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.

Zaku Minelayer

September 28, 2008 at 21:54 | Posted in Master Grade | 3 Comments
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Introduction:

The 2nd MG I bought since arriving in Japan. After seeing all those tempting photos of the MG Zaku Ver 2.0 in hobby magazines, I knew I had to get one. But instead of getting the plain MS-06J/F types, I opted for the minelayer version. Part of the reason was the minelayer backpack could be fitted on the MG Gelgoog as well, and as an added bonus, I got a free bazooka when I bought it from Toys R’ Us.

Materials & Methods:

Like the MG Gelgoog, this was a straight build with no modifications other than the weathering effects. This time though, I decided to paint the whole kit. I bought some spray cans with different shades of green and hand painted some white parts on the head. Painting the minelayer backpack was more of a hassle because it required a lot of masking to separate the dark green and steel colored parts. Battle damage was carved out using my penknife, painted with silver and finally added a dab of black weathering pastel (Tamiya) around the damaged area. Weathering and panel lining was done using flat brown+black enamel wash.

Results:

Here’s some pics of the inner frame for starters…

And now for the main course…

Discussion

Unfortunately I found some parts became brittle and some even cracked after I applied the enamel wash. I’m not sure of the exact reason for this because I used the same method on the Gelgoog and no cracks appeared. Other than that I had no major problems with this kit and quite pleased with the results. Thanks to Mr Mark Setter, the waterslide decals I used came off nicely, with minimal silvering effects. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll buy another Zaku II (or it’s 195734848729 variants) in the future.

Supplementary Figures:

And finally here’s some extra pics I took for fun…

(Yes, I know I’ve been watching too many samurai movies lately)

This is MADNESSSS!!!!!111

July 28, 2008 at 13:08 | Posted in Random rants | Leave a comment
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Okay, so I was on the way home from the summer festival (that’s another story) and stopped by Sumiya (kinda like a deparment store) to buy a roll of Tamiya masking tape. Normally the gunpla there is kinda expensive, but at one corner they had a stack of MSIA and HCM-Pro stuff on sale. The HCM-Pro models were selling at 1000yen each so I grabbed 4 boxes: Ez-8, Gundam Ground Type, Zaku II and Geara Doga. I thought that was the end of my Gunpla spending for the month, but it doesn’t end there…

The next day I went to another department store to buy some stuff when lo and behold, my most coveted item, the HCM-Pro Sazabi Special Painted version was on display on the shelves. It cost  around 3800yen but still cheaper than the online prices I saw. It didn’t take take me long to contemplate buying it. In fact, I’m not sure I was even thinking when I made my way to the cashier.

And so ladies and gentlemen, those were the events that conspired to deplete me of my Gunpla budget for the next 2 months. I’ll leave you with the picture of my HCM-Pro shopping spree. They’ll most likely stay inside their boxes until I finish off my Gelgoog (95% complete) and Zaku minelayer (inner frame complete).

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