1/35 Zaku Head Progress

December 4, 2005: I received this kit last week and for the past few days, it was soaking in the industial purple goo to rid any mold release still present on the kit. Today I took the pieces out of the purple liquid bath and using dish soap, warm water, and an old toothbrush; I scrubbed down and rinsed the pieces.

The kit came from a resin shop in Hong Kong - Evolution Hobby - that has a brick and mortar shop but no online shopping. AkoCreation offered to sell the kit by proxy such that those of us outside of Hong Kong can have access to such an excellent kit. Below, you can see that this kit is fairly parts intensive for such a simple head. Using some sticky tac, I just quickly put the sucker together for a test fit. Very nice fitting. So far, there are no missalignments or anything. It will be wonderful if Ako will be willing to carry more of this shop's products in the future.

There are several movable areas. The head itself swivels ontop of the bust section. There is a little knob to move the mono eye. There is a hinge in the neck that can move the head up slighly. There another hinge in the head to move the top of the head hatch up for access to the top of the Zaku's head and access to the mono eye knob for repositioning. Excellent engineering. The kit also comes with wiring, switch, and LED for lighting up the mono eye as well as three small areas in the top of the commander's antenna via clear tubing. Below are the pictures of the kit as well as a size comparison picture using Mr. Ground GM.

December 6, 2005: Yesterday evening and tonight I worked on sanding and a little bit of priming. The only seam to take care of was the one from the antenna's two pieces. A few areas needed some epoxy putty for filling in bubbles and a few damaged areas from when I was removing the excess resin tabs. I've decided to do a cast iron effect for the exterior armor. The internals will be painted with Alclad metallics and those pieces will be kept smooth.

For the cast iron effect, I used some Mr Surfacer 500, lacquer thinner, and a sponge. I applied the thinned Mr Surfacer to the resin surface with a sponge. Stippling the sponge on top of the piece created some nice rough texture to simulate the cast iron effect. See the pictures below.

I primed the internal piece (non cast iron effected) with Mr Surfacer 1200, and then added another layer of Mr Surfacer 1000 to the cast iron pieces; and that rounded off the work for tonight. All the pieces are primed and ready for painting.

December 7, 2005: Painted most of the internals pieces. A few of the internals need to be masked off for the other metallic colors to be painted on. The first shade of red has been laid down to the main exterior pieces. The next update will hopefully see all the internals painted as well as the second layer of paint.

December 10, 2005: It's 2AM and I just finished tonight's painting session. I finished about 95% of the painting. Custom mixed a lighter red to represent Char's Zaku II. Below are the finish painting so far. I still have a little bit of masking and painting, but that won't happen for another week or at least several days.

After the above painting process. I went on to spray future over all the parts; with the exception of the internal head pieces. Since I worked out the electronics and sodered all the wiring together, I don't want to be spraying anymore paint or future on those pieces. I still need to find the small batteries to fit into the kit. Below are pictures of the parts after future was applied. Now while I wait for this to cure, I can return to Ryofu, since the parts I left to cure last week should be completely cured now. I can go and mask and finish up painting her.

December 11, 2005: Ok I lied. Since I picked up a couple of batteries for the LED setup, I had to put them in and then take a few quick shots of the lit up mono eye.

Base work: The base was spray painted with a Tamiya semi gloss black. A knife and tamiya masking tape masked all the black areas. Blue painters tape to complete the masking. Mr Color yellow was sprayed. Mask removed. Finally a coat of future floor polish was sprayed onto the base.

December 13, 2005: Below are the last three pictures taken before the head was put together. The first shot is the wash process. This was followed by a flat coat using Future Floor Polish and Tamiya flat base.




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