MG 1/100 Astray Ver. Gav [GOLD Frame]

I finally got round to photographing this guy at the weekend. I wanted to do a base for it and make it look a bit more special but I've really lost interest in this kit. The whole thing has been a bit of a pain in the arse to be honest, and I came up against to many issues that I've not experienced on other builds. It's taken me so long, not because I'm slow, but because I just couldn't bring myself to keep working on it at one point! I was very happy with the way the scheme came out, except for the gold on the sword sheaths, I think that should have been grey maybe - there's too much gold on one side. But making the decision to make a lot of the frame parts dark grey instead of gold worked really well. I'm also pleased with the minor mods - I changed the the big sword to make it a bit simpler and with less parts hanging off it, the new backplate to hold the sword and the other hip sword holder for the two smaller swords. Also added some bulk to the rear skirt for proportioning.

Saying that, here's a couple of reasons why I am getting really fed up with MG Gundam kits, and these are problems that seem amplified because of the comparison I can make with Games Workshop kits and my Garbaldy that I've been painting at the same time as the Astray. I feel that they are overly complicated and fragile, and despite all of the articulation are very difficult to pose when they're finished anyway through fear of scratching and chipping. Maybe I don't have the patience any more but when painting I find it easier to group parts together and paint in blocks because if I painted all of the parts individually it would take forever, and especially with the internal frame parts, would be impossible to assemble and still allow articulation. Because of all the crazy articulation and interlocking parts I had so many issues with chipping and having to repaint parts that had scratched when I was putting it together.

Also - one more moan about this build: The joints on this kit are absolute bollocks. For example, Bandai has gone out of their way to design these overly elaborate hip joints which were so unnecessary, and mine ended up just disintegrating. I don't know if it's because I've had the kit for a while and the plastic had gone brittle, but I ended up having to super glue the whole lot so it would stay together. Hence the final pose looks a bit static. Anyway, here he is. Lots learned on this build - on to the next one.

I shall complete my remaining perfect grades because they are really wonderful models and I have a Quebely Sazabi ver.ka and Kshatriya that I want to build because they're really interesting shapes, but all of my other kits I can't image will get painted any time soon. I want to focus more on my design work which will involve kitbashes and one off kits of my own design that I'll be painting up like all my other kits. Stay tuned guys! 

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