1/100 Turn A Gundam TAKU Custom

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Haven’t done a 1/100 custom in a while, but I haven’t given up on growing the line quite yet. This is an older project I finished up quite some time ago, but in keeping with tradition I’m only getting around to writing this up months after I’ve completed it. Come summer though, I should have much more time to keep things well and updated.

straightI’m pretty sure I got this guy off eBay for around $7, if I remember correctly. As usual, it was straight built and came as-is; there didn’t seem to be a lot missing and it looked like nothing was actually broken on the kit, which was a pleasant surprise.

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Surfboard shield and beam tazer rifle all included. The seller didn’t seem to realize that the butt of the rifle was actually missing; I didn’t even notice until i referenced some online images of the original kit.

P1130047I’m actually not too familiar with the Turn A’s base design (I’m sure plenty of people would rather not be familiar with it) since I haven’t even gotten around to watching the series yet.

I don’t dislike it though; the mustache is honestly a nice unique flair, and I’m digging the no-nonsense conservative structure of the suit as a whole.

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Breaking it down. For an older 1/100 kit, the proportions are actually pretty on-point. I could only spot minimal differences between this kit and the Master Grade with just them standing stoic, though articulation is a whole other category entirely.

P1130187I really like the round ball-like design and assembly of the head. The eyes are also satisfyingly huge. Had to obligatorily sharpen the v-fin mustache.

P1130188I didn’t even know this Gundam had such a grunt-tastic feature in its chest. I always figured missiles like this to be kinda mook weaponry (reminds me of the missiles strapped on the Zaku II’s legs I think) but I’m sure they’re some super-powerful nukes or whatever in the series proper.

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Frankenstein’d during the refurbishing process. I call it…Turn Arm Gundam!

P1130190Did some minor experimentation with seam-line removal here, using some new actual Tamiya Cement. Apparently this hexagonal orange bottle is what you’re really supposed to use for seams; the Mr. Cement I’ve been using is thinner cement meant to leak between pieces to fill them in.

P1130191As I’m basing this custom off the Turn A that appeared in Gundam Build Fighters Try, it should’ve been a simple matter to just paint all the white parts black and call it a day.

P1130193I decided that I wanted to go a step further and make the kit stand out just a bit more though, and decided to do a two-tone black. It would be hardly noticeable, since I’m using regular flat black and Tamiya’s NATO Black, but worth a shot nonetheless I thought.

I had originally marked most of the pieces off with marker with a “B” to indicate the areas I wanted as regular black, and everything else would be NATO Black. This would of course, mean a lot of masking work, but the Tamiya masking tape I’ve been working with is actually a godsend.

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Surprisingly nice clear yellow piece given for the crotch/core fighter. The pilot detail is even molded in on the white.

P1130194Turn A has some crazy geometrical designs adorning its limbs and panels. I was originally going to mask a lot of it off and do some crazy two-tone black work, but eventually got lazy and simply started spraying the individual parts different tones instead.

P1130195Too bad I couldn’t really do any seam-line removal for parts like these because I had to keep the white halves open to insert the mechanical gray bits inside and in between. I could’ve sealed the armor and masked the gray for painting, but I was willing to take the seams for ease of paint application.

P1130197Classic 1/100 fare – the lower legs are just a gray piece, polycap, and two outer halves. The gray bit actually has an extending gimmick though, it’s not bad.

P1130199I probably could’ve left the rifle as it were without the missing butt, and I honestly didn’t even know Turn A’s design well enough to notice it on first glance, but a missing part would’ve still bothered me to no end. As such, it was time to break out the pla-plate.

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Thankfully, the missing piece in question was actually really simple.

P1130201It was basically a hollowed out parallelogram that had to slide forwards and backwards to cover the secondary handle near the end of the rifle.

