Thursday, March 16, 2017

[Completed] MG+Resin Crossbone Gundam X2 kai

Well I've hit a new low--just over a whole year and a mere single kit completed.  Word of advice to never stretch your project out too long because I've experienced a rollercoaster of frustrations building this kit.  At the end of all this I am very exhausted--I think I'm just going to snapfit a few kits I have in backlog just to work off the stress!

EDIT: 05/2017 -- Bandai has announced an official release for the X2 kai!  Why did I go through all the trouble with this resin conversion when I could've waited a year! My advice if you like this version of the Crossbone X2 preorder the official one--you won't have to deal with fragile resin this way.

You can view my Work in Progress here where I cover the modifications I've made to address my previous issues concerning the inner frame.

Let's get down to it.

The XM-X2ex Crossbone Gundam X2 kai appears in the game Gundam Xtreme VS.--from which I base my kit.  I used the Model Legend conversion kit (sold by Tatsu Hobby).  What distinguishes this one from the base X2 (and the P-Bandai one) is the different X-thruster array and the inclusion of Buster Launcher (based off the Gundam F90s artillery type).

What motivated me to build this kit in the first place is now a mystery to me--like I said it's not the best idea to prolong the building of a kit.  There are times when I drop to zero interest working on this kit and times where I'm just hyper excited.

In the end I had to get over a huge mental hurdle:  Anything I build to at least this level of competency MUST NOT BE PLAYED WITH.  I'm super depressed since I loved this part as a kid when I first started building Gunpla--to snap something together and just pose it in various ways.  I really shot myself in the foot here when I chose to work with Resin cast--it's more fragile and heavy than plastic could ever be.

Notable Mentions:
-First Gundam kit I've done with a dark color scheme
-2nd time working with Resin parts
-2nd MG Crossbone Gundam I've done
-First heavy usage of Lacquer paints
-I've never broken so many parts on a kit before
-First use of the 'paper mache' technique to make a cape
-First custom base of any kind

What I dislike about the kit's design in particular is the right-arm heaviness . . . too many of the weapons are designed specifically to be held by the right hand ONLY.  That includes the beam rifle that comes with the kit.

 I messed up on the shield as I did the effects using nippers.  You might see that I changed to a metal filer for the other side of the shield which produced much smoother edges.

 The buster launcher (?) seems to be reverse-engineered from the robot damashii or HG 1/144 version as it's mostly two-halves put together.  I tried to let the resin sit in hot water as much as I could to bend them straight but you might notice the gap running down the gun.

 It's also very heavy . . . I ended up gluing the trigger to the right hand since I know I wont be changing the pose.

 The shot lancer is held via a peg in the handle and friction on the forearm.  This being resin makes it more difficult to keep attached . . . it's also heavier thanks to that material.

The pose has changed a little bit since I first previewed it but here it is in all its glory:

 I tried to get as close to the artwork I referenced as I could . . . but once the cape dried it wasn't very flexible.  I glued some of the contact points since the weight of the gun tilted the entire body!

 I read about traditional model kit building techniques to build this cape using water-solvent glue and  . . . . tissue paper!

Overall I'm 'ok' with how the kit turned out.  It's definitely hard to make a stealthy dark color scheme kit stand out and I praise anyone who puts the effort into one of their own.  Did I accomplish my goal of making something better than P-Bandai put out?  Sure there are pros and cons of each route.  Personally I would've liked to have a plastic shot lancer but to me that's not why I like the X2.  The MG Crossbone frame is starting to show its age and requires a patient hand to complete.

You're probably wonder--should I also do a MG Crossbone X0 Ghost and X3 to complete the team?  NO, just get that idea out of your head!  I need a long break from these kits and their various small parts.

So even though all I talked about were my disappointments throughout this--I'm still satisfied with how things turned out.  You know what I need to do is get better at taking pictures.

Until next time.