|Bandai 1/100 scale FF-X7 Core Fighter of the RX-78-2 Gundam [Completed]|
At this final stage of the Core Fighter's painting/assembly process, the only steps left was to piece all the separate parts together and apply the finishing touches i.e. panel lining. I toyed with the idea of clear coating the entire Core Fighter with a matt varnish but decided against it at the last minute.
|Color scheme comprises a simple red, white and blue with gun metal thrown in for good measure|
|While sticker decals stick out rather than blend in, they still increase the Core Fighter's aesthetic value|
Not being a die-hard fan of Gundam lore, I am stumped as to why the fighter's landing gear was molded in clear plastic. So for now I just left it untouched because it looked kinda cool as is.
|Landing gear (see lower right corner of the fighter) was left in its original clear molded plastic|
|Back view showing the engine thrusters of the FF-X7 Core Fighter|
|Wings were folded up in its semi-deployed configuration to show off the decals on the side|
Although the sticker decals don't look as good as water decals or dry transfers, they still make the Core Fighter look better by being stuck on the hull rather than off it. For now they stay on.
|Landing gear (see bottom of the fighter) was left in its original clear molded plastic|
|Canopy can be opened but it remains closed over the cockpit in this configuration|
|Core Fighter assumes a configuration with its wings semi-extended and its missile pods open|
In the photos shown here, the Core Fighter is in a configuration which sees its wings semi-extended; its missile pods opened; its canopy closed over the cockpit. The fighter's wings can either fully extend out to either side or fold into its body (over the missile pods which in turn can be closed). Also not shown here is the canopy in an opened configuration which sees the cockpit/nose section fold into the main body. In this form the Core Fighter actually fits into the torso of the RX-78-2 Gundam. If I remember later, I will try to show all these different poses alongside the completed mecha.
|Top down view of the FF-X7 Core Fighter of the RX-78-2 Gundam|
|Bottom view of the FF-X7 Core Fighter of the RX-78-2 Gundam, with its landing gear attached|
|Bottom view of the FF-X7 Core Fighter of the RX-78-2 Gundam, with its landing gear removed|
Painting the Core Fighter versus leaving it in its original molded plastic colors was a decision I didn't regret one iota. If you take a look at the photo immediately above this paragraph you'll be able to see the different between unpainted and painted plastic. The white square section immediately below the blue nose section is unpainted plastic while the net white square section following that is painted. I think you'll agree that the painted section looks so much better than bare plastic.
|BEFORE Panel Lining was applied to the Core Fighter|
|AFTER Panel Lining was applied to the Core Fighter|
Every time I feel too lazy to do panel lining I should refer back to the two before and after photos above. Initially I had thought the Core Fighter looked good enough without any panel lining. But in the end I decided to apply some Mr Weather Color (Multi-Black) into the grooves before washing away the excess with Mr Weathering Color Thinner. I'm glad I did because details on the Core Fighter become much more noticeable after application of the panel lining wash. I was also glad I painted the display panel on the pilot cockpit (see below) as it gave the piece an added oomph.
|Top down view of the cockpit/canopy section near the Core Fighter's nose|
|Close up view of the display panel facing Amuro Ray|
|Close up of Amuro Ray seated in the cockpit of the Core Fighter|
So my first experience of the 'Gundam approach' to painting has been a surprisingly pleasant one. This goes to show that too much thinking before any undertaking can be extremely detrimental to a hobby project even beginning. Maybe that's why I've a lot of hobby projects mothballed.
|Easy part of the RX-78-2 Gundam scale model kit is now finished|
With the Core Fighter now completed, my attention has shifted into planning mode (... just as I called for less thinking and more doing ...) for the next section of the RX-78-2 Gundam to be assembled and painted i.e. its Body Unit. In hindsight, starting off with this Master Grade kit was a masterstroke in that I got to experience, via the Core Fighter, a microcosm of the usual lengthy process of painting and assembling a Gundam mecha. For sure it has left me wanting more. And that's a good thing.