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Topics - NickM

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Model In-Progress / This Old Terminator
« on: October 28, 2013, 01:25:30 AM »
A friend of mine was selling kits and couldn't get rid of this Tsukuda Hobby Terminator because it was started and parts were missing. He gave it to me so I am trying to build the hell out of it. Just because it's an old kit and a couple parts are missing doesn't mean it's worthless!

The chromed version and the regular release have different box designs.

This very kit was the cover for the coveted December 1991 Hobby Japan. The diorama was built by the famous modeller Takuji Yamada, who has built a ton of critically acclaimed stuff. I scanned the relevant pages.

With my research complete I stripped all the chrome from the kit with Super Clean. Next I built the kit with Tamiya Extra Thin cement. It went together similarly to a Wave FSS plastic kit. Pretty difficult, but it looks very good, and luckily fewer parts. The left forearm parts are the ones that are missing. Rather than do a battle damaged T-800 missing an arm, I opted to rip off Robocop 3:

I built a small hinge on the back of the pulse rifle and connected it to the elbow joint. It was a simple job and looks relatively good. The kit was primed with Mr Surfacer and an airbrush. A black basecoat of Mr Color was laid down next, followed by a gloss clear.

The first round of Alclad metallics down.

More Alclad in an attempt to even out the dark spots. The centre torso became too highlighted, and takes away from the head I think. But not so much I am willing to repaint it. A Humbrol black wash went over the entire kit.

The teeth and eyes were painted with Vallejo acrylics.

Model Gallery / 1/144 Turn X
« on: October 20, 2013, 09:34:55 PM »

Capitalism Corner* / Mecha Model Book - Crowdfunding
« on: November 24, 2012, 06:48:41 PM »
Hey guys, me and some friends who all share the dream of English language mecha model books are finally going to do something about it. We're writing a book, and doing a crowdfunding campaign to help cover costs. You can check it out here: and pledge some cash if you want to help us out! Thanks for looking.  ^_^

Model In-Progress / Variety Grade ZZ
« on: August 20, 2012, 12:08:06 AM »
I have always been very inspired by a model build in the Dec 1999 issue of Hobby Japan. The kit is the Variety Grade Gundam by Takahiro Yamada, which is a complex kitbash of an HG, MG and PG RX-78-2 to create very unique proportions. It left a strong impression on me, and I look up to it as one of my favorite models ever.

Variety Grade Gundam:

Today I was building models with the local Gunpla club at an anime convention. On the table I had an SD ZZ and an HGUC ZZ I recently finished snapping. I became a little bored and tried kitbashing them together, and the result was so well received by people passing by I have decided to actually finish it.

This is how it looks at the moment, just tacked together. It is the SD head and torso, with HGUC for the rest.

I also have an MG ZZ, which I plan to use the lower half of the legs off the MG, and the shoulder armor/binders from to help balance it out.

Model Gallery / 3Q 1/20 Melusine
« on: January 05, 2012, 05:14:13 PM »
This Melusine is my first MaK kit, and it is almost oob. Mods are removed panel lines, new mesh on the back, new antennas, aftermarket camera lenses, epoxy joint covers and lots of rivets added.

It was supposed to be a quick and easy practice build but wound up taking me more than a year, which is saying a lot since there aren't a ton of structural mods or anything. I'm getting slower with age. :p

Some wip photos of the mods:

And the finished model:

Model Gallery / 1/144 HGUC Z'Gok (Again)
« on: January 05, 2012, 05:00:35 PM »
Another year, another Z'Gok. I must have built four or five of these old HGUC kits now. And why not, they're only 800 Yen and look awesome. This one is strictly oob, just painting practice. Ok, it's not really oob, I added a G Option monoeye, sharpened the claws and sprayed the surface with aerosol truck bed liner to give it that crusty sea texture. Painting is Max Style, my first attempt. I'm quite pleased.

This is a really great little kit to have on my shelf :)

Model Gallery / 1/144 HGUC Zaku III Custom Nick M Version
« on: November 16, 2009, 11:39:15 PM »
This kit was for a local contest at Metropolis Comics. Myself and a couple of friends from the Gundam Workshop days decided to do a group build and spring it on everybody at the event. Unfortunately, I was the only one that finished.

