I started to do RX-78 GOP1, Zephyranthes, which is slightly different than the ones I made before. Zephyranthes core unit can be converted into a "Fighter jet". This again is an amazing beautiful kit with many features. Every time I take a Bandai/Gundam that I didn't make before, I get surprised with the immense detail and added features. The quality level of the kits is always fascinating me.
I again started making the kit by washing the parts first, still attached to the sprue. Putting them in a container with detergent I let them rest for 10-15 minutes and rinse them thoroughly with water. This simple procedure helps me to apply a better paint finish. Usually I use a conventional detergent such as a dishwasher liquid from Coles or Woolworths. And lukewarm water will enable the detergent solve better.
Cutting and sanding
Cutting the parts from the sprue are important. If not removed properly, filling and sanding will be necessary which will lengthen the process. Therefore cutting shouldn't be made from point zero and a little of the gate should be left on the part and should be removed with a hobby knife later.
The assembly went without any major changes and I must admit that the parts of the Zephyranthes fitted as good as the ones before even better.
This time I have finished the model without painting it. The reason is to show the difference between painted and the unpainted models. In this photo it still looks all right but without paint it has a more toy like look. I call this a raw look. Actually the details come to surface more after a nice finish especially with an airbrush.
As I examined the mold I saw that this particular model was from 1997. It might be a new mold but the design is from that year. Although a little bit older than the other Gundam models I was impressed with the detail and easy fitting parts. It took me four days to finish it without painting. Why it took me so long because I had to sand any remaining chips away from the cut out parts to ensure a smooth surface for the paint work I plan to apply in a couple of weeks.
The core fighter was difficult to assemble and I am happy that this time I proceeded without painting the parts on their frames. Because simply I wasn't sure enough how to paint it and also wanted to see it finished. To fold and install the core fighter to the lower body you need to be careful not to go harsh with this process in order not to damage the fighter. I took it out a couple of times to make sure it was fitting without any hitch. The core fighter sits in the belly and you have to be careful not to pull it too hard to get it out of the body. The upper body comes out easily compared to the lower body.
There are exhaust nozzles under each feet. And the nozzles of the core fighter also enable Zephyranthes to fly, which are positioned in the back. The pilot sits in the core fighter in a vertical position facing a two door hatch, which can be opened. As soon as the core fighter is out of the main body the pilot comes to a horizontal position. I liked the idea of the core fighter. It was a very interesting kit with a lot of extra detail. I enjoyed making the kit but without the paint the whole model has a toy like look.
From now on my the next step is to paint the whole body. After that I will have to proceed with the detailing and to give it more realistic look I may also decide to make some battle damage. But first I have to start painting...
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Zephyranthes RX-78-U.N.T. Spacy Prototype
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1 September 2007
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