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Sunday, October 17, 2021

My Don Suratos Minis and Mecha YOUTUBE Channel

I've been kinda focused on trying to grow my Youtube channel these days. I just finished writing a couple of magazine articles too. One for Fine Scale Modeler Magazine ( my 2nd ) and one for Fantasy Figures International Magazine. September was a crazy busy month and the following months look crazier. 

My Youtube uploading was so sporadic the past year. I skip months of no uploads. But this year, I am more consistent and there are months that I am hyperactive. Like 3 to even 5 uploads a week since August. I was also very active back in March to April, to help promote my Maquina Painting book. 

Youtube is very time consuming. Not really "hard work", as you like what you are doing. But it is very time consuming. Like 10x more time consuming in comparison to blogging. But much like blogging, Youtube is very fun and fulfilling, as you get to share your artworks to many people. 

My daughter NICO, who is into gunpla these days is also very active at Youtube. She has her own channel and is about to reach 1,000 subs! Nico's most recent video upload is crazy good ( super bias Dad here ). She is now getting comfortable at recording her voice. 

Here is the link to one of her videos 👉🏞

That's it! I just wanted to cross post a blog before I start my day. Just enjoy the hobby guys! Ignore gatekeepers and clowns. ðŸĪŠ


Sunday, January 19, 2020



I have shared this at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already. 

But again, Google ignores facebook posts and Facebook posts won't appear or at least are not a priority in Google searches. 

So naturally, I want Google to search this! Hi Google. :D

I am so delighted to announce my partnership / collaboration with this awesome magazine based in UK. 

All, if not most of my Gunpla projects from modifications, painting ( with Vallejo Mecha Colors ) and dioramas will be featured at Fantasy Figures International Magazine. A few notable Gunpla events that I will attend, might also be featured at the magazine. 

The magazine is a bi-monthly magazine and my first contribution / article will be on the April 2020 issue. Keeping what project will be featured at the magazine is kept as a secret for now. 

This is an awesome opportunity to have my humble Gunpla builds published for the very first time ( Internationally at that ). Humble blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts are awesome! But nothing is more fulfilling than seeing your work published on an actual magazine.

I am truly proud as a Filipino Gunpla Modeler for this collaboration. 

When this was made official after a few emails, the feeling was similar when I "luckily" won as BAKUC World Champion back in 2008

Much like my BAKUC win ( and my Paramount movie poster commission last year ), I am the First Filipino again, to be featured at this International magazine. 

I cannot thank all of the people that continue to follow me at all my social media platforms, as you helped made all this possible. Seriously you do! I really cannot thank you ALL enough.

So, THANK YOU TO ALL. Just thank you! 

Until next update fellow Mecha Designers and Vallejo Painters! 




Saturday, January 18, 2020

TETSUJIN 2020 Vallejo Mecha Color Painting Demo

TETSUJIN 2020 Vallejo painting Demo Photo

I was so stoked when this was finalized and was made official by my partners in HOBBYMATE and Acrylicos Vallejo , the no.1 hobby paint in the world! 

I will be doing Basic Vallejo Painting Demos with Vallejo Mecha Colors and Vallejo Shifters for 3 days at Tetsujin 2020 at Singapore. Tetsujin is brought to us by the no.1 hobby shops and hobby stores in HOBBY ART GALLERY and HOBBYMATE

This competition is the biggest non-Bandai competition for modelers by modelers. Judges this year are Erix93 ( A legend of the hobby ), Kenny Lim aka Toymaker, Seth Tuna, Chocofalcon and Eday Ng ( verEday ). 

Below is a video documentary of Tetsujin 2019. 

I am sooo excited to meet my old time friends there ( Kenny Lim & Edmund Teo ) and meet the other Masters of the hobby ( Gunpla ). I will be bringing my 16 year old daughter with me, as she really wants to come and see the entries. 

My daughter plans to join GBWC this year. 

Anyways, this will happen soon! I will have a ton of coverage of the event! 


TETSUJIN 2020 Vallejo painting Demo Photo




We are sooo friggin happy to announce that our DC23 clothing ( now partnered with Cleon&Clyde ) is a PROUD sponsor of the Original Mecha Contest by my good friend Jonathan Kaminski aka KAMM ( Facebook Link ).

Above are the winners of the Original Mecha Contest 2019. We are looking forward to this year's Mecha Designer competition! Official video announcement of this year's competition will be up at Kamm's Youtube channel soon! 

