Category: Zoids

Kotobukiya HMM Berserk Fuhrer “Berserker Rex” WIP 3

This build is more or less finished, and like an idiot, I didn’t take pictures during the kitbashing/scratchbuilding part, so I guess I’ll just show you guys the Youtube video. The one thing left to do is to build a small display base for it, and then we’ll do a proper photo gallery and I’ll talk about it a bit more on here as well. For now, I’ll just say that this is easily my favorite thing that I’ve made.

 

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Zoids Wild Raptoria and Bazootle

Just two Youtube videos today – I’m working on a longer blog for my most recent Maschinen Krieger build, and I’ll have a big, fat update about the Berserk Fuhrer soon. In fact, I’m spraying the final topcoat on that sumbitch tonight.

 

Kotobukiya HMM Berserk Fuhrer “Berserker Rex” WIP 2

Well, looks like I’m actually making progress on this guy. In fact, the BF kit is finished, which means two things: that the hard part is next, and that it’s time to post some WIP pics.

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Basically what was left to do after the last update was the weathering, and since I didn’t want to go too crazy with that, I decided to just do the same thing as on the PG Strike, so just some chipping, streaking and some heat marks around vents.

The process started with the chipping, which I did with my usual method of running a small brush along the edges of the armor with Tamiya Gun Metal, followed by adding a few rusty spots. I used Citadel Mournfang Brown this time, but just because I finally ran out of my trusty Gunze Rust (which I’ve since restocked, and now I can sleep again.) This was really easy to do on this kit, obviously, because of all the sharp edges, so it was twice as important not to go overboard.

 

It’s kind of funny to me – if you look up close at how much chipping I did, it’s not very much, but it adds up to a pretty battle-worn look. This is why it was important to get all the armor parts on the kit before I did the chipping. What you’re seeing when you’re looking at individual parts always gives you the wrong impression.

After the chipping, I did the rust streaking that you can also see in the pictures above. This was just a simple combination of Vallejo’s Streaking Grime first, followed by Light Rust. The Streaking Grime is this greenish color that you sometimes see on rust streaks in the real world, and combined with the Light Rust, it  produced a fairly realistic look. I’m a bit torn on doing the streaking with water-based acrylics in general, though. I find that oil paints work much better for most weathering effects, but I also don’t know that I could create streaks this thin with oil paints, so… I dunno. Just something I’m mulling over at the moment.

The final weathering step was the heat streaks, which I did with Tamiya Flat Black, as usual.

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Also more or less as usual, this grill is a combination of gloss and matte, achieved this time by painting and topcoating the grill piece separately, then stippling the black on it without topcoating again.

And that concluded the weathering, so it was time for a gloss coat and a gunk wash. Continuing the general theme of “business as usual”, I used Abteilung 502’s Starship Filth for this.

I’m a bit ambivalent about gunk washes these days. I love the effect they produce and like basically everyone else, I have an unhealthy romantic relationship with Starship Filth, but as easy as a gunk wash is to do, it’s also boring and time consuming even if you don’t take into account that it takes literally almost a week to dry.

Anyway, here’s the rest of my pictures.

 

I’m really happy with how this thing came out. The various layers of shading and weathering combine into exactly the look I was going for, and if you do any kind of modeling yourself, you know that’s rare. It was all very controlled and purposeful, none of those not-so-happy accidents where you go, well, it looks ok, but that wasn’t what I was going for.

Of course that’s also because I just stuck to my guns with this one – every technique I’ve used so far is something I’ve done before plenty of times, so I knew it was going to work. And I’m okay with that because I’m not done yet. Next is going to be kitbashing that weapons array for the back, as you may remember from the previous blog, and that’s way beyond any kind of modification I’ve ever done before.

So if you’ll excuse me, there’s a stack of pla plate and greeblies on my workbench that I need to go to work on. In the meantime, here’s the Youtube version of this post.

