Originally I was planning on doing a relaxed build without a WIP, but I’ve decided to start taking some photos along the way and can briefly mention some of what I’m doing on the Astray Red.
The main idea for this build is texture. I want to give the model some texture and bring it to life a bit. The Astray Red has lots of intermixed colors (especially in the legs) where there is a lot of red and white mixed together. Using this and the fact that most of the white is basically like armor, and the red is like the inner skeleton (although not entirely true, since this is a HG kit there really isn’t a separation of the two), I decided to roughen up the white armor part hoping to get an iron look, and I would treat the red parts as a shiny red metal.
This way, I hope the model appears like a shiny metal skeleton with heavy iron-like armor placed on top for protection. The texture would help make this separation, and I like variety. I think having a variety in texture on the model will be good.
But first, the initial build….
Here are a couple of photos on the initial OOTB build. I did very little mods / changes to the kit. I liked it how it was for the most part, and after doing a lot (in my opinion) of modding on the last kit, I just wanted something easier. Instead I will focus on the texture and paint job.
Nice looking model, but it looks like just that – a model. It looks very much like plastic (indeed, it is!). Let’s change that.
Texture and Weathering
For the texture, I wanted the white to have an iron heavy armor like look to it. (more to be added)
For painting, I wanted to try a pre-shade again (previous attempts were either the wrong pre-shade color or I painted over the pre-shade too much and it disappeared). I pre-shaded parts of the white using a dark red color I mixed together. It’s the same pre-shade I used on the Tallgeese, although it’s pretty much invisible on the Tallgeese.
This time, when I went over it with white, I was careful not to overspray and cover up all of the pre-shading.
For the inner skeleton, I wanted a nice metal look to it. I had previously seen a tutorial on a candy red finish using alclad II that I really liked and thought would go well with this. I decided to try it. Of course, I didn’t have Alclad II, but I did have Mr. Color Super Fine Silver – I thought I would just use that.
First I primed using Mr. Surfacer (1200 I think?). Then I did a gloss black coat (Mr. Color Black 02) following the tutorial.
Next, I did a silver coat using Mr. Color Super Fine Silver. It’s not quite as shiny as the Alclad II, but it was good enough to keep (I did order some Alclad II earlier today though! I will use it on the sword and compare).
I also did some masking of the parts I wanted to keep silver. I like to use the blue putty / tac / gum-like stuff as seen in the picture below – it’s much easier to move around and put into place than tape. You can make it fit into any shape and push it and flatten it until it covers what it should. I use a toothpick to poke it around and adjust it. Mine is actually “Mr. Almighty Clip II Part Fixing Rubber”, meant to be used for holding small parts onto sticks for painting. But, it works great for this as well! It’s good, cheap, and reusable.
Next comes the moment of truth! Clear red (Mr. Color Clear Red 47). I actually had a bit of trouble spraying this one – not sure if I had thinned it properly or if maybe it’s time to clean the airbrush…but, it turned out fine. I did have to do this in several coats, however. Normally I tend to do a pretty solid coat on the first pass over (I know I could do better by doing several lighter coats, but…that takes a lot of time!). This one took about three coats to get it covered – a heavy coat at first simply didn’t work. I guess when using these clear colors it requires multiple coats.
The following shows the final coat of red along with the white on the leg. The red turned out pretty nice I suppose, and the contrast between smooth and rough textures seems nice to me as well.
Making good progress! The red isn’t quite as shiny as the red in the tutorial, but then again the silver wasn’t as shiny either. I think the Alclad II must play a big role.
For the abdomen section, I first painted it using Mr. Color Chrome Silver (not very chrome-like though).
However, I decided I wasn’t too fond of it. So, I ordered some Alclad II paints! I mainly wanted them to do the sword, but ended up repainting the abdomen as well. I used Alclad II stainless steel (with an Alclad II gloss black base). I must say, the Alclad II paints are gorgeous. They are much more shiny than the Mr. Metal Color equivalents. The photo below does not do it justice. It really does look like stainless steel. Not to mention, Alclad II comes pre-thinned so it’s ready to airbrush right out of the jar. It sprays on very easily.
The chest, backpack, and similar items were done using Mr. Metal Color Dark Iron. For some reason, the Dark Iron was very very difficult to airbrush. It simply wouldn’t spray. I kept adding thinner and it got a little better, but I still never really solved the problem. I’m not sure why – there was a lot more thinner than paint by the time I was done (normally I keep it around 50/50 ratio and it sprays fine). So if you ever use the dark iron color, be sure to use lots and lots of thinner!
I did an enamel wash on the legs and used a fine tip gundam marker for bolder lines (on the head, for example). Started adding some decals.
The sword was done using Alclad II Stainless Steel. It’s quite shiny (more so than this picture shows). Definitely use Alclad II if you have the chance and want shine!
At this point, the project went on hold for about three months while I was out of town. When I came back, I was ready to get it finished and neglected some WIP photos as a result…..
I added a few more decals here and there and then went on to do some weathering.
For the weathering, I used Tamiya Weathering Master kits. I mainly stuck with rust and soot colors. I used the soot to just dirty up the white a bit, since it was textured already with some chips and such – the paint looked too clean. I tried to use the rust a little bit in the middle of the legs. The main issue I had with these kits was figuring out how to apply the stuff to the kit. It’s just kind of chalky like a pastel, but it doesn’t stick to the surface of the kit very well. A tip I received from a fellow modeler told me to try dampening the applicator stick and then try. This helps a lot! If you get it a little damp, then it is much easier to work with and get it to stick in place. It’s fine to get wet as well, since it will dry right up (so no worries if some extra gets damp inside the kit case – it won’t be ruined and can be reused). Just a little damp – that’s all. I just need to find a smaller, thinner applicator now. The one provided with the kit is a little wide and hard to work into corners.
The last new thing I tried was dry brushing (ex: see feet and all the silver marks on edges on finished kit). I really like the effects others can get with it so I just had to try. I’m not sure if my results are good or not though. I think some parts I over dry brushed and other parts I didn’t do enough. The part I had the most trouble with was when to know when the brush is dry enough to use. This is just something that will take a lot of practice for me to get right, I suppose.