Sunday, August 28, 2011

MG GPO3S Gundam

This is my very first Master Grade kit that I've acquired back in 2001. Being the first kit that I've properly built, I have made pretty much all the mistakes that a newbie would. 

During the assembly and test fitting, I've broken the head fin, messed up some internal part while cementing 'em and broke some parts while removing the armour.The real disaster happened during the painting part.

Again, being new to airbrushing at that time, I didn't know how to control the airflow and paint volume, so I've repainted the kit several time using thin layers to get some decent coating. By the way, the thing I like most about this model is its back design, love those thrusters.

Managed to clear some mess and it turned out to be better than I've expected, well at least its not a total disaster. A well designed model, but it has a pair weird gorilla arms though.

For the lens and eyes, I used fluorescent paint for it. Pretty cool because I didnt even know such paint existed then.

Friday, August 26, 2011

SD Nu Gundam

A SD version of the Nu Gundam. This is my very first SD kit, it was built and painted in 2001. A very well designed kit. Being one of those earlier kits that I've built, I kinda messed up  the painting. I've used black for the shading, therefore the kit is darker than I would want it to be.

I didn't paint the tiny details as well, like the "V" logo on its belt and the yellow bits on its funnel.  There are some over spray and some paint chip on the V fin too. I'm too lazy to fix 'em. Anyway, I have another Nu in the box, so I'll probably convert this to the Full Armour Nu and build another Nu with a brighter colour scheme.

There are two versions of the SD Nu Gundam by the way. This is #209 of the SD series, the other earlier version is not so nice.

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

This is my current main airbrush, the Japanese Iwata Eclipse HP-CS bought online in August 2011. This is one of the most popular dual action airbrush with 0.35 mm nozzle among miniature modellers. I have been looking for this gear for a very long time but couldn't find it. Shops in Singapore and Malaysia don't sell this brand. When I had my holiday in UK last year, the official distributor of Iwata in Cardiff didn't have this model as well. Finally I resorted to purchasing it online through Amazon.

It comes in a box with the airbrush, a small tube of lubricant called "Superlube", mini wrench, Iwata sticker, Iwata genuine card, instruction booklet and a brochure neatly packed. My first impression when I held this gear was that it feels very well balanced in my hand, this is good stuff. Trigger action is smooth  and responsive. Spraying action and paint atomisation is very consistent. The parts are all well made. The needle packing (O-ring/ rubber gasket) is made of Teflon, this is good because Teflon is solvent resistant. The function of the needle packing is to prevent paints from leaking into the air chamber. The usage of solvent based paints will deteriorate normal rubber packing over time. This is what happened to my Sparmax when I noticed some paints leakage over into the air chamber. With Teflon this problem is minimised.

The 0.35 mm nozzle has no problem with metallic paints. I had clogging issues with the 0.25 mm Sparmax when used with certain metallic paint. My only issue with this Iwata airbrush is the price and availability of spare parts. At the time of writing I'm still looking for spare nozzle and needles. It is always advisable to keep spare parts, you'll never know when you need it. The nozzle and needle are the most fragile parts of the airbrush by the way. These two parts are very delicate and it will wear out over time, probably few years of continuous heavy use. Of-course it will break down prematurely if you mishandled them, especially during the cleaning process.

Sparmax DH-102

My first airbrush is this, the Sparmax DH-102, a dual action airbrush with 0.25mm nozzle. This is a reasonably priced airbrush with very fine line capability bought somewhere in 2001 in Singapore. I use the Sparmax compressor for my air supply, I've forgotten the model number though. The compressor has an air tank for regular air supply together with an auto on/off function when the tank has reached certain pressure. Sparmax is a Taiwanese brand and they produce fine tools. Spare parts are easily available in Singapore as such, this is a popular brand among modellers in the island. I have two spare needles and a spare nozzle. Since 2001, I have broken one needle but the nozzle is still alright. The only complain I have for this airbrush is the cup and nozzle size. The cup has  2 c.c. maximum capacity and it is not sufficient for painting larger area with more paint, like painting base coat  However, it is more than sufficient for detailing work. Another problem is the nozzle. While many modellers drool over 0.25mm nozzle, for my type of usage I found that it can be quite limiting especially when used with metallic paints. Mr.Hobby and Citadel's metallic will clog the nozzle, as the flecks from these paints are quite coarse for the 0.25 mm standard. However, Gaianote and Tamiya's metallic enamel will have no problem. Currently I use the Sparmax as my secondary airbrush.

Paints & Safety

I use mainly Mr. Hobby for airbrushing. Mr. Hobby are lacquer based paints and you have to use thinner to thin them. I love Mr. hobby because it is tough and when dried, it can be sanded. For thinning, I use Mr. Leveling Thinner. Never use industrial thinner to thin your paints, because such strong solvent will melt the styrene plastics when sprayed upon.

Recently I discovered Gaianote's paint and had a go with it. This is a lacquer based paint and I found that their metallic series are better than Mr. Hobby's. Its much finer and easier to airbrush. No clogging issues even with the 0.25 mm nozzle airbrush.

I also use Tamiya enamel series paints. I only use black (for panel lining) and their metallic range. Enamels are great paint to work with. It is oil based and therefore very smooth. Enamels dries very slowly and takes even longer time to cure. As such, it self-levels and produce a very smooth surface when dried. I use Tamiya's X-20 thinner to thin them.Their metallic flecks are very fine and won't clog airbrushes, even with a 0.25 mm nozzle.

For hand brushing, I use mainly Citadel Colors with their brushes. Citadel's paints are acrylic based, therefore it is water soluble and you don't need thinner to thin them. Occasionally I use them for airbrushing, mixed with water. Some users say they mix it with isopropyl alcohol for airbrushing, for me I find that Citadel doesn't mix very well with isopropyl. It becomes lumpy and doesn't dissolve well. Citadel makes a very nice range of normal colors, washes and foundation paints. I have some Mr. Hobby Color acrylic based paints for hand brushing as well.

Now I always use a respirator when airbrushing. My current workhorse is the 3M 6200 respirator with the 6006 cartridge. Its dual cartridge and can be used over a long painting session without problem of dizziness. Since it is dual cartridge, you can breathe better without much air restraint. The only con for this gear is that its kinda heavy compared to a smaller respirator. This gear is good, it protects your lungs and makes you look like Darth Vader as well.

This is my first respirator, the 3M 3200 series with 3011 cartridge. It is a single cartridge respirator, it is lighter and less cumbersome. Now I use it for short session work. Extended use is tiring because of the limited air supply through the single cartridge .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

About Me

Thanks for dropping by at Zanplamo. I'm from Malaysia. A Sabahan, a La Sallian and a graduate from Cardiff University, UK. I deal with words and wear a penguin suit for a living. Loved Gundam kits since time immemorial and started this hobby around 2001. Picked up Warhammer miniature modelling along the way and got into blogging. This blog serves as an online journal for me to record my progress and as a platform for me to share what I have learnt through the internet. If you have any questions, you can contact me at the following email:





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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coming Soon