The kit won second place in the contest, and features: aluminum thrusters and monoeye from Ako, B Club resin hands, scratch spikes, scratch feet, modded rear skirt featuring a screen cut from a dollar store sieve, photoetched parts from Korea (brass parts on the shoulders), modded head from HGUC Garma's Zaku II, plate detail on the shield, added rivets and other minor details.



Thanks for looking!

Painting/Priming / Flexible Paint
« on: July 30, 2009, 08:31:43 PM »
Does anybody know any good flexible paints? The object is a soft plastic and will endure a lot of bending (think surgical tubing). I know Krylon makes a 'plastic' paint, but I'm not sure how it will hold up to cracking.

Model Gallery / SD Jagd Doga
« on: April 01, 2009, 08:26:38 PM »
I had this kit for a long time, but when Fifth Luna built his I got scared of building it. I wanted to do something really fast over spring break and this was the most simple kit I had around. I started on Friday, so under 6 days start to finish.

Sorry for the crappy photos!  ;)

Model Gallery / 1/24 Ferrari 360 Modena Spyder
« on: August 09, 2008, 06:15:20 PM »
The 2001 kit from Revell. This kit was a gift and when I saw the exposed engine I was so put out because I didn't want to have to detail it. I decided to just paint the engine black and somehow by then end of the build it was actually painted quite nicely. This kit took a month to build because I only built when my Jaburo diorama was boring me and also I had to wait for the paint to cure. The body is finished with enamels so it took a couple weeks before I could even touch it! The rest is finished with Tamiya acrylics.

The only things I changed from stock were the wheel colors, some colors in the interior, the color of the headlamps (red to black) and I left out some mesh that was supposed to go behind the seats. Revell included this weird mesh and when I tried to cut it it unraveled! They should have just molded in the details but I decided to leave the whole thing out and save a headache.

The rear tail light decal set before I could position it properly and I ended up tearing it a little. Whoops!

The fabled exposed engine.

I wish you could see it... I even painted the damn brakes...

Model In-Progress / 1/250 Jaburo Diorama WIP
« on: June 04, 2008, 11:03:58 AM »
Released in 1981, there were three original diorama sets for the Gundam series. All of them come with a plastic base and background card and of course, a couple MS in 1/250. My kit also came with super small (I assume 1/550) versions of the MS as well, so I assume all of the kits came with them. My 'run' of this kit was produced in 1995 and based on the shape of the kit the mold was in a pretty bad way at the time. You can still get it, but it's a little pricey because they haven't reissued it in 12 years (as far as I know).

This is what model building is all about. Building stuff you like for yourself. So far I am having a great time working on this kit, it is so old school with the background card and everything I just love it! Painting the MS is going to be tough, but I'm up for the challenge! I am thinking of a few mods at the moment and heavily consulting my Diorama book by Sheperd Paine. There is no deadline for this, so I am just going to take it easy and try to have fun rather than make a kit to blow people away. It's too specialized for most people anyways. I imagine most comments would be that I should have used MGs. Of course that misses the point of modeling completely.

Here is a 300 DPI scan of the background card, in case anyone wants to print it out for their HGUCs or whatever :D.

The instruction sheet...

And of course, the build so far.

There are two holes in the base. One is tiny and for a brass rob to hold up the Z'Gok and the other is supposed to be covered by a stone thing. I glued some sheet styrene to the bottom of the hole to support it and filled it with epoxy.

The bottom of the base.

After the epoxy set for awhile, I carved in some detail so it would match the rest of the base better.

Here is the base with the background card as it is supposed to look. You can see the supplied rock piece to cover the hole in the center. It looks really out of place in between three MS in a battle. I can't help but think somebody is going to trip over it.

Of course, I have started to put together the MS pieces as well. The parts fit pretty good but I am going to have to add some detail back after sanding, especially on the GM's head because it's going to lose the signature 'earmuffs'.

That's it for now! I'm going to draw out some ideas later.

Model Gallery / 1/1200 Real Type Falmel
« on: June 02, 2008, 04:05:38 PM »
More vintage fun, this time Char's Musai, the Falmel. Another mental health build, I put this together in a couple days and tried to do some weathering like I saw in the Real Type Catalogue. Guaranteed, it is definitely not going to be everyone's 'thing' but I feel I did well for the style.

This is the kit from 1981 and it is about 6 inches long.

