50 Shades, but the 1980s Version (not quite… 63 days to SCGMC)

It has been pretty rough of late trying to get motivated to work on my projects for SCGMC. Most of this year my engagement with the hobby has been spotty at best. Early in the year my plan was to start things off with a number of small, quick projects starting with the Zakus in January, but the project dragged into mid February and I started to lose patience with it. I’ve started a few other projects, like the YF-19s when the Bandai kit came out, or the Strike Valkyrie in the summer, but I’ve found it tough to stay engaged and keep moving forward with them. I had planned to do another 100 day project for the Zaku Kai, leading up to SCGMC in November, but all through August I found it very difficult just to sit down and work on it with any kind of consistency.
At this point, 100 days has already diminished to fewer than 70, about 9 weeks. It’s frustrating, but the best thing I can do now is try to make the most of that time. It stinks to have lost a whole month (to say nothing of the prior months) but 9 weeks is still a significant amount of time if I use it right. I estimate that in the 100 day project last year I only actualy used about half, around 45-50, and in that time I moved mountains, accomplished more on this project than I had in years, maybe more than all the prior work on the project put together. I also got a lot better at making my efforts count, how to work effectively and not get hung up on perfectionist tendencies. The upshot is that I think I’m finally getting my head in the game again and making steady progress.

One of the first significant pieces of work I did with the Zaku after bringing it out again is start work on a neck joint. I often feel like I put too much effort into adding moveable joints to projects like this, but I am a Gundam modeler after all. The neck joint in this case is a bit complicated because the head sits very low against the (concave) top of the chest, and from that position it has little clearance to move unless it’s raised first. It’s also nice to have a little ability to make the Zaku look up. But beyond that I’ve been wanting to get the Zaku to the point where its parts can all be connected and the thing can really stand on its own.

I also set out to finish the shoulder pauldron. This part has always been a bit of a struggle since it’s a very free-form curved part but also one that I want to be symmerical, particularly with noticeable details like the position and angle of the spikes. But I think this iteration of the part is generally good enough, and the main thing it needs at this point is some sanding to smooth out some of the irregularities from the sculpting process. The part was in pretty rough shape in terms of these kinds of artifacts, and it was missing some material on the back corner as well. A bit of work made quite a bit of difference here, but it still needs some more attention.

Another recent focus has been the knee joint. I felt like it was sitting too high, and I wanted to fix that. However that meant other adjustments to the knee armor and the upper and lower legs were also necessary.

I also started work on the right-side upper leg. Although the left and right upper legs are made from the same mold, some features differ between the two, so the work I did to add joint parts to the left upper leg have to be repeated for the right. So far I’ve just begun the process of grinding out some of the excess material in the part, and enlarging the hole for the hip joint

I made some updates to the feet: Originally I’d planned for the ankle joint to have cylindrical protrusions sticking out the sides, like on the MG Zaku F2, and so cut-outs for those protrusions were incorporated into the foot parts. But I’ve since decided against the idea, so I’ve removed those features. Also the original sculpt for the back half of the foot had some problems: it was a bit too boxy and narrow, and so didn’t fit well with the front part of the foot. I added epoxy putty to give it more of a curved appearance

And… Other stuff. I dunno. Read the captions or something.

There is a lot I wanted to do for SCGMC this year, but honestly I might have my hands full just finishing up the Zaku. We’ll see I guess. For now I need to keep going and keep making headway on the project.

Post a Comment