Next in the HGUC line is the weirdly proportion mass production Barzam from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Even though it’s oddly shaped, it’s actually designed by the famous Mamoru Nagano. There is a Refined Barzam design that was done by Hajime Katoki for Gundam Sentinel that brought the design more in-line with the Gundam Mk. II. Hopefully they will release that design too.
Pictures show that this kit will have quite extensive poseability in the arms which bodes well for future releases. It’s coming in in May for 1,620 JPY. More pictures on Hobby Search.
Work continues as there’s more to fix than expected. First up is the joint between the 2 halves of the fuselage, which isn’t as smooth as I hoped. I should have added a spreader on the rear half so the transition between the halves is smoother.
I tried various methods including Perfect Plastic Putty, correction fluid and Future with baby powder but in the end, sthis last combination worked best. The baby powder dried the superglue instantly and added some volume. I then went to work using various grits of sanding sticks and sponges. The sponges were soft so they conformed easily around the curve of the fuselage which doesn’t change the gentle curve of the upper fuselage.
Quite a few rounds of sanding (and using paint to check my work) later, I scribed back all the panel lines that I had sanded away. With a combination of a sewing needle in a pin vise and the new TMP chisel I think I managed to do a decent job.
Another major area that needs work are the intakes. On both the intake and the fuselage are 2 halves of a small rectangular plate which needs to line up. I ended up shimming with 0.5mm plastic card and epoxy putty before I got them close enough to alignment.
I then trimmed both halves of the rectangle plate to get them to match them perfectly. Then it was more sanding and buffing to smoothen the shape of the intakes before I rescribed the panel line.
I then attached the tailfin which fit quite well and the horizontal stabilizers. The right side stab needed trimming on the connector to even slot in while the left one fit with no issues at all.
It was at this point that I realized that I had attached the bottom winglets in the wrong position! They are supposed to be further forward. Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about them now. Fortunately though, they didn’t interfere with the main landing gear.
Detailing work is next with the GPS dome that is found on the EF-111s circa 1990s. I simply punched a 5mm circle out of a 0.5mm plastic card and cemented it in place. In hindsight, it’s probably too thick scale-wise. That’s OK though, I can live with it.
Before sealing up the canopy for painting I needed to attach the HUD for the pilot. I promptly pinged the clear kit piece off into the jungle that is my floor and had to replace with a scratchbuilt part. I ended up cutting a tiny piece out of a blister pack to get the HUD. This was attached with Gator Glue. Did I mention it’s really small?
The canopy curiously comes in 3 parts which has no option to open up. They were cleaned up, given a dip of Future, and given at least 24 hours to dry. Note in the photo below that there’s a yellow tint on the canopies. They are however colorless in real life.
A nice surprise is how well the clear canopy parts fit onto the kit.
With the canopy buttoned up, it is time to start painting. As per usual nowadays I started with black primer.
The main colors are next.
Coming soon from P-Bandai (i.e. exclusive) is the next variant of the Zeta Plus. This time it’s the C1 with the propellant tanks on the back and the handheld giant beam gun.
I had the original HG kit in the 1990s which I snapfitted and threw onto my shelf. This is coming in @ 2,529 JPY in November 2016
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. 😀