Air Drop - Jesta

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This was only supposed to be an exercise in simple details.

It proceeded to manifest itself into something much, much more.

The Air Drop project started out as a “out of box” build to showcase what simple details could do to a model. It was a break from my, then ongoing, project the GM Spartan. I became bored of that and switched to the Jesta and months and many LIVE streams later, this is the fruit of that labor.

This project also became an homage to the real life 67th Tactical Fighter Wing.

I stayed true to my word that this was an “out of box” build at it’s core. The Jesta itself is not heavily modified or altered in any way. I just added simple details and plastic plating to it. The most extensive modification came in the scratch built box magazine for the rifle.

Starting with the Jesta’s head I filled in the round holes in the visor with Loctite Super Glue and sanded them smooth. I also replaced both round details on both sides of the head with Kotobukiya minus mold parts. A small chin protrusion was added as well as new panel lines.

The shoulders were plated to increased the armored look and hoist bars were added to both sides. A small vent was installed to the top of both shoulders along with new panel lines.

For the arms I only added additional plastic plate and new panel lines along with Kotobuikiya Diagonal Cross plates to the left arm.

The collar has small added plates and simulated lights as well as new panel lines. The two chest vents were filled over with plastic plate and new panel lines were added all around the upper torso.

The front, back and side skirts saw similiar treatment with added plate, panel lines and notches.

The upper legs have added plastic strips around the outside of the front to achieve a recessed look as well as new panel lines. The lower legs sport minimal added plastic plating panel lines. A small Kotobukiya vent was installed on the front of each leg, just below the knee and Kotobukiya Diagonal Cross plates were added to the sides. Additional plastic detail was added to the backs of the legs just above the main thruster. Small vents were also sculpted in with chisels on both sides of the knees.

The feet have added plastic plate and details as well as new panel lines. Kotobukiya Minus Molds were added to the ankles as the stock kit is very bare on the ankles.

The backpack has minor plastic plating and panel lines added. The shield has added plastic plating over a large portion of the upper part and a scratch built serated edge along the lower part of the shield. The inside of the shield has added plastic plating and minor additional panel lines.

The rifle, as stated before, has the most extensive modification of the main unit, in the scratch built box magazine. I used the exsisting magazine and scratch built the box shape out of plastic plate and strip. The vertical forgrip was replaced with a pad made of plastic plate and rod. Additional panel lines were added to the rifle as well.

Beyond the core model I scratch built the jump pack out of plastic plate, strip, tube and rod, as well as Kotobuikiya detail parts. The thruster bells were salvaged from my parts box and inflation needles were added to the inside of each to simulate mechanical detail. The hunchback part was also was also completely scratch built using plastic plate and strip. Both the jump pack and hunchback part are held on by magnets.

The parachutes were easily the hardest part of this project. I went through four rounds of development to get what you see in the final pics. To make them I finally settled on vacuforming them. I created a positve shape (or buck) out of solid MDF (medium density fiberboard) that I shaped with an angle grinder, files, and my Dremel. Once I had the shape I vacuformed the three parachutes out of 1mm plastic sheet. The rigging was all installed by hand with thin, braided steel jewelry wire that was enrobed in clear viynl. Small pieces of half round tube were added to each wire around the perimeter of each parachute for added detail. All the rigging was secured to the mounting points with super glue. The mounting assemblies were scratch built using plastic tubes, and sheets. It’s all held together by very strong Neodymium magnets.

The base is made from MDF sheets that were laminated with plastic sheet and then detailed. The based is constructed so that it can break down for travel and storage using sturdy 1/4-20 bolts and threaded inserts. Since I wanted the Jesta to look like it was floating down to the earth I found an image of terrain and applied a central radial blur in Photoshop and laminated the print to a thin piece of plastic plate. A plexiglass sheet was custom cut to fit the insert to give the image more depth.

The entire project was painted using Mr. Color paints and weathered with Tamiya Weathering Master sets. Various bought and custom made decals were applied throughout the piece. The 67th Rooster logo was found on a military sheet that I purchased when my local hobby store was closing down. That logo set the stage for the color scheme and overall design of the paint and weathering process. It helped spawn the 67th T.M.S.S. An homage to the real life 67th Tactical Fighter Wing.

