I've just completed a 1/100 HG Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu kit a couple of days ago after a two year modeling hiatus. Previous kits that I had done were several SD, HG, and MG Gundam kits and painted some of the MG kits, but without using proper modeling techniques. After checking out some modeling books on how to properly build kits and also getting some modeling advice from friends who are professional modelers, I went to gather all the basic modeling tools and supplies and started modeling again.
The first one that I had 'completed' after learning the proper modeling techniques was the SD Strike Gundam that I had completely painted, but it turned out like a piece of crap half-way through so I rushed to finish it for the sake of completing it and moved on to my next project. It's a cheap kit that I got for 200 yen at a flee market when attending the Shizuoka Hobby Show in May 2006. I used it for practicing my modeling skills so it's not worth spending too much time and effort on it once I got the basics down. I'll probably go back to fix the SD Strike Gundam kit again when my modeling skills have improved and when I get my airbrush set.
For the Amatsu kit, I painted all the gray parts and some red parts, leaving all the shiny gold coated and glossy black parts alone. I was advised by a friend to have all the coating stripped down and paint everything but I was still learning and improving my basic modeling skills at the time so I don't want to do something too difficult. Amatsu's gray parts are molded in this odd purple-ish gray color so I sprayed neutral gray on them and the red parts with gloss red. I used stickers for the red areas on the black parts as they are difficult to get the lacquer paints to stay on the glossy surface. I did try painting red on the right shoulder pad with a layer of acrylic red over a bottom layer of flat red but it didn't turn out as good as I wanted. I don't want to ruin the kit by painting the rest of the red areas so I used the quick and easy method of applying stickers. The stickers look fine though but I'll remove and paint them after my modeling skills have improved.
Click here to check out my completed Amatsu kit. Constructive criticisms are welcome!
The kit that I'm currently working on right now is Kotobukiya's 1/144 Gespenst Mk.II that I will completely cover all seam lines with putty and paint it black as seen in this reference pic.