1:144 Z’Gok Diorama

Back in 2004 I came up with the concept for this diorama. In order to maximize its impact when the diorama’s finally complete, I want to keep some details under wraps until the diorama’s finished. For now I’ll say that it’ll be large, about 16″x20″. The subject will be a standoff between one Zeon MS and three GMs. Initially I was thinking of using a regular Z’Gok and three GM Cold Climates, but I ultimately decided I’d rather use a Z’Gok-E (the design which appeared in Gundam 0080) and three GM Commands.

Current Work

So far, I’ve mostly been working on the GMs. I’ve done some work on the Z’Gok, but haven’t gone very far with the kit yet. Initially the project was on a fairly tight deadline, so I made efforts to limit the number and scope of alterations I did to the kits – but since that original deadline is long since passed, those restrictions have been largely lifted.

HGUC GM Command

What can I say about this kit? It’s based on the GM Cold Climate, which was quite well-done, but really the Command kit is a little too much like the GM Cold. They didn’t put enough “GM Command” into the kit and that’s highly disappointing to me. Katoki’s to blame for some of it (notably the rather poorly-defined, spud-shaped head and the ghastly elf-shoe feet), other parts are a result of parts that were carried over from the GM Cold, like the misshapen skirt armor. I’m not sure who’s to blame for the arms. They’re oversized like most HGUC arms to give more room for polycaps, they’re angled oddly at the elbow to give them more clearance to bend (could be a design decision by Katoki or it could be a concession for posability – but if they’d put the elbow joint in the right place they would have gotten the same level of posability anyway and it would’ve looked right!) But despite all these problems the kit has some strengths, too. I love the elbow joints, they look like they should and they work like they should. Accessories and bits which in the old kit were wildly disproportionate are now closer to how they should be – so no oversized head, no flat shield, no mile-wide torso. Anyway, I’ve decided that for this project I’m going to combine the HGUC with the old GM Command kit, and “Fix it until it ain’t broke.”

The GMs are coming along rather well. My initial plan for the GMs was to take most parts straight from the kits, and only recast what I had to (the chest block, skirt armor, and the head, mainly) but as work progresses I find more things which would benefit from recasting for one reason or another. Currently I’m working on the head, chest, and ankle armor. The HGUC head, poorly-defined and featureless as it may be, is actually well-proportioned and close enough to the correct shape that I’ve had great successes in accurizing it just by cutting extra material away. The chest alteration was one of the first significant pieces of work I did on this project, extending the chest vent area to get the “GM Command” look. However, presently I find that I’d like to further refine that area.

Build Updates

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