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Hello! Please introduce yourself

My name is TJ. I’m known as TR13 Design; I’m originally from the Philippines but now live in the UK. I'm a Software Engineer. Been doing Gunpla since I was 8–9 years old but only really focused on the hobby back in 2011. My first kit was an HG 1:144 Heavy Arms and this was the kit that really blew my mind in terms of its articulation and pose-ability.

What really struck me was that I was expecting it to be an action figure at first! When I opened the box I immediately noticed that I would have to build it myself. The joy and the excitement I felt when I built it was amazing; I will never forget it. This was how it started, and it just escalated from there.

The first model kit I painted was not a Gunpla, but a Kotobukiya Jehuty. I didn't know much about painting at the time and used industrial spray paints. However, I was determined to match the colors on the box art, so I just went for it. As you can expect, it turned out not as well as I’d hoped to be. From there, I proceeded to self-teach the techniques in general, which enabled me to gradually build the skills needed to customize and paint a kit.

Gunpla and Plamo in general for me go hand in hand with my love for Mecha in other types of media, be it games, anime, or literature. Some of my initial builds were highly influenced by Armoured Core games. I took some aspects of Kawamori-san’s designs into some of my initial custom builds. From there, it just evolved into what you may have seen in my recent projects.

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

One of my favorite projects was the one I called Acheron.

P-Bandai MG 1:100 Rinascita Alba

This project was based on the P-Bandai MG 1:100 Rinascita Alba

The design of this kit is amazing, with its angular armor design and mainly sharp edges; On the other hand, I had a few MG Deathscythe/Deathscythe Hell lying around and thought what if I mixed it with this? This was how the project was conceived; I made some draft sketches and thought Alba looked good with the cloak. This project took me 3 months to complete.

Initially, the plan was to incorporate the Deathscythe Hell cloak, but this proved to be challenging due to its proportion and its weight. However, it looked good on paper, practically it was not suitable as the kit would just fall apart from the torso. So I went back to the design and found the most compatible cloak was from its 1:100 HG Counterpart; the OG Cloak design.

I encountered another challenge when the shield part of the cloak turned out very round and didn't match the kit's angular design. To solve this problem, I ended up scratch-building this part to ensure it aligned with the overall aesthetic. Overall, it was an enjoyable project, and possibly one of the most challenging builds I've tackled. I had to alter the design a few times due to issues with parts compatibility.

Describe your process when starting a new project

My process for every project is similar. First, I start by building the main kit. This helps me understand how everything works, including the gimmicks, articulation, and weapons. Then, I decide what modifications, redesigns, or complete changes are necessary. I usually have free rein in terms of the overall design since this is my prerequisite for any project I develop.

The main points I look for are the armor design and the “type” of the suit. I categorize my builds into light, medium, and heavy classes beforehand. This helps me determine the additional parts and weapons needed for the development phase of the project. Beforehand, I typically sketch on Procreate for visual reference and to jot down any adjustments or modifications.

As I mentioned earlier, I love Mecha, particularly the Armoured Core series. I collect Masterfile books that provide various illustrations of specific Mecha. These books are useful reference material for creating custom designs, and I highly recommend them.

Who do you follow on social media?

Ah, it's tough because I have several favorite artists, but my top 3 would have to be @shun_m47, @Matmat825, and @RyujiSorayama.

Shun is amazing at making modifications and adding details to his builds. Matmat is also great with creative ideas and overall design. I'm a big fan of Ryuji-san's scratch-built AOZ models too.

Give us a tour of your workspace/workbench.

The chair I use is a HyperX Gaming chair. For no particular reason, I like the black and red color.

I have a Flexispot Standing frame with a IKEA Karlby worktop - this gives me a wide area to work and also gives me the freedom to build standing up as and when I need to. This desk is my main desk for building, gaming, and working.

As for tools, I mainly use Tamiya Craft Tools and also BMC Chisels for detailing; I’ve got a few waves engraves as well as god hand and tsunoda nippers. I don't use specific tools, but I choose the tool suitable for the type of mods/detailing I need to do. For example, I only use BMC chisels for panel lines and use God Hands on the stock building.



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