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United States | GunplaGallery Profile

Hello! Please introduce yourself

My name is Tony, I go by DomusMachinas on Instagram or DomusTempus, depending upon which of my many hobbies I’m posting. I’m a photographer and a leather crafter at heart, with a day job in the luxury automotive industry. I was born in Illinois, but grew up and currently reside in Ohio. Unlike the majority of Gunpla builders, I was not really into anime before I started building. Almost everything I know about the show has come from listening to podcasts from other builders and reading lore when researching kits. I bought my first kit as a way to incorporate some screen-free activities into my recreational time with my oldest son. He’s eight-years-old and currently has a limited attention span for building, but he has built a few HGs at this point with minimal help from me.

I built my first in December of 2022, it was the RG Strike Freedom, a kit I do not recommend to anyone, especially as a first attempt. It is very delicate, back heavy (as all strike freedoms would be), and falls apart easily. But in building, I was SO impressed with the engineering that went into the design, I knew I had to give it another chance.

Fast forward to March of ‘23, after a half dozen more snap builds a good friend gifted me about 20 kits that he had laying around after he realized he no longer had time to build. I decided to branch out from snap building and undertook the Sazabi Ver.Ka with full decals and some Mr. Super Clear Matte top coat. The first build for which I was really excited about my results.

Then I received my first commission from a co-worker who also had no connection to Gundam in general, but liked what I was doing. He said “I want something in grey and orange, you pick the kit” and thus, the custom Epyon was born, it was the first kit I painted fully. I used Tamiya rattle cans but was extremely happy with the end results.

Since painting is something I was really new to and I haven’t done a ton of painting since, I really don’t have a good paint setup. I use a makeshift spray station made from a cardboard box in my garage with the door open.

Outside of Gunpla I love making leather bags. This is a good example of the mindset that got me so deep into Gunpla so quickly. When looking for activities to do at home during the COVID-19 quarantine in January of ‘21 I found leather craft, and by the following month, I had orders for custom leather products.

A photo of my first leather bag made in April ‘21


That is to say, when I get into something new, I tend to go all out. After the great results from my first custom build, I started shopping for airbrushes and I told myself it would be “just for when I really want to customize a kit. But knowing myself, I could see if I buy an airbrush, I would definitely find a way I want to customize EVERY kit, so I decided against it. I have too many pursuits to spend quite that much time on every build. So for now I plan on keeping most builds pretty stock, just panel lining, doing the occasional chrome accents and top coating.

Tell us about your favorite gundam project you have worked on so far?

So far my favorite build has been my Sazabi Ver.Ka. It was my third master grade kit, but the first one to which I applied all of the decals, panel-lined and top-coated with a matte spray. I also branched out and ordered the Dot workshop metal frame parts, so the finished build not only has the inherent shelf-presence that all Sazabi models have, but it is imposing due to the sheer weight. The actual physical build was complete in two days, probably about eight hours of work. All in including finishing start to finish was about 24 hours spread over nine days total. But the results really speak for themselves.

The one thing that I’m constantly thinking about when planning my builds now, is that I do not have to stress out or figure out some off-the-wall color scheme to make a kit striking and be ecstatic with my results. Just taking care with the finishing, and adding that matt top coat you can really elevate a kit. I got more compliments on this than I was expecting considering how inexperienced I am and how truly talented so many builders in the community are. But this won my first build of the week on GunplaGallery!

I started this kit with zero experience with any kind of customization or finishing. I was a snap-builder through and through. But after seeing the scale of this I started to realize this kit deserved more than I was yet capable of. I didn’t go crazy by any means, but I am extremely happy with my choices for finishing. This project has definitely forced me to up my game.

Describe your process when starting a new project

I’m usually pretty certain when getting ready to start my next project of which one I’m most excited to do. But after that consideration, I also think about how much time I’m able to commit to that build, so the level of customization I can reasonably expect to accomplish will be dependent upon that. If I have less time, then an HG or a Full Mechanics kit may be on the docket. If I know I’ll have a few days where I can get several hours of uninterrupted build time, then I can get a little more in-depth.

When doing a commission, however, I do a lot more planning. I search photos and diagram what parts will be what color. The only commission I’ve done was a full custom color on an MG Epyon. So every part was painted, and I did all of the painting before any of the buildings. Which presented its own challenge of categorizing and separating parts before painting so that it wasn’t like assembling a jigsaw puzzle trying to find them later.

Most of the time browsing custom work from other great builders is what gets me really excited about undertaking a new custom build of my own, and when I have a great idea I keep all of my planning and ideas in the GunplaGallery post drafts and update as I go on extensive builds.

Who do you follow on social media?

Most of the content I consume on social media is through Instagram. The first account I really started to follow was @gunplahrazzi, I love his custom work, I’ve chatted with him a few times, and his custom Sazabi was one of the strong inspirations behind my Epyon.

n.makerstudio is not only talented, but I truly appreciate his efforts with the Assemble book. I’ve spent many hours with Google Translate to read and admire the beautiful photography and talented builders in that book.

heavymetalgunpla is another talented builder who does really clean, solid work. I really enjoy his photos that remind me that sometimes good execution is all a kit needs to really shine.

I also listen to a few podcasts, @theundergatedpodcast and @gunplaclub are two of my favorites.

Give us a tour of your workspace/workbench.

I wish I had a dedicated workspace, but I’m afraid you’d be underwhelmed to see my kitchen table and my end of the couch. More often than not I’m on the couch with the runners organized on one side of the kit box and nipping pieces out of the other side in my lap. I do use the GodHand GH-SPN-120 and GH-PN-120 nippers, along with a hobby knife, and if necessary a rubber sanding pad that I found at the hobby lobby. Of course, for special cases, I also have Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. Aside from those few things, my most used product on every build is definitely my Mr. Hobby Ultra Clear Matte top coat spray. I keep several cans on hand at any given time. I really feel that even if you’re not doing anything else to the build, that last touch of a matte clear coat will just give your build that extra punch to elevate it above a straight snap build.


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