My kids had built a few LBX kits and had a lot of fun with them. I’d originally bought LBX Lucifer for myself just based on how it looks, but it got handed over to my eldest one rainy day to give her something to challenge her. She did a super job, and I was pleased I’d not built it myself just due to the number of stickers involved.
We enjoyed watching the LBX anime Danball Senki, and I noticed the Ifreet LBX in the series, and that it had a “hyper” kit, that looked much better than the normal LBX kits I’d already seen.
The box is about twice the size of a normal LBX, just a tad smaller than the box that a normal LBX+Riding Saucer comes in. The major difference between these Hyper kits and the normal LBX is the inclusion of the LBX frame. In the anime, they are small robots that have armour over the robot’s skeleton.The skeleton is reasonably well articulated and detailed, with two quite enormous polycaps for the shoulders. The polycap material is a bit harder than normal and painted up ok. I used Tamiya gunmetal, with a light coating of Alclad chrome over the top to make the result a bit more metallic. There’s a sticker provided for the hatch that covers the chip. I used a drop of fluorescent yellow for the eyes. I used thinned Tamiya smoke to add some shading to the frame. Here you can see the chip that gets sealed inside by the hatch.And with the hatch sealed, it’s all ready to get the armour! Ifreet looks like it’s on fire in the anime, and the colour scheme is a couple of different oranges and purple. I used this runner to test the colours as I have not previously used these new Createx paints – iridescent crimson and hot red, and fluorescent purple.The fluorescent purple is very pink and hot. I’d hand painted some on Black Lotus so I know how good it looks under UV, but here it’s just too bright. But I have a plan…. Add some blue to it! There’s a fair number of plain grey pieces on the kit, so I just used Alclad grey primer for them. Putting another layer of the purple on top, this time with some blue added got me to the colour I wanted.Here I’m experimenting with the iridescent crimson on these tail pieces. It was promising, but not right so I stripped these pieces in a bath of 99% isopropyl alcohol.By now I’m sure you all know I don’t like pure black on pieces as it just hides detail and looks flat, so I’m using my usual combination of Tamiya gunmetal, with a top coat of Tamiya smoke. There’s one runner of lighter orange pieces. It’s almost a gold colour in the instruction manual, but gold would be too gaudy. Instead I put down a fine layer of Tamiya lemon. Once the lemon had dried, I painted the iridescent crimson over the top, and the result is a beautiful orange. It’s hard to see here, but it has a wonderful sparkle to it. I thinned the Createx paint with Future Finish and Tamiya acrylic thinner. This is basically the formula I used for the white paint on RX-105 and it can work very well, if you’re careful. The paint was quite thin, and collected in these areas adding what looks like nice shading. Because of the Future Finish and its self-leveling properties, the paint also pulls slightly from the raised edges, letting more of the yellow undercoat through, which leads to a very three dimensional paint effect. I just kept piling the finished parts, of which there’s more than you’d expect!For the tail pieces, I repainted them, this time with the Tamiya lemon to do the orange, to mask to get the purple on. And here’s the rest of the darker orange pieces first getting a coat of the Tamiya lemon On the right of the runner you can see my colour test for the darker orange. It’s a layer of Createx iridescent hot red over the Tamiya lemon. There’s a few stickers on the kit, so I masked these pieces to receive Tamiya gunmetal for the feet, and the fluorescent purple on the knees. This section of the back uses stickers to make this complex shape at the back the more yellowy orange colour.And the masking worked great. The rest of the piece has the hot red added. Here’s more of the hot red. Although the hot red looks great, it’s not as iridescent as the crimson, so I did a light layer of the crimson over the top of it. This made the result a little less dark, but a lot more iridescent! I masked the tail sections and went over with the purple. And did the gunmetal and smoke on these sections that go at the top of the legs, carefully masking out the lovely iridescent orange. Here’s a tail piece. Um…. Doesn’t look too good. And when I took off the masking tape the edge was nasty, and the paint had seeped onto the grey. So back in the paint stripper it went for me to try again…. Here’s the start of the assembly. You can imagine how these layered sections would be on other kits – stickers! But not here. It’s layer upon layer of plastic, all fitting together beautifully to make a dense and colourful result. Nice. Ifreet even has teeth. Nice use of the grey (which I should panel line, probably at the end of the build) and you can see the different shades of orange here too. The head is rather complex. The upper teeth were rather tricky to fit though. And it just fits over the robot head so. Next up is the feet. They’re very large compared to the robot feet (which you remove) and should make for good stability. Knees and legs come next with some black pieces.The painted purple shows through nicely cut holes in the orange armour, that also has a sub-layer of grey armour. So for just this bit we have layers thus: frame -> black (and purple paint) armour -> grey armour -> orange armour -> lighter orange armour. That’s impressive! The lower leg sections were a touch tricky to fit, but again, it’s multi-layered and this gives a very robust, dense, and colour differentiated result. The layered concept follows through for this centre skirt section too. And for the rear skit. The purple on the rear skirt was masked and painted on grey plastic to avoid the use of stickers. The layered approach continues yet further with the chest. Here we’ve got black->grey-> orange ->purple -> orange -> light orange! And there’s still some more parts added on as I assembled the chest, some more grey and light orange pieces to complete it. This is a serious level of detail and colour differentiation in the plastic. Here at the back you can see the 4 vents that we masked earlier. The instructions have us swapping out the hands for orange effects parts, and completing the arm armour. Again, the armour is multi-layered for effect: frame -> grey -> orange -> light orange. The shoulders continue the theme, with some clear effects parts inside and a mix of the two oranges and the purple, with holes cut out of the orange parts so we can see the purple poking through.It’s so nice to get this level of colour separation on a decent sized and affordable kit with the design of the plastic and not an over-reliance on stickers.
I repainted the tail section, so we’ll see how that masking goes and if it gives me the quality I need to look good alongside the rest of the model. I’ve got some panel lining to do on the grey pieces, and then the addition of all the fun effects parts to complete.
Here’s the tail sections with the masking removed. I took it very careful this time. First I painted the grey, masked the base and then painted the purple. Once the purple was dry I put a light coat of Future Finish to help with the masking, and then added a couple of thin pieces of masking for each side of each of the ten sections to shape the orange triangles. For the triangles I lightly put down a base coat of the Tamiya lemon, which covered the purple really quite well. Again, ever-so-lightly I shaded in the orange by using the same recipe of hot red followed by crimson. Close up you can see how well the masking worked. Assembling the tail was interesting though: to help you, each of the orange tail pieces (that slide onto the grey spine) have their sprue part number embossed on the inside so you can be sure to be placing the right piece on in the right order. Nice one Bandai! Here’s all the sections getting a top coat after their decals have been added. There’s not many decals on the kit, mostly to mark the location of where the effects pieces go, and the orientation of the armour on the arms and legs so that if they come off, you can get them back in in the right place. The decals are stickers of the same style as you get on a Gundam RG kit, so with a little pressure and top coat their edges should be pretty invisible. I stripped off most of the body pieces so as to access everything for a nice even top coat. The feet have some panel lining on them. I used my usual oil paint wash which works well with the grey.
I’m very much looking forwards to putting everything together again to take proper photos of this kit.