From electric pink Zeon suits to an entire Sailor Moon squadron, Ashe Blitzen’s custom Gunpla builds are unmistakable. We first started following this prolific builder after discovering her Facebook page, Ashe Blitzen Builds, and decided we had to know more.
We digitally sat down with Ashe to chat about Gunpla. This is what she had to say:
When and how did you first get interested in Gunpla building?
As a kid I always LOVED taking things apart to see how they worked and reassembling them. About 3 years ago I basically dove headlong into the world of Gundam with barely any knowledge of the mecha genre at all. Eventually I was shown what Gunpla was and I’ve been building ever since. I purchased my first Gunpla on Amazon and wound up choosing a really old SD Zeta Turn-Flash kit with a built in LED kit in the center (I liked the way it looked!). It was slightly more advanced for an SD and I fell in love almost instantly. To this day, the Zeta Gundam is my favorite mobile suit and is really close to my heart and is a reminder of where I started.
How do you think you’ve improved since you first started? What helped you to improve?
I feel like I learn by piecing things together as I go along and trying to put my own spin on techniques that other gunpla builders have worked with. I actually took the ‘Fun to Build Gunpla’ class over at Gundam Planet this past summer and I learned so much. It really helped me push beyond my fear of doing more drastic things like weathering, battle damage, kitbashing, and modding parts. Once I picked up that dremel and started weathering my freshly snapped Thunderbolt Zaku, I felt like I was well on my way to doing bigger and better builds. Step out of the comfort zone!
You’re always mentioning Gundam Planet in your Facebook updates. We were wondering if you also work there?
It’s funny, I get asked this question all the time. No, I don’t work at Gundam Planet, but I am good friends with a lot of the people that do work over there and I hang out there on the weekends that I can. I’ve been going to Gundam Planet for years now and they really helped me gain momentum and confidence in my abilities. They’re a great group of people and I can’t recommend them enough.
Which of your Gunpla models are you proudest of building?
Oh, my Sailor Scouts by far! They were my passion project and they mean so much to me. I poured my heart and soul into them and every detail had to be right, down to the color of their eyes. They were quite literally the combination of my two great loves: mecha and the original magical girls. If I had to choose a favorite out of the scouts, though, I’d have to say that Sailor Moon was my favorite to build, not only because she was the first but because the hair was really fun to modify and paint.
Here at Gunpla 101, we love your custom Sailor Moon builds. Can you tell us about your process?
Thank you so much, that really means a lot to me! It makes me happy to see that people enjoy things that I truly enjoyed creating. For the scouts in particular, I spent a lot of time gathering reference materials and mixed A LOT of paint to get the colors just right. It sounds silly but a lot of my process with the scouts was just played by ear—I tried shaping certain parts or thought to myself ‘Hmm…maybe this would look good!’ and just went with what I thought was best for the source material. Mercury was exceptionally challenging because she’s got that little bob of hair and it’s difficult to translate that into mechanical parts. I wound up modifying and sanding down the shin piece of one of my old Gundam AGE kits to get that signature bob.
Who is your favorite female Gundam character and why? Your favorite male Gundam character?
Cima Garahau is most definitely my favorite female Gundam character by far! It’s funny, I went through all the Universal Century series on something of a binge watch over the course of a few months and Cima was a character that I really latched on to and became fascinated with. Her character is so much more than what people see in 0083 Stardust Memory—after seeing the short ‘Mayfly of Space,’ you learn so much more about her and why she behaves the way that she does. As far my favorite male Gundam character, that’d have to be the original Lockon Stratos (Neil Dylandy). He’s a strong, if not somewhat overly emotional, male character. He was my favorite part of Gundam 00 and a character that’s really close to my heart. I have a great love for strong but somewhat ’emotionally broken’ characters.
What are you Gunpla goals? Any models you’re hoping to work on or Gunpla techniques you’re hoping to teach yourself?
I’m working on integrating metal detail parts and I am determined to start using LEDs and wiring in my models.