On the base I painted the sky and clouds using various shades of blue and white. The sky parts are clearcoated in high gloss and contrasted with a matte clearcoat on all other parts. This helps to simulate a windowed look.

Even though this morphed from a simple “out of box” build into something much more, I’m very pleased with the results. The illusion of the Jesta falling is pulled off rather well, I think. I hope you enjoy it!

Most of this build is documented on my LIVE streams. Over 100 hours of work on this piece can be seen on my YouTube Channel and Facebook page. I show how I achieved the details and the techniques that went into them. You can see them all with the following playlist.

You can see all 146 pictures of the Work in Progress here:

Air Drop WIP


If you'd like purchase 67th T.M.S.S apparel or poster sized prints to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

Dealing with Burnout

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If you’ve been into scale modelling or any hobby or pastime, chances are you’ve experienced fatigue or a loss of desire for that hobby or pastime. This is called burnout. The unfortunate fact is, that no matter how passionate you are about something, you will eventually experience it. It’s not your fault and it doesn’t make you less passionate or dedicated to your hobby or pastime.

It just means you’re human. Welcome to the club. We’re glad to have you!

Getting over or dealing with burnout can be a tough proposition for some people. They sometimes can’t see a way back to having the same level of passion as they once did. Again, this is normal, but dealing with burnout will be different for everyone. What works for one person may not work for another. Sometimes you need a combination of tactics, while other times only one tactic will be enough to get you back to form.

We’ll explore some ways that I’ve dealt with burnout in the past. Mind you, this is not a comprehensive list and in reality, none of these tactics may work for you, but they may give you ideas or insight into what you need to deal with your own burnout.

Looking to other builders for inspiration

The good thing about our particular hobby is that there is no limit to the creativity people display in their works, so a useful tact that I will often take is to look at other builder’s works for inspiration. Combing through Facebook Groups or builder’s pages, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter (especially Japanese Twitter), can be a huge source of inspiration. Even just shuffling through a Google Image search can be really useful. Look for what you like or what interests you. Styles that speak to you, or aesthetics that you can relate to are particularly useful. Chances are, that after a few hours of getting lost in some truly amazing Gunpla you’ll come out feeling that desire to crack open a new kit and start snapping.

Which leads me to my next suggestion.

Snap a kit

Something as simple as opening a new kit and just admiring the engineering and design that went into its production can spark that flame again. Take out the runners, look at the manual, pine over the box art. Then, when you’re done with all that, start snapping it together. Just the act of putting pieces of plastic together can be really therapeutic and can get you well on your way to serious building again.

I would probably do this with a simple kit. Maybe a High Grade or an older Master Grade. Something that won’t take a ton of dedication to put together. Remember, you want to try and bring your desire back, not bury it even more with a complex or frustrating kit.

Wrong kit

Working on a project or kit that doesn’t inspire you can sometimes lead to burnout too. It may be as simple as boxing it up and moving on to something else. A new kit brings new challenges, and hopes, and most importantly a fresh start.

Give it a try and you might see that passion return again.

Swap hobbies temporarily

Having multiple hobbies can be both a curse and a blessing. You’ll often be torn between them for time, but when you burnout on one, you’ll have the comfort and familiarity of the other one to run to. Spending time doing something else you’re passionate about can help the healing process for your burnout. It can help take your mind off it for a bit and help you refocus. Activities like playing sports, more traditional art, music, or maybe even just watching movies or playing video games can be great things to help pass the time.

Once you’ve refocused and “charged your batteries,” you can jump back into the hobby with both feet.

Look at concept art

Concept art is like a doorway into another world of creativity and can give you ideas for future builds. Not only is it great for inspiration when you’re really passionate about your current or future project, it can be very consoling when you’re in a rut. Seeing what other people can envision in their art can definitely help you get back on track.

The best place that I’ve found to look for great concept art is a website called ArtStation (www.artstation.com). It’s a massive online gallery of many professional 2D, 3D, and practical artists. You can search many different topics and filter down the results to find just what you’re searching for. I’ve used this site to research many projects and designs and it has never failed to help.

