A Tale of 2 Cities

Bandai do occasionally come out with kits in some lovely plated plastic, which honestly, look awesome when finished. The HG Sinanju ‘Titanium Finish’ version is one example of a cool looking Zeon suit in shiny red goodness! The biggest problem that comes with these kits are that the plastic is coated with the lovely finish, which means, the underlying molded plastic will be of a different color. Carefull de-nubbing is needed and any wrongly sanded nubs, will reveal the colored plastic underneath all that loveliness.

Such was the case in this kit which ended up on my lap after a friend gave up on it. He isn’t a serious modeler and loved the look of the shiny plastic, one I will not doubt. However, like most of us who start out with enthusiasm, it dwindles away the more we stay away from the reason we bought the kit. Fast forward, and the kit was given to me since it was neglected for months.

Now, being the plastic modeler that I am, I hate exposed nubs, and worse, different colored ones! Bandai, does a pretty good job is hiding most of it, but some are inevitably an eyesore. And worse, when you know it’s there, it just bugs you to bits! I ended up storing it till I had an idea how to finish this kit up. Initial ideas were to strip the shininess and re-do the whole model with a paint job. This would mean, priming with black, or gloss black, then silver, then a candy red type coat and polishing! Considering I didn’t have an airbrush yet, this was a monumental task! Scouring the internet, I came across many pics of the Sinanju in different colors. Dark Blue and mainly Black. They did look great though.

A Light bulb Turns ‘ON’

Black was the choice as I loved how the gold trim contrasted against black based armor! Now it was how to accomplish this with minimal fuss and equipment. I shelved the idea for some time till I realized that I was over thinking the whole process. Typical as always! HAHA!

All I needed were Rattle Cans! I could easily spray the armor parts black! Only problem with this process was that I had to spray every single piece and then coat them with a Gloss top coat prior to assembly. So much care was needed, as well as drying space for all them clips!

Next hurdle was to attempt the filigree in gold. Bandai provides stickers for the gold trim, which was never ever an option I would choose! I watched videos on reverse washing methods and considered that. However, I was up to the challenge of painting the Gold instead. I was fresh from painting several Warhammer miniatures and confidence was booming! Worse case, I could spray it all black again and re-try.

The Trials to Success

I needed to assure myself of these ideas and grabbed one piece of armor in it’s shiny Titanium Red, de-nubbed it, clipped it and sprayed it with a Tamiya Semi Gloss Black Rattle Can.  At this point, the enthusiasm and hope was so strong, then I didn’t realize I had not stripped the coating off yet. The sprayed on Black worked! I then gave it a top coat of MrTopCoat Gloss and it looked damn good!! I was convinced and hooked!

The next hurdle was the gold trim. I sprayed the cuff armor in black as well, and then proceeded to hand paint the gold trim with Citadel’s Retributor Armor paint. Being nicely thick in it’s pigment, this shouldn’t give me any issues apart from a shaky hand or a sneeze! Carefully with a good quality thin brush, it was a success too! Now, all I had was another cuff and a few more bits to do in Gold!

Euphoria ran high! I was stoked and like a kid on Christmas Morning, went into full overdrive, and the work began.

The Journey

The overall build plan was simple. Sort out the already Titanium coated parts, spray them black, then a coat of gloss. Hand paint the metal and details as well as the gold trim. Followed by whatever else that needed minor hand painting. Easy! However my biggest fear was loosing steam midway from the long process of every single piece of red coated armor! There was a fair bit and I was a little impatient. I somehow pulled through with no hiccups.

Metal parts were painted with Vallejo Mecha Metal paints, mainly Gun Metal, Dark Steel and Silver where needed.

The shield was given a simple but effective treatment. As the whole model overall would look nice in gloss black, I wanted a little separation somewhere to not make it to plain. I decided to have something in a Matte finish and the shield was the best option. The shield was sprayed with the same Rattle Can black but the top coat was staggered. One piece was top coated with Gloss and the other in Mattte. This gave it an interesting separation which gave the overall look some life.

This simple but effective method on plain dark colored armor can make a difference. I shall try this on another model when the chance presents itself, where some armor is matte coated and the rest in gloss.

Add ons!

While waiting for paint to dry, I was out and about at the local hobby store to stock up on Top Coat and paint. I chanced upon the Bandai HG Customize Campaign 2018 Gattling Gun and joint Parts F. It had a gattling gun which was an option for the Build Divers Gimoire Red Beret and would look cool on the Sinanju! Some cutting and filing was needed to sit it nicely onto the Sinanju’s shield and the hardest bit was ensuring the hand will line up with the arm so all fits nicely! Much trial and error and not wanting to scrape the already completed paint job began, and thankfully it all came through, though not without some hiccups as well! The Gattling gun sits just enough so it can be seen and does give the Sinanju some Kick Ass mean power! I liked it!

In the End

Finally done, and mandatory pictures taken, I would say, it was a successful mission in turning this HGUC Titanium finish Sinanju around. It has a different character now and I prefer gold over black then on red anyway..haha! The whole process was actually very easy and can be accomplished by an average buildier with ease. After all, hand painting was minimal and the rest was rattle can spraying! Just another one of those finishes where you don’t need expensive equipment or laboring methods to accomplish it. The only difficult area may be the Gold trimmings, but one could always paint the gold first and mask them, followed by a spray of the black.

I enjoyed this laboring build, as it was the rare few I actually took my time and ensured consistency overall. Something I have no patience for..HAHA! First clean build! However, like every build I do, there is a learning process to gain from it. Would I try this again on something else? For sure, but just not now! I need to get back to weathering and all that mecha dirtiness!

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