Monday, October 20, 2014

Project: MS-07B3 Gouf Custom Part #3

So battle damaging the Gouf Custom. The first big thing I decided to undertake was the physical damage, the scratches, the cracks, and the bullet marks. The bullet marks were first on the list. I wanted to emulate the sort of damage that the Gouf custom would have suffered from its actions in the 08th MS team series. What kind of damage am I referring to? Well let’s take a look..

So, first notable sort of damage the Gouf Custom suffered in the series: Bullet damage! Yes the majority of those bullet shots were against the shield. That doesn’t matter. The shield can only take so much damage and then the shield will break. Now I know I know, they didn’t animate the damage in the series to save time and animation budget because anything that is one screen needs to be drawn. With all the moving around the Gouf Custom was doing that would mean they would have had to animate the battle damage in each frame. In a major multi-million dollar animated movie, sure they can commit the time and efforts to animate the damage. In a 13 episode series they have to deal with the budget constraints.

What other damage did it suffer? Well how about smashing through the ceiling of a building? Granted the damage from such an act would amount to some minor scratches on the armor, it still provides damages. In the case of the model it provides texture that could be spots for weathering pigment to gather providing additional shadow and coloring.

Oh and there is also the damage from the close range fire it took, like when the Gouf Custom was charging the EZ8 to point blank range. Yeah, that’s going to inflict more damage not too dissimilar to the earlier bullet damage, though in this case the damage would be greater. 
So what have I worked on today? The bullet and explosive damage of course. So here is what I did to achieve the damage from bullets, minor explosive and the environmental scratches and such.

First thing I did was use a 1/2mm drill bit in my pin vise and drill out bunches of shallow holes in the shield, the shoulder armor, the right fore arm, the helmet and the left leg. Once the holes were drilled I came back with my exacto blade and stressed the edges of the holes by carving at them with the tip of the blade. With the holes widened and stressed I then came back and carved out further deformations from the bullet marks to show the explosive damage as well as the impact damage. I also used a 3mm drill to create a couple larger depressions to show damage from larger weapons, perhaps mobile suit sized grenades. This was basically the same process as the smaller marks, with the difference that once I used the 1/2 mm drill, I came back with the 3 mm drill and re-drilled the space and then used the exacto blade in the same way.
I began damaging the MS-07B3 Gouf Customs shield by drilling out a series of shallow bores into the shield, and then came back with an exacto blade and stressed the edges of the holes while carving out small chips from the edges of those holes.
So with the physical work done I made use of some Tamiya black paint to fill in the deformations with just solid black. Nothing special.

Once the holes were drilled and carved out I used black Tamiya paint to paint them in to give shadow and form to them against the blue of the shield.
I gave the paint a good 25 minutes to dry and then I came back with a 0/5 brush and used Tamiya Titanium Silver to paint in the deformations leaving some edges of black.

I used Titanium Silver paint from Tamiya to color in the bullet marks on the MS-07B3 Goufs Shield and armor.
I went too deep on a bullet mark on the side of the leg and actually went through the piece.  I decided to run with it and made a second hole on the back side of the section to make it look like the shot has passed right through. I them came back with the black paint and painted a line of fluid leaking out of the hole. I used the Silver paint to touch out the edges of this mark but not cover the leaking fluid.
I carves out a hole in the side of the leg armor to make it look like it had taken a shot directly through the armor.

Almost purely on a whim I decided to go with the oil splattering as blood effect from when the Gouf attacked the second GunTank. This was achieved in a couple steps, one of which is covered while the second will be covered in my next post on this project. The first step was to use the black paint and make the oil splatter marks across the head of the Gouf, it’s chest and it’s left shoulder. I tried to emulate the pattern as it appeared in the anime. Moderate success I’d say. Next time, my first effort using weathering pigments.
I used black Tamiya paint to paint on the oil splatter across the head and shoulder of the MS-07B3 Gouf.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Project: MS-07B3 Gouf Custom Part #2

Collection of screen caps showing the effects and conditions the MS-07B3 Gouf Custom went through in the 08th MS team.
War is hell. It is an old line, and a true one. For machines they bear the scars of war in the weathering of their bodies. The Gouf custom went through a couple levels of hell itself in the one episode it appears in. Just from the collection of screen caps to the side there you can see it took some beating, got dirty, and took some damage to it. So what kind of weathering am I going to try to do on the kit?