Strength in numbers

For many of us we feel like we’re on an island all by ourselves and when burnout sets in, it can feel incredibly depressing. Finding support from others that enjoy the hobby can not be taken for granted. Both online and in person, the support you get from friends and peers can be priceless. Talking through your burnout with others can help you understand the WHY of it all and help you get back to building again. Maybe seek out new groups or people online. Find local groups or hangouts to join to meet new people and make friends. Your local hobby shop will likely be the hub that you can tap into to find those other people. Even if you don’t have a local hobby shop, there are Facebook groups for almost every state/country. Even some cities have their own groups. Tap into those to see if anyone has organized something, and if not, maybe try to take the initiative and organize something yourself!

Friends are important.

Time off

For some people or some instances, the burnout is so severe that just taking time off is what is needed. Sometimes just walking away and taking a break from things is what must be done. This may seem extreme, but sometimes too is the burnout.

Take your time and come back to the hobby when you’re ready. 

Conclusion

Like I stated previously, dealing with burnout is different for everyone. Hopefully the suggestions that I’ve listed will help you overcome your burnout or at very least give you some ideas for other methods to try. The most important thing to remember is to not give up on the hobby, and know that there are people out there that have felt the frustration of burnout just like you do, and they are there to help you.

Simple Details Class - LIVE at the Gundam Kitchen with Justinius Builds

Join Justinius Builds and me at the Gundam Kitchen for the Simple Details Class, as we teach you how to simple details a beginner or moderate level builder can add to their model. We show you tools, materials, and add-ons that you can use to make your model really come to life.

Add Simple Details will set your model apart from the rest and make it unique!

If you liked this class and want to donate please feel free! No pressure.
https://streamlabs.com/childofmecha

Gear Described in this video:

Materials and Tools

Evergreen Plastic: https://amzn.to/2JKXdWu
The Chopper II: https://amzn.to/2Ob8d2D
UBANTE Digital Caliper: https://amzn.to/2O3EwAF
BMC Chisels: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/search?typ1_c=101&cat=&state=&sold=0&sortid=0&searchkey=BMC+chisel
Zona 37-120 Revolving Tool Holder (Pin Vise): https://amzn.to/2O8dEiY
100 pc. Micro Drill Bit Set: https://amzn.to/2Oa427q
Drill America 60 Piece High-Speed Steel Wire Gauge Drill Bit Set: https://amzn.to/2NC0p91
DYMO 3D Plastic Embossing Tape: https://amzn.to/2uZ0FaG
OLFA AK-1/5B Standard Art Knife: https://amzn.to/2LtdFQ1
OLFA 9166 KB4-F/5 Chisel Art Blade: https://amzn.to/2JLDC8j
Blade Knife Hobby 25 Pack: https://amzn.to/2NCOsjk
OLFA 5023 Multi-Purpose Craft Knife: https://amzn.to/2O7kDII
NT Cutter Hobby Knife: https://amzn.to/2NwlIbW
NT Cutter 45-Degree blades for Art Knife: https://amzn.to/2Ny0Tgm
NT Cutter PRO Auto-Lock Stainless Steel Graphic Knife: https://amzn.to/2NC0Q39
Zona L-Square: https://amzn.to/2O81Pt3
WAVE T Ruler: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10254754
Helix Stainless Steel Ruler 6": https://amzn.to/2zWq9ec
General Tools 17 Square Head Metal Protractor: https://amzn.to/2O8HVOs
Hasagawa Trytool Modeling Saw Set: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10014994
Loctite Super Glue Ultra Liquid Control: https://amzn.to/2JM55H5
Tamiya Extra Thin Cement Glue: https://amzn.to/2LsRN7j

Option Parts

Kotobukiya Option Parts, Weapons, and Modeling Support Goods (MSG): https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/list/276/0/1
WAVE Option Parts: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/list/381/0/1
Bandai Builders Parts: https://amzn.to/2LFABs4
Hi-Q Metal Parts: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/list/1498/0/1

Check out Justinius Builds on the following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/justiniusbuildshobby
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justiniusbuilds/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/justiniusbuilds
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JustiniusBuilds
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/justiniusbuilds

And make sure to LIKE, FOLLOW, and SUBSCRIBE to all my pages too!

Website: https://www.childofmecha.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/childofmecha
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/childofmecha
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/childofmecha
Twitter: https://twitter.com/childofmecha
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/childofmecha
Child of Mecha Store: http://childofmecha.storenvy.com

Creative Tip: Edge Scribing

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In this Creative Tip I'll show you how to apply new panel lines to edges of hard to scribe parts like circular details.


