February 20, 2008 at 17:39 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 2 Comments
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This was originally a Garma Zabi custom Zaku II kit, but I decided to paint it with the standard grunt unit colors: green. I also decided to modify a couple of things to improve its overall looks. This kit also marks my first use of various putties and pla-plate.

Starting with the head, I replaced the monoeye sticker with a leftover runner from a beam sabre. First I drilled a hole on the black part where the monoeye should be. Then I inserted a leftover runner off a beam sabre part into the hole, glued it and then trimmed off the excess with a hobby knife. I also decided to make the monoeye slit a bit narrower. Here’s what it originally looked like:IMG_0525

And below shows the results after modification. I basically just shaved away some plastic near the eye slit and tilted the top half of the head forward. The resulting gaps as the back were filled with epoxy putty.

IMG_0532 IMG_0533 IMG_0531

I decided to widen the chest a little by adding a sheet of pla-plate to the left and right sides of the chest. Gaps were then filled with basic putty. The middle part of the chest was also dabbed with some epoxy putty to raise its profile a bit. I also split the front skirt armor so that they can move independently and added a small piece of pla-plate on the crotch area.

IMG_0534 IMG_0536

On the Zaku shield on the right arm, I added another piece of pla-plate. And finally, I did some modification to the legs to improve the the posability. I just simply carved off some plastic at the back of the knees.

IMG_0537 IMG_0538

In the spirit of the grunt unit theme, I decided to apply some weathering, namely bullet holes, some small dents on the armor edges and some paint chipping. Also applied some Zeon water-slide decals to complement the theme. I used brown-yellow acrylic wash to fill the panel lines.

This was by far the most amount of modifications I’ve ever done to one single kit. It may sound like a lot, but it didn’t alter the overall design of the Zaku by much. Sadly, I broke the peg which connects the thigh to the hip. Tried to glue it back but it broke again when I tried to move the leg. Fortunately I managed to take some pics before it happened. Overall, I’m not too satisfied with the final outcome, but it did serve quite well as a test bed for future projects.


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  1. Nice. How long does the tamiya basic putty take to dry when mixed with thinner to dilute?

    • Depends on how thickly you applied it. To be safe, I just leave it for a day or two.

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