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Mecha Painting & Weathering Sets AMMO of Mig Jimenez Following our review and build review of a Gundam Zaku II of the Zeon Republic recently, we're building on the theme with assistance of AMMO, who produce both a Guide to painting Mechas as they refer to the giant robot genre collectively, as well as a crop of painting and weathering sets to help you achieve the amazing effects that are commonplace in the AFV modelling arena, and transfer well to Mech painting. The acrylic colours are suitable for brush-painting or airbrushing, and they are well regarded as a range of colours, either mixed with their own thinners, water or Ultimate Thinners. In case you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, these giant robots are a regular part of Japanese Anime (cartoons) and Manga (graphic novels) that have become a staple entertainment in Japan, which has spread to the West with the aid of dubbing and subtitles. The industry is worth billions of yen per annum, and there is a wealth of subjects to choose from, with specialist importers such as our friends at Japan:Cool bringing many of the kits into the UK to facilitate your interest! Mecha & Robots Colours (A.MIG.7127) Gundam and their ilk are usually quite colourful, especially on the side of right, with white bodies, colourful forearms, shoulder pads etc., which are more pure colours than the muddied shades you often find in the pre-existing armoury of the military modeller. This set contains six 17ml bottles of acrylic paint, with yellow screw top caps and a dropper applicator inside. The new yellow caps indicate that there is also a stainless steel ball-bearing within each pot that assists with paint mixing. Inside the box are the following colours: A.MIG-048 Yellow A.MIG-049 Red A.MIG-103 Medium Blue A.MIG-119 Cold Grey A.MIG-120 Light Brown-Grey A.MIG-204 Medium Gunship Grey Green Mecha Colours (A.MIG.7149) There's a LOT of green in mech painting, particularly the Zeon folks in Gundam, Zentradi in Macross, and the Gamilas of Space Battleship Yamato. This set is also acrylic like the previous set, but instead of a range of colours you get a range of shades to enable you to colour modulate and adjust the tonality of the finish to your heart's content. Included in the set are the following colours: A.MIG-023 Protective Green A.MIG-045 Gun Metal A.MIG-062 Blue A.MIG-077 Dull Green A.MIG-082 Interior Light Green A.MIG-201 Light Gray Green Chipping Set for Mechas 1 (A.MIG 7428) Unlike the paint sets above, this set is a small three paint set, with two 32ml bottles and one 17ml dropper bottle. The first of the 32ml bottles contains Chipping Fluid that you apply liberally to the surface of the model before painting, while the second is an enamel wash of Engine Grime. The acrylic bottle contains a brown shade to create weathered chip marks with. The chipping fluid is applied before the paint, and when dry the paint is gently agitated using a damp stiff brush to give the desired effect. The Engine Grime is applied as a wash to give a dirtied-down appearance to your Gundam, and can be removed or adjusted by either wiping with a piece of towel, or by dampening the edges with a brush moistened in enamel thinners. Finally, the brown paint is applied with a small brush, taking care to keep the marks in scale. A.MIG-044 Chipping A.MIG-2010 Scratches Effects A.MIG-1407 Engine Grime Weathering Set for Mechas 2 (A.MIG-7429) Another three bottle set, this time with three 32ml bottles, one each of enamel filter, wash to add layers of detritus to your finished model. Layers of filter can be used to subtly change the hue of the underlying light/white colour, while the Streaking Grime is added to areas where dirt would accumulate or be drawn by rain marks, after which it can be faded, adjusted or drawn in the direction of gravity with a brush moistened in thinners. The Dark Earth pigment is added to areas where mud, dust and dirt build-up, then moved about with a dry brush until you are happy with the look, and then fixed in place by a dot of thinners or pigment fixer. A.MIG-1500 Filter Brown For White A.MIG-1201 Streaking Grime For Dak A.MIG-3007 Dark Earth Pigment Review sample courtesy of
I've been watching some of the Macross animé for a bit of light relief, and pulled this old(ish) Bandai kit out of the baddies' standard cannon fodder one-man assault pod. It's a traditional styrene kit with no softer plastic parts to give it friction posability, so I'll probably end up gluing it in a suitably aggressive pose somewhere along the line. I've got no real problem building the kit, but the painting guide is all in Japanese, so totally out of my comfort-zone. There's a helpful visual reference for the colours with proportions to mix them, which I think are Gunze, but the colours are either referred to by name or written numbers. Who knows? I speak about 5-10 phrases in Japanese that I learned long ago, and don't read a single one! I'd be interested to hear from anyone about tips & pitfalls for the kit, but in the meantime I'm just working through the assemblies, building up the legs in stages to allow the glue to cure so I can deal with the seams & mis-matches caused by tooling errors. There always seems to be a bit of an overhang with one part or other, and you can actually see some of the tooling marks from construction of the masters in places. Bandai have come on a long way since then Incidentally, I built a Valkyrie in Gerwalk mode and a Battroid version too when I was a young 'un, and they're still in my loft somewhere. Those were bought from the late, lamented Arts & Crafts when it was in the catacombs beneath the main shop. They just appealed to young me for whatever reason, who had never even seen the cartoons/animé back then. I guess 'planes with arms & giant robots with guns are a universal constant for lads of a certain age