DC23 clothing ( with Cleon&Clyde ) will be sending out a gazillion custom shirts and hoodies to the winners. All designs are original artworks by yours truly.

Stay tuned fellow Mecha Designers! 




Thursday, January 16, 2020

XENOMORPH figure by Alice in Clay

Xenomorph by Alice in Clay photo

I just got myself in the pre-order list of this beautiful xenomorph resin statue, sculpted by Alice in Clay ( facebook link ). 

This beautiful sculpt will be reproduced in resin for just 20 pieces for their first release. Super limited edition. And I am so stoked to get on the pre-order list. 

The final unpainted figure will be around 35cm tall including the base. Roughly this is at 1/6 scale. 

I will be painting this awesome figure with Vallejos ( of course ). This project should be fun!

Do check out Alice in Clay at Facebook, for more updates. 

Xenomorph by Alice in Clay photo

Xenomorph by Alice in Clay photo

Xenomorph by Alice in Clay photo


Mecha Weathering Workshops with Acrylicos Vallejo

Mecha Weathering Workshops with Acrylicos Vallejo photo

I just closed the registration for my very first FREE Weathering Workshop with Acrylicos Vallejo. 

I announced the FREE Workshop at my Facebook Page last week. 

To be honest, I am not sure if I could do this FREE Workshop again after March 15. I will try very hard to be able to give time to my fellow kababayans ( Philippines ), but my schedule is actually booked until June 2020. 

In fact, my projects ( builds ) are practically booked the whole year. 

Also, I've been teaching ART lessons to kids ages 5 to 13 since October last year ( 2019 ). It has been very fun. We will continue to do Summer ART classes soon. 

The FREE Weathering Workshop with Vallejo Colors is FREE... coz their is nothing more fulfilling than sharing your experience and expertise with others. Gunpla is different than ART classes tho. I will be mentoring adults this time... 

But here is my simple note to myself ( I posted at Facebook earlier )...

Both my parents are retired University Professors. Mom in Chemistry, Dad in Practical Arts ( metal works and stuff ) and Physics. Dad has a woodworking and metal working shop at home. So I know a little bit about metals and rust. ðŸ˜…
However, they thought me, that once you reach the mentorship role in ANY field. Your goal is...

NOT to IMPRESS your students. 

A mentor's role is to TEACH. 

So while I do have all the @vallejocolors paints at my disposal... 
My painting workshop's goal is to teach how to achieve great results, with the least amount of paints and time. 

ART is achieving masterpieces minus the scientific lessons after all. 
My Vallejo Weathering Workshop on March 15 at my Art Studio is now close. But I will try to give as much workshops to my kababayans as much as my schedule the whole year will permit. ðŸŽĻ
Lastly, as a mentor... SHARE everything you know. Your students are not competition. You will be proud once they get better than you ( eventually ). 
Happy Weathering fellow #MechaDesigners and Vallejo Painters!

Saludos! ⚙️⚙️⚙️ðŸŽĻ


Saturday, January 4, 2020

HOW TO DO Armor Trimming verDC23 at Youtube

HOW TO DO Armor Trimming verDC23 at Youtube photo

I just uploaded another version of my Armor Trimming tutorial at my month old Youtube channel

This time the kit is my commissioned MG Gunner Zaku Warrior. A beautiful kit albeit the seam lines at the leg and arm parts. 

I kinda found it difficult to shoot ( video ) while doing Gunpla modifications. You are trying to favor towards the camera while cutting with a sharp stencil blade. Also favoring to the camera while drilling holes ( I slipped once ). I think I won't do much videos like this, except if I show a new technique ( at least for me ) or an old technique that I haven't shown in my channel ( like panel line scribing ). 

Anyways, I hope new modelers will find the modifications easy to follow and the video clear enough, or at least more clear than my older RG Sazabi Armor Trimming video. 

Also, I just hit the 9K milestone at Instagram! A ton of thanks to all the follows! 

I truly appreciate it so much! 

More Gunpla and Mecha Designs at all my Social Media accounts ( Twitter, IG, Facebook, Youtube and here )! 


K Following At Instagram photo


Thursday, January 2, 2020

HOW TO Paint a Zoids Gusock at Youtube

HOW to Paint A Zoids Gusock & HAPPY NEW YEAR photo

I just uploaded my recent video ( I think just my 23rd video ) at my 4 week old Youtube channel. 

The video above is the complete painting process of a quick fun project of a Takara Tomy Zoids Gusock, painted with Vallejo Mecha Colors and other Vallejo Paints. ALL with Vallejo Acrylics as usual. 

This was just a quick "demo" project painting with Vallejo mecha Colors. Although I love my Vallejos for a while now, I am really amaze on how strong the Mecha Color paints are. Although I am very bias, you will see in the videos how I handle ( mishandle ) the pieces even during painting. 

The adherence of these Mecha Color paints are insane even without curing time ( drying time is different than curing time ). 

I used to paint with Vallejo Game and Game Airs, also with Vallejo Premiums... which have strong adherence too. but I let those paints cure for a week before handling. Before playing or before posing ( Gunpla ). The Vallejo Mecha Colors should need a nice curing time, but I do not notice it. They dry fast and with really strong adherence to the material ( plastics ), even on a moving Zoids toy. 

Crazy stuff to be honest. 

I did not even varnish ( Mecha Color Matt Varnish ) the armor parts of this Gusock. 

I find the colors ( color selection ) of the Vallejo Mecha Colors a bit limited ( as of now ), but nothing a good filtering or mixing won't fix. 


I love my Vallejo Mecha Colors. LOL


I plan to blog ( ramble ) everyday this year. Nothing important, just my way of sort of converting this blog, into a diary of a full time professional scale modeler. 

People specially the younger ones, might be curious how it is to be a full time artist / modeler in the third world. 

Anyways, I was sooooooo tired a couple of days ago ( December 31 ) and yesterday ( January 1, 2020 ), as I migrated from my little corner at the ground floor of my art studio ( Blue Brick Art ), to my old work area at the second floor. 

Imagine climbing up and down a staircase with Gunpla stuff the whole day, and painting the walls the next day. 

I was crazy tired I failed to blog on the first day. But it was worth it!

A couple of days of NO modeling or painting was not very fun, but the logos of Vallejo, my logo and my eldest daughter's on the big white wall turned out nice. It is not perfect as it was hand painted ( with Vallejo Acrylic Studio of course ), but it really turned out nice.

I will have to retouch some errors and blemishes next time. But pretty happy with the logos so far.

I will need to invest on a nice glass cabinet ( 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall ) for all my painted builds this year. I will be painting like a madman this 2020, I am sure I need more cabinets than this area can hold. But a nice 4 x 8 feet at the back of my Gunpla area would be a nice start. 

Anyways, a ton of painting and Youtube Videos this year ( and beyond ). 

Thanks as always for dropping by! Just enjoy the hobby guys! 


HOW to Paint A Zoids Gusock & HAPPY NEW YEAR photo

HOW to Paint A Zoids Gusock & HAPPY NEW YEAR photo


Wednesday, December 25, 2019




Pardon the caps as this is the happiest day of my 19 years as a professional artist.

I' am truly BACK this time. I had a couple of attempts to come back to Gunpla ( 2011 and 2015 I think ), but back then... my passion for plastic robots was fueled by Bandai sponsored competitions ( BAKUC / GBWC ) and I was not allowed to join the Open category from 2010 to 2012. Also as a father of 3 growing kids, I focused on my financials the past ( almost 3 ) years.

Blue Brick Art Gallery at Facebook

I was a full time illustrator ( I draw ) working at home for almost 3 years now. I think I illustrated around 56 books and a gazillion of fan art for people abroad ( I rarely do art for local clients ). And it was super fun!

Working at home made us convert the house into an ART studio ( facebook link )We actually held art classes back in October already ( I actually miss our young art students ), and will resume this January ( 2020 ).

I also met awesome really talented and established illustrators ( and writer ) in the local comics industry a few months back, when I talked at MOA regarding fan art and illustrating for children's books abroad.

I met Paul Medina, Harvey Tolibao, Randy Valiente and Ian Velazquez thru our talk organized by Pop Hub! Awesome experience! I was not worthy to be lined up with those awesome people.

DC23 clothing at Facebook

We also released some DC23 clothing designs a couple of months back. Our shirt printer was awesome as he was able to repro my very detailed art into shirts. It's just that... due to the Christmas season, we were unable to meet some of our client demands... requests.

Requests like smaller... and bigger sizes and shirt colors ( red  and white ).

Moving forward, we are now working with another clothing company to better serve our clients ( but might still work with our old talented printer ). We might be exporting to Australia, Poland and potentially Singapore soon. Albeit we have shipped a few shirts to the US already.

I am designing ( drawing ) more Gunpla / Mecha Designs for our DC23 clothing for next year. DC23 clothing will also be sponsoring a big Mecha competition at Youtube soon.

