Zaku Monoeye

While the various complex projects are ongoing, I have some simpler stuff going on concurrently. Lately it’s been a couple of 1:100 Zakus – one of which is the recent MG v2.0 Groundtype Zaku.

The way Bandai handles monoeyes in these kits has always been a pet peeve of mine. On less-expensive kits there’s usually just a flat piece for the eye visor, maybe with a clear piece for the eye itself at best… On more intricate kits like the MG and PG there’s some emphasis put into making sure that there’s a clear lens and that it can turn – but otherwise no effort at all at detailing the eye. The space around the lens is simply a giant void.  So while this MG v2.0 isn’t a kit I want to put a tremendous level of effort into, this is one matter I had to address.

I used a Kotobukiya flat vernier part (P-113) as the main part of the eye – I drilled out the center of it so I can light it.  A Wave clear 3mm lens will go on as one of the final steps. The kit stock part struck me as generally unappealing – it’s a clear part that provides not only the lens at the front of the eye, but the whole camera body leading up to that point.  Since it’s a clear part it’s all too easy to see that this is the case when viewing it from the front – and if you light it, you need to take care to seal out the light leaks from the sides.

One detail that’s always left out of the kit monoeyes are the tracks. Generally when Zeon’s monoeyes are portrayed with any level of detail, the eye itself is a camera assembly which travels on a track – and the track itself has a certain level of vertical movement to give the camera some level of tracking on a second axis.  This detail is somewhat difficult to reproduce on a model due to the fact that kit monoeyes, when poseable, don’t run on tracks – rather they are mounted to a part which turns on an axis. Ideally I’d like the tracks to be closer together than the ones I made – but I think the tracks I made are certainly an improvement.

In order to build the tracks and add the detail to the top of the eye area, I had to alter the visor piece a bit – on this kit the visor part has a horizontal upper surface which plugs into the top part of the head. It’s a convenient feature and it lends the part a great deal of stability – but for my build it’s in the way…  So I drilled a bunch of holes near the edge of the visor so I could cut the horizontal surface away and leave just the visor behind. Care must be taken when doing the final cut – I was afraid I’d put some cracks in the visor, but it seems to have worked out OK.  I’ve been sanding the inside of the visor – after some polishing-grade sandpaper and a dip in Future it’ll look good as new – and be more convenient to re-install.

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