Sunday, February 24, 2013

I bought 2 materialforce figures today and I have no Idea what to do with them. I kinda want to make customs but with how hard it is to come across blanks I think I'll save em for a rainy day. 

Shadow Spallow.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

AGE-1 Spallow (Dragon Momoko)

I recently purchased 2 of this kit while visiting Divisoria, One with the intention of kitbashing with an Adele, and the other to build as-is. It's been mentioned on the internet before that this particular bootleg line has made adjustments to each of the AGE-1 kits released, the best examples are the RAZOR and SPALLOW that we have here. 

One of the best features are the additional weapons for customization that were taken from other kits (HG Astraea-F, HGUC Zee-Zulu, and MG Blue Frame). As well as new parts  such as the sharper looking face,  heel blades, the forearm and shoulder adaptors, an adaptor for the claw weapon to be used for the AGE-1 Normal, new open hands which include a hole for a wire-rig thing, and clear parts for all his weapons (except the shoulder knives). It also comes with un-modded parts so you can build the spallow in a similar way to the original Bandai kit. 

overall, it's a great kit, easily of better quality than most bootlegs, suffering only from fit problems with the head parts and the polycaps in the torso. 

I immediately found a repaint use for this extra spallow, by doing a Shadow of G homage. Had to mod the face and the chest plate though lol. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

El Dorado

Finished this Vagan Dorado kit today. The overall design of the kit is pretty cool and makes me motivated to try more of them. The colors came out a bit darker that I'd have liked, and a tad too flat. I think glossier finishes are better fitting these sorts of mobile suits. 

Finished this under a "paint while you build" approach that left me with a huge headache and a short temper. guess I'll try a minimal paint method for the next kit since they don't really need an overall paintjob that's similar to the base colors anyway. 

Also this kit is hella tall. Significantly larger (and hence more menacing) when compared to the federation suits of AGE. Me likey. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oyumaru Troubleshooting.

Recently someone messaged me on facebook asking if using oyumaru for molding around an existing face sculpt would damage the paint.  I replied that it was relatively safe for painted parts and I decided to test that theory out. First of all I needed some assistants.

And of course, the Oyumaru.

Generally speaking Oyumaru is a sort of clay compound that becomes malleable with the introduction of heat. Interestingly enough, when the heat factor is removed the clay-like material retains it shape rather rigidly, resisting any deformations until it's heated again. as such it's an excellent material for 1-part molds, though some modellers have had success with 2-part molds themselves.

Now that that's out of the way we can mo--

...Stop it you two.

Okay, now you'll need hot water.

Dip the Oyumaru into the hot water and wait for it to soften. You can hasten the process by putting the water and oyumaru into a microwaveable container and heating it in the microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

that should make it soft enough to knead into shape. Now to mold the original part you'll need to be very careful to get all the contours around the part. This is somewhat difficult to do with anything that isn't a flat shape, but we're too far into this post to let that in the way of showcasing comedic situations now, aren't we?

Right, ladies?


Let the oyumaru cool on its own (or run it under cold tap water to harden it) before removing the original part. Once the part is removed you'll have a useable one-part mold, but in this case it won't replicate the entirety of the part, only the front.

There is zero damage to the object you'll replicate so we should end this post here, but I wanna tackle the other part of the process.

Now the recasting material comes next but I lack any usable resin at the moment so we'll have to MacGyver our way on this.

Welp. Beggars can't be choosers.

whatever material you choose, make sure to mix it thoroughly so it sets in the proper way. For molds like this it's always recommended you use pour-able materials in order to get the best results.

Once the material sets it's just a matter of removing it from the mold. If you intend to make multiple copies you should be very careful in extracting the recast from the mold. Ideally, you will have designed the mold in a way that makes it easy for you.

If not, then simply re-heat the oyumaru again and peel the softened mold from the recast.

So did it work?


Here's why:

  1. Recasting material: In this case we tried material that wasn't appropriate for the mold design, that's something to consider. the effectiveness of the recast relies on this. Polyester Putty which is in the form of a paste has been used for molds like this by other modelers though it usually dealt with parts of flatter contours and hence easier to push into place. though you can succeed in face sculpt replication with polyputty over repeated tries. This tutorial was only a one-off thing.
  2. Mold design: We essentially made a pour mold for the piece what's more is the small entrance for the recasting material makes it difficult to get into nooks and crannies. In instances like these it's best to design the mold in two parts, so you replicate the front and back halves of the piece as separate parts and just assemble them into a single piece afterwards.

    There are many ways to go around this method of parts replication and success is 50/50. don't get discouraged by failing the first time because that's part of the process of refining your approach.

    I've had marginal success in replicating other things from oyumaru, such as this leg armor part for the Liger Zero:

See how that's a two-part mold above, and the material was epoxy resin.

The trick here is to study the object you're recasting before going forward, and since oyumaru is reusable with just a dip in hot water, you can keep trying without having to worry about wasting too much material.

