Hello again folks! Today we are going to continue where we left off in the last article. The goal is to finish the chest before we move on to the other limbs of the Saviour Gundam.
As you can see here, the grey piece is the cockpit hatch and it goes inside the chest.
Now as I have mentioned before, this is a straight build project for the sake of this series but knowing me I will want to paint it at a later time.
Whether it is for painting, customizing, posing, sanding, cutting or any other purposes you may have, it is really important to think ahead when you are building. Over the years I realized that pieces like this hatch, once properly secured, are almost impossible to remove. So if I were to paint the hatch I would have to mask the entire chest and trust me, you do not want to do that. So this is how I go about it.
The area in the yellow circle is sanded off enough so that I can put the hatch in and still make it fall off by giving the chest a strong enough tap. When you are sure you are done with it, you can put a dab of crazy glue or thin plastic cement inside the chest before you put the cockpit hatch in.
The white mark you see here is what we call a nub mark. Those are a result of cutting your pieces away from the sprue tree. Bandai has been smart enough to make the molds in such a way that if you completely assemble a kit without any sanding or painting involved, they will not be visible but it is not always the case. If the mark will be in a visible area you will have to sand it down. I use the hobby file that came with my nippers.
As you can see on the picture not the entire piece was sanded down but it is very important that you do. Otherwise when you paint the piece or even just apply a layer of topcoat, the differences between the sanded and non-sanded surfaces might show.
I started the process with the metal file on the right, then continued with some 320 grit sand paper that I glued to a popsicle stick. It ensures that when I sand, the shape of my finger does not put any major curves on the plastic. Several tips for sanding:
Take your time. It is better to go slow with a few gentle strokes until you achieve the result you want instead of going fast with stronger strokes, damaging the plastic and then figuring out a way to fix it.
I read an article about this recently. When you sand, it is preferred to always use push motion with the file starting closer to you and then away. Apparently pulling the file back towards you does nothing. Now I do not know if that is true but I did notice ever since I have adopted that method, the quality of my sanding improved.
Use different grits of sand paper, starting low and finishing high. The lower the number is, the coarser your sandpaper will be. You can get what you need at a hardware store but if it is your first time, play it safe and shop at a hobby store instead. For the Saviour I started with a grit of 320, then continued with 600 and finished with 1200.
This is the final result after sanding with 320 > 600 > 1200 grit sandpapers.
The idea behind sanding is to make the surface of the plastic as smooth as you can for several reasons. If you decide to not paint your work and just want to apply a glossy topcoat, the scuff marks of the sanding process will be very visible. You can hide the scuff marks with a flat finish but to an extent. Now, if you decide to paint your kit and the sanding process was not done correctly it will give your paint a rough look. Finally, if you want to paint your kit but this time with metallic paints, then it is even more important to make sure that the plastic is very smooth. When exposed to light, all of that reflection will show the imperfections under the paint. There is nothing sadder than having a beautiful golden layer of paint ruined by a rugged surface. Trust me, I know.
Chest, backpack and head pieces are now complete.
I hope this article was helpful. Stay tuned for the next article of Let’s Build A Gundam!