P1130202Admittedly though, it did take me at least two tries to get the sizing exactly right. Small bits of pla-plate were added to the tips to ensure the cap wouldn’t fall off constantly when sliding out, but it’s still a hair’s away from Bandai’s original mechanism that allowed it to lock in place. It’ll still fall off if it slides all the way out, but it’s fine otherwise.

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Bit rough around the edges right after cementing it together, but some gratuitous sanding more or less fixed it up.

P1130204From what I’ve seen of the original piece, it didn’t have much panel detail in the first place, so I didn’t feel so bad that it looked super white and plain against the rest of the rifle. It should blend right in when painted.

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Throwing them on toothpicks for paint prep.

P1130206Starting off with some NATO Black. In the light, it’s clear that it isn’t pure black. It has more of a greenish tinge to it.

P1130207The chest bit here really hurt me. I went through an absolute nightmare trying to get this thing right. It’s all one piece, but the cross in the center is supposed to be yellow while the rest of it should be black. Sounds like a no-nonsense simple masking job right?

P1130208This is when I was still using the bloody damned Testors masking tape. It’s like sticky cardstock I swear; it’s so stiff it’ll start peeling and jutting up within minutes of laying it down.

P1130215Note how the masking tape in the center is already starting to peel. I painted the entire piece glossy yellow first, then masked the center cross to paint the rest black.

P1130216Upon peeling the tape…it doesn’t look too bad, right? The bits at the edge where the tape raised are where it really bothers me though. It shouldn’t have been difficult to achieve some perfect lines, but Testors let me down.

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This was before I really looked into paint removers, and I was pretty fed up with this one trouble piece so in a fit of insanity I took a plastic cup and poured in all of my Testors cement, as a way to kinda get rid of the stuff because I was done with Testors and had already switched to Tamiya cement. I then proceeded to soak the piece in the cement-filled cup, since I knew cement melted spray paint (found out the hard way before).

P1130220It was objectively a pretty terrible idea, and I’ve since actually gotten some more legit paint remover, but hey it kinda worked. The paint melted right off (along with a gratuitous amount of plastic) and left the final base piece pretty gnarly and rotten. It still had a nasty texture even after a fair amount of cleaning, filing, and sanding, but I had gotten it back to a paint-able state.

P1130225Trying again with some much better tape. I’m now super biased towards Tamiya and maintain that Japanese modeling products are just objectively better than their wannabee American counterparts.

P1130226Oh my god it’s soft and sticky is this heaven because please don’t wake me up.

P1130233It’s clean! So damn clean! Note the nasty texture of the piece in general thanks to the cement-melting acid; I didn’t care to sand it anymore, but at least the paint lines are crisp now.

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Gloss black for the eyes before a coat of silver and clear orange on top. I didn’t actually have metallic orange handy, so I had to improvise…

P1130211While all the black on the suit would be a uniform matte, I decided to mix finishes a bit and keep everything else glossy, like the yellow and red bits.

P1130212The mechanical detail parts were all done in a flat gray, as opposed to my usual inner-frame gunmetal.

P1130213Flat black. Too bad a lot of the panel detail is a bit lost with this darker color, but I’m not about to panel-line the whole kit in silver.

P1130210Those pesky parts I couldn’t put up on toothpicks (this was before I had those handy alligator clips I used on the recent Beargguy F) had me flipping them ’round and ’round to spray all corners.

P1130214Yes, the red and yellow parts on the kit were already red and yellow…but I painted over them in the same colors anyway if only so I can say it’s a fully painted build.

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That little “v” carved in the forehead is actually a really nice detail that I dig a lot, even if I don’t know the meaning behind it. Nonetheless, it was supposed to be filled in orange so I slapped a blob of orange acrylic on there and wiped away the excess to achieve the desired effect. It was actually tougher than I thought, since some of the paint that was supposed to stay in the lines kept coming off when I wiped the excess away, so it took several tries to get it just right.

