Since I wrote how I did the shiny pistons on my Zaku previously, I might as well write more how-to’s. This time it’s how I replaced the stock verniers with aftermarket aluminum thrusters on the Zaku’s backpack for more detail.
Many modellers replace the plastic verniers with metal ones for added realism. I’ve managed to do it on a kit and I’d say that it adds a nice touch to the model, but it also depends on whether you can obtain the necessary parts and tools because they are not as easily accessible compared to other more common tools and supplies.
This is a set of thrusters by Gunpla Temple designed for the MG Nu Gundam. I’m using it on my MG MS-06J Zaku II Ver.2.0 as the size of the verniers are very similar. People who cannot buy this from shops may have to resort to buying online. Mecha Skunk also sells these things, but I find the prices steep. Perhaps it would be better priced for people living in the US.
What we’ll achieve at the end of our effort – Model transformation metal ching up!!
Nonsense aside, you’ll also need a set of small drill bits – this is the barrier to most people. I got my set not too long ago.
This is the Zaku’s backpack with the stock plastic thrusters.
These are the joints from the kit for mounting the plastic verniers. I’ve marked the centre using my art knife. In retrospect, doing it with a needle would be better as it is more precise.
The mark will guide the pilot hole I’ll be making. I’ve used a small drill bit mounted on a pin vise to do it. If I’m not mistaken, this is the 0.5mm bit.
Not very centred for a first try, but in this case it’s no big deal because the verniers are mounted on movable ball joints.
I matched a larger 0.9mm drill bit to the size of the pin on the thruster and enlarged the hole on the joint. The thruster will be held in place with Super Glue. In the end I realised I was doing it wrong as I needed to cut the ball joint off and redid the holes.
I cut the ball joint off and re-drilled the holes. I managed to centre them this time round. You’ll have to work differently depending on the model.
Model transformation metal ching up!! Makes you feel like a pro.