I wanted to apply a new panel line around the beveled edge of this ear piece to the MG GM Sniper II, but with this type of shape you can't just put on DYMO tape and scribe it. You have to get creative.

I want the new panel line to align with the seperation so the best way to tackle this is to make a scribing jig.

Jigs in the woodworking world are very common to aid in making cuts, align parts, or dill holes, so we'll be brining that thought process over to Gunpla.


Things you'll need

Let's start off with some supplies that you'll need.

First, you'll need some scrap plastic sheet.

A good circle template to find the approximate diameter of the part.

A digital caliper to find exact mearsurements.

 

A pin vise and a set of drill bits.

A scribing tool to mark lines.

Super glue to glue all the parts together.

 

A hobby knife or utility knife to cut the plastic sheet.

A rotarty tool, like a Dremel, with a cylindrical grinding bit for shaping.

A selection of chisels. Here I'm using .15mm and .3mm.


process

STEP 1

The first thing we'll have to do is measure up from the base of the piece to where we want the panel line to be. In this case it's exactly 2mm up from the base.

STEP 2

With the circle template, we'll need to find the approximate diameter of the piece. It doesn't need to be exact; just close enough.  Having just a bit of space around the piece is perfectly fine.

STEP 3

Using the scriber tool we'll next start to scribe the circle into the plastic. You can either try to scribe all the way though or use it as a guide and grind it out with your rotary tool. You could also drill the hole, but with a piece this small, it might be difficult and/or unsafe.

 

STEP 4

Since the height of the new panel line is 2mm, we'll make the same circle into two pieces of 1mm plastic sheet. This will give us a perfect guide height.

STEP 5A

One issue with this particular piece is the connecting rod, so we'll have to compensate for that.

Step 5B

Since it won't sit flush with the base of the jig, we'll have to drill a hole in the base for it to sit in.

 

STEP 6

To drill the appropriate sized hole, we'll need to find the diameter of the connecting rod. This is where the digital caliper comes in.

STEP 7A

Once we've got the diameter size, we'll need to find a drill bit with the same approximate diameter. This also doesn't have to be perfect, just big enough to fit the rod.

STEP 7B

Now that it sits flush with the base, we can go about making the rest of the jig.

 

Step 8

Next, we'll pop the piece into the hole and center it as best as you can to the base. Once it's centered, trace the outside of the piece.

Start to stack and glue the pieces with the holes onto the traced edge.

STEP 9A

Now that we have the jig assembled, we've got another issue to tackle. The corresponding ear piece has the antenna, so that won't sit flush with the current jig.

STEP 9B

To compensate for this we'll need to grind a bit of plastic out for it to fit.

 

STEP 10

We'll trace the outline of the antenna to get the area that we'll have to grind away.

STEP 11

Grind the area with your rotary tool. Just a bit bigger than the antenna, and just a little deeper so that the antenna doesn't come into contact with the jig.

STEP 11A

Now the piece sits flush.

 

STEP 11B

Perfectly set.

STEP 12

I like to trim the excess plastic and trim off the corners so I can grip the piece easier. You don't have to do this. I just prefer it.

STEP 13

With the jig done we're ready to scribe it. For this line I'll be using a .15mm. I find this is a great size for panel lines on 1/100 scale models.

 

STEP 14

The piece is set in the jig and it's ready to scribe. The best thing to do is to let the jig guide your chisel and let the chisel do the work. Work in smooth, even, short strokes. Your hand will tend to lift off the jig at the backend of your stroke so be very careful of this. That's why short strokes are best to get the line started. After that, you can go back and go a bit deeper.

STEP 15

After you've got your line scribed, go over the surface with some sandpaper to clean it up.

STEP 16A

Once sanded it should look like this. You'll eventually want to wet-sand this part to get a really smooth surface for painting.

 

STEP 16B

Here's how the left ear piece came out.

STEP 16C

And here's the right ear piece. Perfectly matched.

 

Extras

To accent the new panel line and set off the design element we'll add some notches to simulate panel latches. By combining lines and notches really makes the piece pop. Here I used a .3mm chisel for the notch.

