SECOND PHOTO CREDIT: TRUE GUNPLA
I love the asymmetrical design of the ASW-G-29 "Astaroth." It has one big beefy arm and one normal-sized gundam arm. It has one knee joint salvaged from a completely different machine than the rest of the armor. And it has massive boosters on the backs of the legs and the sides of the skirt armor.
In the IBO side story, the Astaroth was stripped of its armor and refitted using parts purchased (or stolen) from other suits. In this rendition I tried to emphasize that point by adding additional out-of-place vents, boosters, and bosses on large flat areas to emphasize the ragdoll appearance.
The diorama base really gives a sense of scale here; the tiny people cower (well, all but one of them) at the imposing robot that just landed in their shipyard while a heavily-armed mobile worker crashes through the gate. They're having a bad day.
Guys, I spent a lot of time looking at shipping containers for this build. A lot of time.
It's strange how our projects evolve. For example, this build started as an attempt to add additional detail to the backs of the Astaroth leg thrusters. Then I added the chest armor panels, and the shoulder panels...and before long I was laser-cutting a panel for a massive sword and sticking boosters on the back! Ah, how interesting life can be sometimes.
The original kit just had a single red molded part for the boosters, with no articulation. I started by separating the top flap from the rest of the booster and cutting the sorry excuse for a thruster bell out of the housing. The new thruster bells are from the 1/144 MS vernier 01, and are attached via ball joint to the inner frame. I articulated the upper flap using a kotobukiya joint kit. The below image shows the final product--I'm really happy with it!
And once I'd installed the extra thrusters on the rear skirt and the side skirts, the thruster profile looks like this:
Notice that the central thruster on the backpack is not pictured here. That was a Wave product, and was impulsively added a few days before Otakon.
So here's the thing. That blue color had been living inside my brain for months, but no company makes it. Seriously, that blue color does not exist in reality. So I ended up mixing up my own with my Tamiya sideboard, starting with Field Blue and adding in various amounts of Medium Sea Gray and Flat Blue. I'm very proud of the final product, but I recently spilled the pot I mixed the colors in...and I didn't write down my recipe.
Only 0.75mL of this paint still exists in the world.
The rest of the kit was primed with Dupli-Color as usual, and pre-shaded and painted with Tamiya. The inner frame was basecoated with Tamiya Gunmetal, but I used different paints for drybrushing than I usually use; instead of Citadel (which is a terrible company that should feel bad), I used Vallejo colors which are less expensive, have better bottles, and are easier to work with. And my best friends' wife gifted me a bunch for Christmas, so they were effectively free. Which is nice.
BASE AND DIORAMA
PHOTO CREDIT: TRUE GUNPLA
The asphalt on this base is made of corkboard coated in Pebeo Modeling Paste. All of the shipping containers were hand-weathered using Vallejo and Citadel (blech) acrylics and Secret Weapon washes, as was the forklift. These items were all somewhere between 1/150 and 1/160 scale, which was close enough to 1/144 that the lazy human brain doesn't care.
The people and mobile worker were actually 1/144 scale.
For the wooden portion of the base, I picked up an African Mahogany bowl blank (for turning bowls!) from Amazon for like $15 and laser-etched the sides with the traditional Ars Goetia Astaroth steal. And then I decided on teak oil for finishing. It was the first time I've used this particular oil and I think it worked out really well!
Until next time, I'll leave you with one of my favorite shots from my impromptu photoshoot with Joel over at TRUE GUNPLA. The guy really knows his way around a camera: