HGUC Zeta Plus

December 8, 2014 at 14:25 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 1 Comment
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Introduction:

The Zeta Plus is one of my favorite designs when it comes to transforming mobile suits. It immediately went to my shopping list when the HGUC version was announced. However, it took a while before I finally got my hands on it. This was because Bandai recalled the first batch due to ‘defective molds’ which involved the crotch armor and vulcans on the side of the head.

Once it arrived, I began to ponder which color scheme to paint it. In the end I decided to mimic the blue color scheme and decal styling of the GFF Zeta Plus.

Materials & Methods:

Since this is just a repainting project, I didn’t do any major modifications to the kit. However I added some details which include ‘support beams’ on the inside of the back skirt and the back of the neck.

The kit comes with three hands: one right hand for holding the beam rifle and a pair of hands for holding the beam sabres. I added a pair of fists and a left hand from my spare GM parts.

Even though the kit already includes a beam rifle, I decided to arm it with the beam cannon from HGUC Ex-S Sentinel (parts from Yellow Submarine). I originally intended to use the beam cannon with my RG GP-01 kit, but I have new plans for it. After fixing the seam line on the forearms, head and weapons, I sprayed all parts with grey surfacer.

Here are the color schemes I used for painting (note the ratios are only a rough estimate). The parts marked with an asterisk were airbrushed. The rest were painted with spray cans.

  • Body*: Off White (~80%) + Character Flesh (from spray can, ~15%) + a few drops of orange-yellow
  • Blue parts*: 1st layer (Intermediate Blue 100%); 2nd layer (Cobalt Blue 100%)
  • Joints, hands: Germany gray
  • Feet: Dark Gray (1)
  • Weapons: stock beam rifle (MS Gray); Sentinel beam cannon (German Gray, Gunmetal)

To create the mosaic pattern for the blue parts, I first sprayed the 1st layer (intermediate blue). Then I masked the parts with masking tape to create squarish patterns and then sprayed the 2nd layer (Cobalt Blue). After that comes decals & panel lining. I didn’t add any weathering effects this time.

Results:

Here is the waverider mode:

And finally some action shots:

Discussion:

I have mostly good things to say about this HGUC Zeta Plus kit. First of all, the proportions are almost perfect; very close to the MG version. Another thing I like about this kit is the sturdiness. The transformation mechanism involves swapping parts, and as a result, the kit feels a lot more solid (compared to the RG Zeta). The parts separation is also very good, making the painting process a breeze.

The few grievances I have about this kit is the limited articulation. The waist joint can only turn a few degrees whereas the cannons on the side of the thighs can limit leg movement. I’m also a bit disappointed that it doesn’t come with landing gears for the waverider mode. As a result, you can only pose the waverider mode with a stand. In case you’re wondering, the stand I use in the photos was from my HG Gouf Ignited kit.

The most satisfying part for this build was when I peeled away the masking tape and knowing I hadn’t messed up the paint job. Getting the decals to mimic the GFF or ver.Ka style was also satisfying. I only wished I had decals for ‘Karaba Air Force’. But generally, this is a very good kit and worth getting if you’re a fan of the Zeta (or Sentinel) series.

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HGUC ReZel (Commander Type)

October 15, 2010 at 00:36 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction

Bought together with the Geara Zulu, this is the continuation of my Unicorn frenzy. As I mentioned before, I planned to build this with no modifications but with GFF-style decals. I found some decals at Yodobashi camera (of all places) which are not exactly GFF style decals, but close enough. I also bought a can of metallic blue spray and some detail parts for the shoulders. This also marks my first time using High Detail Manipulator (HDM) parts from B-club. They’re not that cheap, costing about the same price as a HGUC kit. It comes with six different types of hands, ranging from open palm, closed fist and holding shapes, as shown below:

Materials & Methods

Pretty much a straight-forward build; the only seam lines to fix are at the shoulders and the massive beam cannon. The challenge comes in the painting. Although the majority of the kit is blue, there’s plenty of small areas that I wanted to be in grey or other colors. Speaking of painting, as I sprayed metallic blue on this kit, I found that it was more sparkly than metallic. It’s like the model is now covered in fine disco dust. But I went ahead with it, hoping that layers of flat topcoat will minimize the sparkly effect.

Then comes the decals. Using pictures of the GFF ReZel as reference, I applied decals which resemble the GFF version. Not perfect, but close enough. I think I nailed it pretty closely, except for the leg part. I ran out of decals for the alphabets ‘NA’ and numbers ‘008’. Did I mention that I had to apply the numbers/alphabets one by one? For example for the design ‘NA008’ I first applied the decal for alphabet N, then A and so on. It was tedious and I spent about one whole day just for the decals. Also the uneven surfaces proved to be a challenge, but Mr Mark Setter helps alot. And finally I finished it off with panel lining and a generous layer of flat topcoat.

Results

Discussion

I should also mention something about the HDM hands. Some parts need to be glued together and I found that modeling cement won’t do the job. I had to use superglue to properly bind the parts. Also I found that the HDM ball joints are smaller than the original hands. When I stuck the hands to the arms, they were very loose, resulting in a limp-wristed ReZel. I guess I could apply some putty to make the ball joints thicker, but I decided to just live with it.

As for the kit itself, articulation is rather poor. Arms only bend 90 degrees, and the torso can only be turned only a few degrees left or right. Transformation to waverider mode is not true transformation because it involves swapping parts. Other than that the design is aesthetically pleasing and  I’m quite satisfied with how I managed to replicate the GFF look on this HGUC kit. Now I can’t wait for the HGUC Sinanju and volume 2 of Unicorn.

RX-78-2 Gundam ver. Ka

March 3, 2008 at 17:55 | Posted in Master Grade | Leave a comment
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What? Not another RX-78-2 variant? Yeah, I’m a sucker for Bandai’s evil marketing strategy. Anyway, I got this cheap and i decided to paint it in the Real-Type color scheme after i found inspiration from an issue of Dengeki Hobby. No modifications this time, just plain ol’ assembling and painting. I used the same colors as the OYW version, except the red parts. For the green and gray parts, I applied some subtle darker-shaded strokes using a paintbrush to simulate military camouflages.

Not much masking to do, except for the bazooka. For the decals, I decided to follow the Gundam Fix Figuration (GFF) style of this same model. Using a combination of dry transfer and water slide decals for the RX-78-2 ver Ka, I tried to copy as precisely the decal placing from the GFF version. Some gray-colored dry transfer decals didn’t show up too nicely on the darker colored parts since they were originally intended to be used on the standard white color surface. The red colored parts turned slightly pink after I applied flat topcoat (red + white topcoat layer = pink). So that’s a lesson for being too generous with the flat topcoat.

real_05.jpg real_06.jpg real_01.jpg real_11.jpg

real_03.jpg real_04.jpg real_12.jpg real_13.jpg

real_07.jpg real_08.jpg real_09.jpg

real_10.jpg real_02.jpg

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