In some respects, I was not expecting much from this build, as it hardly felt like a proper kit – so small, so few parts – but in the end, I found myself enjoying this kit more than many more complex builds I have done in recent months: and it all comes down to the details which worried me so much on opening.
A pretty straightforward and direct build thus far, but at each step I had been concerned with the panel lines, in as much as on such a small kit they might seem as if they were not so much panel breaks as chasms. However, as I reached the point of painting, I decided that the way to go would be to emphasize the lines, rather than try to minimize them. After all, I doubt if anyone would complain about a few panels when considering the basic aerodynamics of a flying house…
Yet, the question remained how to do this. Over the years, I have lined models in a variety of ways – from the simple Gundam Markers, to washes and panel lining inks. However, after buying a new airbrush, I have been growing more and more interested in back-lined layering and decided to give it a go.
For those who do not know, the technique involves applying dark lines to a white/light grey undercoated model before building up the base coat using an airbrush as a weak (in this case, 60% thinner to 40% paint) in a series of layers so that the dark line markings are still visible through the paint.
Looked a little odd at this stage, to be sure, and I was half convinced I had made terrible mistake. However…
Once I added weathering and toning washed to the grey to acheive the finished effect, the pre-lining really showed its quality. It is such a simple effect, and easily managed. It amazes me that I had not made use of it before.
Not an earth-shattering matter, I know, but it certainly makes the difference on a kit which otherwise might have seemed to lack definition.
A lovely little kit of one of the seminal mechanical designs of the golden age of anime.
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