Real Grade Fever

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It’s Spring Break from school, which means an excellent opportunity to say, “screw studying and homework, it’s time to ‘pla out.”

The week before Spring Break, my buddies and I decided we would have a day of just building Gunpla. Naturally we needed the Gunpla in question to build, so we had initially eyed some HG 1/144 kits since they were cheap and easy.

After some deliberation however, we ended up going for the Real Grade line because…I’m not even sure what the reason was. We just decided to go for RGs for some God-forsaken reason, but hey Gunpla is Gunpla!

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Given the contents of what’s on this site, it can be pretty easily inferred that I don’t usually cater to RGs, or 1/144 scale kits at all for that matter. I’m proud to say that I currently own none, barring the RG kit I got today. But that doesn’t mean I’ve never built or collected 1/144 kits before.

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The above is my first and then-only Real Grade kit – the very first Grandaddy Gundam itself. I distinctly remember picking it up at the hobby shop because there wasn’t anything better or affordable. It was really just an excuse to throw my money away and get a kit to build.

I recall finishing the build that night and wallowing in an intense feeling of regret because the kit was so terrible and I messed up on it pretty bad.

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I won’t go into detail on what happened (too many painful memories) but I pretty much resolved never to get a RG again after that traumatic experience. It was a little after that incident that I decided on my MG-only policy, which still holds true to today.

P1060921Somehow though, I succumbed to the urges, and actually picked up another Real Grade kit – the RG Aile Strike Gundam. Make no mistake, I do not intend to start a RG collection, and have admittedly been eying this kit for quite some time only because it’s such a sexy iteration of my favorite mobile suit.

P1060920It goes without saying that my two other buddies picked up a RG RX-78-2 and a RG Gundam GP01 Full Burnen. Both their first times working on RG kits, with the latter a fairly inexperienced novice builder.

We had actually dedicated a day out of the week to building these kits when we placed the order a week in advance, but unfortunately the post office lagged a bit and was a day behind scheduled delivery. The kits didn’t actually arrive on the day of until around mid/late afternoon, so we only got a few hours in the evening to build together.

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Working on the Strike at my buddy’s house today, I remembered why I decided to stick to 1/100 kits. My no-sticker policy began to work against me when I realized just how microscopic the Strike’s eyes were (shown above painted with black acrylic and Craft Smart gold paint pen).

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My toolbox of wonders whilst working at my comrade’s house. Had the Gundam Build Fighters OST rocking out in the background to set the proper mood for the build.

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My friend went ahead and decided to be a bit adventurous by utilizing his new enamel paints to test out panel washing effects. The smell from these seriously reek though; I like my acrylics…

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Just about how far they got by the end of the night. My first comrade spent quite a bit of time messing around with the panel washing effects so he only got a leg of the RX-78-2 done, while my other pal built up a good portion of the GP01’s inner frame and had most of the legs under way. I know, quite unadventurous and uneventful, but we were cut short on time…

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I like to think I made some pretty decent progress by the end of the night. Could’ve built the head but I was missing the clear blue paint I needed to have on hand for the camera sensors. So far the build isn’t going too badly; admittedly I did have to glue several pieces in just because they were extraordinarily loose on the assembled kit, but overall my second RG experience isn’t proving to be nearly as bad as my first.

I expect to have my kit done well before the end of break, and hopefully get back to working on MG Sinanju as soon as I can. We probably won’t be building these kits together again (all finishing up at home) but look forward to individual reviews and photoshoots on each suit in the future!

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