Friday, March 27, 2009

1/100 Astray Red Frame Part 5

With patience and respect

This review should be up last night or this morning actually, but I was stuck half-way writing about it after all the work, so right now I have to recall my feeling while going through the tasks mentioned below. ^^

First of all, the names for all the components of a Samurai sword:


Image from Paul Chen Swords

As with many boys, the design of Medieval body armor, weapons and warfare strategies have been part of my interests since primary school. So, it's just natural that the history of the Samurai has been fascinating to me since the first day I learned abut it. Actually it started off with my deep interest in their heavy decorated body armors and beautiful helmets.

There's a saying that the Samurai's sword is his soul, and for that, I've mistaken that Bushido was about the art of the Samurai sword for quite a while. When I learned that it's the way of the Samurai's life rather than the sword itself, the weapon seemed even more intriguing to me, which lead me to do some readings on it when I could.

I watched on video some time ago the introduction of this Oriental weapon and how one is made. Not merely forging a blade, the whole sequence is more like a sacred art. Each component of the blade is made by master craftsman, and the completed work will be passed to another master craftsman for another component, until all parts are done and the katana is completed. Each of those craftsman has been specializing in that specific part of the sword for generations. A single sword can take up to half a year to complete, without the help of any modern technology, nor any exact documentation on how each part is to be made is available.

I've never seen a real Samurai sword, so I can't say I would know how one should feel when he has the sword. And for the record, I must say that I'm not respecting the sword for what it's primary meant for, but for the beauty and the craftsmanship of the sword, as well as the principles of Bushido.

I've built the 1/144 scale version of Astray Red Frame many years ago, when I have no Gundam Marker at all. Still, the sword was handled with great care and patience so that it could be as color accurate as the official design. I only relied on red normal marker for the red parts, silver oil-based marker with very thick tip for the blade and gold one for the golden parts. The gold marker produced unsatisfying result for the hand guard and pommel. After that, for not spoiling the scabbard, I didn't paint the gold parts on it with that marker.

Will show you the comparison when the sword is completed.

And now, it's time to redeem that regret I have for my 1/144 Astray Red Frame. The 1/100 scale version is much bigger, so it should be easier to paint, the blade is in metallic coating, so I don't have to worry about painting silver on it anymore. All the other components are in white, so I don't have to worry about covering base color of any sort.


Plus, I have Gundam Markers now, designed for Gunplas. So, there's no reason for me to fail this time. ^^


The first step I took was to panel line the different parts on the scabbard. None for the handle though, because I don't intend to have as little panel line on that component as possible. Will show you why when I paint it.

Also, the panel lines drawn are meant more for our eyes instead of actual panel lines for the parts. Entirely in white, it may be hard to distinguish the border between parts that should be in different colors, and that often results in painting overshoot. Panel line first can save you from a lot of troubles.

Those lines won't guarantee that you won't overshoot, but at least not too much, and you could detect places you overshot easier later on.

Started with Gundam Marker Red first:


The kojiri (end point of the scabbard), Koiguchi (mouth of the scabbard, including the small separate part) and the two red bars on the body of the scabbard are easy because they have large area to paint on. The red diamonds on the handle and the thin line that connects them, plus the lines on the body of the scabbard are much harder - not about painting, but to avoid spilling the red paint over the wall (drain if you like XD) of the lines. I'll have to scratch away the excessive paint when it dried.

Also, I painted a little bit further into the interior of the Koiguchi as well. This is so that when the sword is unsheathed, folks won't be seeing white interior of the scabbard, but red instead.


Gundam Marker Gold from BB Senshi Sangokuden set saw action for painting the hand guard, Habaki (ferrule - on the blade), Fuchi (sleeve) and Kashira (pommel - both on the handle). Only one side of the hand guard is painted, because the other side is needed to hold the whole piece to dry.


Part 1 for the katana is completed. ^^

Two things you would probably notice in the last image above:
- The peg (not the mekugi) that stands out near the koiguchi is not painted. This is the part used to mount the scabbard to the side skirt armor, so on and off for a while, the color would be scratched off and that particular part would become ugly. I'll just leave it unpainted.

- the kojiri is painted red rather than clear orange on gold as shown in the manual. I was hoping to have a bit of linkage between this kit with just recently released Perfect Grade version, but in a manner not so obvious as well since it's clear that the PG release has redefined the designs for every part for the katana. It has red kojiri, really big one too. Not exactly a very significant part, it seems like a good spot for a bit of color variation to me. ^^

Still pondering on this at the moment though, even though it's painted already ^^;

Please look forward to the next review on the katana. ^^

3 comments:

AstrayP03 said...

nice ^^ well, nicer than mine tho.... i used gundam marker for gold.... but that was b4 anybody warned me not to use metallic gundam markers.....T^T had to learn it the hard way.....

CAznable said...

Gold Gundam Marker is fine, Silver Gundam Marker is horrible. Very nice painting btw, NK.

Josh said...

Loving this so far man. I believe that the fuchi on the tsuka should be gray. But, if I keep going I'll sound like a snob Xd I'll just end with can't wait for the review.

Have a good week