Never Odd or Even (day 8)

Tonight I continued the work on the shoulder pauldron, filling out the shape with clay and casting the “spike fringe” parts I need to complete it.


First things first, I needed to create duplicates of the spike fringe part. Because the new mold for this part is a one-part mold, I had to fill the mold with resin and then cap it with a flat styrene plate to form the smooth back surface of the part. This worked reasonably well but it did result in a fair number of bubbles being trapped under the plate. As usual at this stage, the rubber molds are just temporary, used for this stage of work and then to be discarded… So it doesn’t matter too much that it’s not super-easy to get good castings from this mold, but in some cases the air bubbles were bad enough to seriously compromise the part. I repaired some of these air bubbles by pouring in more liquid resin, but I also cast enough copies that I didn’t have to worry if one or two didn’t turn out so well.

At this point the pauldron is almost ready for the next step, in which I’ll lay down a uniform layer of epoxy putty on top of the clay, to create the actual pauldron part. I would have done it tonight, but I’ve run out of time for now.

3 Comment(s)

  1. Tetsujin,

    Good luck on your project. I know the Zaku Kai has been your Grail MS for some time. I was a little disappointed with the Re100 kit – KPS plastic is utterly useless BS in my opinion. It’s like going back to 1980. The polyethylene power cables were also a letdown. Anyway, I look forward to seeing your rendition of the Zaku Kai.

    Neal Izumi | 2022-02-21 | Reply

  2. Hey, thanks! The Zaku Kai’s status as my “grail MS” kind of has some good and some bad to it. I always took pride in the fact that I had this scratch-build project in the works, and a high level of confidence in the quality of my work. I somewhat defined my involvement in the hobby through this project. Leaving it unfinished became sort of a safe choice, I could keep taking pride in the project without backing it up with a finished model. And if I “define myself” in terms of this project, what are the implications of finishing it and moving on to something else? I think I kind of got my head in the wrong space with this thing.

    As for the Re/100 kit… it’s complicated. It’s kind of based on the HGUC Zaku Kai. In some respects I like the HGUC, and I think it’s actually one of the better looking HGUC Zakus. It just doesn’t look like the original design, and that frustrates me.

    I think the RE/100 actually improves on the look of the HGUC in some respects, but they also made all these weird, random, mostly-awful design changes to it. The design they used for the forearms on that kit is absolute garbage, like it’s an unfinished rough draft design or something. Areas like the backpack and chest are just so needlessly off-model that I feel like they’re trolling me. I could build the RE/100 and “fix” the parts I don’t like, but I don’t want to. If I made it look good I don’t think Bandai deserves any credit for that result.

    I do hope that well before the 100 days is up the project will be at a stage where I can stand the thing up and really get a feel for the overall effect: Start seeing parts in context of the whole robot instead of just sitting in isolation on the edge of my coffee table. But ultimately it should look basically like my Design Plans and the Blender Model – I’ve changed the design a little here and there but it’s mostly unchanged from what I drew up on graph paper back in 2006. I’ve been working on making the Blender model fully 3D printable as well, though that effort is on hold while I’m focused on the scratch-build…
    Thanks for following my work!

    tetsujin | 2022-02-21 | Reply

  3. Yeah I understand the lifetime projects – I have one started in the late 1980s that
    sorta got finished for a contest, but there were a lot of shortcuts and basically crap work just to get it done. It bothers me so much that I plan on finishing it properly.

    Keep at it and do your best to get the Zaku across the finish line. Use upcoming contests as motivation, but don’t rush it just to make a contest. Get it done the way you planned and thus have no regrets. Sieg Zeon.

    Neal Izumi | 2022-02-22 | Reply

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