Dell Zaku II

June 6, 2020 at 19:56 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
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.

Results:

Some poses, including some shots with Little Armory weapons:

Discussion:
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.

Arth Zaku II

May 31, 2020 at 18:54 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
The second Zaku in Topp’s squad. The main features of this Zaku are the unprotected right shoulder and left knee, and the use of a Federation shield and heat hawk. Unlike Topp’s Zaku I, this kit was composed mostly of Char’s Origin Zaku II kit.

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be read here.
I painted and weathered this together with Topp’s Zaku I, so the details can found here.

Results:

Discussion:
I had some difficulty finding the perfect part for the exposed right shoulder. The GM shoulder joint that I chose looked a bit bigger than I would have liked, but that’s the only spare part I had to work with.
I haven’t really done bullet damage in a long time, but the effect on the shield went better than I expected.
And in case you’re wondering, the expolosion effect parts were from Robot Damashii Effect Parts Set ver. A.N.I.M.E.
So this was probably the least complex of the three Topp Zakus, but very fun nonetheless.

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.

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