The First Zaku

A while back I saw a video on Youtube that really inspired me: it was a slideshow (set to The Village People’s “Macho Man”) of a build-up of the original 1:144 Zaku kit from 1980. The end result was a pretty funky-looking Zaku, and an interesting direction taken with a kit that can be hard to love.
Zaku Plamo PV by avudabi
The build inspired me, and so I decided to do one of my own. I’m not following avudabi’s build exactly, but I’m taking a lot of cues from it.

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The only BIAB with the means…

I’ve been wanting to learn music for a while now – I want to be able to create music for other projects (games or animations, things like that) and also I think it’s just a good skill to have, I want music to be part of my household in general. As I’m learning more about music and how to play it, I’m also building a little collection of gear to use in musical projects. My first acquisition along these lines is the Yamaha QY-70 synthesizer. It’s a portable MIDI workstation released back in 1997. I plan to give it a new paint job, but first I wanted to give it a functional upgrade – a backlight for its LCD.


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Leo and Tallgeese Scaling Issue

Not a WIP sort of post but it’s an issue that interests me. In Gundam Wing there was a mass-produced mobile suit called “Leo”, as well as its larger, more powerful predecessor, known as the Tallgeese. The original Gundam Wing kit lines did include a Tallgeese, but the Leo was only available as a “Limited Model” kit – meaning both the availability and quality of the kit were limited. However, the two designs are very similar, and so for Leo fans, converting a Tallgeese model to a Leo is a tempting path. With the resurgence of Gundam Wing in MG form, there may even be a MG Tallgeese we can use. But since the Tallgeese is taller, that makes the resulting model out-of-scale… Or does it?

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HGUC Zaku #84 “Completed” (mostly)

In the last few days before Otakon I made an effort to finish up the HGUC Zaku so I could display it in the Otakon model contest. I was basically successful; the model was in a state that I could reasonably call “finished” and the Zaku won “Best in Show” in the Gunpla Builders World Cup event held there. However, I don’t consider this model to be quite “finished”: I had wanted to do more weathering, probably some filters or something, and I wasn’t able to get to that prior to the con. Still, the model is in a good state now and so I wanted to share some photos of it.


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Hasegawa VF-11 images (from Hobby Search)

Hobby Search provides us a valuable service on their shop: item listings include not only basic images and descriptions, but box and instruction manual scans. Since I’ve been involved in this hobby I have taken advantage of this many times. Now that Hasegawa’s VF-11 kit is out (but not yet in my hands) I have anxiously downloaded their scans to present them here. (the images they provide are very useful, but the web interface they provide for viewing them is very slow and kind of annoying)
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HGUC Zaku Color part 2

I guess this is a bit more substantial of an update than the last one, since now I’ve actually painted some parts. This is the first real look at this Zaku (approximately) as it will look when finished.


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HGUC Zaku Color

Lately I’ve been working on getting the HGUC Zaku parts ready for painting. At this point pretty much all the parts seem ready apart from the hands – there were a lot of bubbles in the castings and so I’m thinking of starting over, casting a new set of hands and using pressure-casting gear this time. In the mean time there’s another important issue that requires attention: I’m going to paint this Zaku, but what color am I going to paint it?
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Fixing the HGUC Zaku (part 5)

Lots of changes as I’m trying to wrap up the structural portion of this project and move on to painting… The electronics are done, new “power cables” are installed. Hand casting is done (though there’s still some cleanup to do) and I’m sealing up the last few assemblies that were kept un-glued for the sake of the electronics.

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More HGUC Zaku nonsense (part 4)

It always bugs me when kits I’m working on have poor details, and Zaku kits always seem to have a couple major issues along those lines: the kit-supplied hands are usually crap, and the monoeye is usually embarassingly simplistic even on the best kits. The monoeye thing is a real problem, because the eye is part of the machine’s “face” and therefore pretty central to the design overall – so if it’s too plain or too sparse, it produces a bad effect. So most of the time I’ve spent on this project lately has been dedicated to fixing those two issues.

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Infrared Sonic Screwdriver

I built this about a year ago for a friend who was getting his PhD. It’s the 9th/10th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who. I added an infrared remote control circuit to it (based on the Lady Ada version of TV-B-Gone), multiple UV LEDs in a random flashing pattern, then sealed the thing up and gave it a nice paint job to cover up the seam lines.


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