The Beginning of the End (day 1)

My Zaku Kai Project dates all the way back to my early days in the hobby. It has stood for years as one of the things I most want to finish, but find most difficult to consistently work on. I’ve decided to take a real crack at wrapping it up, in the form of a “100 day challenge”.

The idea of the 100 day challenge is to get people engaged with the things they want to accomplish. Every day, for a hundred days, you work on it. I don’t usually engage in “challenges” like this but I’m hopeful that it’ll help me out, as I have had considerable problems getting anything at all done in the hobby for years now. (I think my last finished build was 5 years ago…)
Today’s WIP isn’t much but it’s a start: the shoulder pauldron I scratch-built for the Zaku has always bugged me a bit: it’s not symmetrical, and right now it’s missing some bits as well. I’d like to start fresh. For now the first part is to make a new mold of the part that forms the fringe at the base of each shoulder spike. Cast copies of this part will be used as guides for the new shoulder pauldron part.
Of course I could just 3D print the whole shoulder pauldron – or the whole Zaku for that matter. But I started this as a scratch-build project, and I’d like to see it through that way.
It’s been years since I’ve busted out the mold rubber. It took some time to find my legos I use to form a box for the mold, and a scale to measure out the 2-part mixture. It’s not much accomplished today, but it’s a start.

Tomorrow the mold will be ready for use, and I can cast new spike fringes and maybe get started on the new pauldron sculpt.
This obviously isn’t much of a start, but part of the idea of the challenge is to re-build the habit of engaging with the project on a regular basis. As I get more into the swing of things I hope to get a lot more done. Part of the reason I’ve found it so hard to get anything done in the hobby is because my model studio has been in bad shape: It got trashed in a basement flood, and then relocated to a smaller (non-basement) space. So one serious problem is that it’s hard to find the tools and supplies I need for a particular task as a lot of it was misplaced in that scramble to deal with the flood. Another is that some equipment (in particular, the airbrush, spray booth, pressure casting system, etc.) just isn’t set up for use yet. These kinds of problems are going to have to be resolved if the project is to be a success.
Hopefully by the time this challenge ends on May 24th, I’ll have my Zaku finished at last. I’m looking forward to it.

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