HGUC Zee ZuluMay 7, 2015 at 17:29 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
Tags: AK-12, HGUC Zee Zulu, kitbash, Lange Bruno gun, MSG assault rifle, MSG Knife Set, weathering, Zeon Remnant Project, Zimmerit coating
When I first saw the Zee Zulu, I wasn’t overly impressed by it. But once you take away the awkward-looking heat claws, frogman flippers and belly tank, the design doesn’t look too bad at all. So instead of paying for parts that I didn’t like, I decided to try out something new: build a complete kit by only using spare parts.
So at Yellow Submarine in Akihabara, I bought various parts to build the Zee Zulu. At first I thought about equipping it with a flamethrower-like fuel tank, but then I found parts for the Lange Bruno gun from Angelo Sauper Geara Zulu kit. This combination of parts means that my Zee Zulu would not be an amphibious combat unit, but a long range ground assault unit.
Materials & methods:
You can find the work in progress page here. I just recently bought the MSG Knife Set, so I added the machete and bayonet to the list of armaments. For painting, I initially thought of going for a stripy jungle camo scheme, but then I got lazy and just went for the dark green / olive green combo.
To make it look more interesting, I decided to add a yellow strip across the thighs, like in this picture. First I primed the thighs with grey surfacer, then sprayed orange-yellow over it. After the paint has dried, I placed a strip of tamiya masking tape over the thighs and sprayed olive green over it.
The limbs and head were also painted with the same olive green color. The body was painted with a mixture of green & german gray. The weapons required more masking, and I used a combination of gun metal, light gun metal and german gray spray cans together with hand-painted enamel gold and silver.
The Zee Zulu didn’t have too many wide surfaces to apply large decal markings. I used mostly warning decals, but I couldn’t resist using the Balkenkreuz decal. I applied enamel wash using brown-yellow paints and then some paint chipping & rust effects with silver enamel & dark brown gundam marker. Finally it’s the flat topcoat layer.
It’s always satisfying to take the original gunpla design and modify it to suit my own sense of aesthetics. Some people may like the original Zee Zulu design, but not me. I’m glad I replaced the legs and forearms, but the Lange Bruno gun & backpack was more trouble than it’s worth. I spent more time masking & painting it than the body itself. It was also quite a pain to pose with, given the awkward position of the handles. The ammo belt was also too stiff, and tends to pop out from the backpack.
Overall articulation is not overly impressive either. Arms can only bend 90 degrees, but the kneeling pose was acceptable. Due to the face cables and neck braces, you can’t turn the head in any direction. At least you can swivel the monoeye part. The bulky backpack might look like it can cause balance issues, but it’s actually quite light. Plus the legs are quite stable. Of the four Zeon Remnant units I’ve built so far, I like how this one looks, especially when holding the AK-12 assault rifle. Next up, it’s the Z’Gok. Stay tuned…