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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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:

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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?

HGUC Geara Zulu

May 30, 2010 at 23:34 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 3 Comments
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Introduction

My first ‘real’ kit after a long while. Unlike most of my previous gunpla purchases which went straight to storage after purchase, I started with this kit a few weeks right after I got it. After shopping around for some Kotobukiya & Wave option parts and some spray cans, I went straight to building. The Geara Zulu already had plenty of WWII Germany designs & references, so I decided to give it the final touch by adding the proper decals and color scheme of a WWII German war machine.

Materials & Methods

Building was pretty uncomplicated, and the only seam lines that need fixing are at the shoulders and back part of the lower legs. I also added some detail parts and other modifications which are summarised in the following image:

For coloring, I decided to replace the light green with Dark Gray (Mr. Color 32) and the dark green parts with German Gray (Mr. Color 40). A layer of primer was sprayed on the parts before the layers of paint were sprayed on. For the joints, thrusters and yellow parts, I sprayed them with gun metal (Tamiya). The only tedious task was painting the black and white parts at the chest and wrists. If you don’t have a very sharp blade, masking these parts using Tamiya tape or any other tape would be verrry frustrating.

With painting completed, it was time to apply decals. I finally get to use some Nazi Germany decals I bought from various hobby shows. I actually spent 2 days for decalling, mainly because I was being indecisive when picking and choosing the decals. When I was finally satisfied, I went ahead and applied scratches to the decals. Why, do you ask? It’s to provide some sort of realism to the weathered look I was going for. To do that, I used my hobby blade to scratch parts of the decals. The key here is not to overdo it, and also having Mr Mark Setter definitely helps a lot. Then I sprayed a layer of gloss clear coat to protect the decals.

The last part is the weathering. For this I applied the wash method, using yellow+brown enamel paints. To simulate paint chipping, I applied bits of silver paint on the torso and hip areas. For the same effect on the limbs, I used some grey paint. All these paint chipping effect were applied using a very fine brush and a toothpick. And finally the kit was given a final spray of flat topcoat. This has to be one of my fastest builds.

Results

These last few pics were taken with the SHCM-Pro Unicorn. Yes I realize in the anime the Zulu couldn’t even stand up to a ReZEL, let alone a Unicorn. But still I decided to make the poses of the Zulu pwning the Unicorn. This post is about the Zulu, after all.

Discussion

Regarding the kit, the elbow and knee joints can only bend 90 degrees; disappointing but not unexpected. Design-wise it is very appealing (to me at least), the only gripe was the jagged eyeline (which I removed) and the relatively slim torso. I would have preferred a wider chest, but modifying that from scratch would be too troublesome. But anyway, I’m quite pleased with my results, except for the springs near the knees. That didn’t work out too well.

As for photography, my cheap tripod died out on me, so I had to resort to using flash to compensate for the lighting. I still haven’t got the hang of flash photography yet, so there’ s plenty of obvious shadows or shaded areas.

Shizuoka Hobby Show 2010 (Part I)

May 24, 2010 at 11:55 | Posted in Events | 2 Comments
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Yep, it’s that time of the year again. My yearly pilgrimage to Japan’s biggest hobby show. I finally get to add some new content to this blog which has been lacking lately :p

So again I’ll split my coverage into 2 parts; the first will be the new products by the various vendors and companies, and later I’ll post builds by various modeling circles. So first off is the Bandai section and the major headline of the day: The-O will be released as an MG kit. This is based on a survey among the Japanese on the most wanted MG kits. The-O actually won 2nd place, with V2 Gundam and Double-O Riser placed 1st and 3rd respectively. Actually I’m quite surprised V2 was the most wanted MG kit, since Victory Gundam has already been released, I’m quite sure Bandai will release the V2 eventually. Same goes with the Double-O Riser.

Anyway here’s a pic of the prototype The-O; it’s quite huge actually. Expect to see more photos in the coming months.


Also on show are the samples of what’s coming along the MG production line. First up is the Full Armor Gundam. I have to say it doesn’t really appeal to me, coz Bandai went with the retro look of their recent RX-78 ver2.0. If the design was more to the Ver. Ka or the various resin kits, then I would’ve been sold.

Then there’s the Musha Gundam Mk.II. Great news is the gold parts will come as they are; all bling-bling, not like a certain St**ke Fr**dom. Surely a must have for those who already own the red Musha Gundam.

Victory Gundam fans rejoice (or despair, depending on your wallet). Next MG release will be the V Dash with new parts and loads of weapons. To be released separately will be the MG V Core Booster ver. Ka which you can combine with your existing plain ol’ Victory to become the the V Dash version. Also comes with the weapons and probably an extra display base.

Next is Bandai’s latest series of model kits, termed Real Grade. It’s the size of a 1/144 HG and comes with the internal frame akin to its MG counterpart, but without the nice details. Supposedly superior in flexibility and posing ability compared to the standard HG. First release will be the RX-78 and following that will be Char’s Zaku (surprise, surprise).

At the High Grade section there’s the already released models like Gundam X, G Gundam and ZZ Gundam. Also seen was a Gunpla Starter Set with the RX-78 and Zaku II together in one box, probably similar concept to the older HG RX-78[G] and MS-06J kit from the MS 08th series.

But what really got me salivating was the (probable) release of kits from the Unicorn series. I say probable because they’re not officially announced yet and the models on display were just ‘reference exhibition’. If they really do release the Sinanju and Delta Plus, they’ll definitely be on my shopping list. The Geara Zulu (Angelo Sauper type) also looks interesting, but according to the novel it will be in a nasty pink/purple color. It seems the only confirmed release is the GM Kai.

Some mechas from Gundam 00 will also be released as HG kits, though I’m not too familiar with these. Probably some sort of MSV or something. Next to it were the kits from the Gundam Seed MSV which look rather frankenstein-ish.

The Gunpla Pro Shop section offers balls, two actually. I’m not too sure of the specific details but you can easily find out from your favorite gunpla gossip blog.

Also available were resin conversion kits:

The new release from the Figurise series will be this Kamen Rider. Also seen was a prototype of Luffy from One Piece but I didn’t took any photos of it. Some new Evangelion kits will also be released, probably  in conjunction with the release of Eva 2.22 movie.

I also took some pics of some Keroro-pla, for those who are interested:

Moving away from the Bandai section there were the usual stuff like these Airsoft guns from Tokyo Marui.

And some pics from the Yamato booth:

And finally some uncategorized random pics from random sections. I actually wound up back at the Bandai booth after walking around in circles.

And so that’s it for this year’s Hobby show. I didn’t buy anything this year, except a kebab for lunch. I was hoping to find some Hasegawa Macross kits at a nice price, but all they had were some boring ones, probably leftovers from last year. Anyway I hope you enjoyed the pics and Part II will be coming soon.

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