Kit Information :

Scale : 1/144

Grade : HGUC

Made by : Bandai

Begin Build : 6th Jan '08

Completed : 7th March '08








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In-Progress : Zeta Gundam (PaRT 2)

12-01-08 : Many more mods...

Since I have widened the shoulders to give a 'beefier' sort of look to the Zeta, I decided it would be good to 'puff' the chest up a little too. To do this, I have added .5mm styrene to the torso under where the chest armour sits:

Bulking the chest

Doing this created another problem though, the cockpit cover is too short now to fit into the gap properly. To fix this, I added some more styrene to the tip of the nose and cut / sanded it back to size. It now fits much better :

Chest bulking

While I am discussing the torso area, I also added mesh and styrene to the rear torso armour. I pretty much repeated the method from before - drill a hole, cut it wider, file it into shape, add mesh then cover back part with .5mm styrene :

Rear torso armour

I've since reshaped the styrene details to be a little smaller and more angular in shape.

Next up we have the side armour from the skirt section of the lower torso. On the right we have :

  1. This is the original piece. The plan is to mafe a hole for adding mesh.
  2. The hole was made using the pin vise again and then opened with with the trusty hobby knife and needle files.
  3. The before and after shot. The hole in this picture is a little rough but I have since cleaned it up and made it neater.

Below is the finished piece with the mesh and pins added for detail.

Below bottom we have the underside. I felt that covering the underbelly of the piece left it plain and bare so I cut out some simple shapes from styrene and added them. I have since cleaned this piece up too since taking the picture.

Side skirt armour
Finished skirt
Underneath skirt

Onto the rear skirt armour now :

Rear skirt armour

The plan for this one is simple. Replace the plastic thrusters and add something different.

So in the left picture we have :

  1. The original piece. The aim is to remove the small thrusters from the inserted pieces, add new ones and cover over the back like with the side skirt armour.
  2. Each piece was removed from the larger piece and the thrusters cut off with clippers. The resulting mess was then sanded back with a square needle file.
  3. Replacement 'thrusters' added. Notice that there are now 2 thrusters in the middle section. At the moment, I have placed these beads in place of the thrusters asa temporary thing to show what I have in mind. When it comes to the final attachment, I will either use beads of a different colour and more correctly sized or use small rounded IC pins from IC sockets if my local electronic store stocks them.

I have also enclosed the back section of this piece as well. I will end up adding details like with the side armour at a later date.

Last, but not least, for this update is the front skirt armour. Simple mod this one. I cut the piece in half and added a small brass rod in the center of the shaft. This will allow for extra movement like having one leg up / one down and having the armour sit close to each leg, not have it close to one and away from the other. I have also added some styrene to make a small raised area on the fronts

Front skirt
Front skirt

14-01-08 : Adding details to the wings...

The wings looked a little bare so I decided to add some detail to them :

Wings Wings 2

I've cut out the top and bottom sections of the 'exhaust' and added mesh to them. At the very top, I have removed middle section so it now looks like two angular pieces sticking up off the end. On the underside, I have added mesh to the indented section and raised areas using styrene. I plan to paint these raised areas in a different style to the rest of the wing, which is why I've added them where they are and how they look.

The V-Fin has also been sharpened slightly :

V Fin Sharpened

The feet have been given some attention too, but I'll save that for a future update.

18-01-08 : Feet modifications and preparing the head...

Here is a picture of the feet before I began work on them :


Now here is what they look like at the moment :


For this section, I used a small rectangle file and filed a rectangular shape into the edge of the foot armour. I then used thin styrene and attached it behind to give a recessed feel.

And then there is this :

I was thinking hard of what to do with the feet and I thought that most Gundams have some sort of thrusters in the soles of the feet but the Zeta doesn't. To pull this off, I used 1/144 sized thrusters from another kit (found them in the junk pile) and cut sections from both the top and bottom of the piece. A hole was cut into the feet and then the thruster was glued into place. I also added a bead to the heel for a smaller manouvering thruster.

I also added mesh and styrene to lengthen the middle wing piece :

Middle wing

Finally for this update, the head. Picture on the left is the head modded to allow the face to slide in and out to make painting easier whilst the picture on the right is the back on the head with pins added.



