I mentioned some time ago that I had plans for Gunpla projects, specifically some custom paintjobs. I spoke of my idea to turn the Freedom Gundam, the first model I built—not the V2 I built later—into a Decepticon, using a healthy amount of purple and metallic paints. I also spoke of my plans of overhauling the Deathscythe Hell build, since I was unhappy with the out-of-the-box kit.
That’s the model I’m talking about today as I’ve recently finished customising it.
As a Gunpla kit, the Beargguy III is a pretty simple model, very easy to put together but also very popular for custom jobs. Look up this model and you’ll find galleries of custom versions in a myriad of themes, with superheroes being one of the most frequent choices for schemes and modifications. In fact, it was on finding a custom Batman, Iron Man and Green Lanterns Beargguy IIIs that I decided this would be the right model to start, as its large pieces offered the greater ease in painting. The larger the canvas, the easier it would be to clean up any mistakes. At least that’s what I thought.
Before this, I had never used an airbrush or even thinned out acrylic paints. I only knew I had to do it, so I went on eModels and bought the paints I knew I needed for the job. I based the new colour scheme on the GeekOut South-West website, which is primarily black with grey striped or highlights and a big red circle as part of the logo.
With that in mind, I decided the colour scheme would be as follows:
- Black for the main body parts: head, legs, arms and body.
- Grey for the secondary parts: chest piece, mouth piece, feet, upper leg protectors, and shoulder guards.
- Red for all joints and smaller pieces, including the ribbon.
In this way the glossy red serves to highlight the other pieces,
Once I’d decided on this it was time to get to the painting.
I first painted the black pieces, knowing they would theoretically be the easiest, as they were large parts.
Following that were the red, and it surprised me when I saw just how many they were. Joints have multiple parts, which I had to separate so I could paint them individually, so that when they flex you see the same colour and not the model’s base pigment.
I left the grey ones for last and I discovered then something terribly important: it sucks to airbrush under false light. Under the lightbulbs at my place, which I’m slowly replacing for LED bulbs, it becomes really difficult to tell how well or badly you’re doing in the airbrush. Under natural light, however, it’s well, clear as day.
But once I finished the paint and assembled the little bear, which I’ve come to affectionately call Gary the GeekOut Bear, I realised that was something else to do: give him eyes. The base model comes with a set of stickers but they have one major flaw: they all include part of the eyelid, which is yellow, meaning I couldn’t use them as is for the black-headed Gary.
I tried adding the eyes with airbrush…bad idea. But, in a moment of genius, and because I had to restock on paints anyway, I ordered a bit more out of eModels and had them add the very-fine Gundam Markers, my sights set on the red one. Using these markers, I could fill out the eyes just as I wanted them to be, then use masking tape to cover them and repaint the head if I needed to.
And I had to, as it took some trial and error to get the eyes done correctly using the markers and I made more than one mess with them, resulting in a few experiments on how to properly do them without damaging the already painted faceplate. And when I ruined the already painted faceplate, it took some experimentation to see how I could protect newly minted eyes while I airbrushed the heads again.
But now the project is complete. I’m happy with the result, I think it came out wonderfully for my first foray into custom Gunpla and I’m excited to move on to the next project, the Decepticon Freedom, before I do my Gargoyle Deathscythe.
But I’ll let you know how those went when I’m done with them!