「毎日楽しいの為に」 Flawless Passion
During my childhood, I have built some Gundam models to play with on a few rare occasions. However, the series Gundam 00 revolutionized a number of things in my life. For one, it is the first Gundam series I ever watched every episode of, from start to finish. It made me a Gundam fan, got me into other anime, and of course, steered me into being a modeler. The HG Gundam Exia was the first model for me to go beyond a straight build. Looking up info on the internet, I painted, panel-lined, and even attempted modifications. That was over 6 years ago, using improper and makeshift supplies. I am still not a pro, but I have came a long way since then. Taking the very same HG Gundam Exia, I redid every piece. Here it is, my renewed HG Gundam Exia in 2015.
Front. The idea behind all this was to update my Exia to my current standard using all my available skills and see how much I have improved as a modeler.
Rear. I especially love Exia’s form and silhouette from the backside.
Upper body close up.
With regards to my progress and what I did, most of it was undoing my mistakes from before. I removed all of the old dirty paint by sanding down every piece, taking the opportunity to also sharpen the edges and shape certain parts. In fact, most of the blue, white, red, and yellow you see are actually the color of the bare plastic with only some partial painting and a layer of topcoat. The gray frame parts received a new coat of paint, the same color as the one I used before.
This photo above is perhaps my favorite shot of this photoshoot.
Another big change was the overhaul of the GN cords which were originally just stickers (except on the shoulders). I replaced those stickers with clear pla-plates with painted backsides to bring out a sense of depth on those parts. To speak of Exia also means talking about the GN Drive. The original was a single solid piece, so I modified it by adding in a clear green plastic on the inside and cutting off some areas to reveal it. And oh, I repaired all of the broken beam sabers.
Close up on the GN Drive.
The original beam saber was a single solid white piece, which I had painted the beam part of. Now, I actually have spares of the standard HG beam sabers so I made use of one.
I didn’t put much effort into updating the GN Blades (and also the shield, which I had forgotten to include in this photoshoot), since I don’t make much use of them. One of the reasons being that they are mounted in such a way that heavily restricts articulation. Perhaps if I do another renewal of this Exia in the future, I will make modifications including the GN Blades and Shield as a complete set.
Below, I have inserted the photos of my former HG Exia build around 2008. Underneath that set of photos is the new current build in similar poses. Personally, I am proud of my progress. As you can see, not only did my modeling skills improved, but so did my posing and photography skills.
Overall, I am very happy with my progress and improvements as a modeler over the past several years. However, I know that I can still be better and more can always be done to enhance a model further. Recently, I have discovered the wonders of pla-plates and I look forward to experimenting with that. Perhaps I will do another renewal of this HG Gundam Exia later on in the future and see again the progression of my modeling skills.