In-Progress : MS-06V Zaku Tank
26-04-06 : Beginning of a nightmare ...
Now that I've finished the SD Z'Gok, I've decided to start on the 1/144 Zaku Tank that was recently re-released by Bandai as a part of the renewed interests in Zeta Gundam in Japan.
So far I've half done the test fit and my initial impressions of this kit are not that good. The pegs don't snap into the holes correctly, the pieces are poorly molded, and I've got it holding together with Blu-tak at present just so I can get the test fit done so I can work out what needs to be done in regards to seam lines, filling larger gaps, and modifications (if necessary). It's looking more and more like a huge job to make this kit look some what presentable.
Pictures still to come (when the test fit is finished).
30-04-06 : Test fit complete ....
Finally, I have finished the test fit. I took my time doing it because of the poorly fitting parts and holes that either didn't line up correctly or didn't exist (even though the instructions clearly show that there is meant to be holes on the back of the Zaku part for the backpack). I glued what I could as I went and the rest is held together with Blu-tak for now just so I can get an idea of what needs to be done.
I've decided that the neck joint needs serious surgery to make it both more movable and easier to paint the head. I also have to add in some new holes that do not seem to exist even though they are clearly shown to exist in the instructions.
At this point, I am seriously disappointed in this kits design - I can see why this range was not popular in the day - I only wish that some day, Bandai might decided to redesign it in a HGUC style.
05-05-06 : Quick Update ...
Haven't progressed as far as I had wanted to this week due to work commitments and a general lack of motivation because of those work commitments. I've sanded back half of the pieces that I've puttied (to cover the seams) and I'll get stuck into the rest at some point tomorrow.
Next up after that is the neck surgery. This will be my first attempt at any sort of major modification so fingers crossed, all will got well.
11-05-06 : Starting modification of the neck / Priming ...
Yesterday I began work on the neck/head modifications. This is my first attempt at any sort of joint modification and my first attempt at using the Tamiya Epoxy Putty.
I removed the neck piece from the torso and filled that hole up with Tamiya Epoxy Putty.
I then filled the head hole up with the same putty and inserted a polycap piece in the putty.
So far I've sanded back the putty and began the priming process today but, as always, I ran out of primer half way. I'll have to get some more primer either tomorrow or the next day.
Once the primer is dry on the torso, I'll be drilling a small hole in the epoxy and adding a neck joint that was left over from another kit.
27-05-06 : Finally did some more work ...
Finally found the time to do a little more to the neck joints. I drilled out a hole in the torso using my Dremel and inserted a cut down neck joint I had left over from another kit. I just cut the piece that joins to the body part so it would fit into the drilled hole.
The hole was filled with glue and the neck joint added. I also took the time to re-putty around the area to cover up my poor sanding and where I slipped with the drill.
Once the putty is completely dry, I will re-prime it and then I'm ready for painting.
The head part of the modification is almost finished too. All that is left is to re-prime where I resanded out the imperfections of the primer and putty.
30-05-06 : Beginning the colours ...
Working Night Shift and not being able to sleep has given me a little extra time today to begin air brushing. I've decided to do an Olive Drab / Gunmetal style theme. The main parts of the body and tank section are painted in Olive Drab to give it a military feel (being a tank and all) where as the fuel tanks on the rear, the arm shields, tank wheels and power conduits are in Gunmetal. They are all drying right at this minute, so once they are dry, I will finish the remaining painting (like the areas that need to be masked first) and then start on the highlights and weathering.
02-06-06 : Half painted ...
Painted the base colour and assembled the tank section. So far, I've done some shading on the tank portion by way of my usual method, using the Tamiya Weathering Soot colour and brushing it on. I find this method easier than the air brush method but sometimes it isn't as effective.
08-06-06 : Detailing ...
Done some more detailing today. This time I have painted the smaller details on the tank portion and have put the head together. The exhausts and the iron plating on top were painted with Gunmetal. The iron plating was then dry brushed with Black to give it a worn look - like it had been walked all over for a long time. The front gun barrels were painted Black and dry brushed with Chrome Silver. The very tips of the barrels were done in Dark Copper.
The mono-eye was done with my usual method. I used a pink transparent tree taken from another kit (this one was left over from a 1/144 Red Frame Astray which I have put together and plan to paint at a later date) which I sliced a very fine slither off and fixed it to the front visor of the Zaku. I have used this method on three different kits now and find it perfect for the 1/144 scale kits.
Just have to clean it up a little and then it's on to detailing the torso.