I'll do a proper face replicating tutorial in the future but for now, I've filled my quota for Shinki abuse today.


Got around to taking pics, a few places needed some retouching but not heavily. also added some lighter purple panels since last time I took his pic. Calling this build done. It was a fun experience, and really shows me I've sorta diverged a lot from painting figures to painting kits like I used to with my SD gundams. Hopefully I have better luck with my second build, which is the AGE-1 Razor. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

AGE Razor

Out of town for the rest of the week, so I decided to get busy. Bought and built this kit today, tools also procured on the fly, unfortunately there's only so much you can do with just a nipper and a hobby knife. The kit was actually pretty messy while building and requires minor cleanup I can't  achieve away from my workshop.

Buuut, I already have a color scheme in mind, something inspired by the Blitz gundam, which I think will match this look.

looking forward to working on this more when I get home. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Just a comparison between the first kamen rider-like thing I made (waaay back in 2008), and the last two I made, (2013). Glad to see there's SOME improvement. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shadow Moon!

Century Kings

Finished slightly earlier than expected,  albeit rushed due to my trip up north this Thursday  Still, glad it's done. photography to be done some other day. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

first kit of the year

Finished this guy last week, though I immediately packed him up and shipped him off. I'll get to see him again later in the week though since I'll be heading up to Baguio soon, then maybe take some more pics when I return home with the kit.

I'm officially calling this AGE-1 U.B.E. (Uniform Booster Enhancement)

Sunday, February 3, 2013


It's highly unusual these days for me to be reviewing western superhero figures, but I really dig Nova's design. Let me start off though by saying I won't pretend to be a devoted follower of this guy's comic history,or bore you with facts that I pulled from Nova (Richard Rider)'s Wikipedia entry.


Instead, I want to get to the bare bones of why I like this figure and things that I don't like too much.

Let's start out with the paint job. Nova sports an almost all black ensemble with some gold details thrown in,  that contrasts very well. There are some traces of highlighting with metallic blue but it's too faint to really stand out. It is visible on the abs and the back though, then there are the cloudy blue spots on the chest and gauntlet, as well as the bright red crest on the helmet which stands out even more from the black and the gold but does it well. 

With the usual "mold (almost) everything in their required color so we can save on paint money" route that Hasbro does. Which actually works in this case because there are minimal errors, though some might be glaring in extreme cases. 

There is some slight scuffing on the gold on the chest on the right side of the image, probably the only real flaw on this specimen. 

Now let's talk about the sculpt. It's common knowledge these days that companies save a lot of money by using template bodies, and Nova is no exception. With an excellent core body being used, they sculpted the armored parts and molded them in soft gold plastic/pvc which allows for some decent flexibility though the fit can be rather loose or awkward.

The chest details are excellent, with the entire armor being glued onto the pectorals and the shoulderpads being part of that chest armor they sorta float over the shoulders themselves and hardly get in the way when posing, which was a very good idea. The helmet is slightly small for the body giving the impression that Richard Rider has a really tiny noggin under there.

Then the crest of the helmet itself obscures the eyes too much, covering up the cloudy blue eyes  underneath.

The gauntlet/bracelets and belts simply loop onto the wrists and torso respectively, and freely move around, though the belt is rather loose. 

Same goes for the leg armor, which wraps around the ankles. 

aside from the chest piece almost all of the armor pieces come off of this figure, and can loosely flop around (or worse get deformed during packing) due to how they attach. 

In the articulation department he' pretty poseable, considering he's a 3 3/4" figure, though not as stellar as microman/microforce or Toybiz shs, it works, 

He has joints where it matters and thus has an amazing range of motion.

Not really surprising since this is one of the line's better bodytypes. 

Though it does fudge a lot with some loose joints here and  there or some joints getting stuck due to friction and being 80% soft pvc.

As seen in the pic above, that's what I meant about some parts of the armor being awkwardly positioned due to both how they attach or the type of plastic used. it's too soft a plastic to actually hold itself in position, though I assume this was a decision made to abide by toy safety standards (which, in my opinion assumes the consumer is a dumbass but hey, their rules, not mine.)

Do I have any complaints about the figure aside from the stuff I already talked about above? Well yes.

There's this little situation about how available this figure is. As usual stores take advantage of the perceived rarity and "collector's value"  of this figure and place really terrible prices for figures like Nova.

I paid roughly 850PHP ($20.88) for something that retails for (to my recollection) 550PHP ($13.51)

No matter how fun of a toy this figure is, I discourage you (unless you're filthy rich, or really like Nova) from getting him for the price I got him. 600 PHP($14.74), sure, 650PHP ($16) pushing it, but manageable.

But 850?

For that price I expect alternate hands, or an effect part, or even a stand, but for a barebones figure made of soft pvc, with a design mindset emphasizing cost cutting?

I paid for it but only because I had money to spend. Otherwise, save it for something better or wait for the demand to wane.