Topp Zaku I

May 24, 2020 at 22:20 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
The initial plan for this build was to custom paint the HG Zaku I Origin kit into Topp’s Zaku I. But I didn’t like the look of the head and forearms of the Origin kit. So I ended up kitbashing various Zaku parts until the only Origin part left intact was the leg.

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be found here.
After priming with grey surfacer, preshading lines were added with Gaianotes Pure Black.
Since all three Zakus (Topp, Arth, Dell) have the same color scheme, I decided to paint all of them at the same time. Here are the colors that I used:
Feet, knees, chest: Gray FS36118
Backpack: Gaianotes Blue Grey
Vernier nozzle: Clear red (insides); Burnt iron (outside)
Torso: Mr Color Dark Earth (70%) + Propeller Color (30%)
Head, limbs: Light Gull Grey (80%) + Gaianotes Yellow-Brown (15%) + Orange-Yellow (5%)

After painting, I applied panel lining, decals, clear topcoat, and weathering (in that order) to all three Zakus. Weathering consisted of enamel wash (red brown enamel), paint chipping (german grey enamel), and weathering pastel on the feet.
Then I applied Gaianotes Ex-Clear Flat topcoat using my airbrush.

Results:

Some poses:

Discusssion:
Upon closer inpection, some parts may look a bit rough, but I think I managed to recreate a version of Topp’s Zaku that’s quite close to the original concept art.
It wasn’t a simple kitbash, but the effort was worth it. I don’t think I would be satisfied if I just repainted the Origin Zaku I kit.
So after kitbashing a fair share of Zakus, I can conclude that the best looking Zaku I head is the Thunderbolt Zaku I; best Zaku I body is the HGUC Zaku Sniper; and best legs are the Origin Zakus. Still haven’t found the perfect arms yet. Maybe the upcoming HGUC Char’s Zaku II can change that…

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