1:60 Zaku

Back when Gundam was still very new to me, I had an ambition to create the best scale-model of the Zaku that I could. At the time I felt that the Perfect Grade Zaku kit would be a good starting point: and perhaps it could, but once I had my hands on the kit I started to feel that it wasn’t the “perfect” starting point I’d hoped for: its main assets are physical size and structural complexity, but the exterior is excessively plain and the interior is too simplistic and/or cheaply molded to be really believable. These days I feel like it’s too bland with its armor on and too toyish with its armor off. Kind of a lose-lose situation, unless one can fix it up.

Still, for a while I worked on it with the aim of making it look more like the Zakus in the 08th MS Team anime. The Zakus in the show look a lot like the MG and PG kits but with a few differences of style, proportion, and detail (which were made even more distinct after episode 8). I hadn’t gotten far with it by the time I buried the project: the main thing that I did was work out a way to create a set of replacement hands which would be just as functional as the kit hands, but look more like the round-fingered hands appearing in the lineart for the Zaku Kai and now used as the basis for most high-detail manipulators sold for Zeon MS.

The hands I was constructing were based on 3mm spherical hinges for knuckles: hinges similar to “Wave L-Joint #3” or to the elbow hinge I made for my 1:144 Sumo. To make these, and make them such that they’d be able to hold a pose reasonably, I built a pattern and then recast it, embedding a metal eyelet (hand-formed from a steel sewing pin) in the cast part. The resin part was therefore for looks, while the metal parts formed the actual working hinge. The design worked pretty well but it was a fairly time-consuming process to produce a hinge, and for one hand I would need 14 such hinges. When I return to this project and try building hands again, I will seek ways to streamline the process: otherwise it’s simply too much work to produce a set of hands.


Knuckle DesignInstallation Plan (underside of finger)

Prototype Photos

Prototype (1) Prototype (2) Prototype (3) Prototype (4) Prototype (5)