I’m sure I’ve said I’d not do another transforming kit as they’re such a pain… But this one looked so good I had to give it a go. It’s also a decal-hell, and I’ll get to that aspect later.The kit is typical Bandai – nice box, great artwork, quality plastic and it includes both stickers and water slide decals.
I started the painting with the metallic parts, done with either Alclad polished aluminium or Alclad pale gold.While the paint was drying on the metallics, I set to work detailing up the pilot. The lighter blue pieces all got painted with Tamiya metallic blue. I used the Tamiya paints directly onto the plastic as I don’t want any extra thickness of an undercoat. Also, when thinned with the Tamiya lacquer thinner, these paints go directly onto the plastic just great, cover well and are pretty tough. The darker blue pieces were painted with Tamiya royal blue, again thinned with the lacquer thinner for a tough paint finish. The Tamiya royal blue is just gorgeous. It’s a gloss paint and it works perfectly for this kit. I masked off to paint Alclad alumium on the undercarriage areas. Also, this arm piece was masked. I think the area is meant to be the pale blue, but aluminium will look just fine. Assembly begins. Being a transforming kit, the assembly is tricky. Instructions indicate these gold decals go on now. While starting with the decals, I decided to work on the multi-layer decals of the shield. The feet look fantastic. Now for decal-hell! These parts will go onto the legs and require this long decal to cover them, including the concave section at the end. Decals are flat and piece is concave. Tricky…. Adding some drops of Tamiya acrylic thinner starts to soften the decal enough for it to fit into the concave section. More drops and careful manipulation gets us to a reasonable place. Once dry, I’ll go over with a cotton bud and get rid of the slight crinkles you see. The shield is looking good. Next layer on the shield. Oops. I should have put the edges on before the crest! The crest went on well. I couldn’t quite get the two halves to fully join, but the result doesn’t look too bad. I put the edges on and they’re tricky to get right to the edge, and I also had to lift the edges of the crest to insert the edge decals underneath. Continuing with assembly things are getting pretty intricate…. The gold looks lovely against the royal blue. The legs went together pretty well. Arms added. I was a bit worried about attaching the legs to the body, but they went into place without too much bother. Now that looks pretty nice. Next up to build the wings and add all those decals!!