Recently I have had a few questions as to how I have built my Megaman GK’s. I have been meaning to write up a build post for some time now but have not had the time to write it. However as things have settled down a bit and I’m not quite as busy at the moment, I feel now is about as good a time as any to do this. This build will cover all the things I do when building my garage kits. I hope this will help some of you and if there is anything I might have missed or you don’t understand just let me know and I will be happy to help where I can.
Ok so first things first:
These are all the tools I use when building my models. I’ll start from the top left and work clockwise round it.
First up is green putty. I talked about this in my “Display Base Build”. All it is is a quick drying epoxy. I use this for filling in smaller holes and seamlines. To use it simply squeeze it onto a cotton bud and apply it to the surface you want filling. It dries really quickly (10mins) and can then be cut, sanded and finished. If the hole is not quite filled after sanding I simply apply another layer and repeat the process till I’m happy with the finish.
Next is Tamiya masking tape. I use 2 sizes: 10mm and 18mm. I use this for holding parts together or stopping Green Putty getting into places I dont want it to get to. It’s mainly used for painting but I have it for the odd prepping occasion.
Next are cotton buds. I use everyday ear buds, (q-tips for you Americans) and Tamiya fine buds. These help me clean up my kit and apply putties. If you do use non-modelling buds, spend a little more on a good brand as the cheaper brands can fall apart and get fibres all over the place when you are using them. Not much fun.
Sand paper. I like to use wet and dry sand paper. I tend to use 3 types of grit: 400 grit, 600 grit and 1200 grit. If the surface I’m working on needs a lot of work I will go down to 100 grit but most of the time that’s not needed. If I want a REALLY smooth surface I will work up using 400, then 600, 800, 1000, and finish on 1200 grit. However that is only if I’m wanting something to look like glass!
Next up are gundam markers and a pencil. I use a gray and black marker and a 0.3 technical pencil. I like gundam markers as they have a fine tip and are oil based. I guess you can use any oil based pen but it’s up to you. I use oil based as I can remove it by using some white spirit and it doesnt interfere with my acrylic based paints.
For a drill I use a ModelCraft Pin Vice and Tamiya Drill Bits.The drill talks for itself really. The drill bits work up from 1mm – 3mm. I do have a 0.5mm but don’t often use it and if you need bigger then try get drill bits designed for plastic or metal and not wood (unless you need to work on wood).
The next couple of items are some pliers and some snippers. Any type will do so long as they are quite small. I like my pliers to have a narrow end and some gripping jaws for picking up smaller parts. The snippers are snippers!
Nothing fancy about the glues I use. Just superglue and liquid cement. I like to get the glues with a brush rather then a nib as they don’t get blocked and I can apply tiny amounts by using a cocktail stick.
The next tool is my pocker, pointer thing! It’s really just an old dart but I use it like you would a cocktail stick. It’s a metal skick basicly with a fine rounded end, (not a point) so that I don’t scratch anything and metal so that it doesnt splinter getting wood spects on my models. It’s use it for applying glues and putties. It’s great as I can just wipe it down without worrying about glue build up.
Next I have a selection of files. Nothing special, just different sizes and shapes, but they are designed for modelling.
A Tamiya craft knife. I have a bigger knife for larger parts but don’t often use it as it’s much bigger but works well when I need to cut models up!
Tamya tweasers. Used for small parts and applying decals. Because I use it for decals I use a jawless pear.
A toothbrush. Gets rid of dust and used to clean up my models after sanding.
Finally, Milliput. This is a thicker epoxy and I use this to reconstruct surfaces, rebuild surfaces and fill in larger holes. Things that need more substantial work really.
And that’s that. They are all the tools I use for modelling.
Ok so the first thing I do with GKs is prep them. The parts that came with GKs have sprews, flash and surfaces you don’t want. These unwanted parts all come from the casting process and so this is why prepping is so important. I start by looking at all the parts of a kit. For this kit it was great as there was a parts list on the instructions. When I was happy I had everything, (I was missing a tiny part on my zero kit but Tatsu was more then happy to send a replacement). I tend to start with the head and work down. I get all the pieces I need to make the head and get started.
This shows all the parts needed to make X’s head. As you can see the parts have all sorts of extra tabs and things I don’t want or need.
