Topp Zaku I

May 24, 2020 at 22:20 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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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.


Some poses:

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…

HGUC Ground Type Gundam Parachute Pack

May 11, 2020 at 19:27 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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There have been several RX-79[G] Ground Type Gundam kits released since the 08th MS Team aired, but I’ve never built a ‘proper’ one yet. So to correct that anomaly, I bought the P-Bandai RX-79[G] Parachute Pack which came with plenty of accessories. The plan was to add additional details and some light weathering effects, while keeping the original colors intact (more or less).

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be found here.
After priming & pre-shading, the parts were painted as follows:
White parts: Gaianotes semi-gloss white + a bit of neutral grey
Chest: Leftover dark blue from the Zaku Mariner
Red parts: Red madder
Verniers: Gaianotes gunmetal
Parachute pack: Olive drab + Russian green; Gray FS36118
Weapons: Gray FS36118

Panel-lining was done using black enamel, followed by decals. Then clear topcoat was sprayed to protect the decals.
For weathering, enamel wash using dark brown + yellow was applied first. Then additional scratch marks & oil streaks were added using enamel paints & a fine brush. On the weapons & torso, dry brushing was applied using enamel silver. Also added a liberal dab of weathering pastel on the feet & shield.
Final step was the flat topcoat layer.


Although the kit comes with several extra bazookas, I didn’t build them. Pictured here are the ones I made for the GM Head build.

The kit also comes with a spare GM head, but I’m saving that for the GM Sniper build. Instead I used the head from the HGUC GM Ground Type kit.

Compared to the old HGUC kit, this new RX-79[G] has much better proportions. The range of movement is more or less similar to the old kit, but the new one has better torso movement.
In general, seam lines are well hidden, except for the forearms and parachute pack. Speaking of which, the size of the parachute pack can cause some balance problems when attached. But it does look cool, though.
While I much prefer GM heads than Gundam heads, I think in this case the Gundam head looks better than the new GM Ground type head. But the old HGUC GM head head looks better than both of those.
Overall, this is a solid kit with plenty of extras. It’s a shame it’s Premium Bandai only…

HG Zaku High Mobility Test Type

May 2, 2020 at 12:44 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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So the first entry for my 08th MS Team project is the high mobility test type Zaku that made it’s appearance in Episode 1. This is a P-Bandai kit and part of the Origin MSD series of kits. I had plans to paint a custom color scheme for this build, but in the end I just stuck with the original colors.

Materials & methods:
This is generally a straight build, but I did add some detail parts on the chest, shins, underside of the feet, and monoeye.
The kit comes with only a Zaku machinegun and heat hawk, so I added the extra large beam bazooka leftover from my HGUC Dom kit. I also used a pair of resin fists I bought from the C3 market.
After priming and preshading, I painted it as follows:

  • Head, chest, left shoulder: Gaianotes blue grey
  • Purple parts: Gundam Color MS Purple
  • Dark parts: Midnight blue
  • Weapons: Gray FS36118
  • Power cables, verniers: Gaianotes gunmetal

I don’t usually use the stickers that come with the kit, but in this case I used them as masking tape.
To recreate the red lines on the lower legs and hip armors, I first painted dark red over the intended areas.
Then I applied the red line stickers over them, and then proceeded to paint the whole part in Midnight blue. After paint has dried, I just peeled off the stickers like any masking tape.
Since this is a space-based unit, I decided to paint the underside of the feet as well. I didn’t apply any weathering, except on the Beam Bazooka.
After that, it’s panel-lining, decals & flat topcoat. The final step was applying reflective stickers on the monoeye & Zaku machinegun, and some clear lenses on the Beam Bazooka.


And some action poses:

I thought it would be a good idea to start off the 08th MS Team project on a simple, straight build, without major kitbashing or custom color schemes.
This Zaku High Mobility Test Type is based on the more recent Origin Zaku kits, so construction was a breeze. The only seam lines to take care of are at the forearms and left shoulder.
I think the most challenging part of this build was applying the red line stickers as a masking tape. They’re more finicky than I anticipated. Also, taking photos with the beam bazooka was also quite a challenge, simply because of its massive size.
But overall, it was a pretty comfy build.

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