HGUC Acguy

September 6, 2020 at 20:54 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
Other than recreating the one-armed Acguy from episode 9 of the 08th MS Team OVA, I wasn’t sure what to do with this kit. Eventually I decided to use the Acguy as a guinea pig for a new paint chipping method I wanted to test. Also I added some details on it along the way.

Materials & methods:
The Acguy has many smooth and empty areas on its body, so I added detail parts listed in this post. The new weathering method I wanted to try involved Mr. Silicone Barrier:

From the picture on the bottle, it’s mainly intended for recasting parts, but I read that it can also be used for applying paint chipping effects.

I primed all parts with Nazca’s Super-Heavy surfacer which has a dark gray tone. For the dark brown parts (head, body, limbs), I airbrushed them with gloss aluminium (from spray can). Next step was to apply the Silicone Barrier. It’s a transparent liquid, so I applied it using a paint brush to parts that will have paint chipping, mostly on the edges of the outer armor.

After that has dried, I airbrushed the primary colors as follows:

  • Dark brown parts: Red brown decanted from Tamiya spray can
  • Light brown parts: Gaianotes yellow brown
  • Backpack: Mr Color Dark gray 1
  • Inner frame (yes it does have one): Mr Color Burnt Iron
  • Joints: Mr Color Dark gray 2

Now comes the moment of truth: paint chipping. This step involves physically chipping off the primary paint layer. At first I tried to gently scrape off the paint using the tip of a toothpick. The primary paint coat was more robust than I expected, so a bit more force was required to chip off the paint. The toothpick removed large patches of paint, but I also wanted some finer paint chipping. So I tried using a very rough sandpaper (240 grit) and the tip of my metal tweezer. After that I added decals, panel lining and some enamel wash using sand brown paint. Then topped it off with Gaianotes Ex-Flat Clear topcoat.

Results:
The HGUC Acguy has a nice looking inner frame, except for the torso:

Some close ups with the armor on:

And some poses:

Discussion:
If it weren’t for this 08th MS project, I probably would never have bought the HGUC Acguy. I just never understood the appeal…until now. From a mechanical stand point, I was really impressed with the inner frame details. The outer armor though, is smooth and devoid of much details.
You can consider that a negative point, but alternatively you can think of it as a blank canvas. You’re free to add in extra details like panel lines or detail parts like I did. Probably the only weak points about this kit are the limited range of movement, and the visible seam lines on the neck, knee and ankle joints.
As for the paint chipping effect using Silicone Barrier, it required some additional steps, but generally I found it looks more natural compared to directly painting the scratch marks. The size of the chipping looks large for the 1/144 scale Acguy, so I need to find a better way to scratch off the paint. Overall, I think the experiment was a mild success but I still need to practice before making a How-to guide.

Supplementary figures:
Like the Topp Zakus, I wanted to recreate the scene between the Acguy & the RX-79G. It was a short scene, so I didn’t want to make a separate post for it.
Here’s the best I can do with the head-cutting scene:

Next comes the cockpit bash:

The downed RX-79G takes aim while the Acguy was distracted by a hover tank

First shot was a miss

But the second one landed right on the Acguy’s chest

RG Zaku II – 08th MS version

June 17, 2020 at 22:54 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
This build was a late addition to the project, and came about after rewatching the 2nd episode of the 08th MS Team OVA. Instead of using Origin Zaku parts like I did with the Topp squad, I decided to use the RG Zaku II kit.

 

Materials & methods:
I didn’t add any details to the kit, instead I did the opposite. I covered up panel lines that I felt were unneccessary.
Details of that and the painting process can be found here.
After adding panel lines and decals, I added some weathering effects. First, I scraped the decals with my hobby knife to get the following effect:

Then I sprayed a layer of semigloss topcoat over the decals. When that has dried, I applied an enamel wash using red brown + yellow. The next layer of weathering was paint chipping. This time I tried using a piece of sponge dipped in German gray enamel and dabbed it in places that required it. On some darker colored parts, I added paint chipping effects by directly painting enamel silver on the parts.
Then I added weathering pastel on the feet. This time I tried the mud weathering stick by Tamiya:

Finally it’s just the final flat topcoat layer.

 

Results:
First off, here’s the RG Zaku inner frame in all its naked glory:

A half-dressed Zaku:

And finally with all its armor on:

Some poses:

Discussion:
Even though I built an RG Zaku previously, I didn’t pay much attention to the inner frame. This time I put in a little effort to paint it in different shades of grey. While not exactly MG levels, the inner frame still looks quite impressive.
However the same old RG Zaku problems remain. The front and side skirt armors tend to pop out when posing it. The head comes with a clear visor just in front of the monoeye, but I left it out to make the monoeye more prominent.
Overall, I think I made the right decision with the mods I did. The weathering turned out alright, but I might try another method for the next build…

 

Supplementary figures:

Just my poor attempt at recreating the old HG boxarts:

Dell Zaku II

June 6, 2020 at 19:56 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:
The third and final member of Topp’s squad. This Zaku II features a shattered left shoulder armor, missing left skirt armor and broken power cable. Basically, the most damaged of the three Zakus. Like the previous Arth Zaku II, this one also utilized the Origin Zaku II kit.

Materials & methods:
The work in progress can be found here. I didn’t want to the left side of the waist to look empty without the armor, so I added some spare part from an RG kit.
The painting & weathering steps are the same with previous builds, since I did all three Zakus simultaneously.

Results:

Some poses, including some shots with Little Armory weapons:

Discussion:
This build presented a different type of challenge compared to the other two Topp Zakus. The battle damage was more extensive, but recreating them was made simpler with my Ultranonic cutter. I don’t use that tool as often as I would’ve liked, but it sure came in handy here.

And this build wouldn’t have been complete without the weapon. It was from HGUC Garma Zaku II, one of my earliest kits and I’m glad I’ve kept it all this while.
So that’s it for this small trio of Zakus. I have to say that painting, applying decals and weathering to all three Zakus was quite a challenge. I don’t think I’ll attempt it again anytime soon.

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