Bandai Non-Scale Super Fumina Christmas Angel Custom

I don’t think this is what the shepherds in the fields likely saw, but as a Christmas ornament, she’ll do nicely. Gotta love a black base on a black background, too! (NOTE: Figure does not actually fly. No batteries required. YOU put it together.)

The decision by Bandai to get back into the “Gundam Girls” segment of the model kit market, which has really taken off in the last couple of years, wasn’t really a surprise. If there’s money to be made from Gundam styrene, Bandai’s all over it like the ‘70s on a Resse’s Pieces box! However, some of the earlier attempts at this genre, notably the two kits based on the “Super Fumina” mould, are generally not well-liked.

After deciding to use the Super Fumina Axis Angel kit as the basis for a Christmas decoration, it was full speed ahead. As outlined in Part 1, the first steps were to get the figure snapped up and decide on a pose, as well as getting the wings the way I wanted them. Then, I was able to fabricate a long skirt for her, so she’s more angelic and less… “fan-spank”. After all, I wanted this to be a decoration I put out for everyone to see, and angels generally aren’t quite as immodestly attired as was the original form of the Axis Angel!

Pass On The Joint(s)!

Even though the Super Fumina is a kit of a kit (see Part 1 for more details, I’m not going through those mental gymnastics again!), I still didn’t like the joints. I wanted a kit that looked like a statue or third-party figure, meaning one that was fixed-pose but smoothy jointed (like a person). This meant, though, that ALL the joints would have to be immobilized and puttied. Thus, once I found a pose I liked, and that looked “right” for an angel, I glued all the joints in place. This felt very odd, but kinda fun at the same time. I mean, it’s literally the opposite of what you normally do on a Gundam, which is to make sure you DON’T glue the joints! Rebellion is where you find it, I guess. Fight the Power!?

While gluing them was easy, getting rid of them would prove to be less difficult. To start with, all the joints had to be puttied. The best way to do such large amounts of filling that I have found is to use an epoxy putty. I used Aves Apoxie Sculp, but Milliput or something similar will do. The Apoxie Sculp can be smoothed and formed with a wet finger, like Milliput, but it sands easier. So, the knees and elbows got puttied first, but there was a lot more to it than that.

I also wanted her legs to be bare; an angel in bike shorts seems weird, and sounds like an indie film title to boot. That meant not only filling the knees, but puttying the rotators that separate the upper and middle thigh. This was accomplished using a thin worm of Apoxie Sculp, but then I realized there was a bit of a step, so to fair things in smoothly, I ended up using a larger, flatter band of Apoxie Sculp around the entire leg in the area where the upper and lower thighs joined. This was repeated just above the knee, where the Super Fumina’s leggings normally start. That’s a lot to putty on just the legs!

That’s a lot of Apoxie Sculp on there, and it spells a lot of sanding to come. Still that’s what it takes to turn Fumina into something that looks like a figure, and not a girl with weird joints.

The arms were fine; only elbows to putty there. The shoulders, though, needed more work. I decided to keep the shoulder flares as separate pieces, not only because they looked better that way, but because I could put them on afterwards, too. I did putty around the shoulder/body joint, though, as well as filling in the trench in the shoulder where the beam sabres would store.

Of course, there’s more putty up top, too! The shoulders needed work, as did the collar; you can see some putty between her shirt and chest; this was just left open. It looked weird and cheap, and required a fix.

The arms had more challenges in store, too; the lower arm armours needed serious work. On the original kit, the Axis Angel has these weird armour formations on the lower arm that are there to add some weight to the arm as well as visual interest. They were terrible. They fell off all the time and didn’t fit well at all. As expected, once the elbows were puttied in place, I then glued on the armours and filled in and around them; they were quite hollow from the back! My idea was to use them as billowy sleeves, and thus they needed to be fully integrated with the rest of the arm.

Fuminas, Romans, Countrymen…           

It seems that Fumina did indeed heed Caesar’s words and lend him an ear; she only has one! This Van Gogh-like state is a by-product of her original “mech” nature. She originally has a communicator-type headset on one side, complete with an aerial. Since this covers the ear, there is no ear moulded onto the figure on one side! There’s no way I could leave that, so I did what had to be done: I made a new ear! I used Apoxie Sculp to fill in the missing “hair” and build up an ear. I then gently formed it to match the other one, and gave it a light sanding when it was dry.

Van Gogh? More like Van “up and went”! The new ear was an interesting wrinkle I hadn’t counted on. She needed some extra head material, too.
From the front, it doesn’t look too bad, eh? I mean, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than a hole in her head!

