This is a build I put together for a local group, the Hangar 18 Gunpla Community. I started the build in early January in parallel with a second kit that had been on my shelf for a long time, the 1/144 RG conversion kit for the Barzam Refined, which you can see in the cover image (write-up coming soon!). Doing two builds at once was almost too much for me; I think I'm going to stick to one at a time from now on.
So, here's the thing about my mecha taste. I like realistic military-style mecha that look like they serve a purpose. Gundams, with their light colors and stylistic design elements, don't usually catch my eye as much as the Armored Core-like designs from Kotobukiya (even though Bandai injection molding is truly awe-inspiring). With this build, I set out to combine a bunch of IBO parts and end up with a real-mecha Armored Core inspired design with all the simplicity of the Bandai 1/144 IBO inner frame, starting from a gundam Flauros kit. Seems simple, right?
Here is the preliminary construction, with a weapon configuration I ended up scrapping:
You can get a feel for my strategy here: just tack on as much junk as I could to give the illusion of purposeful mechanical depth and intentional armor plating. I'll break down the modifications some and then I will discuss the paint job.
The head modifications involved cutting down the Flauros forehead fins and adding in some additional sensor detail. The complicated part were the two Gusion Rebake Full City head panels I stuck onto either side--I ended up carving little slots in the cheeks so that the panels could snap on and off. The vulcans are metal parts I found on eBay for a good price!
The gatling gun uses an old customize campaign gatling cannon as a base with ZZ, kotobukiya, and builders part add ons for extra detail. The ammo drum is a cut-off piece of a roll of blood-gas analyzer receipt spool (normally those are thrown away!). They attach to the forearms from the regular Gusion Rebake, which were difficult to attach to the flauros upper-arms (those parts are, surprisingly, not compatible!). That left hand is a leftover part from the Astaroth Dragonslayer.
The thigh armor is made of the Gusion Rebake Full City forearms with various junk parts glued on to the front and sides. The legs have full movement beneath the armor--I used a kotobukiya joint set to affix these armor plates to the skirt armor, so they move up and down as the thigh moves.
I wanted to maintain the over-the-shoulder-weapon spirit of the flauros, but the flauros guns were just too bulky and unrealistic. But the rail guns from the IBO option set were foldable and perfectly-sized to replace them! I cut off the ammo belts because they wouldn't quite fit with them attached. Now on to the paint!
The inner frame was painted with black dulpi-color and then coated with Vallejo metal color burnt iron. Once the burn iron is fully dry, I washed it with Army Painter dark tone. The armor parts were primed with grey Dupli-color and pre-shaded with Tamiya XF-1 flat black. This is pretty standard for me; I like a little pre-shade to make the armor panels pop out a bit.
The red is Vallejo Model Air, which I diluted with the Vallejo acryl thinner. I don't usually dilute my vallejo acrylics with thinner when I hand-paint, but I've noticed that the acrylic thinner really helps when airbrushing. The dark green is Tamiya XF-27 black green. The grey shades are XF-63 german grey (my favorite grey!) and XF-83 medium sea grey. Then I used XF-67 NATO green for the weapon armor.
And the final product looks like this:
Until next time!