Custom Build: RGM-79Q 'GM Quel Semi-Striker'

I did it! I finished the core trio of the mercenary team before the end of 2014! This project was conceptualized in February of this year, work did not start until May and June, and I still have quite a ways to go, but at least got the core team done before the year's end!

In the last post of Space Mercenary: Specter GM, I stated my next project was to be Weiß Hund Zulu. Though I did work on customizing a Geara Zulu a great deal over the summer, the project came to a screeching halt for reasons I will talk about when I finish it. Whatever the case, another season has passed and I was given the chance to work on one of the first concepts of this project: GM Quel Semi-Striker. I was inspired by the GM II Semi-Striker seen in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and wanted to create a variation of it for my shelf (Thus beginneth the brainstorm for a mobile suit team).

Also, in my continued pursuit to keeping an uncluttered list, I create a project page for Space Mercenary: Specter GM. This way, I can add more information about the project without cluttering the main page. To access this page normally, you can find a link on the page labeled "Gundariumsmith." Please check it out (the link in this paragraph will get you there directly).

With the housekeeping out of the way, I am proud to present the third (fourth, if you count the incomplete Weiß Hund Zulu) fifth of the Space Mercenary: Specter GM project, RGM-79Q 'GM Quel Semi-Striker.'

This Gunpla is an intended kitbash between two suits produced in the latter half of the first decade in the second millennium: HGUC GM Striker and HGUC GM Quel. I say intended because I did quite an extensive amount of research before purchasing the kits (drooling over Gunpla on dalong.net). From this research, not only did I find the GM Quel appealing, I also found the construction very similar to the GM Striker, making for an easier kitbash than attempting the kitbash with a kit separated by more time. This joint similarity would be essential for this kitbash, especially  in the arms, where a majority of the customization resides.

Before I got into a large amount of customization and painting, I made sure the base kit was going to be compatible enough. Like the GM II Semi-Striker, there was no need to heavily modify the torso or legs. Most of the modification would be in the arms. Fortunately, the compatibility of the arms was a lot better than I originally intended.
With the aforementioned research, the only compatibility I was expecting was the connection to the torso: the polycap connection was identical. What I did not anticipate was how the whole arm construction was basically identical (depicted below). It should also be noted that the HGUC Powered GM and HGBF Powered GM Cardigan has a similar arm construction.

With the similarity, I was able to mix and match the joint parts to keep one arm as the GM Quel and have the other as the full GM Striker arm to emulate the shielded arm the GM II Semi-Striker has. Unfortunately, as similar as the pieces are, they are not a perfect fit - I had to shave down the outer armor of GM Quel's upper arm to get a better fit, not to mention the already loose connection point the GM Striker has in its arms.

Once I had the straight build to my satisfaction, it was time prep the kit for painting. The first step was to seal seam lines. My standard operation was to use Model Master plastic cement to fuse the pieces together. Once the glue sets, I remove excess glue and smooth the piece to my liking. I've had my hits and misses with this technique, but its the easiest solution with my current supplies.

As you can see in the photo above, the lower legs were a failed attempt at removing the seams. I could probably fill it in with putty, but I decided against working at the side most people won't see. At least the upper legs and shoulders were almost perfectly done!

After priming with Krylon Gray, I painted with what I have been using for my core Mercenary team: Testors Enamel Flat Gunmetal and Flat Sea Blue. For the details and trimming throughout the kit, I decided to use Testors Enamel Silver and Brass, but have more silver to have a closer color scheme to the Jegan Sniper Type rather than the Specter GM, the leader of the group. I also recently picked up some retro Mr. Color Metallic Green (known as Aqueous Hobby Color by Gunze Sangyo) for a clearance price of 0.99 USD at the Spare Time Shop.

As of writing this post, there were quite a few jars of metallic green along with a small selection of other colors for the same price. If you're in the Massachusetts area, pay them a visit!
With this Metallic Green I was able to avoid sticker usage, which I was considering for all the cameras (and whatever those metallic green parts on the shins are).

I finished it off with a top coat of Krylon ColorMaster Acrylic Crystal Clear Flat. After using RustOleum's Matte Finish, I am happy with the results of this top coat. I think I'll have use for the super gritty Matte Finish, but definitely not for regular use.
When top coating the Specter GM, I masked the clear visor, but for the GM Quel, I decided to top coat the clear orange visor. I am not sure if I like the results of the top coat. At least I don't hate it.

A part of my likes the results, but another part of me knows I can do much better. Unfortunately many mistakes were made while rushing to get this suit done before the new year, causing even more delays. Had I waited for parts to properly dry, I probably wouldn't have had to redo the chest vents and read thrusters...twice. I also probably would have had much cooler looking details on the backpack. Nevertheless, everything turned out relatively okay: I have the core team finished before 2015!

I think that covers everything GM Quel Semi-Striker related. I hope you've enjoyed everything Space Mercenary: Specter GM so far (in terms of viewership, the project seems to be the most popular on this blog). If you have any questions, comments, (constructive) criticisms, please feel free to leave it in the blog or on the reddit post!
I hope you've enjoyed 2014. Until next time, may your cuts be clean, airbrush nozzles clear, and sand paper rough as we head in to the new year. This is Gundariumsmith, for the last time in 2014, signing out!

Want to see more? The Specter GM project page is now open! 

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