I’ve received a few comments asking me how I did this or that on my Zaku which made me realise I forgot to write my work process, colour scheme and comments when I completed it. Apologies for missing out some of your comments and sorry for the inconsistency. I guess going cold for a few months then becoming all excited over the completion of a kit made me forget.
Work Process – inner frame
- Assembly of the inner frame and weapons (everything except the armour) (link)
- Sanding seam lines/nub marks
- Mr. Surfacer 1000
- Painting of base colours and detail colours (link)
- Mr. Super Clear Gloss and Flat (link)
- Minor modifications to the inner frame – aftermarket thrusters (link) and chrome hydraulic pistons (link)
- Drybrushed inner frame for worn effect
- Sanding seam lines, nub marks and sink marks on the armour pieces
- Drilled holes in preparation for mounting rivets
- Mr. Surfacer 1000
- Painting and post-shading (link)
- Mr. Super Clear Gloss
- Panel line wash, minor weathering done using Tamiya Enamel Paint
- Decals applied (link)
- Mr. Super Clear Flat
- Weathering effects done using Tamiya Weathering Master
- Mr. Super Clear Flat
- Mounting of rivets (link)
- Final assembly
Here’s the colour scheme for the model. All colours are Mr. Color unless specified.
Inner frame and weapons
- Gray: Neutral Gray + Black
- Gold: Gold
- Silver: Silver, my own silver sticky tape
- Red: Red Madder + Fluorescent Pink + White (tiny bit)
- Power plant: Flat White + Neutral Gray (tiny bit)
- Monoeye and weapon scopes: Clear Red (airbrushed lightly for the pink shade)
- Green: Gundam Color CG24 Green 4
- Blue: Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby Color Sky Blue
- Red: Red Madder
- Backpack blue: Intermediate Blue
- White: Mr. White Surfacer (LOL)
- Light green: Gundam Color CG24 Green 4 + White
- Dark green: Gundam Color CG23 Green 3
- Dark gray: Midnight Blue
- Post-shading: Smoke Gray
- Silver: Silver
- Backpack blue: Intermediate Blue + Black + Red
Panel line wash: Tamiya Enamel Paint Brown + Black
I never really intended to buy the Zaku at first. It was the advice of several Anonymous on a certain image board that gave, and I’m glad I heeded their advice. This kit is a wonderful piece of engineering, with a full inner frame and articulation you’d expect from a Ver.2.0 kit. There are minimum seam lines, and most of them are hidden under the armour anyway. You feel like you’re actually building a Zaku instead of a model kit. The moving monoeye is done pretty well this time, compared to its previous generation kit which always had the monoeye stuck and not movable using the lever behind the head.
The inner frame was inspired by the impressive work done by NGT Factory so you can see many similarities my inner frame has to theirs. Closer to my kit’s completion, they rolled out the same Zaku. Of course, mine is still a long shot from theirs. I was also influenced by the great Keita’s work on the Gouf Ver.2.0 but didn’t do any custom panel line work on the outer armour because I was unsure of my (lack of) scribing skills.
I am not a huge fan of crazy battle damage and weathering, but I felt that a ground-based grunt unit deserved more than a proper paintjob and decals spammed everywhere, so I went light on weathering. Being my first time, I did some drybrushing and used the Tamiya Weathering Master set which is a pretty good bang for its buck. No how-to guide for this one – simply brush on the dirt where you want!
As for the metal parts which I was bragging about all the time, they were limited to the thrusters and rivets. I wanted to get the aluminum shoulder spikes for the Zaku but they were quite expensive. I was already forking out more than double the kit’s price on supplies already. I also lacked a rotary tool which might have been useful if I wanted to sharpen the plastic spikes. I was also looking for springs to replace the power cables on the head and body since the ones on the legs were already springs. Unfortunately no shop carried the diameters I needed, so I ditched the plans. In retrospect, assembling the cables were a pain (probably more fun if you didn’t paint them and need not have to worry about paint chipping) and there was no space for inserting the springs.
Without a doubt, this kit is worth its price and more. Though there are a ton of variants, the basic ones like this one and Char’s Zaku are the best of the lot because they are priced cheaper. In my opinion, the MSV kits like the R-series Zakus are a little pricey. Bandai has really given the iconic Zaku the justice it deserves.