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I was idly flicking through HLJ's listings a couple of weeks ago, and stumbled on this, which comes from a '70's anime that I'd never even heard of before, by the name of 'Future Boy Conan' It was apparently the show on which Hayao Miyazaki made his directing debut.

I loved the look of the thing, and knew I'd have to order one. As it was, I found it cheaper on ebay, so ordered it strait away, and it turned up this morning. For 1/700 it's a decent size, and not at all bad for £26 inc delivery.

 

Aoshima also do a ship, and a very cool looking seaplane from the same series. I'll definitely be ordering the seaplane once I've finished this one

 

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The show's a post apocalyptic thing, where most of the Earth's land masses have sunk, leaving only isolated islands inhabited by the remnants of humanity. I've watched the start of the show on youtube, but have't got far enough in to see the Gigant yet, so I can't really tell you much about it.

 

For those that don't know the show, as I didn't until I saw the kit, the first half of episode 1 is here

 

 

Before I get into the build, I'll post some sprue shots

 

There are four main sprues for the Gigant itself, moulded in a dark grey with some very nice surface detail. It's certainly in the ball park of what you'd see from Bandai.

 

Sprue A

Upper wing sections. Lots of nice panel detail, so an aztec-y look should work well on the monotone finish.

 

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Sprue B

Lower mid-wing and fuselage, including the wheel well. The tail fin's here too, which has a very novel attachment method that I'll get on to later

 

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Sprue C

Upper fuselage and engine nacelles

 

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Sprue D

Last sprue for the main build, with more engine parts and the main wheels and landing gear

 

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In addition you get a small clear sprue with a tiny in-scale version of the Falco seaplane that I mentioned earlier. I assume the clear plastic is so you can mask off the glazed areas before painting, but how good that will look at the end I'm not sure

 

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There's also a poseable stand, similar to the kind of thing you'd get with a Bandai kit, but a little more fancy, complete with a set of tiny machine screws, nuts and split ring washers to hold it together

 

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You get a nice logo sticker to add to the stand as well

 

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The last of the parts are a little more unusual, as you get a set of four neodymium magnets, which are used to hold the rear engine and tail fin in place. I've no idea why, as there's nothing beneath then to reveal. I'll most likely attach those parts conventionally, but it's nice to see a manufacturer being a bit more creative, even if it does seem slightly pointless

 

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The instructions are standard Japanese fair, with English translations for most of the captions

 

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Interestingly, there's a vague, and I mean vague, reference on the painting guide as to how you could weather the finished build

 

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The main colour of the ship is listed as a metallic grey, and I'll probably go with something along those lines, but with some panelling effects to break up the finish. In the show it's just shown as a grey colour, so you could read that as being a paint finish or a dark metal finish

 

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Hopefully I should be able to get some parts together tonight or tomorrow.

 

Andy

 

 

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This looks perfect for you! I'd seen the kit but have also never seen the Anime.

 

The only problem with this one is every time I see it, I wish someone had made the larger craft from Nausicaa :)

 

Will

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Managed to get a bit of work done on the Gigant today. There's not actually that much to the construction, so it shouldn't take too long to get it together.

Before the main wing assembly goes together, there are two intake parts that need adding. These each have a grill insert, but I'll leave them out for painting and add them at the end.

 

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The instructions tell you to add the centre fuselage section to the lower wing, then add the upper wing sections later, but I thought I'd probably end up with a step at the wing-fuselage joint if I did it that way.

