Bandai 1/100 Mobile Pod Ball “Ver. Ka”

Kit #131412                                            MSRP $34.95
Images and text Copyright © 2009 by Matt Swan

        Okay, let me start by saying that I am NOT a Gundam aficionado, I saw this kit and it looked cool so I bought it. So with that said my background information is somewhat sketchy. The Mobile Pod Ball is a construction vehicle of the Earth Federation Space Force that later in its career was armed with a large cannon. In the Gundam universe this vehicle was pretty much considered cannon fodder but you have to admit it does look cool.
        I had never even touched a Gundam kit prior to this so every aspect of this was a new experience for me. The kit is basically a snap-together kit that does not require any glue and all the parts are molded in color so no paint is necessary. The parts were all well formed with no flash or sink marks and only minimal mold separation lines. I could deal with the snap-together aspect of the kit but I really wanted something more that unpainted plastic. I actually started this build in 2007 and at about the same time that this kit arrived a box of assorted Alclad II paints had arrived soooo it just made sense to do an exercise in Alclad. Now I know that I have done this trick before but this kit was actually my first attempt at it. Throughout the painting process 95% of all paints used are Alclad with some Model Master interior green used on internal structures and some colored enamels for some fine detail.
        I had made it about 75% of the way through this build when I lost steam and the project was shelved. Recently I felt motivated once again to haul this thing down from the shelf and finish the job. First let’s take a look at a couple of in-progress shots (above left) from 2007, you can click on these to view larger pictures. This is where she was when things went into a holding pattern.
        Once I jumped back into this it only took a couple days to finish it off. Once all the paint was complete I took a look at the dry transfer markings that came with the kit. I have never been a fan of this kind of decal simple because I can never get good placement or adhesion but I wanted to try them anyway and see if my luck would be any better – it was not. Looking at this image there are two very obvious flaws with my build. #1 is that I had missed painting the pivot studs on the grab claws and #2 that bloody dry transfer looks like crap.
        I tried them, I didn’t like them and they have to go. Using the sticky side of some masking tape I removed the couple dry transfers I had placed and started looking for water slide decals to substitute. From my spares box I found some 1/48 and 1/72 scale Navy decals that were cannibalized for this pod ball. I also fixed those few spots that had been missed in the paint process. In the end what we have here is a Navy SeeBee Mobile Construction Pod Ball with cannon – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

You may click on any of these small images to view larger pictures

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