Zoids Wild Beast Liger

I was going to act like a real Youtuber and withhold this one for a week so I’ve got something resembling a regular output for once, but I can’t stop fiddling with the stupid video, so I decided to just, y’know, get it out of my system. So here it is. The very exciting and great Beast Liger which I’m greatly excited about because I really like Liger Zoids.

Sigh.

Zoids Wild Cannon Bull

Man, these Zoids Wild kits just keep coming. Takara Tomy seems to be doing kind of a soft reboot of the anime titled “Zoids Zero” that nudges everything a bit more towards the look and feel of the classic models, with more mechanical designs and… actual guns you guys, and it all starts with the Cannon Bull.

I did my usual Youtube unboxing and review for this one, but if you can’t be bothered to watch that, the short version is basically that this is my new favorite ZW kit, and it’s awesome, and you should get one.

Zoids NJR Red Horn Painted Build

So, you know what we haven’t had around here for a while? An actual finished, painted build with all the bells and whistles. Now there are reasons for that, but I won’t bore you with those. Instead, I’ll tell you all about how and why I painted this motorized Red Horn from Tomy. If you want the abridged version, scroll to the bottom for the Youtube video.

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Almost a year ago at this point, I had this idea to do a weathering tutorial on Youtube. Not because I think I’m so great that everyone needs to learn this stuff from me – I can just point you to the tutorials where I learned it, basically. But I thought it would be helpful to do something relatively quick that summarizes my general process and techniques, and to do it on a motorized Tomy Zoids kit because nobody else does that, because these kits need way more love than they get, and painting one properly would probably show off their visual potential to the crowd that thinks HMMs are somehow “better” because they look more detailed if you just snap them together out of the box.

So I decided to take one of my favorites from the 80s for this, and as it happened, I still had the Red Horn I originally bought from Amenbo about 20 years ago in a box, waiting for me to do something with it. The reason for this, if you can believe it, was that I did a shitty job with the stickers on it, so I bought a new one for a do-over and just stashed this one away for future use. This is how easy it was to get one of these back then. Sigh.

Anyway, I started filming myself doing some of the paintjob, and then I kind of lost interest because doing this while talking turned out to be a lot less fun and a lot more hassle than I thought. And then I bought the microphone I’ve been using in my more recent Youtube videos, and that just kind of rendered all that footage unusable in my eyes because of the terrible sound quality, so I shelved the idea altogether.

But now I was left with a half-finished paintjob on a Red Horn, so I decided that instead of a Youtube tutorial, this was now going to be tribute in model kit form to everything I loved about Zoids in the 80s. As a kid back then, I would spend endless hours really just staring at the Zoids I had, marveling at the detail and how great it all looked. So job one was to really pick out all of that detail so that it would look great without requiring a six year-old’s imagination, and job two was to replicate the barren, post-apocalyptic feel of the photos on those 80s boxes, because those stirred little me’s imagination to no end back in the day and probably permanently warped me somehow. Keep in mind also that I grew up in a part of the world where we didn’t have the comics, so all I had was those diorama photos, the box blurbs and the mind of a first grader.

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And that’s why this display base looks the way it does. I’m sure some of you are thinking it’s a bit bland, almost monochromatic, and could have used some grass tufts or something else to break up the monotony, but I really wanted this to just be desert and rocks, like the old Zoids boxes, except with a better paintjob. So what I ended up doing was something pretty similar to the Death Stinger diorama. First I cut a sheet of polystyrene to size and taped it to the plexiglass that came with this picture frame as a base. After gluing some chunks of cork to that, I added a mixture of baked potting soil, PVA glue and water to serve as the basic ground texture, followed by some small rocks and sand to give the surface some variety. I covered all of that in scenic glue and let it dry for 48 hours. It’s always a good idea to let scenic glue dry as long as you have patience for because it’ll eventually turn rock hard and really, really help. Then I primed it white and did what you can probably tell I did – the basic color was Tamiya Desert Yellow, always one of my favorites, then some shading and highlights with the airbrush, a dark brown wash (just watered down craft paint, I’m not using expensive Citadel washes for entire dioramas), some drybrushed highlights, and that was it.

