HGUC Dom Tropen

September 20, 2015 at 21:44 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 2 Comments
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Introduction:

The HGUC Dom Tropen is quite an old kit, and comes in two color variants: the purple themed and desert color themed. The one I’m building here is the latter. Despite its age, I felt it was a good addition to my Zeon Remnants project. Other than upgrading its articulation, I wanted to arm it with a gatling gun with the ammo case as the backpack, similar to the Dom Barrage.

Materials & methods:

I did quite a fair bit of modifications to the original kit, and you can read about them here. Additionally, I decided to use MSG Custom Hand B fists, with some modifications. The original head rod was a single piece of grey plastic, so I replaced it with leftover clear runner. Also added some detail parts on the shoulders and lower legs.

After priming with Dark Grey surfacer, I waited a couple of days for the rain to pass before painting. There’s only two color tones to consider so painting was relatively quick. The torso, side skirts and feet were painted with dark brown while the rest of the body was painted with sand brown mixed with smoke grey. The gatling gun was painted with various shades of grey and gunmetal.

What follows is pretty standard procedure: apply decals -> gloss topcoat -> enamel wash -> extra weathering effects -> flat topcoat.

Results:

HGUC Dom Tropen

Discussion:

Out of the box, there’s plenty of things that I found unacceptable about the HGUC Dom Tropen kit: the sticker monoeye, poor articulation at the shoulders, waist and feet, ugly hands, and the short thighs. I guess for an old kit that’s understandable. Fixing those imperfections made the project more fun anyway.

The good thing about the Dom Tropen kit is that it has plenty of weapons: a Panzerschreck rocket launcher, a 90mm machine gun, several Sturm Faust grenades, and a heat rod. Even though I didn’t use them in this project, they’ll be useful for future ones.

Some comments about the final build:

The hip sockets (made from Tallgeese parts) were a bit loose. They tend to swivel sideways very easily. It would be bad for mid-air poses, but thankfully the Dom Tropen is a ground unit.

About the MSG Belt Link, the ammo belt was not very bendable. It was too short to connect the gatling gun to the backpack so I had to buy another set of MSG Belt Link and assemble just the ammo belt parts to make it longer.

Other than that I’m quite satisfied with this build. Of the six kits I’ve built for the Zeon Remnant preject, I think this one required the most modifications. Well that might change with the next one on the line…

HGUC Dom Tropen: Work in progress

August 31, 2015 at 13:05 | Posted in Work In Progress | 1 Comment
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The HGUC Dom Tropen (desert colors) is quite an old kit, so I knew I’d be making quite a bit of modifications. My main aim is to improve the articulation and body proportions, as well as to incorporate some design aspects of the Dom Barrage, mainly the gatling weapon. As always, I’ll break it down part by part:

Head: The original Dom Tropen head has a flat slab of plastic where you stick a monoeye sticker. I cut off that slab of plastic, resulting in a typical Dom-shaped hole in its face. Inside the head, I fashioned a swiveling monoeye from spare Dom parts and MSG lens.

domtrop-wip_09 domtrop-wip_10 domtrop-wip_16

Torso: In the original kit, the arm connects to the body via a static stub of plastic. I wanted to improve the shoulder articulation so I cut out holes on the sides of the torso and transplanted the polycap shoulder joints from HG Char’s Zaku origin kit. Gaps then were filled with epoxy putty.

domtrop-wip_11domtrop-wip_18

To connect the upper torso to the hips, I used a series of ball joints and sockets from Hobby Base. To accommodate the ball joints, I cut a hole at the bottom of the waist part and added 2mm plaplate underneath it. I trimmed some plastic inside the waist part and attached corrugated plaplate at the sides.

domtrop-wip_05 domtrop-wip_20a domtrop-wip_19

The result of these modifications is that the torso can now bend forwards (and backwards). The empty gap between the upper torso and waist when doing so will now be hidden by the corrugated plaplate.

domtrop-wip_17

On the back skirt, I filled the gaps meant for attaching the grenades with epoxy putty. The part that holds the submachine gun was replaced with a heat vent from Builders Parts vernier 03. To attach the legs to the hips, I cut off the original ball joint and glued a piece of spare runner in its place.

domtrop-wip_03domtrop-wip_02a

Arms: To attach the shoulders to the body, I needed a ball joint. So I simply cut and pasted the part from the HG Dom R35. I also used the arms from the Dom. I made the forearms a bit longer by gluing 2 sheets of 1.2mm plaplate. The Dom R35 had 3 hook-like appendages at the back of the forearms. I kept the top two and removed the bottom one, filling the gap with epoxy putty.

domtrop-wip_21a domtrop-wip_22

Legs: The original Dom Tropen thighs did not seem to provide a good range of movement. So I replaced the hip joints with the round shoulder joints from my 1/100 Tallgeese. I glued a piece of runner at the bottom to link it to the thighs.

domtrop-wip_08

The thighs and knees were from the HGUC Dom kit. Since there’s no elegant way to attach them to the Dom Tropen legs, I just made rough cuts on the knees & lower legs, attached them with super glue, and covered the gaps with putty. Lots of it.

