rx 78-2 variants (msmv)
I make no secret of the fact that I love the master grade RX 78-2 Origin Version. It in my eyes embodies everything a Gunpla should be, and that I'm a fan of the "retro" blocky robot designs. So when piecing together the master grade GM sniper II, the custom ideas hit me like a punch from a 1:1 RX0. "Origin styled RX78 Variants". I'll admit some of this decision was influenced by my recent acquisition of the Full Armor Gundam Thunderbolt Ver. KA.
Into Photoshop we go!
Aside from change minor details and obviously the colour scheme, there wasn't much I wanted to change on the GM Sniper II. The most important thing here would be panel lining, so I invested in some scribing tools and chisels. The colour scheme was actually suggested by a friend. Frankly I couldn't be more pleased with her decision (top left)
I wasn't completely honest when I said minor panel details were the only changes I wanted to make. There were actually quite a few details I changed up to improve the overall look. First up, vents, these were made by cutting rectangular holes in the chest and using PlaPlate to make a rim for the vents to be glued into.
I added a layer of plastic to the torso to increase the width, this also worked to slightly increase the height of the figure, not quite by enough so I added another layer to the upper chest to force the inside joint to hold itself further up. Still not enough though, because of the design of the kits torso the kit is actually a little shorter than some other 18 meter Gundams, at least to the shoulders, to remedy this I added another layer of about 4mm in the thighs.
You may also notice the additional bit on the shoulder armour, same process, plastic bonded then sanded and cut until it was seamless and filled out a more "blocky" ascetic. The final change filling out the thruster details in the legs with putty, once this had cured, I sanded it down.
I think the additions to the legs and bulk of the shoulders almost give the kit a Katoki vibe.
To further improve the clean look of the new additions, I applied putty again, waited, sanded. I repeated this until I was happy with the lack of imperfections. Once this was done, scribing and priming were the next steps. I purchased a Tamiya Plastic Scriber 2, although this was a bit too thick a tool for the majority of the panels I wanted to give the kit, I ended up investing in a cheap 0.2mm scriber as well and just increasing the width of the lines when needed by gently dragging the Tamiya scriber over the established panels.
Unlike with Grimgerde, I used custom mixes for the final colours of this, there are 6 in total for the outer armour, the frame details however were done with a simple Tamiya gunmetal over black, with gold leaf for other details and a chrome silver for a layer of dry-brushing.
The weapons were easily the most fun part about the whole design, I really like the design of the Sniper rifle that comes with the kit but I always thought it looked a bit too... human sized? I get that most Gundam weapons are just scaled up weapons but they always have a kind of "Giant Robot" feel about them.
The assault rifle was torn apart to make the kits pistol. Every Gundam seems to have one weapon that it rolls out of the launch bay with, be it a rifle, twin beam cannon, Hyper Bazooka, they always have one. This kits would be this pistol.
Finally I wanted to give this kit another handheld weapon just to add that little extra oomph to its intimidation level. I didn't have anything to work from here though, just a few high grade weapons, one of them was suitable enough to act as a frame but the handle, and general shell of the gun would have to be done from scratch.
With the main body figured out and the weapons nearing the painting stage, it was about time I jumped onto what I had seen as the most daunting part of this build (the reason it was put off until now) The backpack and weapon attachments. I used a Balden Arm Arms (Yes that's the name) for a giant variable cannon on his left side and crafted a sort of hook system for the two rifles on the kits right side. To store the extra bit for the cannon i needed to make a small compartment on the backpack, I repeated this on the other side for symmetry.
Once I moved on to painting the main body of the kit I split the compnoents into each colour. I started with the lightest colour, then the dark grey, then red, I actually did the frame after the pieces this time as I wasn't sure weather I should paint the whole frame or not, I decided on spraying the arm and leg joints but hand painting the hands and details underneath the skirts, there are also gaps in the armour on the foot and legs to show the detail painting inside.
I'm currently in the process of adding weathering to the kit, I'm using a tiny detail brush and a mixture of light greys for the darker areas and a darker metallic colour for the lighter plates of armour. I should probably hold off and work on teh backpack and weapons but I'm awaiting a delivery of primer and thinners for that. Currently, this is where the MA 78-01 Manasa is at.
I'll be uploading a full guide with every single step of this build on Patreon once it's completed, so keep an eye on there for that and on here for further update and the final piece. Thanks for reading!