Of the many things that I planned to accomplish over the course of my two month summer break, one of them was to complete my Master Grade 1/100 scale Red Astray Gundam model. I find mechs, particularly fighter planes and gundams, to be quite attractive and dreamy. I actually wrote a post about my fascination with machines and technology a year ago.

There were over 240 individual pieces, about five times as much as shown above, the most that I’ve worked with so far. I first cut each piece off from their sprues, shaving and filing down from where the part was connected to the sprue.

I then placed each piece onto a bbq stick held with alligator clips and stuck into a styrofoam block so that I can prime and paint from all sides and allowing them to dry properly without me having to hold up every piece as a I paint along. Priming gives the acrylic paint a rougher and better surface for it to stick to.

Some airbrushed pieces that ready to be put together.

After airbrushing each piece, in which the priming and painting took about three weeks on and off, I assembled the gundam together which looked pretty nice.

I then disassembled the gundam at the joints so that I could spray a clear top coat over all of the surfaces. This allowed me to do a panel wash which entails thinning black enamel paint and dabbing the lines that I want highlighted. Since the top coat is glossy and slippery, and the enamel wash is thinned, the theory is that when applied, the paint continue to slide, aiding the painter by flowing in and out of panel lines and crevices.

The wash didn’t turn out so well in which some of the black paint from the lines stuck onto parts of the gundam because I didn’t do a good enough job of applying a clear glossy top coat. In any case, some of the wash did fill in the lines, and my thought process turned from crafting a newly built gundam into building a battle damaged or weathered machine as if it’d been through a few rough fights. I then applied another gloss coat to see the panel wash and allow another smooth surface to apply the dry decals.

So I’ve been working on this for the better month of July and, although a bit sloppy, I’m quite proud of my project. I’ve completed two other master grade gundam models, but those were nearly eight years ago, and this MG Red Astray is only a few years old with new and more advanced parts that look and move in a more detailed manner.

Although not nearly as good as how it should be, I did perfect my airbrushing technique as I’ve learned how to evenly shade the parts while not letting the paint puddle or bunch up. I’ll probably tackle another gundam before my summer expires, but most likely one that is on a smaller scale. And I probably won’t be so gung-ho about painting every single part. I think I may simply assemble the model, apply a lazy man’s pencil lining process, and then do a quick matte top coat.

I rate this a 6 out of 10 only because I’m still a newb when it comes to modeling, but the figure gets a 10 out of 10 for its sheer beauty.

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