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.


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