And here we have a finished piece with our new edge scribes.

Using a jig will allow you to duplicate lines on other pieces as well. Just add this technique to your skill set and the next time you have a tricky piece to scribe you can use this.

Some companies make tools for something like this, but if you don't have those tools this is the perfect solution. Also, depending on the piece, those tools may not be accurate enough or even work in your particular situation.

Scale Model Photography Class - LIVE at the Gundam Kitchen

Join Gundamnerd (aka Brax) and me at the Gundam Kitchen for Scale Model Photography Class, as we teach you how to take the best photos of your models you possibly can. We share our expertise on different cameras, lighting, posing, composition, and post processing! Scale Model Photography is crucial to conveying your vision to people online, so learning how to take good picture is a no brainer!

Gear Described in this video:

Cameras and Lens’

Canon EOS REBEL T7i - https://amzn.to/2HIzSUQ

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV - https://amzn.to/2HHlBYC

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L - https://amzn.to/2HFGFPa

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 - https://amzn.to/2KrjCts

Sony DSCHX90V/B - https://amzn.to/2KnVvf5

 

Macro Tubes

Neewer Auto Focus Macro Extension Tube Set - https://amzn.to/2HHmmAW

 

Tripods

Neewer Mini Tripod - https://amzn.to/2HByFmD

Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod - https://amzn.to/2Fs83hV

Manfrotto 327RC2 light duty grip ball head - https://amzn.to/2JAsSdy

 

Lights

TOLIFO LED Dimmable Video Light - https://amzn.to/2w0cVeE

ASOKO Dimmable LED Under Cabinet Lighting - https://amzn.to/2HBiyoZ

 

All in One Solution

AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio - https://amzn.to/2HBD2hd

 

Software

Snapseed - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snapseed/id439438619?mt=8

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 - https://amzn.to/2JExxuG

 

Petit Crossbone Beargguy

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I'll be completely honest with you; I'm not happy with how this turned out.

I think that's very important to admit, that's why I put it in big bold letters. I cut corners and didn't show complete attention to detail, but I'm ok with that. I feel that's also important to admit. Not every project is going to be a masterpiece, and we all have to come to terms with that.

That being said, the Petit Crossbone Beargguy is made from kitbashing a Petit'gguy and an SD Crossbone Gundam.

The mohawk, V-fin, shoulders, backpack, gun, and saber have all been custom fit to the Petit'gguy. Additional panel lines have been scribed into the chest and mouthpiece to better replicate the look of the Crossbone Gundam.

The piece is entirely painted with Tamiya paints thinned with Mr. Leveling Thinner, and has been clear coated in Mr.Super Clear Gloss and Mr.Super Clear Matt. The decal is from the Crossbone X2 waterslide sheet.

Even though the Petit Crossbone Beargguy isn't my best work, he's still really cute and that's what I was going for. I hope you like it regardless!

You can see the Petit Crossbone Beargguy WIP gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #childofmecha #ibuildgiantrobots #mobilesuitgundam #sideproject #beargguy #petitgguy #crossbonegundam


Do you like Beargguys? I like Beargguys! You can shop for Beargguy merch in my store!

Child of Mecha Workflow

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I receive a bunch of messages about my building workflow, so I thought I'd just put it out there for everyone. Please keep in mind this is just MY workflow. I'm not telling anyone to do it this way or that this is the only way to do things. It's not. It's just the way I do things and it works for me.

If you'd like a poster sized print of my workflow to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

AMX-052 Ozymandias

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GBWC 2017
2nd Place United States

This model started out as a MG Sinanju Stein ver. Ka and has been heavily modified and kitbashed with parts from the 1/100 and 1/144 Grimgerde, PG Wing Zero, 1/144 GN Arms, MG ZZ, and MG Gouf Custom.

The head started as the head of a MG Gouf Custom and was reshaped with Tamiya Quick Type Epoxy Putty. Styrene sheet and strip were added for details and the winglets are from the 1/144 Grimgerde.

The chest was reshaped with Tamiya Epoxy Putty, and plastic sheet. The cockpit hatch has been laminated with plastic sheet to give it more accentuated angles and detailed with plastic strip to form the borders. The eagle is a Kotobukiya MSG detail part.

