RG White Ogre Zaku

July 5, 2012 at 10:47 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 7 Comments
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Introduction

What I like about the Zaku is the many color variations and one of my favorites is the White Ogre. The idea of custom painting my RG Zaku in white has been in my head for a while but the final element which makes a White Ogre Zaku has eluded me. I’m talking about the lizard decal on the right shoulder armor of the Zaku. Yes, it may be a small thing, but one that differentiates the White Ogre from just another Zaku with a white paintjob. When I found someone selling 1/144 scale White Ogre decals on Yahoo Auctions, I was finally able to go ahead with the project.

Materials and methods

The Zaku used was the RG Char’s Zaku II. I could have used the RG MS-06F Zaku but I was saving that for another project. If you’re a stickler for details, you may argue that the White Ogre was a ground type Zaku, hence no leg thrusters like the one on Char’s Zaku. I could have covered those leg thrusters but I didn’t. So basically this means that there’s no modifications to the kit other than the color scheme.

Since the kit was originally in various shades of salmon pink and maroon, I sprayed a layer of black surfacer on all parts except the inner frame, which was sprayed with Tamiya Gunmetal. For the power cable parts, I removed them from the runner and onto a toothpick for easier painting. For all the armor parts, I sprayed multiple layers of Mr. Color flat white to get the desired shade of white.

Another main feature of the White Ogre Zaku is the weathering, and for that I first applied the wash method using brown + yellow Tamiya enamels. This simulates the dirt/rust kind of weathering effect. Next, to simulate paint scratch damage effects, I used a toothpick (the pointy end) dipped in grey enamel paint and “drew” the paint scratches on the parts painted white. I repeated the same method using silver paint for the black parts (chest, knees and elbows). The placement of these paint scratches are important, so I used images of a weathered MG White Ogre Zaku for reference.

After all the paints have dried, I applied the water-slide decals. I used copious amounts of Mr Mark Setter to make sure the decals stick and to prevent silvering. I also scratched the decals a little bit using my hobby blade to have a consistent battle damaged look. As a final weathering step, I applied sand-colored weathering pastels (Tamiya), mostly on the foot and as always, I finished off with a layer of flat topcoat.

Results

Discussion

This is the second RG kit that I built, after the RG Strike. The weapons that come with the kit are the standard machine gun, bazooka and a heat hawk; the rest that you see are from System Weapons 002. Building the kit was a breeze, despite the many small parts and the same can be said for the painting process. As expected from an RG kit, the joints have great movement but it still can’t match the MG Zaku 2.0 in that respect.

Most of the problems I had with this kit was during photography. Every time I tried to make some action poses, the front skirt armors tend to come off. During the many times I popped them back in, I accidentally snapped them in half. Fortunately it was easily remedied using some plastic cement.

Admittedly, applying the White Ogre color scheme on a RG Zaku was hardly a novel idea, but I think I managed to execute it quite well, particularly the weathering. Overall, it was fairly smooth sailing and an enjoyable build. Now that I have a clearer idea of the RG Zaku anatomy, hopefully modifying the next one for a future project wouldn’t be too much of a nightmare.

RG Aile Strike Gundam

May 25, 2011 at 12:12 | Posted in 1/144 scale, Model kits | 10 Comments
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Introduction

I bought this out of curiosity actually, as I never had an RG model kit yet. The other two RG kits looked interesting, but I was looking for something else other than a Gundam or a Zaku. I bought the 1/100 Aile Strike kit and a HG Strike Rouge kit a long long time ago and basically they’re junk now. Anyway, burning with curiosity, I immediately started building it as soon as I got home.

Materials & Methods

This thing boasts a complete inner frame, although most of it already came pre-assembled on the runner, kinda like the legs for the RX-78 Ver1.5 and OYW versions. When put together, the inner frame does look a bit thin and fragile on its own. But when you put the armor on, it all starts to look magnificent.  The amount of parts are staggering, and at times felt a bit unnecessary.

As for the color scheme, at first I thought of sticking with the original colors, but then again I wanted it to look unique. So to look for some inspiration for a custom color scheme, I browsed through some hobby magazines. A white & grey color scheme came to mind, before I decided for white, grey & yellow colors, just like the Nu-Gundam. Hardly original, I know. Heck, I’ll just call mine the Nu-Strike. Having decided on the colors for the body, I opted for an aircraft kinda feel for the Aile Pack. I decided to try for a camouflage look using different shades of gray spray cans I have available.

The kit comes with decals on a blue-colored sheet. Don’t be fooled, they’re not water-slide decals, just plain ol’ stickers. I didn’t use any of them, except for some of the shiny bits. For the most part, I used my inventory of water-slides, but I didn’t have many in 1/144 scale. Some of them were old and tore quite easily so I had to be extra careful.

Discussion

My final comments on this kit: it looks absolutely gorgeous. Its design and range of movement are reminiscent of the PG version.The details are intricate and color separation is well thought out. If there’s any negative point about this kit, is that the legs feel a bit short. Maybe it’s just me. I’m very impressed with it and hopefully other RG releases will be just as good, or even better. The only down side is, after being served with such a treat, building my next HG kit would feel like a total downgrade. If this were a review, I’d give it a 9/10.

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