What’s happened to the MG line?

Back in 2012 when I was really sinking my teeth into the hobby, I remember getting giddy about all the new MG releases of the year (the Buster.. Marasai, all the AGE line kits, Heavyarms and of course the Nu). This continued on through 2013, and I remember that feeling of “I can’t wait to see what comes next”.

So what happened in 2014? Reboots? What?

The MG line has been really disappointing for a while now and it’s a real shame. It looks to me like the focus has very much changed with the advent of GBF and it’s new HG ‘system’ of being able to swap out parts. Great idea from a marketing point of view since we have certainly seen a huge influx of new people enter the hobby (and somewhat diluted it’s talent, but that’s another story), but pretty disappointing to those of us waiting on the next ‘cool MG release’. Don’t get me wrong, I am no MG slut – I love HG’s, RG’s and the new RE/100’s and it’s marvellous to see continuing releases through all gundam universe timelines being released, but MG’s are just that something special.

Realistically, there were only 3 unique, new MG releases in 2014. (Hi-Nu, Turn-X, Gundam X) which is a damn shame. We did of course, get the hotly denied and gloriously spectacular PG Unicorn (bias) but it’s got little to do with my point.

I really hope this is not a sign of things to come.. I think I have every MG I am interested in now and I would prefer not to have to resort to expensive resin kits, or conversion kits to get something exciting back on my workbench.

With talk of MG 2.0’s being murmured throughout the community I remain hopeful that the line will be back on form, especially with the upcoming Origin OVA and the recent announcement of an updated Hyaku Shiki 2.0. Let’s hope this really is not the end of the MG, as we know and love it.

I do, very much wish to see an MG Dreissen.. Jegan.. and so many more, but I won’t speculate further nor ask that you respond with your request list, as this is one of those irritably dull, ultimately subjective social media questions with a thousand responses that Bandai will never in a million years look at. Instead remain hopeful on the success of the Origin OVA, which I speculate will play a key part in the line’s future, much like the Unicorn OVA did, keeping alive the UC timeline for which most MG models derive. It gave us the Jesta don’t ya know, and 341 variations of the Unicorn.. Keep your fingers crossed gunpla fans.


My Way: Smooth and Subtle Armour Parts

I thought I would share with you my process of painting armour parts. This is subject to change of course, but is currently how it works for me with the mediums i’m used to.

The paints I use for armour parts in order are Alclad grey or black primer, glossy tamiya acrylics, hombrol enamel, alclad aquaclear and finally, Tamiya flat clear. You can replace the Tamiya paints here for Vallejo model air – something I am currently experimenting with.

The process is simple, but can be time consuming.

  1. Once all your armour parts are prepared and ready to paint, give it a normal coat of primer according to the brightness of your final colour on a low psi of around 15 right out of the bottle. Make sure everything is covered, not too thick and grainy but with a little texture to touch.
  2. Wet sand, using a very fine 1500 grit until all parts are silky smooth. Make sure you get right in the curves and details. Don’t worry if the edges start to show through. Give the parts a rinse in clean water after. You don’t need it to be glass-smooth so no need for any buffing.
  3. Repeat! Prime, wet sand again. You should have very nice, smooth surfaces at this point.
  4. Base coat in your chosen thinned Tamiya glossy acrylic at a normal 25psi.
  5. Pre-shade according to your chosen colour scheme, thinned at a low 10psi up close. get right into those details and recesses.
  6. Medium coat in your chosen ‘final’ colour at normal psi.
  7. Highlight in either a lighter tone, or the same tone as your final colour, light coats until you have a good looking depth, that’s not too overpoweringly contrasted.
  8. Do 1-3 light coats of aquaclear, check that nothing is gathering in detail.
  9. Panel line in enamel, thinned with enamel thinner. I find lighter fluid a little too destructive for the aquaclear to take, if it breaks through to the acrylic underneath it’ll come right off in clean-up.
  10. Do another light coat of aquaclear to seal in the panel lining.
  11. Apply decals.
  12. Another 1-3 coats of aquaclear to seal in the decals and close off any edges.
  13. Top coat in Tamiya flat, according to how matted you want it. (best to do this part when the entire model is assembled as a final step, for consistency).

And that’s it. The process of double-priming for me is key here – it get’s rid of any sinkage in the plastic parts, and any tiny flaws, while providing a good, strong and smooth base for the acrylic to grab onto. Aquaclear provides that extra protection when panel lining, and adds that extra touch of glossy smoothness. It seems a little contrary to be doing al this if you are going to ultimately flat-coat the kit in your final stages – but float-coating over a really nice and smooth paint surface looks gorgeous, and flawless. It’ll also give you a choice as to weather you ultimately flat or gloss coat in your topcoat – and not be forced to flat-coat to cover up any nasty, grainy work.


February Update and Stuff

Since I last posted things have been a little slow, mostly down to a spate of wintertime illness’ and catching up on life activities. I have a couple of bits of news.


Firstly, I came first in the gunpla builders showcase facebook group modelling competition. I was super-chuffed and this one was pretty special to me as it’s the first compo I have ever won! The model was the HG Dreissen, completed at the end of 2014, the start-to-end build you can have a gander at here. Special thanks to all the chaps running the group, and to everyone who participated 🙂

Secondly, as you’ve probably heard, the Mecha Lounge is no more. It was all down to time really. Myself and the admin team just did not have the time required to put into it, and to get it modernised and promoted enough to keep up with social media. Sad times, and will be missed for sure. I met some thoroughly awesome people there, made some great friends, learned a crap ton of skills and am very glad to have played my part in it.

Thirdly, I’m working still on the MG Duel Assault Shroud, which is already in my top 5 favourite MG’s of all time. I love it. You can see my most recent WIP video (part II) by clicking here.

Fourthly, We have launched our first, inaugural ‘free-style’ build off over in the UK Gunpla Builders group on facebook, running from February 1st until May 1st. If you fancy a bit of a challenge feel free to head on over and submit an entry.

Fifthly, try saying that when your mouth is full of cheese. There is no fifth bit of news, only that I am planning to put together one of my prizes from the contest, the G-Reco over the weekend. Should be fun, although i’m kind of stuck right now without any filters for my paint mask.. gah.