So the next part is to clean them up. I’m using X’s buster to show you how I do this.
I snip the tabs off and file down the excess leaving a rough finish. I also drill any parts that might need pinning or in this case for adding the joints. Pinning is a simple case of getting the right drill bit, drilling to the right depth, (for this kit I drill about 4mm into the parts…or right the way through it if that was needed), if you need more help on pinning just Google it. It’s really easy.
This rough finish is then sanded down. Depending on how rough it is I will work up from 400 grit wet and dry sand paper to 600 grit and then finish it with 1200.
The finished part is now ready for surfacer.
Any drilling that is needed can be done before sanding or after. Drilling is a simple process of selecting the right sized drill bit and carefully drilling the hole. I use masking tape wrapped round the drill bit to show how deep I need to drill into each piece.
Sometimes resin parts can get bent and if not straightened will look awful. The easiest way to reshape these bent parts is to place them into hot water.
This is what my bent parts looked like when I got them.
I then put them it hot water…I don’t think boiling water is a good idea but hot is fine.
I leave them in till the resin gets soft and flexible, take them out with some tweezers and reshape them in my hands making them straight and pulling a little to flatten them out. Once done they looked like this.
The next part is to clean the clear parts up and all the bent parts.
Here you can see a before and after image of the clear parts. The right part has been sanded using a 1200 grit wet dry sand paper. To get the part looking clear again I will simply airbrush some Klear, (Future…clear varnish), ontop of the piece and it will be much clearer than the left piece.
This shot shows the before and after shot of the hilts. Sometimes after sanding, panel lines can be removed or faded. The best way to fix this is to simply run the tip of your craft knife in the faded panel line and scratch lightly several times along the line and this will recreate a deeper, cleaner panel line. You can slightly see it in this image. The lines look more defined.
Once a section of build is completed I will then try to dry build it to see if all the parts fit and if any more work is needed on them.
This shows the head and chest ready for surfacer.
The legs for this kit came from M.S.G and where supplied with the kit.
A little work was needed to create the right shape of the leg joint. A simple case of cutting one end.
It seemed that in the recast of the hips, a small ball socket in the hips got filled in. Because of this there was nothing to stick a ball joint into to create a hip joint. So a new joint was needed. I did this by making lots of Millput balls, waiting for them to dry, drilling into the center of the balls, attaching a brass rod then sanding and testing the balljoints till I had a round, clean fit.
Here’s a shot of all the parts prepped and dry assembled:
My last part of prepping is to wash the whole kit. I do this by getting warm water, adding some washing up detergent and with an old soft toothbrush I clean the parts.
I then put the washed parts into some clean warm water and scrub the soap off each part. I then finally place the parts on kitchen towel to dry.
I then either leave it overnight to dry or get a hair dryer and carefully, on a warm heat, blowdry them dry.
Once all the prepping is finished I then put all the parts onto skewers, primed the parts, then painted them. I use this fantastic painting guide from FichtenFoo to paint my models. He is a very skilled modeller and you should all check him out. He has some great kits and techniques on his site.
This guide however doesn’t cover how you paint eyes. So this is how I painted the eyes of this kit.
Having primed the face, painted it the skin tone I wanted, primed the eyes “white” them painted them white, I was ready to paint the eyes in.
First I placed the eyes into the face. I then got my pencil and drew the eyes on. I then removed the face.
I then placed the eyes onto a skewer and carefully painted in the black lines, then painted in the eyes starting with a dark blue, a mid blue for mid lighting, then a light blue for high ighting the eye. The last bit was to paint in the white light spot and finish with a clear varnish to give it a glossy shine.
Having painted all my parts I then panel line all the parts that need it. Then gave the kit a matt finish. (I dont really like glossy finishes so I tend to go with a matte or satin finish).
Once finished it is time to build it. (Sorry for the rubbish photo)
I slowly and carefully build up the model taking care not to chip or damage my paint job.
And voila…it’s finished.
Sadly I got some paint chipping on some of the joints so had to clean them up by hand.
And this is it on its custom display base. (Bit blurry sorry).
And thats how I build my garage kits. Hope this helps some of you. I’ll have some better photos up of my final X model soon. Sorry this has taken so long but I’ve been quite busy. Till next time, Have fun modelling! 🙂