Adding complication to Fumina’s head is the fact that, like most figure kits and statues, her hair is divided in half I was going to just glue the hair on and putty it, but that can’t be done until her face is painted, and the insides of her hair are painted appropriately. So, this had to wait until later, increasing difficulty and risk.


With all the Apoxie Sculp dry, the monumentally dusky task of shaping all the joints could begin. Make no mistake, this was old-school material removal at its finest. I used very coarse (about 120, if memory serves) sandpaper to do rough shaping, using finer grades to tune up the shape and finish as the task wore on.

Compare this to the puttied leg above, and you can guess how much work went into it. With the right paint job, this will look like a normal leg.

This job ate up a lot of sandpaper. Even when sanded wet, the Apoxie Sculp tends to choke up sandpaper, so I burned through a lot. Thankfully, it’s cheap and I had lots on hand. Of course, like any other sanding job, I covered the entire puttied area with Testors Model Master Acrylic (MMA) Flat White. It’s tough, won’t shrink, but will still flow into cracks and any porous areas. After a few applications of that, the hard work was done. For the most part, at least…   

Fairing in the “sleeves” was one of the hardest parts. I filled the hollow ends with Crayola Model Magic. I love this stuff for mass filling applications; it’s light and shrinks very little. I then “skinned” it with CA, and sanded it, using MMA Flat white to fill in any air bubbles. To make them look more like sleeves, I made sure the line on the cuff of the arm and the armour lined up, so it could all look like a single piece of piping. Then, I blended in the weird over-arm flappy bit. This was another case where aggression and course sandpaper were really needed, but the end result was great.

Lots going on on these sleeves! The pinkish colour is Model Magic, perfect for this kind of work!

They Eyes (and Head) Have It:

The Super Fumina kits have a weird system where you can apply stickers to the outside of the eyes, or on an eye piece that is recessed and the covered with a glass lens. Neither looks right, so I decided to use the glass lens as the “eye” and use the provided stickers on top of that. I painted the face and head, including my new ear, and then attached the hair at the back. Rather than Fumina’s light brown, I went with a very bright yellow (a mix from before, I forget what’s in it). I wanted to give an almost “glowing” feel to the hair.

I then installed the “lenses” over the eyes and painted them white. The eye stickers they give are very nice, despite being self-adhesive foil units. Using very fine cuticle scissors, I cut away the material around the eyes themselves and stuck them on. Being so small, they didn’t bunch up or have any issues, and once smoothed down they looked good and stuck well. I used some Alclad Aqua Gloss to nail them down, too.

The eye colouring is sticker, the white part is paint. That’s a great hybridized way of doing “anime eyes”, as it turns out!

The problem with the head is that there is a split in the hair. So, I had to paint both halves, and then attach, fill and sand. I had already Apoxie Sculp’ed the hole in her head where her “hat” fit in, but that didn’t help the seam line. I used melted sprue to cover the gap, since it would help glue things in place at the same time, and be easy to sand. While it was a mess for a bit, it did work out nicely!

Excedrin Headache 4,573! The use of melted sprue to fill the crack in her hair worked well, despite being a very old-school way of doing things. Can’t beat the classics!

The last thing I needed before full paintwork was a halo. Can’t have an angel without a halo, right? The thing is finding a ring didn’t look like it would be easy… but it was! There was one of those ‘centre-of-the-rack’ rings in a kit I’d built a while back (forget which one) that I thought looked useful, so I kept it. Thank goodness for my modeller’s instincts, because it was, indeed, perfect! A little bit of sanding, and I had a single-piece ring that was just about the right size.

Sadly, there’s no way to make it actually hover over her head, so I used the thinnest piece of wire I could find, and drilled a tiny hole with my pin vise in the ring. I then drilled another one in the base of where her ponytail joins on, so it would have a good place to nest. I used Molotow Chrome for the halo, and then coated it with clear yellow, to give it a “gold” effect.

“Can you see the string?” Well, no, but we can see the wire holding up Fumina’s halo. Still, that’s about as unobtrusive as it’s going to get.

Pretty in Pink:

I needed a colour for my angel. Sure, white came to mind, but that’s rather cliché. I wanted something different, and Google helped me out. There were angels in white, and light blue (looked nice) and a few other colours, and then I came across one that was in pink. That didn’t seem to be a widespread choice for angelic robes, but it looked good, and it harkened back to the original kit. So, I went with that. I had a purplish-pink colour (again, no clue from where) that I thought would make for some good piping, and so Fumina’s colour scheme was born!

