Mission…complete. Here we have the MG GM Quel, “Blue Angel-esque”.
Now this build has been an experience; overall good, but with it’s share of annoyances. The biggest learning experience with this kit was definitely the airbrushing; this is my first airbrushed kit, aside from the primer and top coat layers. I can see why it’s an art…so many screw ups, but so much learned! And so much more yet to learn. The biggest issue, I think, is that the blue came out a bit too dark, so you can’t really see all the details I had added, but that’s just how things worked out.
It ain’t perfect, but there’s no way I could get it there with my current level of experience. Overall, though, I’m happy with what finally came out. I didn’t have a set idea in mind when I started the project, so the color scheme was more or less randomly decided after hearing mention of the US Navy’s Blue Angels somewhere one evening, hence the name.
The rifle was meant to be the centerpiece for the build, but it came out rather underwhelming as far as it’s colors compared to the MS itself. I like the design, I just couldn’t come up with a proper idea for the paint job on it. I had originally intended on something closer to the Aliens Pulse Rifle, but decided that’d be better suited for another kit somewhere down the road. Instead, this is more a variable beam rifle, with the barrel extending for longer ranged shots, shortening for closer, rapid fire.
As to the kit itself, this was my second master grade (the first being the Zeta 2.0), so this one is really showing it’s age. It’s barely more than a high grade, though with the coming of the IBO line, this thing felt really, really old, much more so than it should have, I think. Still, I enjoyed it for the most part. My least favorite things about it were the hands, and an annoying tendency for the whole backpack to fall off, or just the outer armor of the backpack to come loose, as it was more or less just sitting there without any real grab to it.
Had some doubts as to whether I was even going to finish this build, honestly. I’d go a few weeks without doing much to it because I wasn’t sure where I was going, then when it came down to the last month, I just kept having set backs: had to strip paint and redo several parts after early airbrushing attempts, had one of the ankle armors break before priming, had the head antenna break before the first top coating, had at least two or three really bad messes with the panel line wash that left some areas looking bad, dropped parts going missing in the carpet for half-hour or more at a time, and had one part vanish completely (the collar piece that fits inside the yellow collar part, though I think it looks better without it, personally), and thought I’d lost the gray ‘jaw” part of the head this evening after I’d did the final clear coat, but luckily I had just left it attached to one of my painting clips. These last two weeks had me uttering some very delightful curses, to say the least, lol.
1 – Have a plan! – I went in without a solid idea of what I was going to do, and I never could decide exactly what it was I was going for, so I spent a few weeks cutting pla-plate into itty-bitty strips and sticking them all over the place, only for the colors to wind up hidding most of the details. I had no idea what the paint scheme was going to be, I had no idea what I wanted the custom details to be like, and I even stuck some parts on there just because I had them sitting in my parts bin. Probably hurt the build pretty bad, but in the end, it came out rather not bad overall.
2 – Practice, practice, practice! – Especially in regards to the airbrush. I had picked up a couple rattle cans about halfway through the build because I had thought to just spray the kit with those instead of using the airbrush because I was rather intimidated by it, but in the end I went through with it. I was getting better towards the end, and I’ve got more kits waiting for paint that I’m going to be practicing on in the coming weeks. I had tried a few practice sessions with paper and scrap pieces, but when it came right down to it, I learn better by practicing the real thing, so that’s what I did, for better or worse.
3 – Lighting is Key – Another thing I’ve learned, rather early, in my airbrushing experience is that proper lighting is key. My workspace is limited; I have to use my build area for my spray booth, so I can’t keep the thing out all the time, and with the lights I have available, I just don’t have proper lighting in the booth. The two lights I use while building and the overhead just don’t light evenly, so I kept running into problems seeing the part lit well from all angles, so this led to colors not quite meshing up properly on parts that were meant to be together, and overall the dark blue color being a lot darker than I had wanted, mainly so that I could be sure that all parts wereproperly coated. Definitely going to be modifying the spray booth in the near future.
Full WIP Gallery:
Full Completed Photo Gallery: