I'd like to start off by saying (yeah that usually means that what follows is gonna be long winded. hehe Yup. Suck it up and keep reading! haha) that I don't usually do features, or I haven't yet, but I'd like to start doing it, as a way to share my thoughts and such on modelers I find to have amazing potential and talent. I'm fortunate now because the person that I am going to feature first in my features is none other than Kamm, whom I'm also going to be working with in a workshop we are calling Handeye. I will go into more detail about our workshop later as we get closer to releasing our resin kits, but for now I will just say that we will both be scratchbuilding and designing models and model accessories, (most of our work is done by hand like sculpting and painting) and then be casting and selling them to those who are interested. Enough of that for now though, let's move on to Kamm.
Those of you in the Gundam modeling community forums and from youtube know him by his handle Kamm. His name is Jonathan Kamminsky and he is based in the UK. He saves babies from burning buildings and rides man chomping dragons during the day, at night he makes amazing models and is innovating in an area which I find formidable: Hand Painting and weathering. One thing you should always know about his work is that the majority of what you are seeing is hand painted. Yes that's right ladies and gentlemen, he even does the base coat by hand. (he does prime coat and top coat by airbrush, but let's be realistic the base coat is the hard part.) I know right, where are the brush strokes? That's the genius. This guy takes his meticulous time and does a bazillion thinned layers to achieve that smooth airbrush looking finish. The model I'm featuring from his mecha cabinet is his High Grade Sazabi Groundtype. You can find his WIP thread here and a sick youtube video showcasing the finished kit HERE.
Let's jump into the details. To begin with you should know, this is NOT a master grade kit. This kit started as a crappy high grade 1/144 Sazabi kit. Stock photo below:
Not the most detailed kit I've ever seen, but Bandai does know how to provide a clean canvas for those with the talent to work on and improve. Kamm has added a plethora of improvements to the kits that he both scratchbuilt (like most of the lower leg skirts) and kit bashed to make a seamless and interesting model that has original design elements that are both fun to look at and functionally practical. Let's take a look at the rear of the kit first, as there is a wealth of detail and examples of his building prowess.
My favorite part of the kit or one of my favorite parts is the shoulder propellant tanks. He made the decision for somewhat odd placement of them, but I love it so much. I do like outside the box thinking anyway, but this was perfectly executed in my opinion. And he did absolutely NO MASKING. All done by hand. The paint chipping is all done with just a small brush too. No salt barrier. Just a steady hand and attention to detail with a small brush. This kit's surface is seriously smooth, he just painted the weathering on.
He also painted the face with highlights to look like the mono eye was glowing. It came out looking so realistic to me I love it. Here are some more shots just showing off the weaponry:
Check out the details on the chest and head:
Gawd it's like a conversion kit. One other thing I wanted to note was how all his weathering is to scale. Remember how this is supposed to be a giant robot a hundred feet tall? Well most kits we see weathered have huge chunks of rust and chunks taken out of them. This kit has rust and dings and dents galore, but they are an appropriate size to establish scale. That was something he did by design and careful planning, and something that I hope doesn't get overlooked. He spent soo much time in careful planning on everything from the decal placement to the bazillion little paint chips he added by hand. (the paint chips even have highlights if you look closely.)
Overall a brilliant piece, and for his second time scratch building anything, and his first time trying out these new mecha modeling paint techniques I'd be surprised if he isn't setting a new trend for scale mecha modeling and painting soon. Ok I'm done singing his praises but seriously check out his work for yourself and be sure to let him know if you like his work and feel free to comment here, on his youtube channel or on any forum you see him. He's a cool guy and I'm sure he'd appreciate your feedback. Next post I'll probably be going into more detail on our team up, and our Zaku Group Build project the Rhal Kutrie. Stay tuned mechaholics.