Like I said, it’s simple, but it’s what I wanted. The picture frame is unchanged from the way I bought it – the slightly matte wood look is actually a perfect match.

As for the paintjob on the Zoid itself, it’s nothing I haven’t explained a million times before. The basic color scheme is that all of the black parts (mostly the mechanical stuff, the feet, the horns, etc.) are Vallejo Gun Metal, and the red parts are my own mix of Tamiya Red and Red Brown, very similar to what I used on the PG Strike and the MG Mk-II, but a little darker. Shiny mechanical stuff and matte armor, basically.

The gun metal parts got some added details with Citadel Leadbelcher, then a drybrush with Tamiya Chrome Silver and Gunze Rust, some black drybrushing around vents and gun muzzles, and that was it.

The red parts were primed white and then preshaded black. When I airbrushed the red over it, I intentionally left the preshading much darker than I usually have done, and it turned out to look great. Keeping the preshading more intense than my gut tells me it needs to be has turned out to be a good rule of thumb. It always looks too strong on the individual parts, and then when you put the kit together, you realize it’s actually better that way. Not to mention the weathering on top of it tends to knock it back a lot anyway.

Speaking of weathering, of course what I did here was chipping with Chrome Silver plus some added rust spots with Citadel Mournfang Brown. At that point I had run out of the Gunze Rust paint, which I need to replace badly because it’s the best rust color in the world (or maybe I’m just married to it because I’ve been using it for years.) That was followed by a gloss coat, a gunkwash with Abteilung 502’s Starship Filth and then a matte topcoat before the drybrushed black around all of the vents. Truth be told, I don’t know why I didn’t just do the black drybrushing before the gunkwash, it wouldn’t have made one bit of a difference and saved me a topcoat. Anyway, I topcoated again over the black and then brushed on some gun metal for the vents to give them a bit of a metallic look. Also something I’ve done on basically every Gunpla build I’ve ever done, but keep in mind this was supposed to be a tutorial showing off the basic process I’ve learned over the last few years, so there was very little experimentation.

In fact, the only new thing I tried here was a matte topcoat on the clear parts. I sponged on some grey first, as I’ve done before on the Gun Sniper, but that still looked very glossy, plus it always bothers me when things aren’t topcoated. So I decided to try and see what clear parts would look like with a matte topcoat.

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Answer: exactly right. I knew the topcoat was going to make the parts look sort of foggy, but it ended up being foggy in the way that dirty glass looks from a distance.

I also painted all three of the pilots, but only one of them is visible now, and I didn’t really do much but airbrush them with Tamiya Light Grey and then add some detail with Citadel Mechanicus Standard Grey and Ratskin Flesh plus some washes. They don’t look that great, but this is the one thing where I’m going to say they’re just garbage molds and there’s not much you can do. Look at this dude, is he melting or something?

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The only major thing I really wish I’d done differently on this build, aside from the usual nitpicks everywhere, is that I didn’t bother to prep the parts enough before I primed them. There are a lot of ugly mold lines all over this thing, and the hollow guns bug me. I wouldn’t really have trusted my pathetic kitbashing skills to be sufficient to fix that in a way that doesn’t make it worse, but I really should’ve taken care of the mold lines.

Other than that, I’m very happy with how this came out because it really captures the overall… artistic concept, I guess, behind the build. Which was to make a Zoid look the way Zoids looked in my head when I was six years old.

It was also an inordinate amount of fun because of course even the bigger motorized Zoids kits, especially the classic ones from the 80s, are still very simple, so you’re not dealing with more than a handful of parts, but they look awesome and there’s lots of detail to work with. I’m definitely painting more of these – in fact, I’ve started buying built ones on eBay for this purpose if I can get them for cheap.

