Some of you may have already seen some of Dennis’ work as he was the first person to send me pictures of a kit for my then-new Reader Submission section. If you haven’t seen it, click here. He also comments quite regularly on gaijin-gunpla.com and has offered me tips and advice in the past, which are much appreciated. Now he’s completed another work and I asked for the details as I wanted to let him show it off. Now I’ll let Dennis tell you what how he created this impressive looking kit.
While on the internet a few months ago I came across pictures of the Kawaguchi Pro Shop desert pattern Zaku II. Because of how unusual it was I wanted this for my collection. I proceeded to search for it on the internet and even called a few places in my area that carry Gundam models. After about two weeks of looking I decided to do my own interpretation of it.
This model started out as a standard master grade Zaku II kit. The entire model including the frame was painted. I did the model in stages starting with the frame which I painted in Tamiya Gunmetal with flat top coat. The only exception on the frame were the elbow and knee joints; fingers and top of the armor that show under the head. They were painted with Tamiya light gunmetal and gloss coated.
“Damn you, you blew it up….”
The arms, legs, shoulder pieces, head and armor collars were painted in Army Painter “Desert Sand”. I used Tamiya Red/Brown for the body armor and skirt pieces. The knees, elbows and feet pieces were painted in German Armour from Army painter. The pilot’s chair was hand painted with leather paint with black Gundam marker for the recesses. Some of the details in the cockpit were picked out in white. The doors and center chest were painted in Tamiya flat black and the backpack was painted in Tamiya Maroon. Finally the thrusters were painted in Tamiya silver leaf that was flat coated and their centers were painted black. All weapons were done in gunmetal in their center areas and light gunmetal on their muzzles; stocks and exhausts.
In case you’re wondering how I painted the armor collars, here’s how: They come mounted on an extra section of the piece they will be slid onto. I simply used painters tape to cover the area I didn’t want painted, sprayed them and slide them in place once dry for afew hours. I did have to remove some excess paint from between the pieces on the flexible cable. The panel lining was done with panel washing and Gundam marker.
There are about 100 decals on the kit. These were from three sheets; one from Bandai; two from Samuel Decal. Where possible I used the sheets from Samuel, but I used a few from Bandai because some of the warning markings on his regular Zaku sheet didn’t show on the tan. He made me several custom decals including the numbers and the Africa/Zeon symbols for this kit. To do this I found the original decal sheet on a You Tuber’s Flickr page and sent it to him and he produced them custom for me.
You may notice that the numbers on one photo are different from the others. Originally this was to have “411” as an inside joke. That’s the number you call in the U.S. for information. Anyway, I was handling the pieces and the chest numbers came off and I didn’t have enough 1’s to fix it. I settled on the other number because I had those left on the sheet.
So there you have it, my Kawaguchi inspired Zaku II in a nutshell. The only pieces this doesn’t have are the Kampfer guns that the pro shop kit has. I have one on order and may “commandeer” the shotgun for this kit. Doing a different paint scheme was very enjoyable and I’m planning on some more in the near future. I encourage everyone who wants to take a different approach to painting to do it.
“Hey you, CATCH!!!”