Category: Keith

D-arts Mega Man X Review

By Loran

You know how I said I wasn’t a big comic book fan as a kid? Weeeell, the same could sort of be said towards a lot of video games. I have a Playstation, yes, but I didn’t have nearly as many games as some of my friends did. I never had a Nintendo system aside from the Game Boy and its descendants. But there was one character I always took a bit of an interest in… and it wasn’t through the games. It was a certain cartoon series that turned me onto him.

Yeah. The 90’s Mega Man cartoon. It was hokey as all hell, but I liked it. I actually got an original copy of Mega Man X and played through most of it a few months ago.

You can bet I was excited when this guy got announced. Continue reading

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The Arche Gundam: Finale

by Keith

GENTLEMEN, BEHOLD! ANOTHER ARTICLE!

It’s been kind of a long road working on the Arche so far, and progress to this point has been relatively slow. Thankfully, that won’t be the case this time! I motored through this week and finished up the Arche and I’ll be documenting it here for you.

When last we left off, we had tinted the Arche’s various clear bits and assembled the drive core and most of the lower legs, so this time around we’ll start there. The shin-plates come next. The kneepads get sprayed Vallejo GC Skull White, same as the other white parts, and the big red bits Gore Red as per the rest of the red parts, then assembled as per instructions. Thighs are assembled and painted, then pegged into the polycaps in the knees; the assembled legs can now be affixed to the groin assembly we built and painted before.

Next up is the torso and arms. The top and bottom of the upper torso were painted Gore Red before the yellow vents in the torso were painted Testors Model Master Acryl Insignia Yellow and inserted into the former, which were then closed up. There is a strip of technological detail on the top of the upper torso, in the neck area, that gets painted the same color as the frame, and a similar stripe on the bottom of the backpack; these were masked and painted in the manner I described a couple articles back. After adding the cockpit cover to the upper torso, it and the backpack can be attached to the torso GN drive. Continue reading

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The Arche Gundam construction: Part 3

By Keith

It’s that time again- time for part 3 of the HG Arche build. We’re starting to get to some of the more fun bits, but also some of the more annoying ones, especially for those of us who paint every bit of our kits. A series of paint-related mishaps this week cost me a lot of time, so I didn’t get quite as far along as I would have liked, but hey- that’s what the next article is for. This week I’ll be talking about a number of ways of painting clear parts, as well as a few little tricks I’ve learned for getting around material problems.

Like I mentioned last time, I don’t like to use the stickers they include with Gundam kits. They are thick, obscure molded detail, and always, always detract from the look of a model. This is to say nothing of dry transfers or waterslide decals. The former are rare and a far from ideal solution, while the latter draw a lot of somewhat undeserved ire from modelers more used to Gundam kits than real scale models. That said, refusing to use stickers means finding alternatives. For the GN drives, I decided to tint the clear drive windows and provide them with a metallic backing. To be difficult, and partially as an experiment, I decided to use plain old aluminum foil as a backer. It is possible to achieve quite a smooth sheen on this foil if the wrinkles are flattened out first. I used the side of a Sharpie cap, and used the drive windows as a template to cut out small circles of foil that I then glued to the insides of the legs and chest drive with plain old Elmer’s. Continue reading

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The Arche Gundam part 2

By Keith

Welcome back, model-monkeys! Last time you were subjected to my semi-coherent pontification, we began construction of Bandai’s High Grade 00-series Arche Gundam. This week we’ll be continuing where we left off- moving on with construction, and getting some paint on this thing.

As I mentioned in my last article, I use an airbrush to paint my models, and this article will be written with that in mind. An airbrush is really an invaluable tool for model construction- in the long run it will save you money on spraypaint, and it lets you use custom-mixed paint that would otherwise require hand-brushing. The airbrush I use is an Iwata HP-BCS. This particular model comes in a set with a number of useful accessories for $80-100. When selecting a first airbrush, what you want to look for are double-action internal-mix airbrushes. The former means that the button or trigger controls both airflow and paint flow, while the latter indicates that paint and air are mixed inside the body of the brush. Iwata, Badger, and Paasche are the brands you should focus on. The other part of an airbrush setup is a compressor. Mine’s a Silent-Aire Scorpion, a very basic model. I must admit I don’t know too much about different types of compressors, but I do know the cans of airbrush propellant you can buy are no substitute.

Anyway, onward with the build. If you’re going to paint your kit, you might as well toss the foil stickers- no matter how well you paint, if you use those stickers your kit isn’t going to look very professional. We’re going to start by painting all the places where the white stickers would have gone. White is a color that frequently has opacity issues, and were we to paint it right on there’s a good chance we’d get the underlying red plastic showing through, leaving all the white with a pink tinge. What we’re going to do is lay down a coat of more opaque grey paint first. Continue reading

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The Arche Gundam part 1

By Keith

Hello, hola, and ciao!

If you’re here, I’m going to assume you already know what Gundam kits are, and you may have even built a few yourself. If you haven’t, that’s cool too- everyone has to start somewhere. Our starting point today is going to be the High Grade kit of the Arche Gundam, (Ali Al-Saachez’ mount in the second season of Gundam 00) in 1/144 scale. These kits are an excellent jumping-off point for the modeler interested in moving beyond the confines of the instructions and included kit parts, since they offer a well-molded and reasonably well-detailed canvas to which you can add additional detail and experiment with various paints and techniques without breaking the bank. We won’t go too nuts with the Arche, but this will not be an out-of-box build.

The Arche is reasonably atypical as Gundams go. Rather than your typical mechanical-Samurai looking machine, it resembles more the lovechild of an airplane and a spider monkey, spindly limbs arrayed around the central GN Tau drive, and sports a maroon color scheme in stark contrast to the traditional Gundam color scheme of the three primary colors plus white. The frame parts of the kit are molded in an unusual beige, and some detail parts are provided in yellow or white. Clear parts include the domed windows for the Arche’s three GN Tau drives and two beam blades for its unusual foot-mounted sabers. Continue reading

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