HGUC Ez8 – Work in progress

September 19, 2020 at 19:24 | Posted in Work In Progress | Leave a comment
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This build is a kitbash of Ez8 and Ez-SR parts, plus some extra modifications:

Head:
I replaced one of the antennas on the Ez8 head with a thinner one by Wave:

I also have one of these Ez-SR heads:

Arms:
The shoulders are from the Ez-SR, but I added some details to it:

The arms are from the HGUC GM Ground Type, and the hands are from the RG GP01. Like the RX-79[G], I simply glued the RG wrist joints to the HGUC forearms.

I also made a severed left arm to recreate that one particular scene in the anime. It’s actually the original Ez-SR arm, but I added some copper wire and stapler pins to simulate severed cables. I also cut off the elbow armor from the forearm. The hand was from Builders Parts MS Hand, but I rearranged the fingers by cutting and pasting.

Body:
The body is from the Ez-SR. I elongated the waist part by adding 1.2mm plaplate to the top and bottom:

I don’t typically modify the back skirt armor, but I wanted to experiment a little bit this time. First I separated the back armor from the hip part by roughly cutting it with my Ultrasonic cutter. Then I inserted hinge joints by Kotobukiya MSG to the now separated hip and armor parts:

Now the back skirt can be flipped up:

I covered up the ugly gaps with plaplate so that it looks a bit more presentable:

On the front skirt armor, I arranged 1mm width plastic strips along the edges:

Legs:
The legs are from the Ez8. The thighs were elongated by arranging 1mm square pipes on top:

And by adding 1.2mm plaplate to the connecting knee joint:

The thighs were then padded with 0.3mm plaplate at the front and sides.

Some MSG detail parts were glued to the back of the leg:

I added some notches to the feet using 1.5mm chisel:

Accessories:
The Ez-SR came with plenty of accessories. I didn’t want to use them all for this build, so I selected the following:
Booster backpack:

Donut backpack that combines with the Ez-SR head. I cut off the little wings at the back and added some MSG parts:

Some attachments to the side of the legs:

I glued 1.5mm plaplate to the forearm attachment to fit the GM Ground Type forearm socket:

Scope-shield(?) thing. I cut off some ear-like wings from the scope (red arrow) and attached it to a RX-79[G] shield. I also replaced the lens with a Wave option part.

So here’s what it roughly looks like:

Topp Zaku I

May 24, 2020 at 22:20 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
The initial plan for this build was to custom paint the HG Zaku I Origin kit into Topp’s Zaku I. But I didn’t like the look of the head and forearms of the Origin kit. So I ended up kitbashing various Zaku parts until the only Origin part left intact was the leg.

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be found here.
After priming with grey surfacer, preshading lines were added with Gaianotes Pure Black.
Since all three Zakus (Topp, Arth, Dell) have the same color scheme, I decided to paint all of them at the same time. Here are the colors that I used:
Feet, knees, chest: Gray FS36118
Backpack: Gaianotes Blue Grey
Vernier nozzle: Clear red (insides); Burnt iron (outside)
Torso: Mr Color Dark Earth (70%) + Propeller Color (30%)
Head, limbs: Light Gull Grey (80%) + Gaianotes Yellow-Brown (15%) + Orange-Yellow (5%)

After painting, I applied panel lining, decals, clear topcoat, and weathering (in that order) to all three Zakus. Weathering consisted of enamel wash (red brown enamel), paint chipping (german grey enamel), and weathering pastel on the feet.
Then I applied Gaianotes Ex-Clear Flat topcoat using my airbrush.

Results:

Some poses:

Discusssion:
Upon closer inpection, some parts may look a bit rough, but I think I managed to recreate a version of Topp’s Zaku that’s quite close to the original concept art.
It wasn’t a simple kitbash, but the effort was worth it. I don’t think I would be satisfied if I just repainted the Origin Zaku I kit.
So after kitbashing a fair share of Zakus, I can conclude that the best looking Zaku I head is the Thunderbolt Zaku I; best Zaku I body is the HGUC Zaku Sniper; and best legs are the Origin Zakus. Still haven’t found the perfect arms yet. Maybe the upcoming HGUC Char’s Zaku II can change that…

HGUC Ground Type Gundam Parachute Pack

May 11, 2020 at 19:27 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
There have been several RX-79[G] Ground Type Gundam kits released since the 08th MS Team aired, but I’ve never built a ‘proper’ one yet. So to correct that anomaly, I bought the P-Bandai RX-79[G] Parachute Pack which came with plenty of accessories. The plan was to add additional details and some light weathering effects, while keeping the original colors intact (more or less).

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be found here.
After priming & pre-shading, the parts were painted as follows:
White parts: Gaianotes semi-gloss white + a bit of neutral grey
Chest: Leftover dark blue from the Zaku Mariner
Red parts: Red madder
Verniers: Gaianotes gunmetal
Parachute pack: Olive drab + Russian green; Gray FS36118
Weapons: Gray FS36118

Panel-lining was done using black enamel, followed by decals. Then clear topcoat was sprayed to protect the decals.
For weathering, enamel wash using dark brown + yellow was applied first. Then additional scratch marks & oil streaks were added using enamel paints & a fine brush. On the weapons & torso, dry brushing was applied using enamel silver. Also added a liberal dab of weathering pastel on the feet & shield.
Final step was the flat topcoat layer.

Results:

Although the kit comes with several extra bazookas, I didn’t build them. Pictured here are the ones I made for the GM Head build.

The kit also comes with a spare GM head, but I’m saving that for the GM Sniper build. Instead I used the head from the HGUC GM Ground Type kit.

Discussion:
Compared to the old HGUC kit, this new RX-79[G] has much better proportions. The range of movement is more or less similar to the old kit, but the new one has better torso movement.
In general, seam lines are well hidden, except for the forearms and parachute pack. Speaking of which, the size of the parachute pack can cause some balance problems when attached. But it does look cool, though.
While I much prefer GM heads than Gundam heads, I think in this case the Gundam head looks better than the new GM Ground type head. But the old HGUC GM head head looks better than both of those.
Overall, this is a solid kit with plenty of extras. It’s a shame it’s Premium Bandai only…

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