Instead I joined the upper wings strait the the fuselage, and managed to get it reasonably smooth and step free

 

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There was still a bit of a gap along the joint, but nothing a smear of filler wouldn't take care of

 

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And for anyone curious about the size, it's just under 11" wide

 

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Once I'd filled and sanded the upper wing joints, the whole assembly was glued to the lower wing section. As you can see, it needed some filler along the leading edge. It should sand out fine, although I'll probably need to do a little re-scribing

 

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Next up was the tail fin and main engine. These are the bits that are designed to be removable via the included magnets. I'm not bothering with that, and they'll be glued in place. I'm still not sure what the point of making them removable is, as there's nothing much to see behind them

 

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The smear of filler on the base of the tail is just to take care of a small sink mark

 

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The nose/beak is also ready to go on. It's just loose fitted here, hence the gappy joint. The holes on the head bit (windows?, sensors?) are a little flash-y, so I'll probably ream them out slightly with a drill bit

 

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I've also made the stand up, which is surprisingly rickety despite being screwed together

 

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I'm going to use it though, because I love the way this thing looks in flight. I does come with the option of lowered landing gear and that's how I'll do it, but it will still mount to the stand with the gear down

 

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Andy

 

 

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Looking good :)  Weird about the magnets. Are there other Aoshima kits of the same type of ship? Maybe the parts can be interchanged or something.

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4 hours ago, Vanoyen said:

Looking good :)  Weird about the magnets. Are there other Aoshima kits of the same type of ship? Maybe the parts can be interchanged or something.

I'd initially thought it might interact with the other models from the same range, but they're all different scales so probably not. It may mention the reason in the instructions, but it's in Japanese so :shrug:

Of course, it might just be a standard case of JMCQ (Japenese Model Company Quirkiness)

 

Andy

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All hail the JMCQ.

Wow!

I also don't know that anime but this struck me as familiar.

Then there was a mention of Nausicaa (watched years ago) and that must be the link. 

It's an impressive looking beastie and will be all the better for your painting skills, Andy. 

I'm looking forward to more.

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This kit looks really fantastic, and a nice size to boot. Really looking forward to seeing what you do with this one. Those magnets are a bit of a mystery. They might perhaps come in handy in some capacity on another build...

 

edit: I like the mini little seaplane included too. Hadn't noticed the tiny propeller at first. 

Edited by R0ver

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Hi Andy,

 

I am a big fan of both your work (I'm a follower of your account on flickr and on http://www.themodellingnews.com/) and of the "Future Boy Conan" series. This series, a little gem of poetry and great directing from Sensei Miyazaki, it is quite famous in Italy to people, like me, who grew up in the 80s. The 'mistery' of the magnets and rear tail of the Giganto is explained in the second to last episode (25th episode) of series:

 

__SPOILER__

 

To make a long story short, the evil guy of the series, Lepka, decides to split the giganto into pieces (the technology in the Miyazaki-universe, e.g. Laputa, is quite 'modular') in order to kill his enemies, one of the part he chooses to split is the rear engine and tail.

 

 

Below a video that show what is happening:

 

 

 

 

Since this series was my favourite when I was a kid I'm really curious to see your interpretation of this particular iconic airplane! Keep up the good work!

Edited by BackToZeon

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Ah, that makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for posting the video. There are some very useful references in it, that will come in handy.

Aoshima have moulded the small cabin on the tail fin in clear plastic, which again makes sense.

 

Thanks again for the vid.

 

Andy

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On 17/08/2017 at 8:18 PM, AndyRM101 said:

Aoshima also do a ship, and a very cool looking seaplane from the same series. I'll definitely be ordering the seaplane once I've finished this one

 

36464125932_a09a1428c3_b.jpg

 

 

Were the proud parents the Saunders Roe SR.A/1:

 

71-1.jpg

 

And the Hunting H126:

 

1285738-large.jpg

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5 hours ago, AndyRM101 said:

Ah, that makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for posting the video. There are some very useful references in it, that will come in handy.

Aoshima have moulded the small cabin on the tail fin in clear plastic, which again makes sense.

 

Thanks again for the vid.

 

Andy

My pleasure, sir! :-)

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22 hours ago, Richard E said:

Were the proud parents the Saunders Roe SR.A/1:  And the Hunting H126:

Miyazaki does like his aircraft, so I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't at least aware of both of them. There's certainly some resemblance to the H126.

