1.21.2016

Commission: HGUC Guntank

Happy 2016, Hobbyists, Gundam fans, and onlookers alike! It has almost been a month since I last posted, and I am ready to get back into a more regular schedule. I needed a break after pushing out quite a few reviews at the end of the year, but I did not stop building. Let's kick off the year with this pseudo-commission I took on sometime between Christmas and the first week of 2016. I have a few more builds lined up for the coming weeks, so please stick around (pretty please?). Without further ado, I present Guntank, Origin Colors Custom.


Preamble
During Winter break, I got a chance to hang out with a friend who studies at a University a little too far away. We decided to scavenge a Gunpla graveyard he inherited from another friend who cast aside the hobby years ago. In the Graveyard we found quite a few interesting, but incomplete, kits including the legs of a Crystal Version MG RX-78-2 (the old frame-less 1996 kit). Fortunately not everything was half a kit: one Guntank survived through the years. My friend left it with me claiming "it's better off with you," expecting that I'd clean it up and fix it.
I decided to take this old Guntank on and see if I could bring it back to a shelf-worthy state.

Quick Review
This HGUC Guntank most likely survived through the years because it lacks in articulation. With treads for its primary form of movement, the Guntank has no joints below the waist. Unfortunately, because this is still one of the early HGUC kits, the joints on the upper body are not nearly as strong as something you would see today. After one of the pegs broke, the original owner slathered epoxy all over the shoulder to permanently set the arm in one position.
The shoulder-mounted cannons also have their problems - due to the clearances between the plastic and the polycaps, the cannons are much too loose to stand on their own. In order for the cannons to stand up, they need to be rotated slightly outward and rest on the ledge of the shoulders.
Overall, the kit is quite solid. However, the kit also shows its age with flimsy joints and bad structure choices.

Preparations
Needless to say, I had to scrape up all the epoxy, reinforce the shoulder peg with a pin, and hope for the best. Also, because the kit had been on a shelf for years, there was a lot of accumulated dust. I gave the dismantled pieces a warm soapy bath before and after sanding the pieces down.
The original owner left quite a few nubs. So much so, that one of the pieces on the arm broke into four pieces as I tried to remove it. I was hoping the only broken piece to worry about would be the shoulder peg, but it was false hope that such an old kit would be free of brittle plastic.

I apologize for this wall of text: I did not think to document any of my progress while scraping epoxy out of Guntank's shoulder. I wish I could show you the ridiculous job that was done to fix this kit!

Paint
After cleaning the kit out, I decided it would be best to paint this kit: A lot of the nub locations were either mangled too much to leave the kit a straight build, or showed glue lines. At the same time, I decided I wanted a new color scheme: as much as I like the wonky designs of 0079, the color choice for the Guntank did not sit well with me.
At first I was going to paint it like Guntank Early Type (all gray), but then I was going through the manga, Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin, and found White Base's Guntank.


It hit me that what I did not like about Guntank was not the color scheme, but the fact that it distracts from the colorful protagonist suit, RX-78-2. The Origin fixes this by having a blue Guntank, which not only compliments the Guncannon as helper characters, but it also puts the suit in the background. It seemed like a good choice.

Final Product
I understand the colors do not match the Guntank in The Origin, however, I like this blue more. It is a special concoction that our friend, "The Meijin," had brought over along with his airbrush. We airbrushed a majority of the kit blue and Tamiya's Acrylic Gun Metal with an touch of Yellow in the vents.


With Real Touch Brown, I did slight weathering on the body, especially in the rear vents.


For the treads, I sprayed the inside black to give the tank a little more depth, at least that was the original intention. There is a small amount of detail behind the wheels that represent the suspension. I intended to paint it in but the detail is so terrible I did not think it was worth the extra effort.

 

I was debating whether or not to paint the head blue to match The Origin colors. I decided against it because I did not want to fully lose that wonky 70s design. The exterior of the head was painted white with candy red (gold undercoat with a clear red on top) for the fins and painted the inside white and Gun Metal.
I also had the intention of painting the figure inside, but, like the suspension in the treads, the lack of detail on the person deterred me from even trying. I might go back to paint it yellow (like the EFSF Normal suits worn by Hayato).


As seen in the images above, I used some EFSF emblem stickers leftover from my first HG kit, HGUC Nemo (Desert Colors). Though I am not a big fan of sitckers, the clear stickers are thin enough to be okay in certain application.
Overall, I am happy with how this paint job turned out. The airbrushed parts are much better than anything I even wish to do with a brush, and I would not have been able to get this particular mix of blue with a spray can. I am starting to think strongly about getting my own airbrush in the near future. Will we see it in 2016? Who knows, I am still in the market for a better camera!
But first, I need to complete the trio with a Guncannon.

On a side note: If I turn the shield upside down, I magically get an Origin Version of the RX-78-2!
Note to self: if you take on an old kit, TAKE PHOTOS BEFORE WORKING ON IT! Without photographing the state the kit was in, this build seems like a mere paint job. Though it's not a big deal, it would have been nice to accompany the wall of text with a photo or two. Anyway, thank you for reading, I hope you'll come back for the next one!