Model Gallery / 1/144 EWAC Zack
« on: May 29, 2008, 11:09:28 PM »

Model Gallery / 1/25 2005 Ford GT
« on: May 13, 2008, 10:03:59 PM »
I bought this kit to use as scrap parts. I needed a seat, the engine and rear suspension for my scratchbuild project The Cage. When I opened the box I was taken aback by how cool a kit it was. I couldn't bring myself to turn it completely to junk, so I finished it as a curbside and took the engine and interior for my other project.

This weekend I had a cold and was on all kinds of meds so I didn't want to risk screwing up the EWAC Zack I am working on. Bored out of my skull I started working on this and finished it in four days. Overall I am happy with it. I am far from an expert car modeler, actually this is my only my fourth car model since 1997.

There are some problems in the finish I don't like, but overall I enjoy having it on my shelf to break up the mobile suits.

The WIP. Car models are so much better than they used to be. This was a $9.99 AMT junker too.

The paint scheme is based off the gorgeous scheme used on Subaru STis. I sprayed the insides of the glass with Tamiya Clear Yellow in an attempt to tint it so you can't tell there is no interior. It came out sort of foggy in some places compared to others... but it was my first time trying so no harm no foul. I did a few coats to try and even it out and it just wasn't happening so I settled with what it is.

I didn't have it in me to dechrome the parts so they are what they are.

I love the rear end on this thing. It is an engineering marvel. The license plate decal is from a Miami Vice kit I built years ago.

In this shot you can see the worst of the fog problem. If the light hits the glass right it glosses and you can't tell, but from certain angles it is glaringly obvious. -5 POINTS!

I didn't dechrome the rims either, I just sprayed clear yellow on top to make them gold. Turned out great I think. I also went at the crappy tires with a file to rough them up and make them look street used.

Not bad for a kit that wasn't going to get built anyways! I had fun with this and it turned into a nice little metal health build. It is nice to finish something every once in awhile, even if it's not perfect. Plus now I don't have to build another car model for two years!

Model In-Progress / Vintage 1/144 EWAC Zack WIP
« on: April 02, 2008, 08:57:02 AM »
I could have sworn I made this topic yesterday... if it got taken down for a reason please let me know mods. ^_^

This WIP is going to be exhaustively in depth when it comes to creative decisions. As far as the technical aspects of building go, outside of major custom work I will not go into detail because I don't want to seem patronizing.

From MAHQ this is the only information I have on the actual suit:

A reconnaissance variant of the RMS-106 Hi-Zack used during the Gryps Conflict, the Earth Federation Forces' RMS-119 EWAC Zack could also be considered a distant relative of the old Principality of Zeon's MS-06E Zaku Reconnaissance Type. The most visible physical difference between the Hi-Zack and the "Eye-Zack" (as it was sometimes called) was the large radome mounted on its head. This radome was equipped with a passive radar system, allowing the EWAC Zack to monitor enemy forces without giving itself away with active radar signals. The EWAC Zack was also equipped with various additional infra-red, communications, and visual sensors, allowing it to monitor the enemy in a variety of methods. The radome also featured a second mono-eye that ran on a track along the perimeter of its lower side, allowing the pilot to keep a lookout on the ground while flying or jumping overhead.

Although the use of radar- and radio-jamming Minovsky particles in battle situations renders such electronic forms of detection useless, the EWAC Zack was often used for pre- and post-combat actions, tasked with acquiring enemy strength, location, and disposition data. Thus, the EWAC Zack was also equipped with four data pods in its backpack, each of which carried recordings of the mobile suit's intelligence data and could be either jettisoned or launched back towards friendly forces. In the case of capture by the enemy, the data in the pods was also encrypted, thus assuring that valuable intelligence would not fall into the wrong hands. The EWAC Zack was also designed for long-range use, equipped with a pair of external fuel tanks for extended flight times. Although typically unarmed, the EWAC Zack could also be equipped with the weapons normally carried by a Hi-Zack, if necessary.

The EWAC Zack was originally built and operated by the Earth Federation Forces, but the invasion of Earth by Neo Zeon during the First Neo Zeon War resulted in several of these units being captured by the enemy. At least one unit was also captured by the African Liberation Front rebel group, operated as part of their "Blue Team" and painted in their distinctive light blue-on-blue colors.

I have begun the most important stage of the build, planning. Between my magazine scans (thanks doven) and the instruction sheet I am seeing what features I would like to add and the kind of modifications I need to do. Of course, if anyone can help me with some more reference pictures of this kit or has any ideas about the mods please chime in! The only thing I will say is I am not going to use HGUC Hi-Zack parts on this kit no matter what.