 

Most of the filling/sanding is done on the wings now, although I imagine there'll be some spot filling required once I've got some primer on to test the seams. The nose and tail engine are also on, but before I go any further, I've got to make some decisions about the kit options.

 

Firstly there's a nose mounted cannon (I'm assuming it's some sort of gun, at least). You can either cover the opening with a panel...

 

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...or leave the panel off and fit the gun

 

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I like the gun, and will probably go with it fitted, but the thing that's putting a doubt in my mind is whether it's going to throw the scale effect out. The ship's meant to be 1/700, and at that scale the bore on the gun would be about 700mm, which seems a tad excessive.

 

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The other option is to have the landing gear down, and I've got the same concerns with that. you can either go with the single part closed gear doors...

 

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... or fit the open doors and the landing gear. Now, if this was a Bandai kit, you'd probably be able to switch between the two, but with this you can't. The gear legs are just a butt joint onto the bottom of the hull, and need to be glued in place.

 

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I was intending from the start to go with the gear down, but that scale thing is putting me off again. The wheels measure 9mm in diameter. In 1/700 that would work out at about 20 feet. I know this is just anime, but 20 foot diameter wheels seem a little unrealistic to say the least. I'm just think it will make it look like a smaller plane done to a larger scale, if you see what I mean.

 

I'm also not sure if I like the look of it on the stand with the wheels down

 

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Having the gear down would give me the option of displaying it without the stand, but I think it looks a bit ungainly on the ground. Also, it would need to land pretty much horizontal to the runway to avoid ripping its gear doors off

 

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So, overall I'm edging towards having it with the gear up, as I think it looks more graceful, and more in-scale that way. As always, I'm open to opinions though.

 

Andy

 

 

 

Edited by AndyRM101

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The below specific part of the 6th episode can provide you some advice in deciding if it makes sense to keep  the giganto's gear up or down. From the frames it seems the landing gear doors are smaller than the one provided with the Aoshima kit.

 

 

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The landing gear is really nice looking with all the wheels, but personally I'd most likely go without them as it looks much sleeker. Although I do tend to prefer craft in flight most of the time so what do i know. Either way, I'm positive it'll look superb. 

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Thanks Kev,

 

I've pretty much decided to go with the wheels up, as I think that's the best look for it.

I'm just in the process of getting it prepped for paint, although I may have got slightly distracted by painting some blue stripes on a YT-1300 :penguin:.

 

Andy

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Looking forward to your latest painting masterclass yet again Andy, and definitely wheels up imho on this strange beast. The burning question of the day is though, how's Nigel these days and will he be helping out at all? He,he. Cheers    

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Just seen this one Andy, the perils of having a holiday!

 

Great start and a nice looking kit, reminds me a little of a Vulcan bomber.

 

I'm with picard and looking forward to how you go about painting this one.

 

 

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On 23/08/2017 at 00:07, picard said:

how's Nigel these days and will he be helping out at all?

Nigel's always loitering around somewhere, up to no good usually. He'll no doubt make an appearance at some point.

 

On 23/08/2017 at 13:32, Madmonk said:

Great start and a nice looking kit, reminds me a little of a Vulcan bomber.

 

Yes, there's definitely a bit of that going on with the intakes and the 'canopy' bit.

 

So, the Gigant's ready for paint now. In fact I've already started, but I'm slightly behind with the updates, so I'll just show where I was up to before painting commenced, and get on to the painting steps tomorrow.

 

The engines are built up, but I'm going to leave them off for painting as I need to paint the ribbed inserts on the wing trailing edge in a different colour to the rest of the airframe, and having the engines separate will avoid a lot of masking. The location points of the wings for the engines have been covered with masking fluid

 

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The protruding gondola/cabin thing on the tail comes in clear plastic, presumably so you can mask off the glazed parts. That's not really an option though, as it's made from two halves with a resulting seam down the middle that needed some filling and sanding. As a result I'm just going to paint strait over it with the main colour, then pick the windows out in black or blue.

