Toy Pusher interviews are back. In the past I gave you super cool urban vinyl creators and customizers, a Pinky St:/FF collector and owner of a very informative J-pop blog, an awesome Chicago-based artist, a creative blogger and figure collector, and a talented lego builder and props maker.
Now, I’m featuring not just one, but three modelers of the RX-78-2 Gunpla group. I’ve always been fascinated with customized Gundams but I have yet to try my hand on it. I guess I can’t call myself a decent builder yet, I only have 1 MG and a couple of SDs under my belt and I haven’t even drawn a single line on my kit with a Gundam marker. ^^; Well enough about me, let’s see what these talented guys, Rockleelotus, Chubbybots and h4mster have to say about creating amazing customs and why they love their RX-78s.
ToyPusher.com: How long have you been building, customizing kits?
Rockleelotus: I recently got back into Gunpla and have been building with a focus on customizing each of my kits for about a year now. Prior to that I built a few kits back in around 2002, that was also when I first ventured into customizing, and experimented with one kit. My test subject was the 1/144 Wing Zero Custom, and I attempted to add some battle damage with just a hobby knife and a few gundam markers.
Chubbybots: I have been building kits for close to 2 years already. Customizing is very much a recent affair for me since August last year. No doubt tedious but very fun!
h4mster: I’ve started this hobby since December 2008. Before that, I only buy Gundam and display it in a snap-fitted condition. After I jump into a local Gundam forum in my country, I realized that this hobby could be taken into another level. Even though its already more than a year since I started, there are still much too learn. That’s why I haven’t got bored on building model kits :D
ToyPusher.com: What is your favorite customization style and tool for the job?
Rockleelotus: I find kits with some weathering and battle damage effects to be a very beautiful thing. It’s my favorite style of modification, and I enjoy trying to recreate myself the different types of battle scars a unit could receive out in the field. When done right, you can look at a particular area of damage and see that there is a story behind it. One of my favorite tools for the job when it comes to battle damage is a stick of burning incense. It may sound unusual but it definitely gets the job done and helps to add that extra touch of realism.
Chubbybots: I happen to know a few people who donated their old kits to me and kit bashing aka mixing parts from other old kits to form a new one is pretty much my kind of style. I love changing a bit of the stock kit like giving it an extra armor and yet still retain 70% of the original look ^^. Sometimes if I get really fired up I’ll put together something different!
h4mster: Even if my first kit was a gundam, the majority of my finished kit are military scale model… so I gotta say that the customization style I’m good at is weathering and damage effect. However, when it comes to gundam, I prefer a clean build. By looking at the skill that I currently possess, I go with the philosophy that “less is more” on my custom kit. LoL. I aim to build kit with simplicity so I there’s not much to think about. But gunpla is a type of scale model which gives a lot of room for customization, so I’m still gonna try other style in the future :D
During my modeling journey, I have gathered some tools to get the job done. But my best friend for all time is my airbrush. Painting is the most important stage is customization. No matter how much modification you put into a kit, when the paint is bad, the whole kit looks bad. My airbrush is definitely prevent this from happening :D
ToyPusher.com: Yeah, I think good battle damage effects and some weathering give a lot of character and story about the kit. And I guess it would be great I have friends who will donate their old kits to me too!
What do you find most interesting or appealing about the RX-78?
Rockleelotus: The RX-78-2 played a huge role in the One Year War. It was a powerful beast for its time, and was very impressive on the battlefield. After watching the original series the simple yet iconic design slowly grew on me, now its one of my favorite mobile suits. Another thing I like about this Gundam is that the pilot is Amuro Ray.
Chubbybots: Its simple yet very nice design for a moblie suit! In other words simplicity at its best!
h4mster: I always love the classic :D Whether it is motor cycle, fashion, music, tanks, airplane, those classic things have this special attraction. I consider that RX-78 is a classic and legendary Gundam. Unlike the new Gundam these days which are so complex in design, RX-78 is so simple. When a kit is simple, the possibilities to custom it becomes broader. So for a modeler, RX-78 is very friendly :D
ToyPusher.com: Indeed the RX-78 is a classic. Sorry guys if this post took so long but I guess this interview is just in time for the 1/1 Gundam RX-78 which is now on display in Shizouka.
Please describe your RX-78 entry (customization you plan to do or are currently doing).
Rockleelotus: For my entry I will be attempting to combine two things that I love into one, and that is the RX-78-2 Gundam and Kamen Rider Kva in Emperor Form. Otherwise to be known as, “Gundam Rider Kiva” lol I wanted to push myself and try new things in this build, that includes scratch building parts using plaplates, which are plastic sheets for crafting and applying new color scheme.
Currently I have been somewhat successful in scratch building a few Kiva-like armor pieces to integrate onto the Gundam, along with a version 1 Zanbat sword. I admit they are not of the best quality as I still have much to learn in this area, but I hope to improve along the way and possibly make updates to the design in the future. The next step would be to complete making the rest of the armor pieces, and then proceed to scratch building; custom hands, a violin, version 2 of Zanbat sword, and followed by making a cape.
Chubbybots: The stock kit that i’ll be using is the RX78 from the SD Sangokuden Series which I work with a lot and grew to love :D My plans for this RX78 is to change it to a super robot character like Mazinger Z or Gaogaiger with the parts that I have ^^. Though this will take some time!! I am very slow when it comes to mods!
h4mster: My RX-78 is almost done actually :D I try to implement a new style without eradicating the classic feel of RX-78. The only way I come up with is by building it out-of-the-box style and changing the color scheme.I go with a majority of white and purple color (which is my favorite color) and give some yellow for the details. It’s not very hard in terms of technique, so I really have a great time building it :D
ToyPusher.com: Very cool! I really wish I have your skills. ^^; You guys have a lot of plans with your kits and I guess what makes this hobby awesome is that you give your a part of your own personality to make your kit amazing and of course, one of a kind.
Any message to others who would like to join the group build or to other Gunpla enthusiasts?
Rockleelotus: I started this group build in hopes to encourage modelers to take a step into the world of customizing Gunpla. Even if it’s your first time, this group is open to anyone willing to try new things or practice what they already know. Customizing may not be for everyone but these model kits were made so that you have that option. So are you ready to make your own one-of-a-kind RX-78-2?
Chubbybots: Come on what you waiting for! Start cutting! Thanks for the feature Xine!
h4mster: I really encourage everyone that have an RX-78 to join this Group Build :D Building a kit in a Group Build will double the excitement. You’ll also get a free publicity in RockLeeLotus’s Blog LoL a great blog which has a lot of readers. And since there are a bunch of people that are building the same kit, exchanging ideas, comments, or problem will become easier :D
Thank you Xine for doing this interview :D I am so honored to do this. It shows that you are giving a great attention to my build, and that is the appreciation that a modeler would always wanted :D
ToyPusher.com: Thank you guys for your time and sorry again because it took me quite a while to post this interview. I hope you can give me more tips and a tutorial perhaps when I finally start to make my own customized kit. ^^ More power to your group!