I love the 1/12 scale droid kits from Bandai and I seriously plan on buying ever 1/12th scale droid I can get my hands on! I don’t do a lot of model kits but they are fun to work on in between larger action figure projects.
I have a bit of a back log of Star Wars kits but I was super excited about getting my hands on the JPG Productions Gonk and Mouse droid kit which you can get here. Both of these guys make short appearances in the Star Wars films but iv always loved them. I just wanted to make them match the films as close as I could.
I thought I would do a little write up on how I painted these. Check out a video of the finished droids here and please feel free to ask questions if I missed something!
Here’s our little kit out of the box. Both of these guys are pretty simple but they look great. I’m going to do a bit of customizing to these but nothing major.
I did a bit of sanding and I can to break out the dremel on some of the extra flashing on the middle piece. You can see what im talking about on the corner of the piece on the right.
The one custom thing i’m doing on Gonk is to replace the leg cables that came with the kit with something a bit more detailed. I used a guitar string and shaped it to match the leg cables in the movie a little closer.
Then I drilled a hole to fit the new cable and glued it in place.
I forgot to take a picture of Gonk all sanded and ready for paint though, sorry!
Mouse droid next!
1: Here’s the base kit. I have to do the same sort of clean up as gonk but again, its mostly flashing on the rim.
This was a bit of a pain to clean and I had to be very carefully to trim out the gap.
2: The next thing I did was cut apart one set of the wheels. The back wheels of the Mouse droid should stick out further than the front wheels.
3: I then wanted to make the antennas a bit more accurate to the screen model. The model included simple wire that you were suppose to cut and glue but I didn’t like how it looked. I looked around for something that might work and added a bit of random “greeblies” made of extra parts from the C3PO Bandai kit.
These aren’t super screen accurate but they are the right general shape and look a lot better than the wires.
4: I glue on the wheels and we are ready to paint.
First thing I do is prime with a gloss black Vallejo Primer. This is going to be our undercoat for our metallic paint. Painting metallics over gloss black helps your metallic paints actually look reflective.
Plus the primer will help our paint actually stick to the model.
Next I use Vallejo’s Metal Colour Aluminum. The Vallejo Metal Colour line is absolutely amazing and my go to for any metal finishes.
I’m going to be doing something called hairspray chipping next. This is a method to simulate paint chipping by having a base layer colour (Silver in our case) spraying a layer of hairspray over the base then spraying another colour over top of the hairspray (Black in our case). Then what happens is you can put a bit of water on the top black layer that will dissolve the hairspray and loosen the top layer enough that you can scratch or brush it off in a way that looks very much like paint chipping in real life.
This is a pretty advanced technique and something you have to try a few times to get it right. I highly suggest reading Layman’s Hairspray Chipping Tutorial if you are interested in trying it. This guy has a ton of other amazing tutorials on his website.
So over top of the aluminum paint we now have our hairspray.
1: Then I spray a dark grey paint over our hairspray. You need to be careful with this right now as the hairspray makes this layer a bit fragile. I accidentally took some paint off which you can see in the photo.
2: Next using a slightly damp toothbrush I slowly chip away the top layer of paint and reveal our metal undercoat.
Once this is done I spray a layer of gloss varnish over the model to protect our work.
3: Next I add a brown oil wash followed by a black oil wash that will add depth and build up some our weathering. This wont be super noticeable when we finish but every little bit adds another layer. I love weathering, I always enjoy this part of a project.
4: Then I slap on a bunch of Ultimate Weathering Wash – Rust. My understanding is this stuff is just pastels in a water solution. Whats going to happen is the rust will dry and leave the pastel dust on the figure and you can brush as much or as little as you want off the model.
This leaves a great effect.
Before we go on with the body i’m going to jump back to the feet.
I did the same steps to the feet as I did with the body. I chipped almost all the paint off the feet though to match Gonk from the movie. Very cool effect.
Now we are going to attach the two parts with some glue.
Here’s Gonk all together for the first time! Gonk on the Sandcrawler is super rusted so I brushed away some of the rust powder but not a lot. I also added a tiny bit of rust to the feet.
The last thing I do is apply another layer of gloss varnish to protect our rust. If I didn’t the rust would eventually rub off as its just a powder. Looks a bit weird right now but it will come back to life once we hit it with a matte varnish.
Then I hit some of the top facing surfaces with Ultimate Weathering Wash – Sand. Brush some of it off to get the results I want then seal the whole model with a matte varnish!
That’s it for gonk!
1: The mouse droid is much less complex. This is our top dark grey layer that is on top of the hairspray and metallic base coat.
2: Then I chip away at the droid with a tooth brush and metal sculpting tool. I’m not going to crazy with the chipping as the mouse droid on the Death Star doesn’t have a ton of wear.
3: The last thing I did was add a black oil wash to everything adding some variation and depth. I also did a tiny bit of a brown wash in some of the really recessed areas. The last thing I did was paint some of our dark grey on some areas I chipped to much.
That’s it! This was a fun little project and I highly highly recommend you pick up one of these kits. They are super fun to paint up and who knows if we will ever see official releases of either of these guys!
Thanks for checking out Action Figure Toronto! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask. I don’t keep secrets!