Metal Kit: Nagato Class Battleship

Ok, this is a bit of a departure from my usual hobby models. It’s a “metal kit”, similar to the “Metal Earth” kits (often spaceships from various franchises, or famous monuments), only… It’s huge.

Made by a Chinese company, it’s basically a kit that you build by cutting parts from metal sheets that were mostly pre-cut with lasers (and etched, and possibly even colored) with wire cutters, folding and bending them following instructions, and then inserting tiny lips of metal through a slit and twisting it with pliers or other tools.

I have to admit, making some of the parts did make me swear a good amount… but thankfully I had some good tools, borrowed mostly from my wife’s stash: long-nosed, smooth pliers (from her jewelry tools) were absolutely vital, plus a pair of Xuron pliers she already used in the past to cut metal earth kits (you can see the points in the picture above), plus a couple of precision tweezers (that I normally use to place decals).

Instructions are on two folded A3(roughly?) sheets, on both sides, and while not perfect (and printed a bit small) they were better than I expected: parts that have multiples on the sheets are color-coded so that you can find them on the metal sheets, and the two or three phrases in chinese were easily translated using the Google Translator app by pointing the phone camera to them (they boil down to basically “decorated side”, “smooth side” and “bend carefully in a curve”.

Only a couple of times I was lost about how I would have to fold or bend a piece. I did make a couple of mistakes (parts that were put together completely in the wrong direction… luckily they were mirrored parts, so I could just re-do the same error and they did fit… albeit in the wrong side. Nobody will ever notice). And I broke a part (again, because I had bent it the wrong way, and bending it all the way in the other direction, the bending line (which is scored, and sometimes perforated) gave. A bit of CA glue and a lot of swearing mostly fixed it: you would not find the part by naked eye, probably even paying attention and up close.

Many of the (tiny) details are just barely suggested by the shapes: it is, after all, a kit made entirely from flat metal bits, but the decorations and carvings make the parts much more visually interesting!

And, yeah, the cannons were special parts, thankfully: rolling up metal to make those would be impossible.

All in all, I’ll call it a positive experience. I learned a lot. I had my sessions of “model therapy” (not gunpla this time, but still helping keeping me sane in stressful times), the finished model looks pretty amazing and it’s huge! 31cm in length!

Bonus points… these kits are pretty cheap! 20 bucks on Aliexpress, or even less if you order during some promotion (but I see they can be found elsewhere: just search for “Piececool Metal Kit”)!

RG Sazabi (Clear Color) WIP

WIP: still needs weapons and shield!

Managed to snap some more of this sexy red boy yesterday: now it only needs weapons.

Glamour Shot

First clear color kit I like in…well, forever. And the build is amazing. The only downside is that I now want the normal plastic kit, too!

Didn’t even feel the boredom of snipping 24 “petals” on the funnels, really.

The engineering is amazing, really the apex of the RG line so far. There are so many little details… some of them even covered by the armor plates, but there nonetheless.

In case you don’t know… yes, the funnels detach, and all can transform between “dormant” and “flying/activated”.

Two new Yamato 2199 ships

Dimensional Submarine and Destoria Class Astro Heavy Cruiser(Yamato 2199 Bandai Mecha Colle)

Both done in tamiya rattlecans, then MIG Starship Wash, plus brushing in some Vallejo acrylics for the glowing yellow… things on the Destoria’s aft.

Destoria Class Astro Heavy Cruiser

I will need to make both a stand, probably in a model car crystal box, but that’ll have to wait the end of the worldwide lockdown I suppose…

UX-01 Dimensional Submarine

Anyway, I love them, simple as they are.

Oh, word or warning: it might just be clumsy-me, but the Submarine’s tail part actually broke when I was topcoating it (holding the sub between thumb and index finger, lengthwise, like a dumbass), and not along a part line either. I suppose the white spirit seeped under the coats of paint. Fortunately it glued back on and the line is almost invisible.

MG Crossbone X2 Ver.Ka

I gotta say… this is an old gunpla design and it shows, a lot!

YARRRR!

I love the Crossbone, so I like its looks, but many of the connections are quite loose: I had to tighten the bicep/shoulder peg (bad idea to begin with) otherwise the weight of the weapons would probably pull off the arms.

And, I had to mask and paint all the yellow trim on the shoulders (that was Chiara’s steady hand, actually!) and weapons, because they’re molded completely in dark blue (or grey, which is wrong anyway). The yellow is not quite the right tone, it should be more orange, but I decided this was enough (it’s not bad for brush painted details).

This specific model’s signature weapon should be a long handheld cannon but… honestly it looks very boring, I prefer the ver piratey saber and “flintlock” pistol.

So, to sum up… I still love the Crossbone even if the kit is a bit disappointing in its engineering. I would welcome a 2.0 of the whole MG line… and to people considering it I’d suggest only getting the MGs if they are fans of the model, otherwise choose the RG which seems to be very well engineered.