Having already built the Gundam Barbatos 1/100th scale kit, and now moving along with my second in that scale from the Iron Blooded Orphans series, I do believe Bandai has hit on what I think is a perfect mix for a kit.
While having a full inner frame as a Master Grade Gunpla model does, the overall parts count is lower, and the assembly of the 1/100th IBO kits is a bit simpler. They have somewhat less articulation, gimmicks, and color separation, though I see it as a fair trade off in price.
I actually found this one on Ebay for $16.99, which is really remarkable for a new kit of this scale. (Typically you can find them in the $25-$30 range.)
When I first started watching IBO, I can’t say I was much of a fan of the McGillis Fareed character. And even by the end, I still wasn’t. But, as so many characters on those MSG series are wont to do, he grew on me. And when his spanky blue mobile suit showed up for a really crazy price, I figured “why not”?
Part of what I enjoy about this Gunpla series is that I can fully build the inner frame, then prime, paint, and weather it. I tested that theory on the Barbatos, and it worked very well. And by making sure I use washes and weathering techniques that are Bandai plastic friendly, I didn’t have to worry about parts exploding.
I can then move on to the armor, priming, painting, and even doing initial washes and weathering off the frame, and bring it all together near the end for final weathering and finishing.
Getting To Work
So far, I’ve gotten a good start on this kit. All of the inner frame parts are assembled and primed. The initial paint coat was A.MIG-908 Gray Base from Ammo of Mig’s Realistic Robots set. I then drybrushed the torso and head with neutral gray from Vallejo. A few bits were painted with Citadel’s Leadbelcher, and the red was Vallejo’s Gory Red from their Game Colors range. The yellow bits on the frame were a mix of Vallejo’s Game Color Yellow Gold (or Gold Yellow…. something like that) and Vallejo Iraqi Sand. The “eye” had a foil sticker, but I used a thinned solution of the Yellow Gold… errr….. Gold Yellow… whatever, and that worked OK. I probably need to tidy it up a bit. (I’m sure I’ll remember to do so. Must make a note of it… oooh… shiny object!) 🙂
Next up will be following the same process on the rest of the inner frame.
I will stick with canon colors for the armor, and my plan is to only lightly weather it. McGillis seemed a bit too metro to let his mobile suit get too dirty. The hardest part will be remembering the “lightly” part when I do the weathering.
I am looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. I think the designs of the IBO series really break out of the traditional mold of the mobile suits that are the focus of most Gundam anime series. Apart from Barbatos, the rest present a wide variety of proportions, shapes, and features.
Do take a look at these kits. They are an excellent value!