Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The All Exia Project Final Plus Part 3

The sword talk

A lot of text today. ^^

The GN Swords are definitely the cliffhanger from my first series of the All Exia Project done in April and May last year.

The GN Swords were left out last time mainly because I was pondering between painting and not painting them. They would look way more awesome when the blade portion is in silver while the body is left in gray. Folks with the MG Ignition Mode would be able to see how that works. However, when I realize last year that I didn't have any proper paint in my toolbox for the job, I was thinking not to paint them at all, so that there's no risk of harming them by a failed DIY alternative. The swords are just too precious to be experimented upon. ^^;

The huge GN Sword of Exia is what fascinates me most about that Gundam when it first came out. The flip between rifle and sword mode is very practical and unique for me, but what I like most is the design - of how the blade is being exposed more at the fuller portion. It gives the indication that the sword is meant more for slashing and slicing. The contrast between silver and gray of the sword, especially the larger portion of silver at the fuller as mentioned shows that it could be very lightweight, but deadly at the same time.

Other huge sword like Daizengar's Type 3 Zankantou is designed with the fuller completely separated from the blade. While it looks cool as well, somehow the symmetric look makes it seem very heavyweight - a weapon more for hacking than slicing, which is of a very different feel from GN Sword.

The feel was completely gone when GN Sword II of 00 Gundam appears. Small in size, no comparison to the original version at all. ^^; With that said, I think I made it pretty clear that I'm not a fan of GN Sword II at all. ^^;

Exia Repair's version of GN Sword and 00 Raiser's GN Sword III's blades are made of clear green parts, and my feeling about them is skewed more towards appreciating their beauty rather than thinking that they could look as dangerous as the original design. ^^;

Other huge swords worth mentioning include Type Zero Zankantou wielded by Grungust Type Zero, which is a huge cleaver for hacking and Perfect Grade Gundam's Grand Slam Slasher. I used to like it for its plated silver treatment, but after a while, I find the design rather impractical - retractable small sized handle and hollow guard. I kind of feel like it could break after a few swings. ^^; Slick as it is, I don't think that it's a powerful sword.

Anyway, pondering and pondering for quite a long time, but after I got my HCM-Pro, MSIA, Robot Damashii and the MG versions of Exia, all with silver blade for the GN Sword. I made up my mind that it has to be painted for all the other Gunpla versions as well.

It depends on how you see it actually. I decided that my GN Sword must have bling-bling silver blade, but some would prefer to keep the entire sword in gray. Even the manuals have different paint scheme for the different swords.

1/100 Exia, Avalanche Exia

1/100 Astraea, 1/144 Exia

BB Senshi Exia

From the manuals:
* 1/100 & 1/144 Exia - Not painted.
* 1/100 Avalanche Exia - Painted but with very subtle difference between the colors.
* 1/100 Astraea, BB Senshi Exia - Painted, with very clear distinction between the colors.

For the task of painting the swords, I didn't want to come up with any fancy DIY methods that come with extra risk of ruining the whole part, which I already told you above, my favorite part of Exia. So I'll do it through the old-fashioned painting method.

Actually, the initial plan was to use silver spray can and masking tape for the job. I got myself a can of Mr. Surfacer 1200 and Tamiya Masking Tape, but I couldn't find any silver spray can. ^^; Some friends recommend me certain brands from the hardware store, but I couldn't bring myself to try them out. Some more I have Mr. Hobby's Mr. Metallic Color Silver at that point, so I decided to just hand paint all the swords.

I was going to use the masking tape shown to mask the part on the sword that is to be excluded from the painting, but since the paint will slip under the tape with hand painting, only a tiny bit of masking tape ended up redundantly on one of the swords.

Of course thinner and paint brush are very important tools for the job as well.

No special method there, I just held my breath and painted the blade portion as steadily as possible. Anybody called my cellphone that night and startled me was going to get stabbed to a horrible death by the spoiled GN Sword, I thought. Luckily nobody got bored that night XD

The blade part is pretty easy to handle, like driving your paint brush down a very straight road. The corner areas are much harder to paint, since the paint brush will have to be maneuvered differently to reach those places. Such change will leave some mark on the overall painting.

Like the very clear tire mark of someone taking a turn on the road which just got showered by rain. ^^;

So I tried to get around that a bit by minimizing the paint marks. I painted on average 2 layers of paint for each sword. The result isn't as beautiful as the work with a spray can, but it's presentable (to me). Things will get better when I introduce my new friend to them towards the end of this entire task. ^^

Not there yet of course, you can see quite a bit of spilled over paint on each sword. So the next task will be to get rid of those excess paint. ^^

P/s: The GN Sword for 1/100 Exia Roll Color Ver. has been painted as well, after all the 5 parts above. I actually forgot about him in the first place. ^^;


Evaritus Lau said...

Woot, just when I started handpaint Sangokuden's details bro also do on GN Swords.

Anyway, I see nice smooth yet flat silver.


Q said...

Very nice to see you finally getting the GN Swords painted there finally. No more "缩头乌龟" anymore XD

You may have read my method already on my Rollout Exia, which was to use some cheap siver nail varnish with some nail thinner as well as a top coat to finish the job. Didn't bother to buy masking tape so I simply used normal stationary cellotape straight away - it actually works quite well surprisingly and no paint seeps underneath the tape ^^;

Your method looks more proper than my compromised method and the end result looks nice there with the even and flat paint.

Now from many dull grey GN Swords to many bling bling GN Swords~ ^^