I’ve been getting some steady work done on the Zaku speed build. Up until this weekend, the thing was a shiny beast. I allowed an extra day for the clears to fully cure up before moving on the next stage, masking. I don’t want the paint to lift, and more importantly, I do not want the decals to lift either. So the extra cure day isn’t too big a deal. This weekend was also the annual John Williams concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I’ve been coming to his concerts at the Bowl for well over ten years. With a beautiful full moon lighting the dark skies around the Hollywood hills, the cool night air is filled with amazing works performed by outstanding musicians.

Maestro Williams started the evening with a couple of Olympic songs he composed, the last one, Olympic Spirit playing to clips from the most recent London Games and other past games. Williams then played a piece from The Adventures of Tintin, The Duel which is music for an epic pirate sea battle, but instead of the scene from the movie, the music was performed to sword fighting clip from several movies. Gil Shaham came on stage and started off with Por Una Cabeza, a tango piece best recognized from Scent of a Woman where Pacino tangos with some stranger in a New York restaurant. This was probably my favorite piece of the evening. Shaham and Williams continued with music from Schindler’s List, Fiddler on the Roof and Laura to cap the first half.

The second half saw a choir join the stage and music from William’s more well known works. Superman March, Marion’s Theme from Raiders of the lost Ark and music from Amistad. With the choir, Duel of the Fates from Phantom Menace brought out the first lighting of the thousand or so light sabers attendees brought to the Bowl; which has become some sort of a tradition to the John Williams concert. The final programmed piece was the Finale from E.T. performed along side a digitally remastered high definition end to the film. As usual with this concert, there was a set of encores, and the selections were Luke and Leia form Jedi, the main Star Wars theme, and Imperial March from Empire. So again, the light sabers lit up the Bowl. A couple of the musicians showed their geek side with the own light sabers. No Raider’s March, but it was a fantastic evening regardless.

Back to the Zaku, with the clears cured, the bugger is snapped together for the next phase. The black even with the ultra glossy finish is just too one dimensional; but my paint scheme plans called for this step first. This gives me a great opportunity to snap pictures of a suit painted mostly black to further illustrate the lack of depth in just using black as the primary. That said, the next step applied masking tape of different widths. I’m following the same masking scheme as I did with the Gouf Custom.

Learning from the previous experience with this style of masking, I did the quick main strips over the entire body first, then cut apart the strips to mask off specific areas. I started with the shield first. It also worked as a test piece for the paint scheme. The shield is masked off then sprayed with a flat coat. Once the flat coat dried, the masking tape is removed revealing the paint scheme; flat vs gloss of the same black paint. The main color is actually a muted matte black with highlights of gloss black.

With the shield successful, I moved on to the shoulder, and one arm. These two pieces awe masked off then flat coated. And each appendage was worked in this manner. From the last time I did this, the masking was just laborious and when I was done masking, some of the parts masked off at the beginning of the process started to lift. So I used this part by part procedure. Over the weekend, I slowly finished up the arms and legs.

With the appendages painted, the arms and leg armors were pulled from the frame and placed on separate boards to keep everything organized. The head and shoulders are masked and flat coated, and the backpack is masked and painted with Mr Color Tire Black.

The last unmasked parts are the main torso and waist. These should be finished sometime this week. Which should complete the collection of partially painted frame pieces. Once I have all the frame pieces ready, these can be painted. Further paint scheme depth can be achieved with the frame. Painted gloss black along with the armor facilitated the monochromatic feel to the kit; which will hopefully change when the frame is finally painted and put together with the dual tone flat vs gloss black finish.

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