So stay tuned guys!

Back to Gunpla

As I've said... I'm back. Albeit more as Don Suratos ( my real name ), than as DC23 ( my forums )

To be honest, I am not used to being active in Facebook pages. All of the admins are super cool and all. But I am not comfortable sharing my work to so many groups. I know I am flooding their Facebook groups too much ( My apologies ).

I am dubbed as an "Energizer Bunny" back in 2009 by my awesome friends from Zero G ( ZeroGunz ) forums. I was a hyper active member of that Malaysian based forums. Other than learning my Gunpla in 2008 from the super talented Michael Fichtenmayer ( Fichtenfoo ) and Kenny Lim ( ToyMaker ). I learned a million stuff at Zero G Malaysia ( won't mention names, as I might forget a few ).

Needless to say I learned only from the best.

These days, I am being inspired by other fellow Acrylicos Vallejo artists like Angel Giraldez, Tony Buendia and Chema Cabrero.

The pressure of leveling up my work, as these Vallejo artists are insanely good at what they do. Angel  Giraldez is a monster in the miniature world. Tony Buendia is a master in building scale model planes. My good friend Chema is the guru when it comes to tanks and armor.

And me... Hi I'm Don. LOL

My New Youtube Channel

This month ( December 2019 ) was me trying to get used to a process where I should video record and take photos of my work as I build Gunpla.

You build a little slower this way, as you have to pause and be very mindful of the camera while building Gunpla. I think I am a bit used to it now. It is actually fun.

I actually tried to cheat at Youtube.

I asked for a sort of shout out from a Youtuber ( Gunpla snap fitter and collector ) who asked my Gunpla Interview back in 2017 ( which I failed to reply to, as I was busy building up my Illustration portfolio ). The dude as I expected returned the favor. He ignored my messages at facebook. It's all good tho. Cheating is not good and I guess, Youtube does not work that way. Also, I guess he was building his channel back then... and he no longer does interviews these days. :)

Altho I have the support of my partners, I am now trying to fill my new Youtube channel with quality "modeling" content.

I literally effortlessly channeled my "Energizer Bunny" mode back in 2008 and been churning out quick videos this month.

I will still draw ( Gunpla break so not to burn out ). Mostly drawings for our DC23 clothing and some fan art commissions. But I am focused like an art knife in Gunpla in 2020.

I was just an employee ( at a network ) back in 2008 to 2016. So I just do Gunpla when I get home and during weekends ( like everyone else ). But moving forward, I will now be working full time as a professional Gunpla modeler.

At home... at my own Studio.

I cannot imagine how much Gunpla work I can put out this coming year.

Thus, I need to share a bit less in Facebook groups. Will just share major posts and updates. I tend to post updates a lot, as this is my way of resting from actual Gunpla or miniature work. I promise to NOT flood other Fb groups next year anymore. :)

GBWC 2020

My 16 year old daughter ( @verashley05 at IG ) will be joining GBWC 2020.

So that's that. So I am torn. I envy those people that are determined to join. But should I compete with my 16 year old daughter? Also I will be super busy building and painting for my youtube channel. I doubt I will have the time to modify a single kit til I drop late nights.

Besides, I have a sweet duel / build off with my good friend and master ( in the hobby ) in Kenny Lim aka Toymaker!

That TOYMAKER versus DC23 build off ( link to Youtube ) should be FUN!


I am sad as I am a hardcore Gunpla forum guy ( Zero G Malaysia and Fichtenfoo Forums ) back in the day. Thus the code name DC23.

11 years ago, during my most active Gunpla years. It was all forums. There are local ( Philippines ) forums, and a ton of good international forums. I was most active at Zero G, as a friend I met at HK World BAKUC Championship, in Reiloke ( 2008 Malaysia Champion ) invited me there.

Awesome experience!

We also eventually had our own MAC FORUMS, where I met more awesome people here and abroad.

Anyways, needless to say... I am not used to this Facebook group thing. I feel I cannot share too much updates unlike in the forums. So my apologies again for flooding other people's groups. I will try to post the more significant update only moving forward. I was just used to posting everything at Zero G and MAC forums back in those days.

Well at least, a few people still like to read. So I still blog. I am my most talkative here. I like sharing my stuff and even my thoughts here. This blog is getting good traffic again.

I am being penalized by Photobucket for my current blog traffic tho. I do not want to pay for something that should be free. Arrrgh.

