1:144 Sumo

The Project

Recently the Hero Legends group delivered their subtitled version of Turn-A Gundam, and so I was able to see this most eccentric of Gundam series at last. At first my interest in the show was almost a morbid curiosity – I knew the show by reputation and I knew its designs (I already liked a few of them by that point, but still had my doubts about the show itself). But as I watched the show it really grew on me, and awaiting new episodes became the most exciting part of my anime hobby. So it won me over, I bought the kits, and I started thinking about projects. In particular, Otakon was fast approaching and I wanted to have something Turn-A related ready for display. But what to build? The 1:100 scale kits are great, but they also have some issues of their own, which could potentially be very time-consuming, especially since I know I’ll want to get those particular kits right. I decided to go with the 1:144 Sumo, which is one of my favorite subjects from Turn-A Gundam… in fact, it is the Turn-A Gundam, or at least it could have been. I’ve decided to do the silver type, because I like the red/silver combination and I’m looking forward to using this project as an opportunity to try out Alclad Chrome paint.

Early Work

Before I started tracking the time spent on this project I did some reasonably substantial work. I modularized the shoulder armor so it could be removed and painted separately from the shoulder, I cut out the poorly molded detail from the upper arm so I could replace that, and I had begun tinkering with crude prototypes for the new arm parts. I had also glued some parts together, and already faced a problem with the hip pegs – one broke off, and I repaired it. (It’s very good to have that behind me! It’s not hard to fix that stuff but it can be time consuming, and much better to not have that at a critical time…)

The Plan

It is fortunate that I’ve already completed a few of the small but important tasks of this project. From here I intend to replace the elbow joints with large, spherical hinges, make the hands look better (without replacing them outright) and do a reasonably good job on any sink-holes or seam lines, so that the Alclad Chrome will look good on the surface.

About Alclad

Alclad metallic paints are probably the best metallic paints out there for modelers right now. They’re available in a wide range of colors (at least three varieties of “Aluminum” alone). I honestly can’t say how they compare to products like Model Master Metalizer or Gunze’s Mr. Metal Color – I haven’t worked with those products. The only metallic paints I’ve used so far have been from the regular product lines. But I’ve heard that Alclad’s good stuff and so I’m excited to try it.

About Spherical Joints

Since I started in this hobby I’ve done a lot of experimenting with option parts. One of my favorites is the Wave L-Joint #3. It’s a polycap joint which comes with plastic cover parts that completely encapsulate the joint inside a sphere. You can then seat the joint into a part on your model – the spherical shape can be used to provide a smooth transition between parts, but since it’s a functional hinge, too, the parts can be mobile – but that continuity will never be interrupted because the hinge can go through its full range of motion and still be a sphere. It’s a great part and I’ve found it useful on a lot of kits. The Sumo’s elbows are also spherical joints, and luckily they even have the center line just like the L-Joint. But at 1:144 scale the elbows are much bigger than an L-Joint, so I need to build my own spherical joint. I ordered plastic hemispheres from Plastruct, which makes the work much easier. (Believe me, I’ve scratchbuilt hemispheres before and I like this way much better!)

Build Updates

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