domtrop-wip_23 domtrop-wip_24

I wasn’t happy with the feet articulation, so I decided to replace the original polycap socket with a swiveling socket from Hobby Base. As a result, I had to enlarge the opening on the foot that covers the socket. I also elongated the ‘toe’ using 1.2mm and 2mm plaplate.

domtrop-wip_07domtrop-wip_06a domtrop-wip_25

Weapons: My aim was to arm it with a handheld gatling gun. I played around with some parts from MSG weapons, HGBC Giant Gatling and System Weapon 005 before deciding the final design: the barrels were from System Weapon 005, the grips were from HGBC Giant Gatling while the main body and ammo belt were from MSG Hand Gatling gun. I added some additional plaplate and detail parts to the main body.

domtrop-wip_13 domtrop-wip_14

The gatling gun belt feed tank (MSG Belt Link) is attached to the back using parts of the original kit and spare runner. I attached some backpack parts that were left over from my HGUC Ground Type Gundam kit.

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So this is what it looks like after assembly (minus weapons). I will most likely retain the desert colors for painting.

domtrop-wip_26 domtrop-wip_27

 

Zeon Remnants Project

April 6, 2015 at 14:26 | Posted in Random rants | 3 Comments
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For me, there’s only two memorable scenes from the Unicorn OVA. The first was the Kshatriya vs Jegans skirmish in Episode 1. The second is the attack on a Federation base by Zeon remnant forces in Episode 4. After looking at the Zeon remnant units from this list, I decided to pay homage to that scene by make a series of builds that I call the Zeon Remnants Project.

I narrowed it down to a few kits, based on their design. I prefer a more militaristic feel to my kits and not too keen on unconventional designs like the Zogok and Juaggu. Another factor is the availability of the kit and/or spare parts. Some units do not have official HGUC releases, so I have to rely on resin kits or old MSV kits. So here’s the list of what I’ve completed and what I’m planning to do in the future.

Dwadge

zrp_dwadge

I built the Dwadge before I conceived of this project, but I’ll just add it to the list for the sake of completeness. It’s made up of resin parts using a HGUC Dom as a base. You can view the completed kit here.

Marasai

zrp_marasai

There is an actual HGUC Marasai (Unicorn ver), but I used the older, orange HGUC Marasai kit I bought years ago. Made some changes to the weaponry and shoulders, and added Zimmerit coating effect. You can view the completed kit here.

Zaku Mariner

zrp_zaku-mariner

Just a simple build with a backpack transplanted from the Zee Zulu. Stayed true to the original color scheme and added some light weathering effects. Completed kit is here.

Zee Zulu

zrp_zee-zulu

Although not officially listed as a Zeon remnant unit, I included the Zee Zulu because I kinda liked the design. At least it was shown fighting with the other Zeon remnant units in the OVA. Instead of buying the actual HGUC kit, I bought many different spare parts from Yellow Submarine to build a frankenstein kit. It won’t be an amphibious unit anymore, but a long-range ground assault unit. Stay tuned…

Z’Gok

zrp_zgok

Planning a simple project for this one. Just repaint the RG Char’s Z’gok to the color scheme above. Maybe just add some light weathering effects like the Zaku Mariner.

Zaku Sniper

zrp_zaku-sniper

Probably my favourite unit from the list. I have the HGUC Zaku Sniper kit, but the proportions look slightly outdated. I’m thinking attaching the Zaku Sniper parts to a more modern HGUC or RG Zaku kit.

Dom Tropen

zrp_dom-tropen

An old HGUC kit, and I’m anticipating a lot of modifications for this one. I’ve already decided to change the armaments to a handheld gatling cannon, with the ammo storage mounted on the back. Inspired by the Dom Barrage design.

Zaku Cannon

zrp_zaku-cannon

There is no HGUC kit for the Zaku Cannon, only an old 1/144 MSV kit. To do a full conversion might sound too troublesome, so another option is to do a Zaku Half Cannon. Yes, there is such a thing. Maybe I’ll do a mashup of both, a Zaku Three-Quarter Cannon perhaps?

Galluss K

zrp_galluss-k

I was kinda disappointed Bandai released the HGUC Schuzrum Galluss instead of the Galluss K. Nevertheless, I was determined to make one, so I bought an old 1/144 Galluss J kit with plans to modify it to the Gallus K. Maybe I’ll scour for some additional spare parts from Yellow Submarine to improve the old kit.

Efreet Schneid

zrp_efreet

This will probably be the most challenging build in this series. There’s no HGUC kit or old 1/44 kits for the Efreet Schneid, but I found a resin recast kit of Efreet Nacht on Yahoo Auctions. It actually looks better than the Schneid, with a better color scheme as well. But since it’s a full resin kit, it won’t be posable like normal gunpla. I was thinking of transplanting some HGUC joints to the resin parts to counter that.

So there you have it, the outline of my most ambitious project to date. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? As daunting as it looks, I still hope to finish off this project by the end of this year. Ganbarimasu!

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