HGUC Desert Zaku

April 17, 2016 at 01:02 | Posted in 1/144 scale | Leave a comment
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Introduction:

The Desert Zaku was not in my initial plan for the Zeon Remnants Project (ZRP), but I included it anyway because I was going nowhere with the other kits in that list. I wanted to do something simple before I get too mired in my gunpla rut.

So for this project, I’m using the HGUC Zaku II F2 as base and incorporate parts from other kits to make something that resembles the Desert Zaku.

Materials & methods:

Read the work-in-progress here.

For painting, I decided to stick to the original color scheme. I mixed my own paint as follows:

  • Shoulders: ~60% green + ~20% Russian green (2) + ~20% german gray
  • Torso & lower legs: Propeller color (Mr Color 131)
  • Arms & thighs: Brown (Gaianotes 207) + a few drops of Smoke gray
  • Bazooka: Yellow brown (Gaianotes 205). Airbrushed camo patterns directly using the above dark green mixture

After the paint has dried, I applied some decals, sealed them with gloss topcoat, and then applied my standard weathering treatment:  enamel wash (red brown + yellow), paint chipping, dry brushing, and some weathering pastel around the feet. Finally it’s the mandatory flat topcoat.

Results:

HGUC Desert Zaku

Now some photos of the weapons:

And finally some action poses:

 

Discussion:

After a few months break, the Zeon Remnants Project is now back on track. Although I named this one the Desert Zaku, the only thing that’s accurate is my color scheme. It is still essentially a Zaku II F2 with Hizack & Zaku Desert Type parts attached to it. I didn’t modify the proportions or articulation this time since I don’t want to further complicate this project.

Actually my favourite part of this build is the weapons. It was really satisfying to modify the Zaku 90mm machinegun into the quintessential Nazi weapon, the MP40. Although not 100% accurate, I think I managed to retain the spirit of it. As for the bazooka, it was my first attempt at drawing camo patterns directly using the airbrush. If you look at it closely, you’ll notice some paint sputtering. Definitely needs more practice.

With this one complete, I hope I can return to my remaining Zeon remnant builds and finish them up. If I’m stuck again, I just might add another new kit to the ZRP list…

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HGUC Dom Tropen

September 20, 2015 at 21:44 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 2 Comments
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Introduction:

The HGUC Dom Tropen is quite an old kit, and comes in two color variants: the purple themed and desert color themed. The one I’m building here is the latter. Despite its age, I felt it was a good addition to my Zeon Remnants project. Other than upgrading its articulation, I wanted to arm it with a gatling gun with the ammo case as the backpack, similar to the Dom Barrage.

Materials & methods:

I did quite a fair bit of modifications to the original kit, and you can read about them here. Additionally, I decided to use MSG Custom Hand B fists, with some modifications. The original head rod was a single piece of grey plastic, so I replaced it with leftover clear runner. Also added some detail parts on the shoulders and lower legs.

After priming with Dark Grey surfacer, I waited a couple of days for the rain to pass before painting. There’s only two color tones to consider so painting was relatively quick. The torso, side skirts and feet were painted with dark brown while the rest of the body was painted with sand brown mixed with smoke grey. The gatling gun was painted with various shades of grey and gunmetal.

What follows is pretty standard procedure: apply decals -> gloss topcoat -> enamel wash -> extra weathering effects -> flat topcoat.

Results:

HGUC Dom Tropen

Discussion:

Out of the box, there’s plenty of things that I found unacceptable about the HGUC Dom Tropen kit: the sticker monoeye, poor articulation at the shoulders, waist and feet, ugly hands, and the short thighs. I guess for an old kit that’s understandable. Fixing those imperfections made the project more fun anyway.

The good thing about the Dom Tropen kit is that it has plenty of weapons: a Panzerschreck rocket launcher, a 90mm machine gun, several Sturm Faust grenades, and a heat rod. Even though I didn’t use them in this project, they’ll be useful for future ones.

Some comments about the final build:

The hip sockets (made from Tallgeese parts) were a bit loose. They tend to swivel sideways very easily. It would be bad for mid-air poses, but thankfully the Dom Tropen is a ground unit.

About the MSG Belt Link, the ammo belt was not very bendable. It was too short to connect the gatling gun to the backpack so I had to buy another set of MSG Belt Link and assemble just the ammo belt parts to make it longer.

Other than that I’m quite satisfied with this build. Of the six kits I’ve built for the Zeon Remnant preject, I think this one required the most modifications. Well that might change with the next one on the line…

HGUC Zaku Sniper

July 27, 2015 at 01:11 | Posted in 1/144 scale | 4 Comments
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Introduction:

I’ve had this kit for a while now but never got to building it. I didn’t like the proportions of the original kit so I knew had to modify it; I just couldn’t decide how. My initial plan was just to transplant the backpack & sniper rifle to a RG Zaku kit that has better proportions & articulation. But I changed my mind when I found spare parts from more recent HGUC Zaku kits. Instead of going crazy with detailing, I decided to go for a simple look but with my own customizations.

Materials & methods:

The work in progress page can be found here. Some last minute changes: I bought the backpack of the Zaku Sniper (Unicorn version) which had two additional black cylinders at the sides. I used that instead of the original backpack.

In addition to the above modifications, there were a lot of seam lines that needed fixing. The most problematic parts were the lower legs. I had to paint the knee joints first, mask them, and then glue the lower leg parts together. After all that, the parts were primed and painted as follows:

  • Joints: German gray
  • Body: Khaki + some drops of Off-white
  • Limbs: ~40% brown + ~55% Off-white + a few drops of orange-yellow & smoke grey
  • Backpack: Olive drab + Off-white
  • Weapons: Combination of Wooden Deck Tan, Yellow-Brown & German grey

After the paint has dried, I applied some decals and sprayed a layer of gloss topcoat. Then comes some weathering via enamel wash and some dry brushing. Finally it’s the flat topcoat layer.

Results:

HGUC Zaku Sniper

Discussion:

Considering that the Zaku Sniper is one of my favorite Zeon mobile suits, I knew I had to give the old HGUC kit a makeover. By combining bits from recent HGUC kits, I think it now looks much better than the original kit. Although I’m quite happy with the outcome, I noticed some hairline cracks after I made final assembly. Most notable ones are on the left forearm and left shoulder. I’m not sure what caused it, but it’s too late to fix it without starting over.

Now that this one’s done, there’s 4 more kits left for the Zeon Remnants Project. I saved the most difficult ones for last; hopefully I can remain motivated enough to complete all of them. In case you’re wondering, the last few pictures included the 1/12 scale Little Armory SCAR-H rifle. I’ll make a proper post about it once I have some free time.

 

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