Time for a change! I picked this Muv-Luv kit up in an HLJ sale a couple of months back, and I wanted to experiment with some paint techniques and I thought this kit would make for an interesting base for them. The box isn’t that big, but it’s packed with runners. The parts also have a high level of detail, which is partly why I picked this particular kit. Taking a different route from my normal, I assembled and primed the kit before any painting. The priming was done on parts and sub-sections to allow me to glue, gap fill and seam-line remove. Now that’s tricky given the articulation, but I think I managed it reasonably well with no obvious or glaring seam lines remaining. The rear wings are a touch heavy and the right one doesn’t attach too firmly, but once finished I can always glue it in place. I do like the level of detail though! The whole construction is quite different from working on a Bandai kit. There’s no inner frame as such, but there’s good joint detail, especially for the knees. The shield is really nice! For the weapons, I experimented with the Uschi metalizing powder. This time I sprayed the pieces with Tamiya gunmetal thinned with Tamiya lacquer thinner (which normally the metalizer will not stick to when dry) and then mixed some metalizer into the lacquer thinner and sprayed it onto the pieces. This is suggested in the Uschi documentation, so I thought it time to give this technique a go. It’s tricky as you have to keep the particles suspended and I ended up blasting the mix on in quick bursts. Before polishing the matt finish from this stage is quite lovely, but the polishing worked well. For the swords I also polished in some metalizer powder to add to the shine on the blade edges. Now assembled I want to try shading the entire kit first, ahead of painting and weathering, following some of the ideas from “Painting Guide for AFV” by José Luis Lopez Ruiz. It’s a great book geared towards wonderful weathering techniques on tanks, although the english translation is a touch rough. My first step was to do a full enough assembly that I can just block in roughly highlights and shadows. Because of the shape and articulation I can’t shade the whole kit in enough detail, but this stage at least marks up the pieces for me to finesse while separated.So now the separation and detail shading begins!All these sections separated out quite nicely, so I was able to do the same gunmetal+metalizer treatment that I did on the weapons. I doubt I’d ever see much shading through the gunmetal paint, so I thought it quite reasonable to paint them like this, and of course, I’ll be able to add weathering and shading on top as necessary.