The shoulders came from the 1/100 Grimgerde and were modified with the internal structure from the Stein's shoulders. The attachment arms are taken from the MG ZZ and were modified to fit in the new shoulder. They are holding additional shoulder armor that came from the PG Wing Zero. The inside of the additional shoulder armor has been detailed with styrene sheet.

The front skirts have been semi scratch built with some of the Stein's front skirts and built up with styrene sheet and strip. Side vents were sculpted into the styrene sheet using chisels.

The side skirts are originally the arm shields from the 1/100 Grimgerde and modified with the back of the Stein's side skirts. Additional detail was added.

The back skirts were almost all scratch build with the exception of the front piece which is from a MG Ground GM's front skirts.

The knee armor was heavily reshaped with Tamiya Epoxy Putty and plastic strip. The original was molded and then recast in resin to get two identical copies.

The back of the legs have added thrusters using parts from a MG Z+ and 1/100 HG Buster Gundam. Vented inserts were scratch built to fit into the new thrusters.

The bottom of the legs have been tapered down and modified with plastic sheet and strip.

The toe armor has been scratch built from plastic sheet and made to fit over the Stein's toe bottom. Many parts of the foot have been smooth for a more curvy look.

The backpack is made from the existing Stein back pack and parts from the 1/144 GN Arms and HGUC Gaplant. Double pivoting attachment arms were scratch built using plastic strip and tube.

The gun was completely scratch built using plastic sheet, strip, tube and metal detail parts.

The sword is a modified 1/100 Grimgerde's using plastic rod and tube to customize the look.

Many parts had their angles sanded smooth to give it a more curvy Zeon look. Most parts have custom panel lines scribed in as well.

Everything has been primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000 and painted with Mr. Color Paints. It was then glossed with Mr. Super Clear gloss and Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color was applied. Decals from Hi-Q and DL were used as well as custom printed decals.

The decals were glossed over for protection and the model was chipped using Tamiya acrylics and small pieces of sponge. Tamiya Weathering Master Oil Stain was applied to all surfaces to give it subtle color variance and to slightly accentuate the edges. The model was finally sprayed with Mr. Super Clear Matte.

Overall, I'm really happy with how the Ozymandias came out. I was originally not going to weather it, but after not getting it done in time for NYCC, I decided to go ahead and do it. The chipping may be a bit heavy, but I wanted it to look very battle tested and considering this is my first attempt at it, I can't really complain.

I truly hope you like the Ozymandias and if you feel others should see this please feel free to share it to your friends or groups!

Link to the full WIP gallery HERE.

#gundam #gunpla #childofmecha #ibuildgiantrobots #mobilesuitgundam
#gbwc2017 #ozymandias #kingofkings


If you'd like purchase Ozymandias apparel, accessories or poster sized prints to hang on your wall, you can buy them in various sizes in my online store!

Creative Tip - Using Nail Polish as Paint

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In this Creative Tutorial I'll show you my findings as I experimented with using Nail Polish as paint.

Over the years I've seen many people experiment with using Nail Polish as paint and I've always wanted to try it. While I was out shopping with my wife and daughter I happened to see this funky color and thought I'd give it a try. Here are my findings.

I wanted to see what this color would look like on a variety of colors and I happened to have these test spoons lying around so I figured I'd put them to use. From left to right: Bare Mr. Surfacer 1000, Alclad II Steel, Mr. Color Super Silver, Mr. Color GX Red Gold.

I started by mixing the nail polish with Mr. Leveling Thinner until I achieved that milky consistancy. This particular nail polish is pretty thick, so I had to thin it quite a bit, but after that it sprayed really nicely and went on very smooth.

 

As you can see the effect is hit and miss with this color, but the effect on the left two spoons is much greater. Unfortunately the pearlescent effect does not tranlate very well in photos, but it is much more prominent in real life.

The effect on the Mr. Leveling Thinner spoon and the Alclad II Steel spoon are pretty nice. it has tones of green and purple at different angles and has a nice overall spectral sheen.

I'm not sure how useful this particular color would be on Gundams, but it was good to experiment with.

As you can see in the photos there are scratches on two spoons. I wanted to test the durability of the nail polish compared to Mr. Color and other lacquer based paints. The scratches were done after about 30 minutes cure time. Mr. Color would have been rock solid at this point, but the nail polish, while dry to the touch, scratched off pretty easily at this point, so I decided to give it overnight to cure some more.

