Thursday, August 6, 2015

[Project][WIP] Penelope Ep5: Sealing and Finishing the MC Penelope

Penelope Gundoom WIP#5: Seal the Deal!

It's now time to finally seal the hard work to its immortal state!

Final Stage

The last log ended with the decalling of the kit.  Again, this kit has a lot of decals (water-slides), Ver.Ka-level to be exact, which adds to the overall detailing of this model.  And so, it is important to protect all the hard work you invested in this, from the paint up to the decals.
But before proceeding to the final coat, I first sprayed another good coat of clear gloss coat over the models, specially on the decals.  I used Bosny Clear to protect the decals with a clear lacquer coat.
It also worth mentioning that I let the decals set first for at least 12 hours, letting both the decals and the decal solutions I used to properly cure.

Sealing the Final Look

Once the final clear coat has cured (around 12 hours as well), it's time to seal everything in.  Now, this sealer coat, or as the GunPla community like to call it, top coat will determine the final look of your model.  Some will just leave the model as it is, smooth and glossy and some never do any top coating at all.  For me, I treat GunPla as I would with military models.  You should not make any military vehicle glossy or shiny whatever your reason may be.  Being shiny in the middle of a battlefield will make you the main target of any enemy, at any range.  Given so, for GunPla, 99% of the time I always go for a flat or matte finish.  For this, I will need a flat clear coat.

For my recent GP02 MLRS build, I also used a flat finish for the main armor parts like is seen below:
I used a decanted Bosny Flat Clear, and sprayed it thru my airbrush to make a good and even finish.
Here is the sample of the finish again:
One thing to note is that when you will be finishing with a flat finish, your colors will tend to become half a step brighter/lighter than how it is while it is still glossy.  This is just normal due to the matting/'flattener' pigments in the paint which tend to be whitish.  With this in mind, this would also help you determine how subtle or evident you will want your shading to be while you are still in the painting stage.  If you want a subtle shading at the end, you will have to blend the gradients even finer.  If you want to make the shading more visible, adjust the gradient in such a way that the shadows will be darker.

Back to the flat finish.  This time, instead of using Bosny's Flat Clear, I came upon another flat finish you can use for your models.
There's this hobby shop that set up a new branch near our place (Fisher Mall, Quezon City, Philippines).  The shop is JMN's Hobby and I have been buying a lot of modelling tools and supplies for a few months now.  Their main store or rather first store is located in Harrison Plaza (a mall).  This mall is hard to commute to from my place so I usually have my products shipped to me for a very small price.  But then they decided to cater to us hobbyists here in the North Metropolitan Manila area and now, I have a hobby shop that I can visit in person and get whatever I want.  One of JMN's best offering is its Alclad II lacquers.  JMN is an official distributor of Alclad products here in the Philippines, which is also mentioned in Alclad's website.  I have bought all my Alclads from them since I started using Alclads.  With the new branch opened, they also came with a new haul of Alclads for me to get.  On my latest visit to the shop, I got a tamiya kit, hobby supplies and alclad products and luckily they now have a stock of the Alclad product that I have been waiting for:

This is Alclad's Klear Kote Flat.  I have seen this used by another youtuber/builder vegeta8259 and he mentioned he liked the results of this product.  I couldn't agree any better as the results he had were without any doubt great.  From the results you will see later, I guess you will also agree why I will be making this product my main flat-coating supply from now on.

Some notes about the product:
  1. Alclad Klear Kote Flat is an enamel-based paint.  The main carrier is 'mineral spirits', which is used for oil/alkyd-based paints.  Also the bottle is not a glass bottle, rather just a plastic bottle like what Alclad Gloss Black Base uses (which is also an enamel).
  2. Make sure to shake this product thoroughly before using it.  The matting pigments tend to clump and settle at the bottom.  Make sure to shake the bottle properly and make sure that the pigments will get broken down evenly as you want an even amount of matting pigments per load. 
  3. Due to its slower drying time, it is advised to apply your second coat (if you need to) after 10 minutes.  1 hour drying time is also recommended before handling the piece again.
Using those pointers, I loaded it up in my airbrush and sprayed away.
This is the 'before':
Notice the evident shine and gloss of the part.  Without the shading, it will look like a mere plastic piece.  Using the Klear Kote Flat, here is the result:
With the flat coat, we killed the glossiness and turned it into something more realistically-looking, the way it should be for military armor units.  I only used a single semi-thick coat and everything was looking great.

I first assembled the mobile suit in its Odysseus Gundam form, or in other words, the Penelope without the Minovsky Flight Craft System/Unit.  I liked what I see so far, I might have to give myself a pat on the shoulders for a job well done so far :)
Here are the crappy shots I took with my phone's cam under bad ambient lighting LOL:

I would say it looks pretty nice.  I am really excited on putting the model in its final form, the Penelope.
Next log will most likely be the Photo Ops shots of the finished model to wrap things up :D
I hope this continues to share new things to people.  If you'd still like to, stick around for the final reveal (and probably review) of the Penelope!

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