A plaintive gesture and a calming demeanor; the Fumina Christmas Angel is certainly a long way from her more aggressive beginnings!

Pretty much everything she’s wearing is pink. That made it easy to paint. I primed with Rustoleum White Primer and a few hand-coats of the pink later and the big stuff was done. I applied the piping colour where appropriate, and over the pink base it covered in only a couple of coats. I decided on gold for her belt buckle, collar and the shoulder buckles, just to add visual interest and to connect them, visually, to her halo.

The lighting here really shows up the pastel low-lights, as well as the fake “pleats” that I put in the skirt!

I did her exposed skin in MMA Flesh, and that meant her legs, chest and hands. Now, remember, the legs and hands weren’t mostly kin before, so the end result was something that had a very different look from the original kit. I gave her white “socks” and painted the feet all in pink. Granted, the weird “Gundam Feet” look a bit strange, but I’ve never seen an angel’s shoes, so I can’t judge. One nice thing I hadn’t thought about was how the long piece used to join the skirt, really worked into the angel theme. If you look at her from the front, the piping on her skirt, shirt and belt actually make a roughly correctly-proportioned Cross. Seemed appropriate to me.

This “under construction” view from right in front, helps highlight the cross-shape on her dress.

To highlight some of the “creases”, and increase the impression that she’s wearing clothes, not armour, I used pink chalk pastel to add a few shadows on her shoulders and arms. I also drew a few vertical lines on the skirt, where it scallops, to give the impression of seams or light folds. I would have liked to have physically moulded them in, but that was beyond me at the time. I also used some chalk pastels I mixed to blend in with the flesh colour to give a bit of skin shadowing on her exposed areas, even if you don’t see them without looking.

You can make out some of the pastelling work on the shoulders, and even those in her hair. The sleeves turned out nicely, eh?
The pleats on this skirt are just drawn in, but they add depth and visual interest with minimal effort! See, all that work on the legs paid off; these are far different than what Bandai intended!

I glossed everything in place with Aqua Gloss, sanded it smooth, and then gave her a matte coat with Delta Ceramcoat Urethane Indoor/Outdoor Varnish. I went for a very low-satin finish, since clothing and people aren’t usually shiny. The exception were the wings, which I painted white and then highlighted with a blue pastel. To harken back to the original kit, I finished them in a pearl-coat I made from some Jacquard pigment and Future. This looked AWESOME and set the whole figure off. I painted the rather crappy stand in black spraybomb, and the satin coated it. It is the least impressive part of the kit, believe me.

There’s no pastelling on the wings’ reverse side. I wanted to blend the “mechanical” bits in as much as possible. Not perfect, but not bad…

Merry Christmas!

So, with it all painted up, final assembly was easy, and I had the Fumina Christmas Angel Custom done in short order. I got it done just in time for Christmas, too!

I have to say that the somewhat bad reputation this kit has is both deserved and undeserved. On one hand, it is a crappy kit. It’s loose and tends to fall apart if you just snap it up, and while the colours are very nice out of the box, it lacks depth and looks rather feeble. Add in the weird joints and arm armours that just look like hollow garbage, and yeah, it’s not Bandai’s best.


Just like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree, if you lavish some love and attention on this model, you can really get something nice out of it. The bones for a solid anime figure are in there, you just have to go all “plastic paleontologist” and dig them out. This thing demands customization to work out right, and the choice to putty the joints, smooth things out and make a new skirt really make all the difference.

This, unlike almost every other Gundam HG kit, is not a good one for beginners. It’s wibbledy nature combined with some rather obvious corner cutting on Bandai’s part make it a far-less-than forgiving, or rewarding, kit for a newcomer to the hobby. It’s a canvas for customization, and if you think it’s anything more than that, disappointment awaits.

I think my version looks great. I love it. I got to build an anime figure in a pretty big scale, which is a treat I don’t often get. I got to try some new stuff with blending the joints and making the skirt, and it won’t be the last of these “Gundam Girl” kits I do in this custom style. Everything worked the way I wanted it to on this one, and I’m both happy and proud to put her on display this Christmas. However, I likely will find a spot for her to stay out when the other decorations go away!

If you want to try something different and really flex your modelling muscles and imagination, these early Super Fumina kits still have a lot to offer. However, whether you get coal in your stocking, or are touched by angel, is entire up to how much effort you want to put in!

To all my readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From Fumina and myself, we wish all the Lagoon’s visitors a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and prosperous New Year.
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