 

Here you can see the Before and After shots. The left two spoons had a nice change while the right two spoons had little to no effect. 

After letting the spoons cure for 8 hours, I can safely say they cured to the same hardness and durability as Mr. Color paints. Very happy about that, but in the future I probbaly would NOT use Mr. Leveling Thinner, but instead use standard Mr. Thinner. I never thought about nail polish already having a leveling agent already mixed into the formula, so I'm guessing that adding more leveling agent slowed down the cure time significantly. Since standard Mr. Thinner doesn't have a leveling agent, I would hypothosize that it would decrease the cure time by a decent amount and still retain the same durability.

CAUTION: Since all nail polish is formulated differently, both across colors and brand, it's absolutley crucial to test before spraying it on a model. Different brands may not mix well with certain thinners or may even harm the plastic. Even formulations of the same color and brand may be different in different countries, so PLEASE make sure to test out your colors!

Overall I was very pleased with this test. Like I said before, I'm not sure how useful this color or even using nail polish would be in the future, as it's no substitute for dedicated model paint, but it's good to know that the option is there in a pinch.

Creative Tip - Creating "Sleeves" Badges

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In this tutorial, I'll show you how I created this "Sleeves" badge for my project.

STEP 1 - the base

For the base of the badge I start with .3 mm plastic sheet. The shape and size of the badge will be different depending on your project, but mine was 7mm x 4mm.

STEP 2 - Borders 01

I used .5 x .25 mm strip by Evergreen for the border around the badges. I started with the shortest edges first, since they would be the hardest to glue down simply because of their size and lack of glue area. I intentionally left some strip overhang so that I could trim it flush with the base of the badge.

 

STEP 3 - borders 02

I'll omit this step for the next few border pieces, but it's best to cut the piece long and trim it down to size.

STEP 4 - Borders 03

I added the long edges next. Finding the correct angles for the border pieces to meet up can be tricky. I like to use the piece itself as a guide and eyeball, or estimate, the cut and trim it down to get the final angle for the piece. The top piece was the most difficult since it had two tricky angles, but patience and delicate work will eventually get you to success.

 

STEP 5 - borders 04

The last piece was the back border. Only one angle to cut and an easy right angle.

STEP 6 - Emblem plug

To make the emblem I started with a "plug" that fit perfectly inside the borders. Stay patient and cut, check repeat until you get a perfectly sized plug.

 

STEP 7 - Emblem cut down

After I had the plug, I trimed it down on all sides just a bit. I also cut off the left tip of the emblem as well as a small cutout at the bottom to better replicate a stylized wing. For the "feathers" of the wing, I used a .2 mm chisel to get nice uniform lines.

After that I glued the piece in place and evened out the plug with the .2 mm chisel, carefully following the edge of the borders to get a constant space.

Lastly give the entire surface a light sanding to make sure it's nice and flat.

STEP 8 - Projected Final Look

At this point you're probably wondering how you're going to paint this detail. It's pretty simple really. 

*Note: I use Mr. Color paint, primer, and clear coats, which are all laquer based.

The first step I'd do is to paint the entire badge in white and leave it until all of your other paint work is done. Clear coat your model parts in preparation for panel lining with a nice gloss lacquer. Once that's done simply fill in the badge recesses with enamel black panel line wash until it's filled. For clean up you can use lighter fluid or your choice of chemicals. Just be careful not to damage the piece.

 

STEP 9 - Actual Size

Here you can see just how small these things are.

Final Example - before paint

Here you can see the effect of this detail. Once painted the badges will look amazing on any "Sleeves" mobile suit.

 

final example - finished piece

Here is what the Sleeves Badge looks like on the Ozymandias. I think they came out great and they're exactly what I wanted to achieve!

Creative Tip: Working with Epoxy Putty

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In this Creative Tip I'll show you how working with Epoxy Putty can greatly increase what you can achieve with your next project.

Safety

All that dust on the front of my table was from grinding, cutting, and sanding just two pieces. You do not want that dust in your lungs or eyes, so make sure you wear a dust mask or preferably a respirator and safety glasses or goggles. And when you're done, make sure to vacuum up what you can. Have fun and be safe out there folks!