Enough talk, let's see the kit!

Oh snap! (or rather, glue!)

Already the tears of joy are flowing. Not a single piece of ABS in the lot. If I had a nickel for every HGUC kit I opened to find half of it was made out of that god awful ABS I could afford garage kits. I am a firm believer that ABS is turning models into toys and the lack of it here is a wonderful sight. The worst part of the HGUC Hi-Zack is the PC joints and piping used all over the kit. All the piping on this kit is solid PS and the only PC is used for the polycaps of course! Nonetheless, they are 20 year old polycaps and so I will replace them with our current, more flexible polycaps of the same shape.

The best part... posability is non existent! My major gripe of Bandai making kits less modeler friendly to be more posable is out the window. It is simply perfect. There are even less sink marks than on the brand new HGUC Jagd Doga...

Now my inspiration!

What I would give to be able to read Japanese. Anyways, it is a truly enchanting build. I see a lot of things I really like and the overall design is so over the top I love it. I am shooting for an overall look like this build. There are key differences however, the genius that built this kit scratch built the head onto a 1:100 Hi Zack. I am starting with a 1:144 EWAC Zack which may even be based on his build as most old MSV were developed by real modelers (not like how today MSV come from a magic closed tribunal of supposedly pro modelers nobody knows). Anyways, the fact that this is a 1:100 and I'm building 1:144 is no excuse, if anything I will attempt to give it more details than the 1:100. On a side note MAHQ says the EWAC Zack was designed by Hajime Katoki. Personally I think that they either just wrote down a name on that site for completeness or they got it off Bandai marketing propaganda. I mean, look at it. Katoki? Yeah, right. Probably some nameless modeler from Shizuoka.

Here is the technical drawings from the instruction sheet. Quite helpful actually, most of the drawings they give you in Master Grade instructions are of the kit as it comes. These drawings are there to help you scratch building custom parts. Neat, huh?

See what I mean about the drawings? Priceless. I would be out to sea without those because this kit is so unpopular. At least when I am done there will be an easy reference for other modelers. I might spark an EWAC Zack resurgence!

At the moment, these are the mods I am planning. A few things I am still not so sure about.

And that is where I'm at. It's too soon to think about colours, but for the moment I am liking purple in my head. There are purple Hi-Zacks, so I might get away with it and it is one of my favourite colours. We'll see!

Model Gallery / 1/144 HGUC Char's Acguy
« on: February 28, 2008, 09:45:57 PM »

Thanks for comments.

Model In-Progress / 1/144 HGUC Jagd Doga
« on: January 23, 2008, 08:25:49 PM »
The new Jagd... I'm taking it in a Quebley direction. Less detail and high finish. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the ABS joints. The seams are keeping me up at night, but I'm not sure what I can do about it. ABS cement perhaps? There is so much depth in the pieces though that I'll never be able to sand it away anyways. Maybe just play it cool, paint it flat black and hope everybody thinks it is supposed to be there. Damn you ABS!

Model Gallery / 1/144 HGUC Gogg
« on: January 12, 2008, 10:18:35 PM »

One of my longest projects to date. It took 3 1/2 months for me to mod, adding details and such. Only took 2 days to paint, which was surprisingly pleasant.

Comments welcomed, except of course please respect that I paint in a certain style.  ^_^

GB4: Sci-Fi GPX / The Cage
« on: October 02, 2007, 05:36:36 PM »

I'm not too well known around here, so I hope I can use this contest to get to know some of you guys better, and also to show what kind of work I can do. I'm not going to post my sketch because it is horrible and nonsensical to everyone but me, but it does exist. So far the front end is almost finished and the cockpit is nearly done too. I need to pick up some epoxy and I plan to use it to mold the nose to the cockpit in a more aerodynamic shape. I am not going for a sleek racer, more of a Mad Max sort of thing. As the name implies, I want it to be sort of like the racer is strapped into a cage with an engine and some wheels. I want to add some neat pointy objects along the car and the engine compartment is going to be a sort of hexagonal box with exhaust pipes coming out and a wing on the top.

Most of this is scratch built so far, but the cockpit is mostly from a Revell Ferrari Testarossa and there are also parts from a Revell Fokker Dr. I and a Dragon Panzerspahwagen.

I hope to see more of everyone else's builds!

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