Kotobukiya has announced the EZ-029 Storm Sworder as their next HMM release. The colors out of the box is monotonous but I think it’s a good canvas for some striking color schemes. I hope parts breakdown makes it easier to paint though.
Not sure if the clear base is included but this looks good. This is coming in November for 8,964 JPY. More pictures on Hobby Search.
Kit Number: 35
Media: Injection Plastic, Rubber
The Iron Kong is a Gorilla-type Zoid deployed by the Zenebas and Guylos Empires in the various wars on Planet Zi. It was the second large-scale Zoid deployed after the Red Horn. Developed to counter the Helic Republic’s Gojulas, the Iron Kong featured strong armor and missiles that allowed it to attack from ranges out of reach by the Gojulas. Its form also allowed it to climb, grab, throw and punch. Slow by most standards, it was still twice as fast as its primary counterpart.
Info from Zoids Wiki
This kit is part of Kotobukiya’s D-Style line of mecha that are chibi-fied: huge heads, small bodies and cute in general. The snapfit parts come molded in color and unlike Bandai’s SD line of kits, most of the limbs are not hollow which is nice. Polycaps are provided for the joints and allows for posing of the kit. The arms have a surprising amount of poseability and the mouth opens. The cockpit with clear visor opens and the figures of Rosso and Viola are included, which indicates that this Iron Kong depicts the unit that appears in Zoids: Chaotic Century. All in all, a fully featured kit.
Parts breakdown is uncomplicated so the build was straightforward. Fit was great (Kotobukiya can be hit or miss). I sanded the sprue marks, filled up the major seamlines and was ready for painting in no time. I decided to ignore the seamline on the arms which will come back and bite me later.
Colors & Markings
I decided to go with the default colors for this build. I started with black primer as a base. Then I sprayed white primer at a 45 degree angle from on top to lighten the areas where the sun hits the subject. The parts were then separated as much as possible into the component colors and painted that way with Model Air Red and Model Air Metal Black Metal. I’m not sure I managed to pull off the effect I want so it’s something to work on in future builds. Anyway it was time to move on.
The backpack, shoulder cannon and what’s usually the rubber pegs on actual Zoids kits were painted Light Grey. The clear parts were given a coat of Future and masked for the next stage. The pilots aren’t visible under the green visor but I gave them a coat of Polished Gold in a call out to the mindriders from the original 1980s Zoids releases.
My usual Raw Umber or Black oil wash would not show up with the dark finish so I decided to try gray this time. I think the results are OK but it definitely can be improved. I then did some filtering with black and white oil paint which resulted in a toning down of the metallic sheen of the Black Metal. At this point, I realized that the finishing made the seamline on the arms more obvious. Since it’s too late to fix I decide to move along.
Right from the beginning, I wanted to finish the Iron Kong in a vignette: thumping its chest on top a pile of ruins. I gathered cork board, a piece of cut credit card, zip ties and various (L, I, square and round) plastic rods. Then it was simply a matter of tearing, cutting, stacking and gluing the pieces to build up the pile. I decided that the metal plate should be brightly colored and it also gave me an opportunity to test out Vallejo’s Chipping Medium. I liked how it turned out as it broke the monotony of the ruins which is all gray and black.
The base itself is the cap from a red aerosol paint can. I thought it needed to be brighter so I gave it a base of white primer and airbrushed Model Air Red on it. Thinking that masking tape might lift the paint off the smooth surface of the cap I wrapped it with clear food wrap. Turns out, even food wrap lifted the paint. Happily though, I liked the effect so I decided to â€˜make lemonade’ and not fix the tears.
After pinning down the Iron Kong with brass rod and super glue, I then gave the whole thing a spray of flat coat. Last on was weathering on the feet with Tamiya Weathering Masters.
This was one of those trouble-free builds save for the base. The results aren’t perfect although I think it does make for a striking display. These Kotobukiya kits are quite fun to build though they are expensive for what you get.
Number 3 of 2017
I can’t say it’s surprising they finally pulled this off but I’m still surprised they went ahead and did it. It’s going to be HUGE: both the kit and the box. 😀
Price: S$17.50 (est. US$10.30)
The GZ-002 Cannon Fort is the Helic Republic’s primary light mobile artillery unit. Designed to look like the American Buffalo, the Cannon Fort sports a wide array of weapons for its mission of providing indirect fire on short notice. Two 120mm guns are mounted on a swivelling turret on the Zoid’s back to provide a wide field of fire, including the ability to elevate 30 degrees. The Cannon Fort is also armed with light weapons for self-defence purposes. To allow the Zoid to be mobile, armor is sacrificed. The light armament and armor of the Cannon Fort means that they are usually paired with other Zoids to form light strike mobile units: able to move from place to place and provide fire support for other Helic forces.
Note: This is my own created Battle Story for my Zoids. I don’t really like the official version. So sue me… 🙂
The Cannon Fort is a re-release of the 1980s original. The main difference between the two versions is the color and the markings: The new Cannon Fort is dark green and black while the old one has the green parts in a medium blue. The old kit also comes with 2 gold coated mind-riders instead of just 1 dark grey one for this release.
Each part of molded in their respective colors as typical of all Zoids kits. One mildly annoying thing is the copyright molded on the front right shoulder of the kit. While that’s easily removed, there are actually a lot of other places for the copyright notice without it being so conspicuous.
The inclusion of only 1 mind-rider is also surprising since the Cannon Fort has two crew compartments: one in the head, the other in a compartment on the main turret. The stickers included are also typical Zoid quality. One word: thick. The Cannon Fort also comes with dull red colored rubber pegs which IMO, doesn’t really complement the overall subdued colored scheme of the machine.
The age of the mold is pretty obvious as the quality of the details are not up to par to the newer Zoid designs. This might also be attributed to the limitation of technology during the 1980s or it could simply be a degradation of the mold through the decades.
Typically of all Zoids kits, there are parts that are hollowed out in the back. These include all the legs and the two main guns. Since Zoids are sold primarily as toys as opposed to models, this is pretty normal. Remedying it is a simple matter of filling the spaces with epoxy putty and sand to shape.
The Cannon Fort comes with a medium-sized wind up motor and when put into action, the Cannon Fort will move forward, the main turret will swivel side to side while the two main guns will alternatively elevate.
The Cannon Fort is actually one of those Zoids that I failed to get in its original run, so it’s nice to see it being re-released. Although I must say I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the molding.
Preview courtesy of my wallet