Topp squad Zaku II – Work in progress

April 25, 2020 at 19:47 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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For the remaining two Zakus from Topp’s squad, I decided to merge the work in progress posts since I’m working on both at the same time.
Both are using the Zaku Origin kits as base, so some mods are the same for both kits. The differences between the two Zakus are illustrated below:

The major characteristic of Arth’s Zaku II is the exposed right shoulder, left knee guard, and the armaments: a GM shield and a heat hawk. Dell’s Zaku II is probably the most battle-damaged of Topp’s squad, featuring a shattered left shoulder armor, broken power pipe and the lack of left skirt armor.
For Arth’s Zaku, I’m using the Origin Char’s Zaku II kit as base. For Dell’s Zaku, it’s a kitbash of various Zaku II parts from Yellow Submarine, but it’s mostly parts from the Origin Zaku II C6 type.

Head:
For both kits, I covered up some panel lines on the top of the head using basic putty.

The monoeye was also modified as follows: drill hole -> attach round plate -> attach clear lens

Body:
There’s a seam line running through the middle of the part that holds the shoulder socket. I disguised it using both techniques mentioned here.

On the Char Zaku II backpack, there’s two bulges near the bottom thrusters. I cut them off and covered the holes with MSG parts. The top thrusters were also cut out and replaced with plaplate. For Dell’s Zaku backpack, I simply covered the top thrusters with putty.

For both Zakus, I cut off some piece from the front skirt armor.

On the back skirt armor, I covered some holes with detail parts and added some pla-plate for additional detail.

For Dell’s Zaku, the left power cable is severed. I recreated it by doing some cut and paste job on the original power cable part. In the original art, the cable goes all the way to the knees. But I decided to keep it short. At the end of the severed cable, I inserted a copper rod.

Shoulders:
To recreate the exposed right shoulder on Arth’s Zaku, I used the shoulder joint from the HGUC GM Striker. To it I attached some round plates from a tank model, and a detail part from the HCM-Pro Ez-8. At the bottom, I cut and pasted the peg from the Origin Zaku shoulder.

On the left shoulder, I filled the small holes and panel lines on the spikes using some putty.

The shoulders on Dell’s Zaku are more damaged. On the right arm shield, I carved out some bits of plastic using my Ultrasonic cutter. It melted the plastic a bit, but in this case I think it adds to the damaged effect.

On the left shoulder, I carved out a hole using the Ultrasonic cutter. The melted plastic left smooth edges, so I made it more ‘edgy’ using my hobby blade.

Hands:
I decided to use RG Zaku II hands for both builds. Instead of attaching the RG wrist socket to the HG forearm, I just transplanted HG hand ball joints to the RG hands.

Legs:
On both Zakus, I filled some panel lines on the thighs with basic putty:

On Arth’s Zaku, the left knee is a slightly exposed. I cut off some parts from the left knee:

The left knee armor was cut into shape, and some holes were drilled in, according to reference photo.

The thrusters on the lower legs of both Zakus were filled with putty:

The same with the foot. I also scribed a simple panel line on the sides:

Armaments:
Arth’s Zaku is armed with a heat hawk and a generic GM shield. I’m using the shield from a GM resin kit from C3 hobby. I cut off the Federation star/cross(?) and carved out some holes to recreate bullet damage. The handle at the back is made up of some MSG detail parts and plaplate.

Dell’s Zaku is armed with a Magella cannon from the old HGUC Garma Zabi Zaku II kit. In the anime, the cannon has a magazine on top, but the HGUC version doesn’t. So I cut off the magazine from Char’s Zaku anti-ship rifle and attached it to the Magella cannon.

Here’s Arth’s Zaku after test fitting:

and this is Dell’s Zaku:

It doesn’t look too pretty at the moment, but I’m planning to paint, weather and finish all three Topp Zakus at the same time.

Topp Zaku I – Work in progress

April 18, 2020 at 18:15 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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This is the first of the 3 Zakus from Topp’s squad. I thought about simply using the HG Zaku I Origin kit for this build, but I decided to make things difficult for myself by doing a kitbash.

