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.

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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?

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HGUC Jegan (ECOAS type)

April 30, 2014 at 15:31 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 4 Comments
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Introduction:

Having built and modeled two Jesta kits with military styles, I wanted to build another kit in a similar theme to make a trio. Instead of another Jesta kit, I decided to go for the HGUC Jegan ECOAS type. It already has some nice ‘tactical’ look to it, particularly the head.

However, I never warmed up to some aspects of the Jegan. The first thing to replace are those bulb-like lower legs. The arms also felt a bit too thick, so those were also replaced. So after scouring the Yellow Submarine shop for spare parts, I settled for Jesta legs and GM arms as replacement.

Materials and methods:

For a more comprehensive post about the changes I made to this kit, refer to the WIP (work in progress) page here.

To summarize, the lower legs were replaced with HGUC Jesta legs. The arms were from GM Striker & GM Kai. The waist was from GM Sniper II. The front skirt was from HGUC Loto, the back and side skirts were from GM Sniper K9. The backpack was modified to include tube tanks and smaller thruster, as well as modular components (missile launchers & radome units). Here’s what it roughly looked like after the structural modifications:

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Armaments include an assault rifle from Kotobukiya, a handgun modified from GM Sniper K9, a long rifle from System Weapon 002, 2 types of bazookas and a combat knife.

All parts were primed with dark grey surfacer (Evospray). For the paintjob, I kept it simple this time. The feet, front skirt and removable chest armor were sprayed with Olive Drab (Tamiya). The inner feet, waist, and some part on the crotch & head were painted grey-brown. The rest of the body was painted with Khaki brown + green. The joints were sprayed with MS Gray. Weapons were sprayed with Germany gray, Gunmetal and MS Gray while the missiles were sprayed with red. Panel-lining and light weathering was done with enamel paints. After applying decals, I sprayed the final flat topcoat.

Results:

Here’s the first modular unit: high-mobility mode. It’s essentially the default mode, with all thrusters on the backpack. Armaments include HK416-type assault rifle with grenade launcher attachment, a MK23-type pistol and combat knife.

A slight modification of this mode involved swapping the upper backpack thrusters with a small 3-grenade launcher (Kotobukiya) and a hook for holding the assault rifle. The grenade-launcher attachment peg on the left skirt was replaced with a pocket-like attachment from GM K9. I call this sleeker form ‘infiltration mode’.

CQC!

The second modular unit is reconnaissance mode. Backpack thrusters are replaced with spare tanks, radome unit and sensor unit. Armaments include a rifle for long-range engagements. It’s actually from System Weapon 002, with the suppressor from HGUC Jesta’s beam carbine and scope from M.S.G Shotgun.

And here’s the barrage mode. The thick armor was attached to the chest, and two types of missile launchers are attached to the backpack. Side skirts and right leg attachment are also replaced with missile/grenade launchers. Additional armaments include the original Jegan bazooka and a Unicorn bazooka.

And finally group photos with my previous Jesta kits

Discussion:

My initial plan was to just built a kit that would look good beside my two other Jesta kits. As I started snap-fitting and modifying things, this project evolved into something more elaborate. I decided to go all-out with the tactical & spec-ops theme, and the end result is what I feel, an upgrade to the Jegan ECOAS design.

I wanted to make the weapons resemble conventional weapons (except the bazookas). The Kotobukiya assault rifle is essentially a HK416, the pistol was modified to resemble the SOCOM Mk 23  and the long rifle slightly resembles a SR-25 rifle. Of course a giant robot with conventional weaponry makes no sense (especially with a suppressor, in space), but the point here is to make it look badass.

I also used flexible hands from Hobby Base (Yellow Submarine) for the first time. They’re poseable like MG hands, but in 1/144 scale. Assembling them can be tricky, due to the small parts. At first they felt fairly robust and extremely poseable, but after fiddling with them during photography, the fingers tend to pop out. Unfortunately I broke the ring finger on the left hand so I glued them back, but obviously that original poseability was lost. Most of the photos were taken on the H-hangar base by Wave which I painted and added a few decals. The LED lights were sold separately. That’s as close as I’ll get to an actual diorama.

The build-up to this was quite a different process compared to my other projects. Usually I decide upon a certain theme or look for the kit and stuck with it until finish. But this project involved a lot of chopping and changing along the way that I was never really sure how it would end up. In the end, I think this might be one of my most satisfying projects ever. Although not perfect (especially if looked closely), it does give me a sense of accomplishment.

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