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Monday, November 14, 2005

Desert Zaku: Mecha Gießerei

Where to begin? Oh.. yeah, i got into this Gundam model building thing as soon as i had watched about 20+ episodes of SEED Destiny (i know, not a great place to dive into the Gundam Universe) My modelling experience was very limited to helping a friend build his Tamiya BMW 635 CSI for a contest when i was 17 (i'm 31 now). Well, time went on and this year, i fell in love with the Gundam Astray Red Frame that i built in a few hours, unpainted, uncemented and unsanded(gasp!). Then came the Blue Frame and the LunaMaria Custom Zaku Warrior. ..still no paint, no glue, still unsanded. So i'm like a sooooper Newbie when it comes to modelling.

Then I came across a Char's custom Zaku. Its was HUGE! [lookie here!] its advertised as a 1/60 scale kit but it towered at nearly 12-13 inches in height. Obviously a very old bandai kit, this one has NO pegs like the snap-ons i had made earlier. Armed with a tube of superglue i glued the monster together and well, i had enough sense NOT to glue all of it together cos there's a little bulb you can put into its mono-eye. (still need to hollow out the tubing in the mono-eye, so you can guess what happened to that THAT project.) Then i started looking at some modelling sites and i arrived to Fitchenfoo's site.

One look at his F2 "desert" Zaku and i fell in love with it instantly. See, i had been interested in the WW2 German army since childhood and had admired the various tanks, half-tracks etc for many years. Of particular interest was the DAK Afrika Korps. So instantly some thing clicked in my mind and the concept of a Zaku serving in the Zeon version of Afrika Korps was born. Heck, i even coined the army name (warning: not so original name creation coming up..) ZeonAfrika Korps. I then combined the two logos of Zeon and the original Afrika Korps to come out with this logo:

More reading followed, this time Fitchen's MG model tutorial, The Complete Future Article by Matt Swan and wisely, i signed up for the Child of Mecha message board. In between, i looked at a few colour schemes on DAK tanks (there were not many) but this was the general idea i got at the end. German Tanks shipped to Afrika (Africa i mean..) were mainly painted German Grey (i'm not giving the exact colour name cos i can't remember) and that they were European Theater colour-schemed tanks. In Africa, troops were supplied with paints later in the war. Prior to getting these paints, they used mud or simply lifted a couple of cans from their Italian Allies. But the general idea was this, sand yellow with grey peeping thru. Looked up the corresponding Tamiya colours and it was XF60 - Dark Yellow.

Fine. I came across a 1/100 scale of the monster i built previously (still no pegs, no snap ons on this one) and gleefully bought that for RM 30 (about 8USD). Raided my local ACE Hardware and found the Future. While all this was goin on, i was preparing to get married. YES! so, in-between wedding prep, i was cutting and sanding!.. The thing about this is, I managed to make a hole in the zaku head as i sanded it too much while listening to my wife talking to her make up artist.. err... lesson learnt there... guess i gotta putty up that part..i put every sub-assembly (head, shoulders, forearms etc) into individual plastic bags that i labelled with instructions. (pictures coming soon)

I also got a can of German Grey Lacquer from Tamiya that i now plan to use as the "primer" "underneath colour. So as it stands right now, I'm readying my bamboo skewers and foam base for painting. Guess i gotta go get that bottle of Dark Yellow and some really good brushes (nope, i dont own an airbrush...guess i gotta do it the hard way.). Thats it for now, hopefully i can get back home (gosh,...its 8:25 pm...i'm still in the office!) and take a few pics of the parts in the bags before i take 'em out to paint. Laterz!
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