Well I’m going to try and go for an ‘inspired by the anime’ sort of approach, but not necessarily  a ‘dictated by the anime’ approach. What do I mean? Well the Gouf will certainly have dust and dirt build up, something that can be seen from the anime. It moved through a lot of dirt and debris, kicked up dust and sand and concrete dust and the like. So going to try and add various types of dust effect to it.

There are several times where the Gouf is being shot at and Norris is using the shield… well as a shield. In real life the shield would be showing damage from these sorts of attacks. The paint would be chipped, the shield would be beginning to show wear and year, possibly even cracking some. Am I going to try and copy the exact damage that would have been inflicted on the shield based on the anime? No. Gun shots to the shield. Okay that is good enough. Needing to try and map out each bullet mark based on the location of the origin of the shop, recording its trajectory as it impacts the shield and figuring out the contour of the shield to determine the extent of the damage to it… yeah, not so much.

At one point in the anime the Gouf attacked a GunTank artillery unit, using it’s sword to destroy the crew compartment. In the process it was sprayed by a lot of oil and hydraulic fluid in a scene I feel was intended to be reminiscent of several movies where the character stabbed another character and was sprayed by the blood. While very gritty and characterful, I’m not sure I’m going to emulate that particular bit of weathering.

In the Anime the Gouf was able to launch itself into the air using the thrusters on its back. While the viability of this could be debated, the fact is such a jet propulsion on the back of the mobile will leave marks on its back arm and the back of the legs. Particles will be kicked about scratching paint and discoloring the metal. The heat of the jet engine will cause heat distortion on the back of the skirt armor and the back of the legs.

The Gouf had a pair of vents on its legs at the base of the leg armor. Their usage in the Anime appears to be that of a secondary vent intended to vent heat from the mechanics in the legs as they are shown putting out large gushes of air or steam. Somewhat like the thrusters on the back, these would be somewhat heat discolored and may show some wear from dirt being kicked around.
So how am I going to go about achieving the effects I’ve talked about? Well, some of them I know pretty well how I’m going to do it. Some of them I have an idea but have never actually tried it before. You know that “Hmm that sounds easy when I read it” sort of situation.

So, the shield. This one I think I know what to do to get the damage type I was talking about. First thing I’m going to do is mark out where I want the bullet marks to go. Then using a variety of tools I’ll work to create dents, and cracks in the shield. Then I will need to come back with silver and grey paint to color the cracks and dents to color them.  I’ll go into more detail in my next post about how I do this as that will be the focus of that post.

The dirt and dust will be achieved by applying various greys, browns and yellows from pigments. The big deal here is to use the pigments to provide dust and grit build up, but not to use the pigments to actually color the plastic. I also have to do this last as the pigment powders will be knocked off when I’m working on the shield and other parts of the model.

The heat distortion is actually a simple effect to pull off and will be achieved by using Citadel washes in a selective pattern. If you look at anything that has been discolored by heat, you will see that it is largely purples and blues. Since the majority of the model is already blue, I’ll probably have to use more of a maroon color wash to achieve the distortion effect.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Project: MS-07B3 Gouf Custom Part #1

The 1/144 scale Gouf Custom assembled with its heat whip extended toward the camera.
The MS-07B3 Gouf Custom… this was bare none my absolute favorite mobile suit from the Mobile Suit Gundam: 08th MS Team OVA, though I will admit that such a sentiment may be influenced by the character that was piloting it along with the original Gouf from the Mobile Suit Gundam anime. In the original anime the pilot of the Gouf was one Ranba Ral, a career soldier who believed in what he fought for, but also knew the difference between being a soldier and being a killer; that being that while a soldier may need to kill it is only as a point of being on the opposing side in a conflict. This theme was carried over to 08TH MS Team’s Norris Packard, the pilot of the Gouf Custom. In both cases, the pilot of the Gouf was a highly skilled soldier with the determination to accomplish their mission even when accomplishing such a mission would mean their death.

