Weathering and Panel Lining with Gundam Real Touch Markers

Hold on historical miniatures fans! There is something here for you!

Atlantis Kukulkan Comet Empire Destroyer Model Kit Star Blazers Yamato 2199 Bandai Kit
Galantis / Comet Empire Kukulkan Destroyer Model Kit

So there I was at the San Diego Comic Con, walking around the back issues, seeing original Frank Miller "Dark Knight" artwork, rubbing elbows with my favorite artists, and getting my creative battery recharged. It was Friday near the end of the day and I was strolling the floor with a friend of mine. We were near the Bandai booth when I spotted something that I had forgotten from my childhood: a small model kit from Star Blazers aka Space Battleship Yamato! Except that this kit was from the remake called Space Battleship Yamato 2199... and it looked really cool! Well, for $6 I couldn't resist picking two of them up.

When I opened up the first kit, a Comet Empire Destroyer, I was surprised to realize that it was a snap-together kit; no glue was required. Now, back in the day, a snap kip meant that it was junky. But that was also back when Puma gear was frowned upon. Times change. This new version is superior to the old in every way possible: more detail, cleaner molding, no glue required, and a fun design.

The panel lines look choppy when enlarged, but at regular magnification they blend nicely

When I was deciding how to finish it, I went to YouTube and found a video showing an amazing result using only... Gundam Real Touch Markers! I had used the thin panel-lining markers before, and I didn't like them very much. But these markers were different. Apparently the black, gray and brown markers are supposed to be used for weathering, but they do a great job on panel lining. You paint them on and then use a quality eraser (Magic Rub) and rub off the excess. This sounded very interesting, so I vowed to only use the markers on the kit, and one pot of Tamiya Metallic Brown X-35. That's it.

 Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Mecha Collection Model Kit, the Gatlantis/ Comet Empire Kukulkan Destroyer
Look at that detail picked out... amazing! The model is only about 4" long.

The results speak for themselves: this kit turned out great! It was such a pleasure to build. It only took about 15 minutes or so to put it together. The panel lining went pretty quickly and it looked awful at first with sloppy marks all over the place... until I took the eraser to it. Then everything sharpened up and came into focus. If I wiped too hard and took some out of the panel line, I just used a marker on the area again. The great thing about these markers is that you really can't make a mistake; you just erase and try again! The key is to use the right marker with the right area: use the Gray marker on the white areas and most of the green. Use the black marker for the black painted areas and any spot where there are "holes" or ports. Check the box art if you are not sure what you are looking at. Subtle is better here.

 Space Battleship Yamato Mecha Collection Model Kit, the Gatlantis/ Comet Empire Kukulkan Destroyer Gundam Real Touch Markers
It looks good on this side as well

The model kit is about $6 USD. The markers are a few dollars. The pot of paint is $4. An eraser is less than $1. So for less than $20 you could get a nice present for someone that might get them started in the hobby.

 Space Battleship Yamato Mecha Collection Model Kit, the Gatlantis/ Comet Empire Kukulkan Destroyer Box Lid
The box lid

I could see how these markers would make quick work of weathering clothing, panel lining an aircraft, adding stains to armor models, shadowing a building, or adding detail to a miniature's face. I'll have to try them out in the future!


  1. Jeff great stuff as always, but I'm worried you have abandoned history...

  2. Michael - I was wondering when you'd chime in. It was only a matter of time!

    To everything (turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose, under heaven

    Don't worry: my unpainted lead pile still is at least 85% historical! For my Space Hulk and Epic Squats I have... 6mm French Naps, 6mm British Naps, 28mm Prussian and French SYW infantry, 28mm French, Austrian and British Napoleonic infantry, 28mm French and British Napoleonic cavalry, 28mm Colonial Wars British, 28mm English Civil War troops, 20mm German, Soviet Summer and Soviet Winter WW2 troops and armor, my different scales of Age of Sail, ... need I go on?

    It's important to stretch one's horizons from time to time, Michael! C'mon... pick up a space ship. I dare you! Ha ha!


Post a Comment