This is 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 really 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.
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 actually 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.
This kit objective has been from the start to try out different techniques and tools, so with that in mind, and the fact that I’m a total newcomer to modeling and painting, I never hoped that it would come out great. What I did hope was to learn the most possible to avoid ruining the following kits. I think I was successful in that objective but we will see when I start putting the next victim together, a 1/100 Gundam Seed GAT-X207 Blitz
So what do you think ?
I made use of the lifter pack to seriously try out different approaches to lining and weathering. I started out by applying a couple of light FFA coats. Over this I used in some lines a GM01 Gundam Marker, a Rotring Rapidograph technical pen and a Real Touch Gray 1 .
As was my opinion from lining the Justice main body with the GM01, these markers are too think and the ink too ugly. They work good if you have a deep, but not too large, recess to paint, otherwise mistakes are easily made and not easy to clean.
The Rapidograph has a much thinner line and the paint flow is much better, but the tip being metal you can’t apply much pressure or you will risk scratching the paint. It’s a little easier to clean than the GM01 but not by much.
Finally the real touch marker. This one was a revelation. I started using it only to weather some areas I was not thinking of lining with it but the truth is that it works much better than the two previous options. The tip is wide so it will apply paint to the area around the lines, but these can be easily cleaned or used to weather the area around the lines. I works wonderfully. Of course as with everything else you can0t apply too much of it. It’s best to apply a little, smudge it, and if its not sufficient, let dry and apply some more, as many times as is necessary. If you put too much in one go, you may over do it.
The underside of the lifter pack had it’s lines all done with the real touch marker except for two. It gives a very nice and light effect, which I like allot.
In this picture ou can see some lines made with the rapidograph and others with the GM01. Not pretty, at least I don’t think so.
In general I’m satisfied with the result, I learned allot, which is what mattered the most. I can’t wait to start building the Blitz !
And here I was getting ready to take some nice shots of my completed Justice, when tragedy strikes.
Well this was the perfect chance to try out my new pin vice. So after some drilling and adding some glue to fill the hole…
And here it is fully repaired.
So, now for what matters. After many many months (though most of those where spent not working on this kit :P), here he is the completely repainted Infinite Justice. It may have many flaws, but at least I think I got the colors right.
With Freedom and Justice
1/100 scale ungraded kits, from the destiny and seed lines, are not known for their quality, indeed even though I find this version of the Infinite Justice cool, it’s undeniable that it has serious problems with it’s proportions.
It’s head is incredibly small, and the lifter pack is way too big, specially the canons in the back. Also the poseability is nothing great even if it does use double joints for the knees and elbows(I am unhappy with the leg pose), but considering this is not a MG or even close, I guess it’s not so bad.
The colors are also not that faithful. There was quite a bit of detailing needed, but worse than that, the main color was a salmonish pink, which is not how I remembered him from the show. True he may not have been totally red, but hey it suits him no ?
The construction also doesn’t help painting and removing seams, specially the shoulders and legs. The latest ungraded 1/100 from the 00 line are superior in all these aspects.
Still, this was ideal as a learning guinea pig, and after all the experiments and failures I can safely say that I learned allot, and for sure the next one will come out better