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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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The Wacom Tablet Adventure

So my big present for Christmas this year was a Wacom tablet… I had asked for this knowing it might be a challenge to get it working on my two Linux systems, let alone doing something useful… And while I’ve dabbled with modeling in Blender (and creating textures and other graphics in GIMP) it’s not something I do quite enough of that I felt sure I really needed a $200 input device to do it better… But now that it’s up and running I think it’ll be a great piece of gear for me, and I look forward to learning to use it better. I wanted to write this post largely so that if anybody else found themselves facing similar technical difficulties, they’d be able to find this posting and get some guidance.
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Merry Christmas, damnit!

The subject line is an early 1980s SNL reference. :)

Fixing the HGUC Zaku (part 3)

Since last time I’ve been spending a fair bit of time trying to improve the modified legs and get them to better match up with one another. Additionally, I’ve recast the shoulder armor and permanently mounted it to the Zaku, and I’ve done a bit of work improving the look of the elbow joints.


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