There's a little bump on the bottom of it to represent the small turret, and I did momentarily consider adding two barrels to it, but in this scale I think it would be pointless. Even very fine stretched sprue would look over-scale, and probably get knocked off immediately.

 

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At the nose end, I've drilled the holes a bit deeper which, thanks to the above video, did indeed turn out to be windows, or portholes I suppose. After the painting's done I'll add a drop of kristal klear to each one to simulate glazing

 

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I can't help feeling that these don't exactly give the best visibility for the crew, although I am quite taken with the captain's very nice comfy chair

 

Nobody expects the Spa... Oh bugger!

 

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The last things to do were add the antennae to the nose...

 

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...and these little whiskery things on the wings. You get a choice of two styles, with the prongs in different positions, so I assume they're meant to be some kind of trim vanes

 

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So this is how it was last night, all ready for the first base coat

 

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That first base coat, along with some further painting happened this afternoon, but I'll post all that tomorrow.

 

Andy

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Now there's an element of suspense! I think you're making the right calls with the scale, keep it as restrained as possible. Maybe a small base for the stand with some hedgerows or a slice of etched 1/700 railway track (that must exist surely, for dockside dioramas) on an embankment would be a nice - and very Miyazaki - touch?

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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:blink2: :blink2: :blink2:

 

  • Blimey - what's this?
  • Yet another sci-fi thing I've never seen before - I must be living a very sheltered life still at 50...
  • You have to give it to Aoshima - they certainly know how to produce superb kits - this looks amazing irrespective of the fact I have no clue it ever existed
  • really love it - cant wait to see more

 

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17 hours ago, Will Vale said:

Now there's an element of suspense! I think you're making the right calls with the scale, keep it as restrained as possible. Maybe a small base for the stand with some hedgerows or a slice of etched 1/700 railway track (that must exist surely, for dockside dioramas) on an embankment would be a nice - and very Miyazaki - touch?

Yes, I think doing something scenic on the stand would be a good idea. I was thinking of doing it part beach, part sea, as if it's just passing over the coastline, which would fit in with the theme of the show. Maybe add a small boat dragged up onto the sand for scale.

If it happens it'll be later on. Too many other things need finishing in the mean time.

 

So, I promised a paint update today, and the clock's saying 11:43pm, so I better hurry up.

 

I got the ball rolling with a base coat mixed from Gunze Dark Sea Grey with a couple of drops of Steel added to give it a slight metallic tone. I'd been undecided from the start whether to go with a metal finish or a grey paint finish, and this was something of a compromise

 

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And to be honest, when I'd done it, I wasn't keen, so I ended up going over it with a metallic anyway, Alclad Magnesium in this case

 

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I want to get a panelled look, similar to the box art, so I masked off a few areas and sprayed some Alclad Pale Burnt Metal

 

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After that some more panels were masked and sprayed with Alclad Dark Aluminium. I also sprayed the aluminium over engine nozzle

 

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You can probably see that some other random panels have been tinted. I've done this with some acrylic washes from Citadel and Vallejo, and some Citadel metallics. These were just brush painted on to break up the symmetry of the masked panels

 

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The neat thing with the Citadel washes is they dry matte, which tones down the Alclad without completely killing the metallic look. I'll carry on adding more tinted panels, then I want to start masking across the moulded panels to divide them up more,giving finer details, and hopefully making the whole thing look bigger. I might try sponging some washes on as well to break up the uniformity of the panels

 

36804302975_ef9e6dabc1_b.jpg

 

Oh well, looks like I've missed getting this posted on Friday by three minutes, but better late than never

 

Andy

Edited by AndyRM101

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That is looking well up to your usual standards.

Lovely stuff.

 

BTW, I liked Wills comment about the railway line.

There are almost always trains in his films.

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