Anyway, here’s the Youtube version of this one if that’s more up your alley.

 

Kotobukiya HMM Berserk Fuhrer “Berserker Rex” WIP

This is turning into one of these builds that stretch over months mostly filled with inactivity, plus I’ve now posted two videos about it on Youtube and nothing here, so I think it’s about time for a writeup.

Originally, this build was intended for Youtuber ZakuAurelius‘ Kotobukiya contest, but the deadline for that was, um, back in March. The plan, really, was to address two things that have always bothered me about the Berserk Fuhrer (or “Fury”, as it was known in the US, for obvious reasons) – the horrifying lavender color of the armor and the fact that it’s armed with two giant spinning kitchen appliances. In fact, I’ve had plans to do something about this going all the way back to the release of the original Tomy version of this model, and I  still have a spare Tomy BF whose armor I wanted to paint white.

So what’s in the process of happening with this kit is that the armor is getting a proper pre-shaded and weathered white paintjob, and I’m replacing the blades on the back with the Dark Horn gatling gun. Here’s a mockup of what that’s going to look like, with the aid of some Blu-Tac and a bottle of Microset to fight the wobbly ankles.

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Needless to say, a good deal of modding is still going to need to happen to the backpack. I also think I’ll want to add one of the smaller guns from the CP set to the other side, and the ammo belt that it comes with is just a chunk of rubber and will need to be replaced with something scratchbuilt, if I can pull it off.

Anyway, the first step was to paint the inner frame, because this kit actually comes with a complete inner frame like an MG or PG Gunpla kit that you then add the armor to. So I primed it all with Vallejo’s Metal Color gloss black primer, then painted it with Gunmetal and Duraluminium, also from that line, assembled it, drybrushed it for some weathering and then hand painted the details with an assortment of Citadel paints. Basically the same process as with the PG Strike, just with different paints. Needless to say, the Citadel paints made the detail work infinitely easier and more fun.

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Here’s the Youtube video I posted at that point.

The next step was to paint the armor parts. Without assembling anything, I primed them white, pre-shaded them with Tamiya Light Grey and then blended it all with Flat White.

And that’s where I ran into kind of a motivational bump in the road. I’d already missed the contest deadline, and the parts needed to have some grey areas painted on them, not only because that’s what it looks like on the box, but also because the armor clearly needed some color separation. And I just couldn’t find the motivation to do all that masking.

Ultimately I just ended up hand painting everything with Mechanicus Standard Grey from Citadel. It doesn’t look as even as airbrushing would have looked, but I’d be very surprised if you could still see any of that after the gunk wash and the matte topcoat, the number of slight mistakes is probably about the same as it would have been with masking, and there was actually some stuff that I couldn’t have done with masking at all because of the shapes involved. And after a few months of painting Warhammer minis, to be honest, I’m just comfortable enough hand painting this stuff that it’s faster and comes out looking fine.

Add to that the decals and a gloss coat, and the parts were ready for weathering. But after looking at everything for a bit, I realized there was no way I could do that without assembling it first. So I did.

As you can see, I left off some things because I was just too worried about breakage. In fact, I probably shouldn’t have put the head armor on either – I really have no idea how I’m going to get those parts off for topcoating without snapping everything into pieces, but I guess we’ll see.

Also pictured is the tail; the original plan was to leave it with the red fins exposed (which I did paint specifically for this purpose) in “CPC charging” mode, but looking at it now, I’m not so sure anymore if that’s what I want to go with. I don’t want to have to move these parts around too many times before I’m done because I know it’s going to wreak havoc on the paintjob, but I’ll have to figure that out at some point.

So that’s where I am right now. Next is going to be some chipping, a few heat streaks on the legs and maybe some vertical rust streaking, and then a gunk wash to conclude the work on the armor. Then I just have to figure out how I’m going to get that gatling gun on there in a way that looks good. Meanwhile, here’s the second Youtube video I made for this build.