Sunday, May 31, 2015

[Project][WIP] Penelope Ep1: Model Comprehend 1/144 RX-104 Penelope Gundoom Inner Frame

Penelope Gundoom WIP#1: Inner Frame

Now that the runners are washed clean, it's time for my 1st step in to this project - the inner frame!

Naked Truth

A lot of you already know that Model Comprehend design their kits to be a tad different.  They don't just re-cast Bandai kits right off the bat but also adds extra details; adding a little of their spice in to the mix.  Well, given that the main mobile suits from the Hathaway's Flash story never got a Gunpla Kit treatment, they basically had all the artistic license to fully make the kits into plastic reality (but of course they basically are still unlicensed by Sunrise, etc).  On the RX-105 Xi, they outed the first HG with a significant inner frame.  Given that the Xi is just an improved version of the Penelope, it would not come as a surprise for them to get this one out as well.  And so to keep everything short, here we are, my first step in building this kit.

Knowing that it has an inner frame, I treated it like an MG and so I went ahead and build the inner frame first.  The good thing is that MC thought ahead and planned this kit pretty well.  Armor parts are intended to be snapped over the inner frame which means you can build the inner frame first and work on the armor parts later which I have done here.
 Reading the runner labels, the runners that carry the inner frame parts are marked with the RX-105 Xi name-label.  So this means that Penelope's inner frame still uses the Xi's parts - this move is actually wise because this means they never had to come up with a new frame design and make new casting molds when technically the Xi and the Penelope are the same on the frame level (though the Xi has the Minovsky Craft Flight system embedded on its inner frame).  I haven't gotten the Xi yet, but it should be the same one.
Though it is not evident on the pictures, I already airbrushed this with a Gunmetal color (Daryl's Spray (DS) - a very good hobby paint sold locally here in the Philippines).  It doesn't really depart much from the default grey color of the plastic, but it adds a metallic highlight that I want for an inner frame.
 Unpainted, the frame is stable as it is but painting makes the joints tighter, ergo making it more stable without creating stress marks.
 I haven't put the manipulators on yet, but the kit has 2 options for it:
  1. You can put the 1-1-3 setup (thumb, trigger finger, middle-ring-pinky in one piece)
  2. or you can use the swappable finger mount for a fixed open-palm or closed-fist 
I will show these manipulator options on future WIP logs
 One thing I am not quite sure of about this kit is the ball-joint that connects the head to the main torso.  I tried test-fitting it to the head itself and found that while it fits securely, it doesn't have a stopper that will prevent the ball-joint from going all the way through into the head cavity.  You have to make sure not to push the ball-joint too much or you will have a head that looks like that of Meryl Streep in the movie, Death Becomes Her.  But I think I can still do something about it, I'll just see if it will still be a problem once the head itself is fully built.
 The abdomen is also a separate part (well two parts joined together) with two ball-joints on top and bottom to connect the main torso to the hips of the inner frame.
The top ball-joint is longer compared to the bottom one and this is something to take care of.  Even when unpainted, it is already tight and does not connect properly if not forced in properly.  This causes stress to the ball-joint neck and may potentially break.  Given so, I will sand/file the ball-joint to make it fit easier and also I will put a small amount of epoxy putty to reinforce the ball-joint neck.  I should've done it before painting but any alterations to this part will be covered by armor parts so it shouldn't matter.
 The inner frame also has some pseudo-MG details like piston and hydraulic pipe details.  But they are all just static plastic pieces and their main purpose is just to restrict the knees from bending the wrong way.
By the way, you get to choose what kind of shoulder joint you are going to use.  The one I have put above is for accommodating the Minovsky Craft.  This part is basically half a centimeter longer than the other one and has two pegs to connect the Minovsky Craft to.  The other part is the shorter one (with no pegs for the Minovsky Craft).  This is if you want to showcase the kit primarily just in its Odysseus form (which is basically the Penelope in its basic mobile suit form).
Also worth mentioning is that the inner frame alone is already taller than my HG GP02.  Again this is no longer a surprise as in 1/144 scale, the frame is already around 18cm (though probably above 16cm to be more accurate) tall, so if only I have my RX-78-2 ver 3.0 built, I can do a quick height comparison.
Beside from those mentioned above, I don't have anything significant to point out about the inner frame at all.

Next Step

Now that the inner frame is technically done, I can now focus on the armor parts.
In the next step, I will be focusing primarily on the yellow parts of this kit.  I am planning to candy-tone them with a clear yellow automotive paint.  The Penelope has a lot of yellow parts which will be prominent in when completely built and so the same concept of 'contrast of textures' that I used for the HG GP02 MLRS will be used here.

That's all from me for this post - see you again next time!

*Next part of this build is here

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