Anyways, thanks for people who still like to read blogs. This small blog is alive again.


I get a ton of inquiries and messages on Gunpla and how to paint with Vallejos the past couple of weeks. I am actually happy that some people will be shifting to Vallejos ( they said ).

Vallejos are awesome ( I am bias ), and you have a plethora of resources and tutorials all over the net. I am focus on the Vallejo Mecha Color line tho. The other Vallejo paints are used ( and mastered ) by other Vallejo Artists.

Feel free to message me at IG, Twitter, Facebook or even Youtube regarding anything Gunpla and Vallejo Mecha Color paints. I will answer all of them during my Gunpla coffee breaks. Mabait ako... I am most fluent conversationally in Flipino ( Mahirap lang sya kasi i-type ). So message me for inquiries anytime.

Again I am happy to answer them, Also I am NOT charging a dime. LIBRE po. lol


I made a mistake for leaving the Paint Chipping medium to dry for 30 minutes. As I suspected, thus I sprayed a thick amount of chipping medium ( which was cracking during the painting of the white and pink colors, as it was too thick ).

The Grey, White and Pink Vallejo Mecha Colors are too strong and hard!

Again, I left the chipping medium to dry for 30 minutes ( as usual ) and it was super difficult to chip off the paints. I had to take a coffee break ( thus my photo on top ), as I was getting irritated. The paint chipping was supposedly easy ( it is easier with Vallejo Model Color ).

But the extra resistant properties of the Mecha Color line, was a DISADVANTAGE for the paint chipping technique.

Next time, I WON'T let the Paint Chipping Medium dry too long ( maybe just 5 to 10 minutes ) then will chip away the Mecha Color immediately.

I will share this shorter Paint Chipping Medium drying time experiment soon.

Hope this helps fellow Vallejo Mecha Color painters out there.

So that's it! This was a long post. Now off to spending time with the fam.










Monday, December 23, 2019

Paint Chipping verDC23 Prep & Undercoat

Paint Chipping verDC23 Prep & Undercoat photo

First off, my apologies as I cannot post detailed progress pics here at my blog, as my photos are reserved for something... hmmm... better.

Anyways, I am in the middle of working with my MG Gunner Zaku Warrior when I suddenly wanted to do some heavy weathering. I see a few well done over weathered builds at Facebook. I like them very much.

But photos might be intimidating for new modelers. So I felt I had to create a video to show that weathering is super easy ( and fun ).

I find heavy weathering, without physical damages to the kit a bit off tho. So I thought the first part of my video should teach people what to do in preparing kits for heavy weathering later.

Listed below are my STEPS seen videos at my new Youtube channel, which shows how I prepped the pieces before painting.


  • STEP 1 - clean all the nub marks and seam lines. A nice well cleaned ( well done ) kit should look more Pro level work, even if you plan to over weather them. 
  • STEP 2 - Scribe the existing panel lines. I scribed with a .5 scriber as this is a Mega Scale and is a big kit. 
  • STEP 3 - I made the panel lines deeper with a needle point scriber. This should be great during the washes stage. 
  • STEP 4 - Bevel the panel lines with a V shape chisel. Bevels will always make detail look like they are part of the original design. Very sharp un-beveled panel lines and detail look like paper craft. 
  • STEP 5 - Melt the plastic with soldering iron. Be careful. Also be mindful of the direction and position of the damages. 
  • STEP 6 - Chip away small edges of the armor with an art knife. This will compliment the heavy weathering later.
  • STEP 7 - Chip away small holes and damages with a V shape chisel.
  • STEP 8 - Sand and clean up excess plastic and sharp edges ( edges of damaged parts ).


  • Paint Vallejo Mecha Black Primer
  • Paint with Vallejo Brown and Sand Primer ( mix ) for pre shading
  • Splatter Panzer Color Light Rust
  • Seal with Mecha Color Gloss Varnish
  • Let cure overnight

That's it! I hope you still find this informative, even if I can't share detailed photos ( here ). Thanks as always for dropping by! Until next update guys!


Paint Chipping verDC23 Prep & Undercoat photo

Paint Chipping verDC23 Prep & Undercoat photo

Paint Chipping verDC23 Prep & Undercoat photo

Paint Chipping verDC23 Prep & Undercoat photo

Paint Chipping verDC23 Prep & Undercoat photo


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Vallejo Mecha Color EXPLAINED

As usual, pardon for the selfies as I desperately try to get comfortable in front of the camera, for my new YouTube channel .  Le...