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I’m probably never going to open the chest missiles ever again after this review but I figured what the hell I’ll do them in red. It actually looks really good; the level of detail there is pretty impressive.

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And finally the beam sabers…a really funny story – the original kit didn’t actually come with these sabers. Note how the beam and handle are all molded as one in clear pink. The Turn A I received actually only came with the saber hilts, which were unorthodox in that they didn’t have slots to put beams into. They were just hilts to be stored on the back of the shoulders, nothing more. None of my beam effects from other kits were compatible with the hilts, so I basically couldn’t give Turn A beam sabers unless I taped beams to the hilts (which I did for a few shots shown below before I got these).

But then, when I ordered another 1/100 kit off eBay – an old HG Endless Waltz Serpent Custom – it actually came with a whole mess of random extra parts that I assume the seller just wanted to get rid of. Lo and behold – it happened to come with the sabers I was missing from this kit that I bought so long ago! The chances of a completely random second kit coming with the missing parts for a previously purchased unrelated model should’ve been absolutely nil, but hey luck is a funny thing sometimes. As such, it was a quick job to just mask these beams and paint the hilts black for some proper saber armament.

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Black is sexy, and therefore by extension so is Turn A. Kind of. I did say I liked the design more than most, but it still isn’t mind-blowingly gorgeous.

The articulated hands and fingers are still pretty loose even with several coats of paint on them. It can barely grip the shield and rifle normally.

P1130488I honestly have no idea where those white specs came from. I only sprayed white like on one piece as primer, though I guess I must’ve forgotten to move some of the black pieces away when I was doing so. Either way, wasn’t a big enough deal for me to go back and fix. I’m pretty pleased with how the new rifle butt came out though, not that it was difficult in the first place.

Turn A’s rifle is very…unique. The remade butt section is supposed to slide back to reveal a secondary handle that Turn A can grip more like a cannon. I actually prefer it held like this because it just looks cooler, though I dunno

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And because two handles wasn’t enough, there’s yet another for when Turn A’s heading off to work in the morning.

P1130496I like how the rifle and shield can be stored on the back, but it actually came missing one of the rifle racks. The piece in question was a bit more complex than I could easily scratch out of pla-plate, but thankfully the rifle can stay pegged on with just one rack.

P1130502There’s actually no areas to connect a stand to, so stuff like this was more difficult than it looks.

P1130503Turn A’s articulation isn’t spectacular – in fact it’s anything but. The elbows and knees are fairly standard for their time and what I’ve come to expect from kits like these – at most a 90 degree bend, points if any more. The ankles are what really grind my gears though; they’re simple ball joints but because of the design of the feet and the elongated lower legs it’s hard to get anything out of that area.

P1130497The two beam sabers are stored behind the shoulders, where they’re capable of sliding out as just bare hilts. As I mentioned above, they aren’t actually compatible with any actual beams.

I kind of wonder if these sabers actually belong to the original 1/100 Turn A kit or if they’re from another suit that share the same type of sabers. Either way, they work pretty well here, though once again the playability suffers from the fingers being so loose.

P1130504Nipple missiles away! The two smaller sections under the bar of the cross on the chest are actually also supposed to be missile bays, though they’re too small for actual opening mechanisms. Bandai remedied this by including two swappable “open” configurations of the missile bays, but the original seller didn’t include them so I just glued the closed caps in.

And because I had the Beargguy F in my possession for a bit before…

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W-WHAT?!

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JIGEN HAOH SCHOOL!

P1130511SOTEN GUREN-KEN!!

P1130499TAKU’s surf technique doesn’t actually work either, unless he had a ridiculously oversized shield…

P1130494I’m actually not too pleased with this particular kit; as with all these 1/100 customs, it was another test-bed guinea pig for a plethora of plastic modeling techniques, and while at the end of the day I don’t think there are many super-obvious screw ups on the final product, I’m just left dissatisfied with my work. The base kit itself wasn’t great, but I’ve seen much much worse.

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