VALKYLANDER GUNPLA CUSTOM JOURNEY

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Read time: 10 minutes

YELLOW EVERYONE, this is Unlock Project, we are pleased to bring you this week’s Valkylander Gunpla custom process. Although this was a crucial experience, let us show you how we destroyed a Gunpla and hopefully, you could take a page from our experience.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Big idea
  2. Tools and Paints
  3. Process: Sanding
  4. Process: Priming
  5. Process: Second round of sanding
  6. Failure
  7. Conclusion

(Disclaimer: we left Amazon affiliate links below as well, so if you like, you could shop from it and we may get a bit of financial help to keep doing what we do!)

BIG IDEA

So we did a straight build of this Valkylander quite some time back, intended as a gift, but the horrendous gold color has been bugging us ever since. So, we thought we could just get a spray can and cover the existing gold plastic with actual gold paint.

Our process was intended as per below:

  1. A. Purchase paints!
  2. Sand off any nub marks
  3. Sonic clean any dirt or dust off
  4. Prime the parts
  5. Second round of sanding
  6. Gold spray paint
  7. Panel lining
  8. Assembly

TOOLS AND PAINTS

First, we selected the canned spray paints due to the similarity of shade of gold to the animation, the same brand of primers and topcoat.

The idea was to keep the Gunpla as close to original as possible so we left the rest of the details such as the Gunpla SD eyes untouched and stickered. We did not jump straight into airbrushing due to our little experience with spray-painting. So, getting a spray can is a good start to see where our skills are. And getting an airbrush system can be quite expensive. We went to different local hobby stores and asked for the best gold spray can.

Our selection as per below: 

  1. Mr Hobby - Mr. Finisher Surfacer 1500 Black / Gray
  2. Mr Hobby - Mr. Color S009 Gold - (Metallic)
  3. Mr. Premium Topcoat Semi gloss


PROCESS: SANDING 

Sanding time! Using range of products

These products help to remove nub marks easily and prep the surface for priming. Especially the Dspiae ceramic file, this would be a recommended item for starters to save cost on always re-purchasing sanding papers and a durable solution. However, users are recommended to test their sanding strength before trying on plastic due to its quality grids.

PROCESS: PRIMING

A few key points while priming:

  • Ensure you have a spray booth or do it in a well-ventilated area
  • Wear a proper mask while spraying
  • Spray in one direction e.g. left to right, and a distance about 6 - 8cm away (for spray can) this is to prevent the primer pooling on the parts. 

PROCESS: SECOND ROUND OF SANDING

After priming this is where we look for any imperfection or shrinkage and another round of sanding. We found out that a lot of gold paints may cause shrinkage after drying, therefore be wary of your choices when deciding to purchase cheaper gold paints.

FAILURE

This is where things start taking a big turn. As the panel line was not carved properly, it resulted in paint pooling. Our follow-up wasn’t great either, we did not use proper thinner to remove excess panel lined liquid, the Hobbymio thinner came without grades and instructions for use.  The first 60 seconds didn’t seem to affect the paint job, so we soaked the parts in thinner for 10min, resulting in the plastic melting and deforming majority of the Valkylander parts.

CONCLUSION 

It is a very good learning journey. It taught us a lot of what can or cannot be done. 

Recommendation

Always planned on what you want to do from the start to the end. Have a very clear picture of every step before you make. For removing paints put the part into lacquer thinner for NO MORE than 10sec, remove it and take a soft brush to brush or napkin to wipe the paint off. Let the parts dry for at least a day before continuing your spray job.

PRO TIP: go to your local hardware shop or paint shop and get a gallon of AAA thinner. It works the same as a hobby thinner and the cost is way cheaper. It can even wash your airbrush too! 1 gallon of thinner can last you about 5 - 6 months.

Even though the kit has been badly destroyed, by the looks of the damage done by the thinner, an idea came to mind, reusing most of the parts in a diorama! So do check out our video here!

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