HGUC Zee Zulu

May 7, 2015 at 17:29 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:

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.

Results:

HGUC Zee Zulu

Discussion:

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…

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HGUC Zee Zulu: Work in progress

April 10, 2015 at 14:19 | Posted in Work In Progress | 1 Comment
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For this project, I will build a complete kit using only spare parts that I bought from the Yellow Submarine shop in Akihabara. After choosing specific parts that happen to be on sale the days I went there, I went for a ground type Zee Zulu with long range weaponry. So lets go through each section:

Head: I bought the Zee Zulu head and merely replaced the sticker monoeye with a pink clear lens.

Body: The Zee Zulu body came with a belly tank and hydrojet thruster backpack. I recycled the backpack for my Zaku Mariner project, whereas the belly tank was removed for use in a future project. I attached some detail parts here and there. The front skirt armor was cut in half. The back of the neck was padded with epoxy putty to make it fit the backpack.

zeezu-wip_01 zeezu-wip_02 zeezu-wip_03

I decided to lengthen the abdomen by cutting the connecting peg at the waist and attaching a 1.2mm pla-sheet at the bottom. Then I reattached the peg to the plaplate with some super glue.

zeezu-wip_06 zeezu-wip_07

On the left skirt armor, I drilled a hole for the sub-weapon attachment part. The attachment part itself was made from leftover GM machine gun parts.

zeezu-wip_04 zeezu-wip_05

Backpack: I bought the Lange Bruno gun parts originally from the Geara Zulu (Angelo Sauper) kit. I reduced the number of backpack thrusters from four to just two, taking into consideration that this will be a ground unit. The gaps were patched with some square plates.

zeezu-wip_08 zeezu-wip_09

The backpack didn’t fit too snugly with the Zee Zulu body, even though the pegs are in the correct shape and position. To fix that, I’ll eventually glue it permanently to the body using super glue (after painting & detailing).

Arms: I replaced the sleeved forearms of the Zee Zulu with Zaku II F2 forearms. I had to remove excess plastic from the inside of the Zaku forearms to accommodate the elbow joints. The forearms were then attached to the elbow joints using epoxy putty.

zeezu-wip_11 zeezu-wip_12 zeezu-wip_10

The Zee Zulu didn’t come with any fists, so I decided to use a pair of leftover open hands (B-club resin). Also modified a pair of MS Hands (Zeon type) hands to change the position of the fingers and wrist peg.

Legs: Instead of using Zee Zulu legs, I used Geara Zulu legs instead.  The thrusters on the side of the thighs added some bulk that looks way better than the original, slim Zee Zulu thighs. Instead of attaching nozzles at the end, I decided to replace it with some pla-plate sheets to resemble a heat vent.

zeezu-wip_13 zeezu-wip_14

I added some detail parts at the ankles and knees. I also applied Zimmerit coating effect at the feet. Instead of using basic putty like the Marasai, I experimented with epoxy putty this time.

zeezu-wip_15 zeezu-wip_16a zeezu-wip_17

Weapons: I attached some detail parts on the Lange Bruno gun, and trimmed some excess plastic.

zeezu-wip_18 zeezu-wip_19 zeezu-wip_22

In addition, I decided to use the AK-12 assault rife from Kotobukiya M.S.G. Weapon Unit 31. I did modify it a little by removing the grenade launcher attachment and drilling a hole in the sights.

zeezu-wip_20 zeezu-wip_21

The parts that required seam-line fixing were the shoulders, lower leg, backpack and weapons. Just fusing the parts with cement sometimes wasn’t enough, so I had to use basic putty. So here’s what it looks like pre-painting:

zeezu-wip_23 zeezu-wip_24

All that’s left is to wait for a clear weather to do the spraying and painting. Speaking of painting, I still haven’t decided what kind of color scheme to go for. Any suggestions?

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