1:100 Zaku (08th MS Team version)

As many of you are sure to know, Amazon.com was running a nice clearance sale on Gundam kits for a while… Master Grades for $10-$20 and even a PG Wing Zero for $20… Needless to say I used the opportunity to buy a bunch of kits. A lot of people don’t seem to like the original Master Grades much, due to limited posability, alignment problems, and overall construction which is more like a modern high grade kit rather than a MG. But getting my hands on a bunch of these old MG kits has given me a new appreciation for them. Anime kits from the 1980s usually had enough parts to build the subject and not much more – in contrast modern MG kits usually have at least twice as many parts as they really need, as they include parts for a whole interior framework which, in the end, adds no value to the model. I’ve found I really enjoy the relative simplicity of these old kits. Despite the exciting bargains going on, I decided to get just one of the MG Zakus (I already had a MG Char’s Zaku anyway) – I’ve decided that I want to convert it to the version from the 08th MS Team anime.

The original MG Zaku is very similar to the 08th MS Team design, but there are differences. The “cuffs” near the wrists are one of the most obvious differences, but others include the overall design of the cockpit and hatch, differences in the shape of the head, feet, and shoulder armor, as well as the usual collection of variances between a kit and the lineart from which it was adapted.

Current Status (as of 2007-3-13)

Amaterasu suggested a MG Zaku 1.0 group build on the Hobbyfan boards in commemoration of the upcoming MG Zaku 2.0. I was hesitant to join up at first but I decided that the old kit deserves a lot more respect than it’s been getting – so I joined up. Pretty much throughout this project I’ve been planning to make the MG Zaku more like the Zakus in 08th MS Team, though I’ve been a bit uncertain about the specifics. I went back and forth for a bit between wanting to make it more like the Okawara lineart and wanting to make it a blend of the MG kit and what was seen in the animation (which was different from the lineart, even in the early episodes). I’ve decided I want to base the model on this – which is the lineart used for the Zakus that appeared from episode 8 onward. The lineart was drawn by Kimitoshi Yamane – among the differences from Okawara’s design are thicker skirt armors, a more acute angle to the shoulder armor, and a more pronounced front area of the lower leg, distinct from the leg pods, somewhat reminiscent of the Zaku Kai and F2. The lineart is actually a composite I made of two images by Yamane – the damaged Dell and Arth Zakus from episode 8. (Damaged areas from each Zaku mapped nicely to undamaged areas of the other.)

For most details I intend to follow Yamane’s lineart. I may re-incorporate a few of the standard Okawara details – like the Hi-Zack panel lines on the head (but scribed in at a reasonable scale, as opposed to the giant trenches on the kit) and I may not quite include everything – and some details, like the hands, I’ll simply build to my own tastes (most likely following the 0080 design) – but for the most part, the Yamane lineart is my target. I hope to be able to capture the look of the lineart without excessive alteration of the kit: while I have specific goals for the model I also want to take advantage of what the kit itself has to offer, when possible.


  • Widen the shield and rebuild its back-side detail
  • Add the “cuff blocks” seen on the groundtype Zakus in 08th.
  • Detail and light the monoeye, add an alternate method for posing it. (Gear system on my MG Zaku’s eye doesn’t work)
  • Alter feet to look more like 08th MS Team versions – including the “groundtype” sole detail as seen on the HG Zaku
  • Scratchbuild cockpit (Years ago I tried this on a HG Zaku – laid out complete design plans and even created a couple rough parts from cross-sections – I think rather than resuming that work it’d be better to start over in a larger scale.)
  • Modify or (more likely) rebuild shoulder spike armor to match lineart
  • Match lower legs to lineart, with data for other views taken from anime – hopefully by alteration rather than a more extensive re-build.
    “Maybe Do”

  • Replace “power cables” with thinner ones, using Kotobukiya mobile pipe and springs
  • Add the shoulder spikes to the shield (as seen in the show opening and on the HG Zaku)
  • Fill and rescribe panel lines

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