Head: Zaku I Thunderbolt.
I added the commander antenna from an older HGUC Zaku II kit:

And repositioned the fin at the back of the head. The gap will be filled with putty.

Instead of using a sticker for the monoeye, I attached a round plate from MSG which will be fitted with a clear lens.

Body: HGUC Zaku I Sniper
First I cut off some parts from the chest, shown by the red arrows:

The Zaku I Sniper’s chest looks different from the one in the 08th MS anime, so I padded the chest with 1mm plaplate. Any gaps will be filled with putty later.

I also had to modify the shoulder socket because of the arms I decided to use. To make way for the polycap ball socket, I had to trim off some excess plastic and fill some empty gaps with plaplate.

Since the Zaku Sniper body doesn’t include a normal backpack, I used one from the Origin kit. I had to drill some holes to make them compatible:

I wanted to elongate the waist, but I took a slightly different approach. Instead of using a single slab of plaplate, I arranged 1mm square pipes around the underside of the waist part:

The old Zaku I sniper waist uses ball joints to connect the legs. Since I’m using Origin legs, I had to replace the ball joint with a rod-type joint from the Origin kit. Excess plastic in and around the intended area had to be removed to fit the rod-type joint.

To attach extra drum magazines to the skirt armor, I decided to use magnets. I used superglue to stick the magnets to the undersides of the skirt armors and drum magazines, as indicated by the red arrows:

So that way the skirt armors look clean, without any pegs or holes. The extra drum magazines can just stick like a fridge magnet.

At the back skirt, I attached some detail parts made from 1mm square pipes:

I felt that the empty gap between the head and the body was too big. So I remedied it by 1) Making the polycap neck shorter by cutting off the ball joint, removing excess parts, and reattaching it. I inserted a 1mm metal rod inside for extra strength. Then, in 2) I attached a neck plate(?) from the Origin kit, after trimming off some unnecessary plastic. I attached 1mm plaplate on the shoulders to compensate for the shallower neck.

Arms: HGUC Zaku II Tristars.
On the right shoulder, I removed the peg intended for the shield. In its place I glued some pieces of 0.3mm plaplate.

For the left shoulder, I did the following modifications: 1) Remove the spikes and make holes using a drill; 2) Attach round plates from Wave into the holes; 3) Attach MSG detail parts in the round plates

I arranged 0.5mm plaplate into a square around the wrists.

Legs: HG Zaku I Origin
I covered some panel lines on the thighs, and knees using basic putty. On the lower legs, I covered the thrusters with 0.5mm plaplate.

Weapons:
The Zaku machine gun from the Origin kit is used as is.

So this is what it looked like after all those mods:

After finalizing the parts, I added some battle damage using a battery-powered router, hobby knife, and chisel. Nothing too extensive, just some dents and scratches here and there.

HGUC RX-79[G] Para – Work in progress

April 11, 2020 at 20:32 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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This is the Premium Bandai HGUC RX-79[G] Parachute Pack kit. This build mostly involved the addition of detail parts, with a pinch of kitbash.

Body:
I attached some detail parts on the front left side of the chest:

and at the sides of the chest:

Waist:
I added 1.2mm plaplate at the bottom to make it longer.

Hips:
The front skirt armor is from Gundam FSD, and I attached some leftover parts from the System Weapons kit.

At the side skirt, I attached a part from the HGUC GM Striker shoulder.

Shoulders:
I used the shoulders from Gundam FSD. Added some details using M.S.G parts and plaplate.

Hands:
I’m using RG Zeta hands. The RG wrist socket is attached to the HGUC forearms using super glue. The contact point is shown by the red arrow below:

Legs:
I glued some 0.5mm plaplate on the thighs:

And some military plamo parts on the lower legs:

Some plaplate is also attached to the feet:

Weapons:
The kit already comes with plenty of weapons shown below:

I modified the beam rifle by shortening the barrel, cutting off the front handle, and replacing the grip.

Backpack:
The kit comes with the standard box-type backpack, and the parachute pack. To facilitate painting, I cut off some pegs on the backpack body so that the parachute container can be slotted in.

So that’s about it. I’ll stick to the original color scheme and just add a bit of light weathering effects.

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