In the 08th MS Team OVA, Norris single handedly engaged the protagonists mobile team and eliminated the GunTank artillery units they were protecting. Despite piloting a less advanced mobile suit, when compared to the ground type Gundams the protagonist and his team were piloting, Norris was far more skilled at combat and in mobile suit operations. He kept his sites set on the GunTank units, and only engaged the Gundams as a means to get to the GunTanks. The first two times he engaged the Gundam he used his heat whip as a repealing line when he dropped down the back side of a building, and because of that was able to avoid a retaliatory attack from the first Gundam who fired on where he would have been had he simple been falling and not used the whip in this fashion. The second time he used the whip to knock the gun out of the Gundam’s hand before charging into it forcing it back and then immediately jumped at one of the GunTanks. While the entire engagement only lasted a few seconds, the distraction from the charge provided Norris the time he needed to destroy the GunTank.

This battle scene has become synonymous with the B3 Gouf and there is a lot of influence from it in my enjoyment of the mobile suit itself. That being said, I still like the design of the Gouf Custom for itself. I have previously built a 1/144 and a 1/100 scale model of this mobile suit and when I originally purchased this kit I thought it was the same kit I had built years ago. I was rather surprised to discover that it is actually an entirely re-designed kit, with new articulation and new design approaches taken with it. After looking over the kit I was really enthused about this project, even more so then when I had originally decided to try using Pigments to weather it.

I’m going to cover the construction of the mobile in this post because… well I’m assembling it. And that’s about it for it for that part. I’ll only comment on the construction of it when I feel that there is a need to discuss that isn’t clear in the instructions. The real focus for this particular project is working with weathering pigments, and that’s what I want to focus on.

The kit itself is a fairly straight forward build and with a long afternoon you should be able to assemble it straight out of the box. In comparison to the older version I built a few years ago I do like the double joined shoulders, they give a lot of flexibility and options for posing which is a really nice bonus. Another really nice advancement over the older kit is in the tubing around the torso of the body. In the old version the tubes were solid plastic parts, and this rendered the torso basically static. The waist simply could not turn at all on the old model. In the new kit these tubed are cast in a flexible rubber sort of plastic. So this allows the waist to rotate about 10 degrees right and left. Not a huge difference, but it does allow an extra dimension of possibility.

the new version of the 1/144 scale Gouf Custom has a joined waist with a flexible hose around it.

The heat whip weapon on the right arm is built to be used in two ways on the model. First is a simple insert that slips into the housing. This is for when the whip isn’t deployed and just stored in the fore arm. The other way is as the end of a 5” long wire. The wire is strong enough to be self-supporting so it can simply be slipped into the base of the wrist housing once the insert is removed.

Beyond the basic construction of the model I did use paint in a couple areas of the model. The first place that got the paint was the inner surface of the thruster nozzles on the back pack.

I painted the inner sides of the thruster nozzles on the 1/144 scale Gouf Custom.

The lens of the hand cannons also got a bit of a touch from the Tamiya red paint as well, but I went back and added a little lining from a fine tip black gundam marker to give it more depth.

I painted the lens of the arm weapon, for the MS-07B3 Gouf Custom, with red Tamiya paint and then lined it with a black fine line Gundam paint marker.

I used a some silver paint mixed with the Tamiya red to create a kind of glittery sparkle effect with the paint and then colored the optic sensor on the head.

I did some experimental panel lining with the lighter blue armor. The only difference here and from the panel lining I did on the Wing Gundam and Heavy Arms was that I used a grey marker as opposed to the black. This provided some shadow and depth without breaking the blue out and making it look cartoonish.
So this completes the construction of the Gouf. Next time I’ll be talking about what is going to be weathered, and how I intend to go about accomplishing the effect.