PF-78-3A GUNDAM AMAZING RED WARRIOR | Custom Painted by Michaelangelo Flores
This build was an entry into Gundam Club Australia’s “Back to Basics” Build Off in February 2015. The whole idea was to take any kit of any grade and really emphasize refinement of basic skills such as cutting, nub and seam removal, panel lining, painting and other detailing. Although we could choose any grade, we were not allowed to modify, kit bash or pla plate as the theme was mainly out-of-the-box builds. Only painting, panel lining and decals were allowed as well as weapon swaps, nothing more.
The kit chosen for this project was the 1/144 HGBF Gundam Amazing Red Warrior. Due to the kit being very basic in features and construction, it seemed to be the appropriate kit to practice and refine the basics. Not a very flashy kit but it was appropriate in many ways seeing as though it was piloted by a very popular character and was treated to some good scenes in the anime it was showcased in.
Just a bit of background, the Amazing Red Warrior is the Gundam Build Fighters Try version of the PF-78-3 ‘Perfect Gundam III – Red Warrior’. The ‘Amazing’ variant only has some subtle changes such as the addition of hidden missile vents and other new weapons.
For a very simplistic and basic unit, this Gundam comes with an abundance of weapons, enough to run a small war. It comes with a forearm mounted beam saber with different sizes. The Hyper Bazooka, and Gunblade as standard as well as hidden missile vents on the body and Vulcans on the head and what appear to be another hidden projectile weapon on the shield.
Amazing Red Warrior also comes with a standard beam rifle, which can combine with another rifle to create a long sniper rifle or combine with a gatling gun. Another longer blade can also be attached in replacement to the shorter one on the Gunblade.
After test fitting, it appeared to have some major seam lines on the forearms, head, body and halfway down the calf armor as well as all the weapons. Cementing and puttying of these areas proved to be very effective as almost none of the seams are visible in the final product after priming and painting. The putty also worked well in filling some of the gaps created by the severe nubs around certain parts of the kit such as the shoulder boosters.
The rest of the kit seemed fairly straight forward and nothing fancy although this kit has a lot of weapons that can be attached as well as can interchange with some. The only gripe with it is the missile vents on the body because the skirt armor and the chest piece has to be removed and swapped over every time it needs to be ‘opened’.
Because the main body of the unit itself is rather basic, the articulation and movement is very stable with no parts falling off or even loose. Even the weapons on the backpack sit well and are interchangeable.
Painting and Detailing
It would only make sense for the Amazing Red Warrior to be painted red which may seem like it doesn’t give as much variety or options to play with. However, a lot of minor detailing sometimes makes the difference in presentation, as the unit itself actually showcases two tones of red. Most if not all of the kit was done with Tamiya spray cans, with Metallic Red used on the main body and then automotive paint used on the darker red on the armor pieces to emphasize the two tones.
The yellow parts were replaced with gold and the white was just left white. All the other minor details were hand painted such as the eyes, the detailing on the shoulder thrusters and the feet thrusters just to add a tad more detail. The joints and the rest of the grey pieces as well as backpack were done in Gunmetal.
The weapons were more of the bigger challenge in terms of painting. The base color was mainly done in Gunmetal, they were severely lacking in detail. Certain panels on the weapons were to be colored metallic silver just to emphasize more detail such as the blades, the bazooka and rifle barrels, etc. These were a challenge using spray can for all of them while using the liquid tape to mask certain areas and needed re-doing multiple times. Still some imperfections on the finished product but were not very noticeable in the photos.
Minor panel lining was done but was not too emphasized in order not to stand out too much apart from the red, which was intentional.
As a great way to add a whole new level of detail to any kit, decals have also been applied to each area which were mainly in white as it was mainly the only color to stand out on the red, which adds a bit of contrast. Although they were not very noticeable, both EFSF and Celestial Being decals were actually used.
The biggest risk was hand painting the ‘名人’ (Meijin) characters on the left shoulder and right leg, which were initially meant to be printed as custom decals but it was decided at the last minute to just take a chance and hand draw them on instead, which paid dividends.
Overall, the kit was a pleasure and breeze to build, of course giving more emphasis to be basics more than ever and did not deviate too far from the original color scheme. Weapons were the biggest challenge and almost no expense was spared in refining even the most minor details and even the most minor issues were sanded back, re-primed and painted over again.
On a personal note, I actually hated the design of this Gundam when it was first announced in Gundam Build Fighters Try due to it being very basic, boring and bland. However, after seeing the kit in person on the day the kit was actually released, it quickly grew on me. Also being a kit of ‘Meijin Kawaguchi III’ and the way it was dramatized in the show contributed to the selection of the kit as well.
Overall, very pleased with the project and excited to use the new skills learned from this one onto the next build.