The Gunpla Diaries: My First Master Grade, Part 2

So.

It’s been 4 months, huh?

Yes, after spending nearly half a year sitting on my partly finished Gunpla, I decided to get off my butt and finally get some more work done on it. So without further ado, let us once again tune in for The Gunpla Diaries.

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When we left off last time, I’d just barely managed to finish the main torso. Immediately after that I was tasked with assembling the head, including applying the dreaded eye stickers. I struggled to get some of the pieces in properly as many seemed ill-fitting, but it eventually came together. The eye sticker was mercifully easier to apply than usual, thanks in no small part to it being significantly larger than HG eye stickers.

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On the topic of difficulty, however, one thing has gotten a good deal less difficult. After the horrendous time I had using my generic-brand nippers last time around, I did upgrade to a better pair. I got the Xuron 2175ET, which is much better and rarely left any sort of nubs. They greatly sped up the cutting process and were just generally much easier to use.

Of course, no nippers can save me from my own clumsiness.

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The nice thing about Gunpla (and particularly more expensive kits) is they are often designed in such a way that you can break little pieces here and there, and they’ll still fit together as long as critical pieces are in one piece. This is good because a combination of the heat, the two hot lamps I use to create lighting conditions, and my exhaustion all led to me breaking bits off of pieces left and right.

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My ineptitude aside, I did manage to finish the head and put it on the torso. The most difficult part was the V-fin, by far, which I could not for the life of me figure out how to put in properly. I did manage it eventually, however, and the final product came out looking pretty okay!

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Then came the arms. This is where things took a turn for the bad.

Since the Nu Gundam Ver. Ka is a MG, and a complex one at that, it has far more complicated joints than an HG would. The arms have a complex movement system that involves multiple points of extension and turning, as opposed to simply swiveling on a joint. This came out well for one of them, but the other felt loose and didn’t seem to work right. I ended up taking it apart and putting it back together again, to see if I’d done something wrong. I’m still not sure if I missed a step somewhere, or if things didn’t fit together right, but by that point it was too late for me to care. I called it a night, having finished the basic structure of both arms, and reconvened the next day.

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My memories of the next session feel like a hazy fever dream of overly hot weather, bright lamps, broken pieces, and annoying stickers. I began building up the arms and applying armor over the frame of the arms and inserting translucent green pieces with the most annoying stickers on them into it. The green pieces were quite a pain to fit in, and I frequently found myself under the impression that I had done something wrong.

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This feeling was reinforced when I tried to apply a bit of armor over the arm and broke a bit off. It did not seem like a particularly important bit, but it nonetheless did not bode well. The piece of armor on the other arm caused the translucent green pieces to shoot out violently, and I decided to take a loss on them and simply move on. It seems like they’re mostly covered up anyways, and since I don’t intend to play around with any transformations I didn’t let it bother me.

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Finally, I finished applying the armor to the arms. I was again left with the impression that I had done something wrong, as they were not quite the same, but I could not find any step in the instructions which I had missed. I decided it wasn’t worth losing sleep over, and continued on.

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Next came the hands. Oh god, the hands. I’m used to HG hands, which are just solid lumps of plastic molded in a shape to hold something. The hands of the MG Nu, however, were jointed and complex. They were held in place by a number of different connectors, and the instructions had a detailed graph on how to get them out without cutting off any fingers. I almost got them all out safely.

Almost.

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One thumb. A single thumb on a single hand came off, and forever ruined its ability to use side-mouse buttons. I considered looking up a way to get it back on or using superglue, but it was too hot and I was too tired to be bothered, so I simply continued on. The other hand came out without incident, and I got both hands positioned as best I could.

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I put the arms together but stopped short of building the shoulders. Tired, hot, and feeling defeated, I put the kit away as best I could and rolled into bed, hoping for better conditions for building in the future.

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The next session wasn’t until 10 days later, when I got it in my head that I should build after midnight. Conditions were better this time, however, as I had no time constraints and it was much cooler than before. I started off on  the shoulders and began wrangling with a surprisingly difficult little part of the shoulder. I managed to get things together after a while, however, and I’m still unclear as to what was giving me so much trouble.

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I then began to assemble the shoulders proper. I found these much easier to assemble than other pieces, partly because they were so large and made of large, easy to slot-together parts.

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It was at this point that I gave up on applying stickers to the translucent green pieces, as they seemed pointless and the pieces were being covered up anyways. Not bothering with those made the build time decrease dramatically, as they were easily the most annoying stickers to put on.

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Ultimately, I found the shoulders much easier to assemble overall. I don’t know how much of this was due to them simply being easier, or due to me not working in nearly 90 degree weather while under two hot lamps. Either way, I was glad for it.

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After a bit of work, I managed to attach the arms and shoulders, and finish the upper torso. One arm still hung a bit loose, but thankfully had a piece on it to hold it in place. I took a moment to marvel at my work, then decided to get a bit of work done on the feet before calling it a night.

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Once again, I found the feet much easier to assemble than anything else. I did have some trouble figuring some pieces out, but eventually got the hang of it and managed to get everything in place.

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Overall, I’m going to assume that the heat was a major factor in my troubles putting things together. With a bit of cold moving in, however, I hope to make significantly more progress and hopefully finish this in the coming weeks. For now, however, I am simply going to marvel at how insanely huge the Nu’s shoes are.

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The Xuron 2175ET can be bought from Amazon. The Master Grade Nu Gundam Ver. Ka can be bought from Amazon, Hobbylink Japan, or Hobbysearch. If you can find a local hobby shop which stocks it, however, I’d recommend buying it from there.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more like it, please consider donating to my Patreon. Every dollar helps make ends meet, and the more my Patreon makes, the more time I can devote to my blog.

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One thought on “The Gunpla Diaries: My First Master Grade, Part 2

  1. Pingback: The Gunpla Diaries: My First Master Grade, Part 3 | Skirt Defense Force

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