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Sunday, December 27, 2015

1/35 Black Tri-Stars Zaku II Head


Introduction:

Welcome to my final completed kit for 2015! I somehow completed 18 kits this year, and I pulled it off despite having some really large commissions like the PG Wing Zero and personal projects like the Metal Gear Ray.

This is one of the last p-Bandai kits still had hanging out on my shelf. This kit doesn't suffer too badly from the p-Bandai tax us westerners get stuck with. The standard kit this model its based on the 1/35 Ramba Ral Commando set, and it typically runs around $40. I've seen a few examples of this version selling for $45-50. The p-Bandai version does omit the 1/35 figures and motorcycle, but it's not much of a loss in my opinion. If you can find this kit I'd recommend picking it up; it's the only version that will allow you to create almost any ace's Zaku II. 



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Kit Talk:

This kit received a basic build out of box, the color scheme I chose was the stock look for the Tri-Stars.

I had a little bit of help on this kit, my buddy Nick helped prime a few pieces while visiting from out of town. 

I'll talk a little more about the kit as we work through the photos.

Assembly and Interior:

Just being a head limits the posing options for this kit. So I opted to feature the various sub-assemblies of this kit.


The neck of this kit features most of the moving parts on this design. The hydraulic features move as the Zaku tilts it's head up and down.



The pale gold detail on this part likely represents the part conducting data from the mono eye and other sensors down to the pilot in the body.



Here I adjusted the head down to demonstrate the maximum range of motion.



The filter at the snout was masked and painted with both neutral grey and dark aluminum.



Most of the smaller silver details were hand painted with super fine silver.





The pipe detail in the center of the head is clear red over superfine silver.





Once the upper part of the head is added it really brings the design together. 



The mono eye is able to move along the track in the head.



The radiator fins and vents are also masked and painted with dark aluminum.







Out of context the power pipes look like a ridiculous wraparound mustache.



Like the pipes featured a few images above the ring around the head is clear red over superfine silver.



The coupling where the two pipes meet was masked and painted so that some of the technical details are visible in neutral grey. 






Despite being their own runner the power piping of this kit was molded in the same navy blue color as the rest of the kit. 




Once the armor is added to the neck the head has a reduced ability to move.



The head armor is composed of several large pieces of armor for the top, back and sides of the head and several smaller pieces around the snout.











Here's the socket that would be situated at the top of the chest armor. This is one piece that was painted first with dark aluminium, then masked for the application of black and neutral grey.

Completed Head:





















I changed the location of the unit number decals so that the I could chance out the head armor of either Gaia's unit (02) or Ortega's (06).

Details:



The serial number on the snout is identical to the one used on the standard and Char versions of the head.



Typically the unit number is situated lower on the side armor; for reasons explained above I moved it. Also notice that the decal has "Achtung" (German for attention) that's visible! If you're eyes are good enough you may be able to make out the rest; but I can't.



The Model number MS-06R-1A refers to the High Mobility Zaku II Type used by the Tri-Stars and Shin Matsunaga.







Here's the Tri-Star version next to my basic weathered model. Char's version will join these two eventually.