As a kid before the Master Grades came out, I’ve always coveted the NG 1/100 Gundam Seed kits. Unfortunately I never got around to them, but then I didn’t need to since I already have all the MG versions. However, when Robo Toy Fest rolled around last time, I couldn’t resist grabbing this nigh-complete built kit for a mere $5. I figured it would do well for some paint practice and and custom work.
The original kit as we picked it up at RTF. It was strewn about in a big bin of old figures and toys.
The kit was in poor condition, but not completely horrid and irreparable. Just a missing polycap in the knee that could easily be replaced and a missing piece on the Assault Shroud backpack that I could remake out of pla plate. I’m not sure what other accessories it was slated to come with, but the Assault Shroud was complete minus that one piece, and I got the beam rifle, shield, and beam saber hilts, though no beams.
Started off sanding the regular Duel pieces down. I wasn’t going to paint all of the Duel, just the blue areas.
Since I also planned to fit the Assault Shroud over the original Duel and have it become removable, the pieces needed to be sanded down to make sure the paint doesn’t jam things up.
Working with the non-painted parts; everything was cleaned up (plenty of nubs and uncleaned parts on the original; also a very thick coat of dust on some parts) and touched up slightly with acrylics. Panel lined what I could as well.
Assault Shroud parts in the original bag that the kit came in; will get to these later after I put the original Duel together.
Coming together quite nicely.
Getting to the Assault Shroud and test fitting some pieces to make sure the paints don’t stick and peel off each other.
Unfortunately they did a bit. The cuff pieces on the lower arms got a bit stuck; the Assault Shroud took off a bit of the red on the original Duel, so I went back and touched it up a bit with some acrylic and varnish. This combo actually matches the sprayed red quite well, I was most surprised.
As I mentioned, this kit was missing a single piece besides the polycap – a fin-like protrusion that extended from the Assault Shroud armor on the back. I could’ve just left it and it wouldn’t have felt too out of place, but it provided for a good opportunity to experiment with pla plating. I had recently gotten my hands on my first set of pla plates – the varied thickness variety seen here.
I’ve had no experience with making scratch parts before, but this one wasn’t too hard. It doesn’t match the original perfectly, but it would do for what I wanted it for. Ended up working out well.
So about the color scheme. These were all the paints I used for the project, mostly Krylon with that gray at the end acting as primer for the red pieces.
The Testors Gold was new; I’ve been searching for a good gold spray paint for a while now, and it’s taken numerous cans and brands to finally get down to a good one that is Testors. I had mixed results at first, but it seems this spray requires very precise amounts, otherwise it’ll clog and pool really badly. You almost have to mist it on the piece, but it comes out looking brilliant.
It wasn’t intentional at first, but it seems that my Duel is actually loosely based on a little cameo suit that appeared in Gundam Build Fighters. After seeing this, I almost want to change my color scheme to match, but since everything was done I just left it as is.
And complete. I’ll be showing off the bare Duel first; Assault Shroud later. I love how it turned out; the red in favor of the blue worked out well, I think.
I chose metallic blue for the sensor areas, and by extension gave it a blue beam to wield. Given that it is an early 2000’s NG kit, the articulation is highly limited (I never appreciated how much my modern MG’s had until now) so the most it can really do is stand there straight and look cool.
The beam rifle was done in with metallic silver acrylic, and then filled in with clear blue to get the clear effect.
I went ahead and used acrylic gray to paint the underside of the shield, then coated it in some clear gloss. Unfortunately, I learned this way that gloss coat doesn’t work on matte paint – the gloss brings out all the imperfections on the matte, so I ended up with brush strokes and the like on the underside of the shield. Not a huge deal, live and learn I suppose.
That shield attachment is also modified from something I found in my spare parts box; I’m not sure what suit it belonged to originally but I went ahead and gutted it to move the peg so it would fit on the Duel. The original package didn’t come with a shield handle or attachment for the regular Duel, but it did come with the attachment handle for the Assault Shroud.
Rather difficult pulling off anything remotely dynamic when I can’t stretch the legs out uncannily wide. The kit does feel solid though, I’ll give it that. The less pieces there are, the less chances there are of the kit falling apart on you.
And onto the Assault Shroud armor. I didn’t really give much thought to the paint scheme – as I said earlier, I didn’t actually base it off of the Build Fighters suit, I more or less just went with the generic red and blue that’s pretty commonplace. All the orange bits were replaced with gold, the faded blue with black, and the dark gray with light gray.
Admittedly, it does look a bit odd when everything’s on. I probably should’ve either made the Assault Shroud armor dark red, or made the actual Duel’s body dark gray. Either way right now the black armor on a white suit underneath looks a bit off. Too much contrast to look natural.
I suppose in a way it makes the Assault Shroud look more like legitimate add-on armor, something that’s meant to be tacked onto the suit and purged later. The original Duel had the Assault Shroud look very integrated with the rest of the suit, be that a good or bad thing.
And of course, I went out of my way to paint all the missiles in the shoulder pod and made sure everything could still open and close despite the paint. This required some serious sanding.
Despite the topcoat and the gloss paint though (which as I understand is the toughest kind of finish – matte and flat finishes are very weak and subject to scratching easily) some areas still got a bit worn. Not a big deal since it is in obscure place where the armor wore down on some parts, but it’s there.
Also went ahead and detailed the bottom of the feet a bit, for no particular reason. Like the underside of the shield, this is another good way to prove that matte paint doesn’t go over well with gloss topcoat. It used to be nice and smooth, now all the brush marks are brought out. Sad days.
Compared with my MG Duel Assault Shroud. I never noticed how much of a facelift the MG got until I juxtaposed them like this.
So there it is, my first non-MG custom job. Since it was a $5 kit, it was more a guinea pig than anything else, though a valuable learning experience all the same. I’m generally pleased with how it turned out, and will keep it on display. This has actually gotten me in the mood for more stuff like this – if I can keep picking up dirt-cheap used kits and refurbish them, why not? I always see them around but pass them without a second thought. It would be nice to start a collection of repainted and re-done 1/100 kits…