Despite giving the Growlmon toy a higher rating in its
review, I find the Gargomon toy to the
most fun out of the three Digivolvers from this season that I've
purchased so far. That, along with the fact that I just happen to
think Gargomon and Rapidmon kick major ass, encouraged me to
undertake my very first complete and utter repaint project,
turning a Gargomon/Rapidmon Digivolver into a
BlackGargomon/BlackRapidmon Digivolver. As I once said somewhere
else on the site - evil twins rock (yeah, yeah, I know
BlackGargomon's still a Vaccine...).
The first step was to get some pictures I could use for reference (kudos goes out to Jita from Pojo's for getting the card pictures for me!). Using them, I made two quick full-body sketches of BlackGargomon and BlackRapidmon - you can see the cards and the sketches by clicking their respective thumbnails on this page. For the most part, it's simply a case of whatever was green on Gargomon/Rapidmon is black on BlackGargomon/BlackRapidmon, and whatever was cream is brown. Curiously, though, Rapidmon's cream-coloured face is a dull grey on BlackRapidmon, with a brown nose rather than black. Also, BlackGargomon has a belt around his pants, while Gargomon does not.
Next, after buying the toy, I had to disassemble it as much as possible. The ears, arms (all four of them), legs and head were all easy to pop off, connected as they were only by ball joints. I also was able to disassemble the legs further by disconnecting the joints that allow them to swing back and forth. Then came the tricky bit - actually unscrewing the figure. Five screws in all held the main body together - two holding the two halves, then three more inside, holding assorted parts together. It took at least five minutes for me to break the glue seal holding part of the body together.
Black was the first colour to deal with. On the card illustrations, the black is more of a really dark grey, but that is a result of not being able to use plain black in a two-dimensional picture, otherwise the details wouldn't show up. I couldn't use plain black either, because then Gargomon's black eyes wouldn't be discernable from the rest of his body. So, I mixed some black paint with a little white, and some blue for colour, and began to paint over all the green.
While the black was drying, I couldn't paint on the brown, because it was mostly on the same parts as the currently wet black paint. So, instead, I turned to silver. First up were his arms, which I had to unscrew - four small screws held each arm together, which consisted of the main barrel, two cannon halves, a spring, the fist and the rod it was attached to, and a section for the fist and rod to fit inside. The silver was a considerable pain to paint, as it takes more coats than any other colour, on account of it being so light and thin. Add that to the fact that what I was painting over was originally black, and it took me a while. Then, once that was (finally) done, the black paint on the other parts had dried, so I mixed a little black into the silver I already had, and began to paint in the dark silver parts on the other body pieces (at this point, I actually realised that I missed a few dark silver parts out on the original Rapidmon toy - namely, the triangles on his chest and pelvis, the rim underneath his chest, and ovals on his calves).
Still not wanting to get into the brown just yet, I then mixed some grey and blue together, to produce a very nice "tattered" looking colour, with which to paint in BlackGargomon's pants. I then added a little white, and did the turn-ups.
Finally, then, the only remaining colour was brown. I mixed up some burnt sienna, yellow and white to get the creamy, chocolate brown colour that the skin of the character is, and began with the ears, painting the tips of BlackGargomon's, and the bases of BlackRapidmon's. Then, I did the shoulders of the arms, the upper legs, the lower legs, and then it was time to move on to the body itself. I applied a quick base coat of the brown, but it was too similar to the bandolier, so I decided to repaint the bandolier in a darker brown, which I created by mixing in a little black to the brown paint I already had. I also painted the top of BlackGargomon's pants this colour to simulate his belt (I might add a buckle out of some modelling clay some time in the future). That dried fairly quickly, so then I returned to painting in the rest of the main body - the brown took several coats, as it was a fairly pale colour, and had a washed-out look.
To finish him off, I painted in BlackRapidmon's grey face, then added the silver buckle to BlackGargomon's bandolier.
When the time came to reassemble the toy, the first thing I did was put the body back together, then attach everything else, save for BlackGargomon's arms, which had to be screwed together. As I gathered the parts for the first arm, the spring slipped off the fist-and-rod part, and landed in my lap and got caught up in the folds of my clothes. I stood up to let it fall... and it FERKING DISAPPEARED. I searched for it for a minute or two, and then just decided to finish the other arm and attach it, then find the spring and do the remaining arm. I did this... and then, on and off, spent what must have been over an hour, crawling around on my hands and knees, searching for that wretched spring. I didn't find it, and am convinced it fell through a warp in space and time. >_<
Anyway, as a result of that, BlackGargomon's left arm does not have the spring-loaded fist feature. In these pictures, it isn't even screwed together - all the parts are just clipped together, so that if I DO find the spring, I can fit it in without trouble.
I'm very pleased with how the toy has turned out, though invariably there's a lot of paint scratching that's just unavoidable. The upper body is fine (though you have to be careful when turning the BlackRapidmon head around, but I rarely do that anyway), but the legs are pretty bad. You have to be *very* careful when rotating his legs around during transformation, otherwise you wind up scraping a whole line of paint off. Also, as one would expect, the grooves that the sliding joint at the knees move up and down in are scraped clean - but that's unavoidable. Similarly, there's a spot at the base of the kneecap that's scraped, as that's where the legs lock in BlackGargomon mode (look close at the pictures and you might be able to see it).
The feet also suffer from scrapes. Even more so than the original Rapidmon repaint - while the silver paint on it only scraped on one side of one foot, it's scraped on both sides of both feet on this on. The brown paint is scraped off in similar places. But it's all inevitable.
Time spent - About five straight hours, with a twenty-minute break in the middle to watch "CardCaptors." ^^;; I went back a couple of times to touch up the paint where it scraped... and to look for that damn spring.
BlackGargomon and Gargomon
BlackRapidmon and Rapidmon
Tell me what you think!