Thursday, August 30, 2012

1/60 VF-1A Miria Fallyna Jenius Version Build Part I

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

This post documents the start of my build of transforming the 1/60 VF-1A No Paint Kit (with Bonus Parts) by Yamato Toys into a fictional VF-1A Miria Fallyna Jenius version. You can jump ahead to this post to see the completed pictures of this build. First thing I did of course was to translate the Japanese construction manual to English, that you can see here. The build sequence in the manual starts with the arms but I decided to bypass that by building the head first.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build


The reason I wanted to bypass the arms to jump immediately to building the head was so that I could try out coloring the head sensor clear parts. To that I bought some Green McCormick Food Coloring.


1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

I then mixed that with some Future Floor Polish till it reached a dark color. The picture sequence below of the completed tinting of the clear parts is actually quite deceptive. After dipping it the first time I didn't like the light shade, so I allowed it to dry overnight then dipped it again the following day. Not still happy with the tint I dipped it again a third day and left it overnight. The third time was the charm as I got the dark shade of green that I wanted. Afterwards I sealed the tint in by spraying some Pylox Clear Lacquer spray paint on it.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

While waiting for the green food coloring color to dry on the clear part I skipped immediately to painting the major parts that will require the red color but won't require any masking. Chiefly being the thighs, upper arms, forearms and head parts.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

To color, I used TOA plastic primer as a base coat then Pylox Fire Red as the color coat. The plastic primer is first applied in order for the Fire Red to have a good area to cling on to. I didn't bother wet sanding the parts anymore, which would have been a good idea so that the surface area will have micro holes in them that the paint can cling on to. To be honest I actually forgot that step as I've been a year off from building model kits and that invaluable piece of information was remembered only later on. Luckily the paint did manage to cling on to the parts and did not peel off so easily. I usually use off the shelf spray paints because there is no hobby store near my area so I have to make do with what's available off the shelf from hardware stores. Luckily they have been able to do the job for me.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build


Here are the parts "sticked-up" and ready for painting. I usually make my own painting sticks from off the shelf parts. The weather outside was nice too and conducive for painting. Which usually means that it isn't raining. I can handle windy, but raining is an automatic to call off the painting.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build




In between applying paint I decided to work on the leg parts which were a bit more complicated to mask with tape due to its very irregular shape. I really have to commend the folks over at the Yamato factory who paint the leg parts perfectly.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

I used Tamiya masking tape to mask the parts as they really do a good job in sealing parts well to prevent paint from seeping in. Unfortunately I didn't do a good job in the pressing the tape in as paint did actually seep in through the irregular shape.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

Finished painting the parts here, this is actually the second day of painting already as painting of the fire red was finished with the black panel lining of the round vernier applied already by means of a black fine gundam marker. In this picture Bosny Flat Clear was applied already to seal the paint in as well as to apply a protective coat.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

For the Head part, Gundam Marker Grey was applied already to the top part of the head.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

I actually experienced some problem with my spray paint. With the Fire Red coming out a bit sloppy and not wanting to cling on to the part. Usually the paint would come out well and cling on easily and evenly to the part. I realized that after a year off of not painting the pigments of the paint must have separated from the lacquer part of the paint. The paint that came out of the can seemed diluted and runny.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

I fixed that problem by shaking the can more than usual in order to mix the paint. It took quite a while till the paint would come out Ok on just one coat. Prior to that I had to apply about 3 coats to the part to get the shade that I wanted. Took quite a while too as in between coats I had to let the paint dry first.


1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

Actually made a lot of mistakes while applying panel lining on the round vernier parts on the fore arms, luckily the mistakes can be easily removed with an eraser. One reason too why you should apply a clear or matte coat afterwards so as to prevent those panel lines from being removed. I myself prefer a matte coat because I don't like my model kits shiny *snicker*

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

When using off the shelf spray paints, the procedure I usually follow is to apply a plastic primer first so that the paint will stick well onto the part. I had a bad experience before during the first time I built a model kit after almost a decade of not building, where the paint peeled off by just holding on to it. The best procedure for me however (which I didn't follow on this build) was to wet sand the parts first to generate a rough surface that the paint can cling on to (I use 400~1000 grit sandpaper) while making sure that I don't remove the detail from the parts while sanding, wash it afterwards to remove the residue, dry it overnight so that no water remains on the surface, apply plastic primer, then apply the paint then afterwards the panel lining then the matte coat.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

Spray painting outside is also quite a chore as you are easily affected by the wind. Before painting I usually let out a soft burst from the can just so I can see if there is any wind where I'm working at. Wind is sometimes deceptive, you think there isn't any but even a soft wind can really blow your spray pattern all over the place. If there is, I usually change location so that the wind won't affect the pattern of the spray. I also recommend using disposable gloves and a particle respirator mask when painting for safety reasons.

1/60 VF-1A Valkyrie Miria Jenius version Build

Part II of this build can be found here.