26-01-08 : Last of the modifications...


For the feet, I've added a front vent to the top of the foot and some 'toes'. To make the vent, I first opened up the hole with my pin vise and then filed out the shape. A thin piece of styrene was added underneath and then small strips were added 1mm apart in the hole. Once the glue had fully dried, the vent strips were cut and sanded back flush with the top of the foot. The toes were simply glued on and the center part sanded back on the foot itself.


The knee armour was thickened by adding 1mm styrene to the front and .5mm to the rear. The top section was covered in as well and mesh added.

Head with mesh
Chest with mesh

The picture above left is the head with a rear mesh vent added. Same again for that, hole drilled then filed out to shape and mesh / styrene added.

The picture above right is the chest with mesh now added in the big gap just below where the head sits when it's assembled. This piece still needs a little cleaning up.

There are still one or two small mods to finish before I prime and go over everything for faults.

27-01-08 : Changing the thrusters...

New feet thrusters

I finally got hold of some circular Intergrated Circuit adaptors the other day (most places have the square pins not the round ones like I wanted). So instead of beads for thrusters, I'll be using the pins from the sockets.

I have also taken the time to write a quick how-to to show people how I did it and how they can too, which can be found here.

New rear skirt thrusters

05-02-08 : Round one .... PAINT!

After a ton of priming, puttying, sanding and re-priming most pieces that I modded two or three times to get rid of any seams or imperfections, I finally reached this point :


Now that I finished that horrible part of the build, it's now time to paint. First off I have put down the base colours for the parts I plan on masking and painting over with a different shade of the same paint. At present I have used Field Blue on the blue parts, a custom Orange/White mix (40/60 approximately) for the red parts, Sky Grey for the white parts, Aluminium on the yellow parts, Dark Grey on the black parts and finally Steel on the joints and such.

Painting round 1

Once the paint is dry, I will mask off the knee joints and paint the legs. I have a design in mind for the masking of the coloured parts but I'll leave that a secret for the moment.

18-02-08 : Legs painted...

It's been a while since an update for two reasons. One was that the server the site is hosted on crashed two weeks ago and I've been hesitant to update as it was running off backups until the problem was resolved (which is still in the air). Secondly, the legs required some fancy masking patterns which was time consuming. Here's what they ended up as :

Painted legs
Legs painted
Rear wings painted

The masking involved cutting hexagon patterns which where stuck on over the initial layer of orange. The orange layer was straight orange at the bottom and a 50/50 mix of orange and white blended about 1/4 the way up the leg and continued upwards. The left over triangles from the hexagons were stuck inbetween each hexagon to add a sort of 'track' pattern that runs down the rear of the leg, around the outside, then up the front, over the knee and stops at the hip. The same pattern was used on the raised areas on the rear wings also.

Next up is the chest armour, where I plan to repeat the same pattern but with blue colours.

01-03-08: Nearly finished the painting....

Here is a couple of pictures of the nearly painted Zeta :

Nearly painted
Nearly painted
Beam sabers painted

I've gone with Field Blue for the blue parts as it's darkness compliments the Dark Gray of the wings etc. The added details on the forearms have been painted in Medium Blue as a contrasting color to the Field Blue.

The beam sabers have been done with the Candy technique topped with Clear Red and Clear Blue (which created a Purple in the middle).

The final pieces are getting done soon. The chest will have the same pattern and colors as the legs but with a reversed gradient (ie lighter to darker). Just have to mask and paint those pieces then it's time to decal and make a display stand.

06-03-08: Final update....

This will be my final update for this build as I am nearly finished and there is little left to show before the final unveiling.

Decal time!

Spent about 3 hours decaling the Zeta a few days ago now. I ended up using a mixture of warnings and markings from official Bandai sets (from 1/144 and 1/100 decal sets) and 1/144 scale ones from Samuel Decals (shown in the picture to the right).

I'll definently order from Samuel again. Took less than 4 days to get from Hong Kong to Australia (I ordered them on a Friday night and I recieved them the following Tuesday).

Some decals used


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