RG Zaku II – 08th MS version

June 17, 2020 at 22:54 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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This build was a late addition to the project, and came about after rewatching the 2nd episode of the 08th MS Team OVA. Instead of using Origin Zaku parts like I did with the Topp squad, I decided to use the RG Zaku II kit.


Materials & methods:
I didn’t add any details to the kit, instead I did the opposite. I covered up panel lines that I felt were unneccessary.
Details of that and the painting process can be found here.
After adding panel lines and decals, I added some weathering effects. First, I scraped the decals with my hobby knife to get the following effect:

Then I sprayed a layer of semigloss topcoat over the decals. When that has dried, I applied an enamel wash using red brown + yellow. The next layer of weathering was paint chipping. This time I tried using a piece of sponge dipped in German gray enamel and dabbed it in places that required it. On some darker colored parts, I added paint chipping effects by directly painting enamel silver on the parts.
Then I added weathering pastel on the feet. This time I tried the mud weathering stick by Tamiya:

Finally it’s just the final flat topcoat layer.


First off, here’s the RG Zaku inner frame in all its naked glory:

A half-dressed Zaku:

And finally with all its armor on:

Some poses:

Even though I built an RG Zaku previously, I didn’t pay much attention to the inner frame. This time I put in a little effort to paint it in different shades of grey. While not exactly MG levels, the inner frame still looks quite impressive.
However the same old RG Zaku problems remain. The front and side skirt armors tend to pop out when posing it. The head comes with a clear visor just in front of the monoeye, but I left it out to make the monoeye more prominent.
Overall, I think I made the right decision with the mods I did. The weathering turned out alright, but I might try another method for the next build…


Supplementary figures:

Just my poor attempt at recreating the old HG boxarts:

Duty and Ideals

June 10, 2020 at 21:17 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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That’s the title for episode 8 of the 08th MS Team OVA, which featured the three Zakus from Topp’s squad. After watching it again, I decided to play around with the three Zakus I made and take some photos based on some scenes from that episode.

Topp’s Zaku first appeared scouting along a river.


Before we have a shot of all three Zakus in the squad.


Dell’s Zaku was shown sporting the Magella Top cannon.


Topp’s Zaku arrived at the village in a surrender pose


All three Zakus in the guerilla village


Arth’s Zaku looks like it’s up to no good


Whoops…my hand slipped


After Arth picked up a village girl, Topp wasn’t pleased at all


And threatened to shoot him


But not before he got a nice dose of RPG


As his Zaku fell,


Topp & Dell realized they were in a pickle


Dell attempted a jump


Before he also received an RPG to the backside


Topp shooting at the villagers


But she too received an RPG in a sensitive area


Meanwhile Dell narrowly avoided a beam blast


And attempted to counter attack


Unfortunately his Zaku got its arms ripped off by another beam rifle shot


The incapacitated Topp Zaku attempted to shoot the main character


But eventually she also succumbed to an RPG. Her death was off screen, but something like this probably happened


I really had fun posing and photographing the Zakus for this post. The special effects parts helped a lot, but of course it would’ve looked better with a proper backdrop & diorama.
Regarding the build, each Zaku posed different types of challenges, and it was fun recreating them using just some reference photos. If I had a favorite among the three, it would be Topp’s Zaku I.
So now that the most challenging part of the 08th MS Team project is behind me, I hope the other builds would proceed smoothly.

Dell Zaku II

June 6, 2020 at 19:56 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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The third and final member of Topp’s squad. This Zaku II features a shattered left shoulder armor, missing left skirt armor and broken power cable. Basically, the most damaged of the three Zakus. Like the previous Arth Zaku II, this one also utilized the Origin Zaku II kit.

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be found here. I didn’t want to the left side of the waist to look empty without the armor, so I added some spare part from an RG kit.
The painting & weathering steps are the same with previous builds, since I did all three Zakus simultaneously.


Some poses, including some shots with Little Armory weapons:

This build presented a different type of challenge compared to the other two Topp Zakus. The battle damage was more extensive, but recreating them was made simpler with my Ultranonic cutter. I don’t use that tool as often as I would’ve liked, but it sure came in handy here.

And this build wouldn’t have been complete without the weapon. It was from HGUC Garma Zaku II, one of my earliest kits and I’m glad I’ve kept it all this while.
So that’s it for this small trio of Zakus. I have to say that painting, applying decals and weathering to all three Zakus was quite a challenge. I don’t think I’ll attempt it again anytime soon.

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