At long last, I now have the skills and ability to challenge what to me was the most difficult part of building this Master Grade Gundam Exia, painting the blue armor pieces in the color I envisioned. For years since I began building Gundam models, I only had access to a limited selection of colors from spray paints oriented for DIY use. But now I have access to an airbrush along with the proper paints for hobby use, thanks to my friend Blitz-X.
These are the pieces in question. A couple years prior, I had tried to work with a couple of the pieces but given up. First, I needed to undo the damages done, and then prepare the rest of the blue armor pieces.
This was my first time working with an airbrush. I had only practiced a little bit just to get the feeling of how to use the tool. The first layer I sprayed was a coat of Mr.Surfacer across all of the pieces.
Next, I took several bottles of paint and mixed my own unique shade of blue. Here is the color recipe. All paints are from Mr.Hobby’s Mr.Color.
- C80 コバルトブルー Cobalt Blue
- C67 パープル Purple
- C34 スカイブルー（少量） Sky Blue (Small Amount)
A mid-progress check, comparing my own build of the MG Exia (right) versus my friend Blitz-X’s build of his MG Exia RII.
In addition to painting with an airbrush, I had other special ideas for my MG Exia. I bought this sheet of Mirage Green reflective sticker from HIQ Parts, a company that makes lots of awesome supplies for modeling. Not only is this sticker sheet highly reflective, but the color changes depending on the angle you look at it. The base color on top of which the sticker sits on also affects the resulting reflected color. For my Exia, I placed these stickers as the eyes on top of a black base coat.
Here is the Clear Hologram Finish (TF15) from Hasegawa Trytool. Quite a pricey item, but this is a transparent film that reflects off a rainbow effect. There is also a non-transparent version.
With the Clear Hologram Finish, I placed them out the clear green GN Condenser parts throughout Exia. When a strong enough light hits the pieces in the right angles, it reflects off a beautiful rainbow sheen. Very subtle perhaps, but it is a detail I like a lot. The film is extremely thin and capable of being stretched. Therefore, I was able to place them over the curved clear green parts while avoiding any winkles and deformation.
Lastly, I felt that the neck of this Master Grade was a tiny bit too short, so I made a minor modification by lengthening the neck by about 1 mm.
Another progress check. Here, painting all of the blue pieces were done and just getting started on the weapons, the last remaining part of this model kit. The airbrush was simply amazing and very simple to use. I am astonished at the quality of the paint job that I was able to achieve with it, despite me being inexperienced with the tool. So next up are the weapons, another iconic point of the Gundam Exia. Let’s see what I can do.