Elyn Hobby 1/100 Kshatriya/Kastrysha - Project Start

Topics: 

Elyn Hobby Kshatriya - Project Start 1Flickr
For all the kit's faults, the packaging is pretty damn impressive...

 

Welp, a year ago I picked up the monster that is the Elyn Hobby 1/100 Kshatriya/Kastrysha (the mobile suit is the Kshatriya, but the box says Kastrysha). It’s a massive kit. There has to be well over 500, if not 600, individual parts. The box is as large as a Perfect Grade’s and the build is going to be even more complex. Sure, all of the pieces come pre-cut from the runners and specially packaged… but that’s likely the cause of this kit’s main issue.

It’s a project that’s scared me from day one. I was pretty excited to get my hands on one, even after hearing all the horror stories. As a fan of all the Gundam Unicorn designs it always stank not having a MG Kshatriya to go along with all my MG Unicorns. I regretted not ordering one of these when they were first available and was lucky enough to get one second hand from another builder. I don’t want to suggest that the original owner was scared off, but at the end of the day he seemed happy to have parted with this beast after only finishing off the arms. That’s not say it was let go cheap. I’m sure that, having started this project and Bandai since have started the Reborn One Hundred line, we’ll see a proper 1/100 Kshatriya kit soon enough.

As impressive as the Elyn Kshatriya looks, its bad reputation precedes it. Every review I’ve read tells of missing or wrong pieces. Too many left sided pieces, not enough right sided pieces. Some outright MIA. As far as I’m aware I might night be able to attach a limb for want of the proper piece. I’m guessing the folks at Elyn pressed all the pieces in a runner, then cut them out and manually placed them into these plastic holders. A process that likely resulted in this issue.

 

Elyn Hobby Kshatriya - Project Start 6Flickr
Note the mold marks...

 

Elyn Hobby Kshatriya - Project Start 3Flickr
One of the previously completed arms...

 

I would rather have had all the pieces on runners I think. Despite being unattached frum the runners their nubs haven’t been properly cleaned up. I’m still going to have to inspect every piece and cut/sand down the nubs. There are also tons of mold marks from poorly polished molds that need to be sanded and cleaned up as best possible. Have you seen Bandai's video of how Gunpla are manufactured? At about 1:10 into the video you can see someone sanding and polishing a mold. After runner has been designed they machine the molds (CNC machine or similar). The machining process can be pretty rough so you have to come in and sand away and imperfections. The Elyn Kshatriya's molds, like most Chinese bootlegs, did not go through this final process.

 

Elyn Hobby Kshatriya - Project Start 7Flickr
So many parts...

 

Elyn Hobby Kshatriya - Project Start 5Flickr
Wings? Binders? Not sure what they're called...

 

Last but not least, there are fitment issues. Oft reported, I can see that in the in even in the previously completed arms. The core of the inner frame, which comes pre-assembled like a Kotobukiya Frame Arms kit, has fitment issues already. 90% of this kit is probably going to have to be glued in place with the help of some clamps. Luckily the plastic seems to be pretty pliable and easy to work with.

 

Elyn Hobby Kshatriya - Project Start 4Flickr
Pre-assembled frame. Need to determine if I can easily take it apart for painting...

 

I haven’t picked out what paints I’m going to use for this project but I’m going to try and keep it as close as possible to the original colours as possible. A few areas might get some additional colour separation but I don’t intend to go too crazy. I haven’t decided whether to go with black or gray detail lines and I'm still deciding whether to do a partially weathered or clean build. I always go over the top with some of my weathering and that's not something I want risk here. The one I have on hand is likely the only chance I'll get.

That’s way off though at this point. Right now I’ve got to go through, inspect every piece, and trim & sand as necessary before priming. Some of the larger pieces will have be sanded, washed, inspected, sanded, washed, inspected, etc. until they look good. Some mold errors need to be corrected and there are a few parts that I think need a bit of filler.

The plan, as of right now, is to prime, paint, followed by assembly into key pieces. Then detailing, top coat, addition of metallic pieces, and final assembly.

I’m going to need all of my experience, and a few new skills, to get this beast looking like a beauty.

 

Elyn Hobby Kshatriya - Project Start 8Flickr
A sea of pieces...