Deez Nuts and bolts
I hadn't long been swallowed up by the model kit hobby when I had received my first GunPla. The 1/100 IBO Grimgerd.
While I'll be talking mainly about my progress with this build I'll also treat this as a sort of review for the out-of-box build. To summarise my opinion on this kit; It's awesome. especially as a beginner, It isn't over saturated with tiny or over complex parts, it's articulation is top notch, and it's sturdy to boot (I wouldn't try booting it though).
I began my custom with a few rough sketches based on stock photos of the kit. I really like Grimgerdes design, so I wanted to avoid changing massively. Initially I think my ambition outweighed logic: plans to have numerous jet-thrusters and leg rockets and god knows what else were prevalent at first. Eventually however, I settled for an only slightly detailed, slimmer look with a brand new and larger backpack.
The one section of Grimgerde's design I was never too fond of were the shields, they didn't really make sense as shields to me and having glorified sheaths weighing down the arms didn't appeal to me. Thankfully somewhere (I can't remember where) was selling the 1/100 Schwable Graze for dirt cheap (I'm pretty sure I paid less than a tenner somehow). The leg shields on this were perfect, I think the rounded yet angular "teardrop" shape fits the whole suit much better than two off kilter lines. Next up was the backpack, initially I was going to scratch build the entire section but once again the Schwable came to the rescue, I tore apart the graze and a HG Dantalion for most of the new parts of this kit. Remaining parts were scratch build from 1mm thick Plastic Plate (Commonly shortened to Plaplate). For the fuel tanks of the backpack I was originally going to use plastic test tubes, I had even figured the connection. While I liked the length of the tubes, the diameter was a little underwhelming for my liking and I think it interfered too much with the silhouette of the figure. This was fixed by Wave's fuel tank option parts. They were actually bought for another kit but the size fit this project far better. Finally once all the physical changes to the design were done it was time to figure out the circuitry. It's here where my ambition being too large became apparent. I had hoped to add 8 lights in total; 4 back thrusters, one on each leg, one for the waist and a final one for the mono-eye. Unfortunately powering that many 3V LEDs in a compact location isn't the easiest thing to do. There is no where on Grimgerde I could have fit a battery for a single LED let alone enough to power 8. I decided against the idea of a self contained unit. Grimgerde now needed to have a base which could house the power. This meant I had to figure out a way to break the circuit safely when Grim is no longer posed atop the stand.
The painting process was daunting, my first time with an airbrush (I jumped in and skipped paint cans for everything but the primer). I went with Tamiya Acrylics and as it was my first time (and I didn't have any mixing tubs) I decided to use the pot colours. I referred back to the mock up I drew earlier and applied colours.
The inner frame was done with Tamiya Gunmetal over a grey primer. Some details I hand painted in Gold Leaf and Chrome Silver. Once the whole Frame was painted, had dried and given a layer of Topcoat, I went in with a dry brush and more chrome silver to add certain wear to the metallic look. Considering this was my first attempt, I was rather pleased with the result. The armour plating had an extra step between priming and coating, that was pre-shading. Grimgerde doesn't have much in the way of surface detail, and at the time I didn't really have tools for scribing, I didn't want to have wide open spaces of white on the kit though. While I liked the pinkish red of the original, I chose a brighter more vibrant red and decided to split the colour scheme between that and white. I didn't realise at first but the more I look at the kit now, the more it resembles a PokeBall for some reason.
Grimgerde is still not finished, I ran into quite a snag when it came to the electronics, they all work fine, but the break in the circuit wasn't working quite as planned. Resolution: a new stand. The new BANDAI action Bases had just come out, and this new arm design would accomodate wiring much better than my current AB 1. For the time being, this means back to the drawing board while I figure out a brand new connection. I think I've decided on simply remaking the entire crotch section.
For now that's all the updates on Grimgerde as a project. I've still got a whiles to go but I've scaled most of the hill already. Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for future updates and the final review!