^^; So much for not building any more kits for the remainder of 2009. Guess what kit I started on today?

If you guessed Master Grade Gundam Exia, you were right!

My friend [the one who got Project BM Setsuna xD] met with some problems while starting on the kit, and at first I was thinking of taking out just the LEDs alone to check why she was stuck. In the end, I suggested a small group build instead, so I’ve stuck to my previous schedule – sans starting on chibiKero – and started on MG Exia in mid-December as I’ve planned previously. ;;;

I started after lunch, so until then, I was looking through blogs and sites to gain some ~inspiration~. I’ve decided to build Exia as it is; I guess the thought of my first 00 MG as a half-wrecked mech just didn’t sit well with me, as badass as Exia Repair was. Then again, I bought Ignition Mode for the purpose of having those Repair parts, so my plan is to get my hands on a normal MG Exia some other time and build it as Exia Repair. C: Exia Repair is one of only two mechs I lack to complete my Exia+00 collection, the other being 00/7S.

I’ll also be experimenting with the Tamiya compounds on the MG Exia, as well as try out the new Tamiya side cutters I got a few weeks back. Another first for me will be the use of dry decals! No water decals or topcoat for me this time round.. :c

My MG experience…well, this MG Exia will be my second MG to date. My first MG was a Wing Custom Zero, built WAY back on February 16th, 2008. >_>; So, I haven’t touched a MG kit for 22 months LOL. Almost 2 years. And all I’ve been doing in the mean time are HG kits. This will be interesting. XD

Well, I won’t be facing building a MG kit on my own.

Besides my friend, another Gundam Setsuna has volunteered to provide aid in the construction of his Gundam. Looks like we’re all ready to go then!

xD I remember when I first bought this, I’d often take it out to admire the parts inside. >_<; The Repair cloth and the chrome parts are all on top – my webcam can't capture it, but the latter is very shiny.

The massive amount of parts reminds you that THIS IS NOT A HG KIT, NOT A HG. I didn’t measure the height, but the stack looks to be at least 10~12 cm.

Taking out the ones I need. Hooray, runners, stickers, seals and decals! The polycap runner is very big haha – I got quite the shock seeing them! I also had to make another paper box to store the LEDs, stickers and seals and the clear parts so that I know where to look when I need them.

I like the clear parts. The parts that go into the GN condensors, they have this magnifying effect. XD Fun.

As for the repair parts, they go into the box! I’ll see you later, Exia RE. o/ Chrome parts are here and well-protected in its bag because I don’t want to risk scratching the silver paint off.

And Setsuna has already handed me the manual. Looks like someone’s eager to start work. xD This manual is cool, but I prefer the more professional look of the manual that comes with the normal MG.

Assembly was thankfully smooth and eventless. XD It started raining [again] halfway lol so even if I wanted to do topcoat, I’d probably need to wait till it’s another sunny week again. Over here, the weather changes every week; it’s kind of weird.

I didn’t have any problems with the LEDs and when my friend tried it again, she too didn’t meet with any problems. ^^ One issue down! The green light was pretty strong, but it kind of flickers sometimes. XDDD I’ve removed the batteries though, because I don’t want to run the risk of them corroding the kit over time.

Chrome parts – also another case of “nice to look at, hard to make them look good”. x_x I think people familiar with MG Exia Ignition Mode will already know that Bandai wasn’t considerate when designing the part runners, so when you cut them, you get a nasty black scar. Silver Gundam marker can cover up those scars, but the paint clashes horribly with the smooth, shiny surface. Augh.

Also finally had a chance to try out the compound method. XD Just sanding with 600 and 1000-grit already gives a pretty smooth finish; I was pretty surprised. Yay, learning something new! The compounds worked pretty good too – I need more practice though because you still can see that the surface has been sanded before. |D; But the nubs are all gone now!!

And Setsuna shows off the fruit of our 3-hour+ labour! It’s Exia’s core aka GN Drive. I went a little panel-lining crazy and did all the lines on the grey parts too. xD I even placed on one of the clear seals, but the edges are extremely obvious and the seal is slightly misaligned. ^^;; I still have a lot more clear seals to tackle too…

And a whole lot of runners to clear! I’ve got my work cut out for me. XD

Well, that’s all for today. My friend is already starting on the inner frame, so I’ll do as much as I can to catch up with her when she’s sleeping tomorrow. :D