GBWC 2016 North American Champion
The Hummingbird has been a labor of love for the past four years. It’s been my focus and my passion. It has changed and evolved many times over and gone through several different re-models. A wide array of skill sets has gone into making the Hummingbird as well as a wide variety of materials. There’s not a single piece on the model that hasn’t been modified in some way. Some pieces have added panel lines or modifications for better fitment, while other pieces have been extensively modified, or completely scratch built. An eclectic mix of kits has gone into making the Hummingbird as well.
- Master Grade Zeta+ C1 (additional kit)
- Master Grade Zeta+ A1
- Master Grade Ex-S Gundam (x2)
- Master Grade RGM-79G
- Master Grade Full Armor ZZ Gundam
- Master Grade Zeta 2.0
- High Grade 1/00 Freedom Gundam
Some of the more advanced skill sets (beyond basic modelling) involved in creating this model includes:
- Scratch building
- Resin Casting
- Heavy customization (Limb alteration, added detail with plastic sheet, metal details, etc.)
The model has been crafted in my own vision of what I think a more refined version of the proposed prototype Hummingbird might have been like, so it’s not 100% faithful to the Katoki line art.
Starting with the head, I elongated it by 2mm to give it a more “Sentinel” look. I cut the “Mohawk” off of the original head and scratch built a more fitting replacement that has added detail and is sleeker in profile. The head also features custom panel lines and plating. Metal details have been added to the back as well as metal barrels for the head mounted guns.
The shoulders have new, scratch built, mounting assemblies added to the top for the booster support arms and have added metal and scratch-built details. The booster support arms were completely scratch built and resin cast to get two copies.
The shoulder boosters, originally from the Master Grade Ex-S Gundam, have been heavily modified and remodeled. The inside has been plated with plastic sheet to achieve a heavily armored look. Option parts and scratch-built details were added as well. The sides feature added details down the side that were completely scratch-built. The front of each of the shoulder boosters has been detailed with option parts, metal details and more scratch-built detail. The original cannon barrels were scrapped and replaced with scratch-built barrels that are much longer. Aluminum thruster bells were also added.
The back-stabilizing binder has been significantly modified from its original version. I cut a rectangular hole in the top of the binder and scratch built the detail to fill the void. I also plated and detailed the side of the binder as well. The back boosters were scrapped and replaced with two resin cast copies from a scratch-built original. The thruster bells on the two back boosters are modified inflation needles (for inflating footballs). Each has custom panel lines and scratch-built details. The wings also have new panel lines, option parts, and metal details. The lower parts of the wings are from High Grade 1/00 Freedom Gundam and are fully detailed. The wing mounted fuel tanks were replaced with aftermarket fuel tanks that are longer and have been customized and detailed. The connectors for the fuel tanks were scratch built and resin cast for 4 duplicates for each side (8 in all) and the middle of the connectors are the threaded parts from inflation needles.
The upper chest has been heavily modified to add custom panel lines, plating, metal details and more scratch-built details. I’ve extended profile of the chest by using epoxy putty and plastic sheet. The cockpit hatch has been modified by adding panel lines and plastic accent strips. The chest vents have an added fin to the middle that was made out of plastic strip.
The upper torso (just below the chest) that used to be in two halves has been fused into one piece and features custom panel lines, plating, metal details, and scratch-built details.
The lower torso has been semi-scratch built and modified from the original Zeta+ lower torso to accommodate the fuel tanks and replicate the elongated look of the Hummingbird line art. The leg posts were cut from the Master Grade RGM-79G and installed on to the lower torso to match up to the new upper legs. Machine threaded inserts were embedded into the bottom posts of the lower torso to screw the fuel tanks into. The fuel tanks are completely scratch built using PVC pipe. I fixed a machine screw into the top of each fuel tank to screw into the threaded inserts located at the bottom of the lower torso. Plastic sheet, option parts and metal parts were added to complete the aesthetic. The lower torso armor located on the front of the piece is originally from the Master Grade Zeta 2.0 shield, and has been heavily modified on the outside and features new panel lines and scratch-built details. It was also extensively modified on the inside to mount to the existing connection points on the Master Grade Zeta+ torso.
The arms have been customized with new panel lines and plating that changes the overall silhouette. Mechanical details have been added to the top and bottom of each forearm. The stock hands have been swapped out for fixed posed hands and the hand armor has been customized to fit and detailed.
The upper legs are originally from the Master Grade RGM-79G and have been heavily plated for a unique look. The leg boosters have been significantly bulked up using plastic sheet to get the overall form and further refined to achieve the heavily armored look. Many details were added to the leg boosters on all sides. On the inside I’ve added option parts, metal details, parts from other models (including the large central vent that is from the Master Grade Full Armor ZZ Gundam), and other scratch-built details. Aluminum thruster bells were added to the boosters to complete the look. The connection for the thruster bells had to be scratch built and resin cast to make 8 copies. The large front “knee spike” was also fully scratch built and resin cast to get two identical pieces. The connection point where the knee and leg booster come together was scratch built and fully detailed.
The Hummingbird’s cannon/shield has added plating and custom panel lines as well as a completely remodeled Radome and support assembly that was taken from the Master Grade Ex-S Gundam. The support mechanism that connects the cannon/shield to the Beam Smart Gun below it was scratch built. The Beam Smart Gun has added plastic plating along with custom panel lines, option parts, and metal detail parts.
The base is completely scratch built. Its core is 3/4-inch Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) laminated with 1.5mm plastic sheet. I then heavily customized and detailed it to fit the styling of the Hummingbird. I hand cut all the lettering out of 1mm plastic sheet and the decorative plates and shield were laser engraved. The upper base is a sheet of clear acrylic that is supported by display sign stand-offs. The upper based details have all be completely scratch built out of styrene sheet. Option parts, metal detail parts, and other details were built up to complete the display. The support arm is square aluminum rod. I had to use that to support the weight of the model and to accommodate the length and angle of the fuel tanks.
The entire project was cleaned and then primed with Mr. Surfacer and painstakingly masked off and painted with Mr. Color and Alclad paints. Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color was used for the panel lines and the piece was sealed with Mr. Super Clear. Some of the decals were custom made on my ALPS MD-1300 printer. Most of the maintenance marks are aftermarket decals from Hi-Q.
Overall, I believe the model is an excellent example of how a wide range of skill sets, materials, and passion can go into creating something that has never actually been made into a production model. Hopefully my dedication and hard work are fully expressed when viewing the final project.
You can see the entire Hummingbird WIP gallery HERE.
#gundam #gunpla #ChildOfMecha #ibuildgiantrobots #hummingbird #gbwc #4yearsinthemaking
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