, once again, I learned some good lessons, but alas it would not end this happily.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, the nozzle from the airbrushes is a very delicate part together with the needle, and care must be taken with them when disassembling the airbrush for cleaning. I heard and read this warning multiple times and yet it was not enough and I let the nozzle hit the ground. Sure enough, it got bent and the needle no longer fits through it. (I’m sorry the picture is not correctly focused, but focusing this sort of details with a compact shitty lcd screen is incredibly hard)
End result ? around 30€ for a replacement nozzle and needle. If you want to avoid this sort of expense, always be VERY careful with your nozzles and needles, they will last you years if you do.
The last colors where painted and the black was polished unfortunately some accidents happened that made me repaint some parts. This was quite allot more work than I thought, and the results are not so good. It seems acrylics do not polish very well.
The biggest problem though was the masking or rather the residue left by the tape. Blitz requires a fair bit of detailing to bring out all of its potential, and this of course means, masking will be used. Unfortunately the tape left immense amount of residue on the black parts (that just happen to be the main color) and even though I managed to clean some with some detergent I couldn’t remove everything, paint was starting to come off, so I stopped before I had to paint everything again. The result is that some parts had a very nice shine while other where full of marks from the tape. Fortunately the top coat seems to be hiding this further but we’ll see when I finish that.
In this last picture you can see my pride, the upper legs. Even though the left one lost it’s putty somehow, (it’s seam was nice and gone like the right one, don’t know what happened), they have the best finish, that unfortunately I was unable to reproduce in most of the other parts due to the masking residue.
The ankle is the best part of this kit. Even after attaching all the armor around it, it retains an incredible range of movement, plus it’s nicely detailed.
It’s weapons are nice pieces of equipment. The shield had the bad luck of eating allot of primer spit and even after I sanded it and sanded some more it seems it was not perfectly smooth. The top coat once again seems to be doing a good job though.
And here he is fully assembled.
And a close up. No decent pictures with cool action poses yet, since here it still needed some touch ups (like that little spot on the top of the head), and top coating. Still I think it’s very cool looking.
The biggest mistake I made that I believe caused most of my problems was the way I painted the black. For a finish to get glossy you need to put down a couple of good wet coats, but first some mist coats must be applied and allowed to dry and even the wet coats can’t be overdone. Of course I did almost the opposite of what I’m saying here and as a result the black turned very soft and sticky, so much that even after a couple of months some parts I left on top of paper got glued to it, even careful handling meant I was going to harm the finish and the masking tape made the mess you can see on the shoulders.
It’s not all bad of course. I like specially how the shading came out. The interiors of the vents on the chest, for example, where preshaded by airbrush and I think they turned out very nice, plus I like the changes I did to the oob color scheme.
And here he is, fully completed ! Applying the top coat wasn’t so easy as I expected. Once again to achieve a good glossy coat you need to lay down a couple of nice and even wet coats, and with a spray can that was not so easy, plus I spent allot of it. Still in the end I think it looks quite nicely.
Up close you can notice some grain in the finish, which I think it’s due to the issues with the black paint I mentioned above.
The kit itself is pretty standard for a bandai no grade. The only points of notice are the elbow joints which are only single jointed and as such can only bend 45%, but to compensate the heel joints are great and allow a great range of motion.
I really like Blitz’s design and I think the slight changes I made in the tone of the color scheme improve it’s looks. Take a look at some more pictures and tell me what you think !