This was to be my ‘easy build’ that I like to do while tackling more complicated ones. A Bandai kit is as straightforward as it can get with the usual easy to assemble snapfit construction. I’ve never watched Yamato 2199, the remake of the original 1974 TV series but I’ve found their re-imaging of the original mecha to be quite interesting.
The Cosmo Zero comes with a very handsome boxart by Hidetaka Tenjin.
Like all aircraft kits, this one begins with the cockpit. The HUD came as a solid white piece so I painted it in transparent blue. The cockpit itself was painted in the medium gray that I use for my usual combat aircraft builds.
Nothing fancy was done besides just giving everything a wash and a simple drybrush to bring out the details.
Besides some minor gaps where the top and bottom halves come together, the kit came together very quickly and easily. There were various options for folded wings and nose but I chose to display it with almost everything unfolded to showcase the design.
The canopy frames were thick so it was easy to mask off the canopy.
The kit provides various air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons. I decided to go with an all air-to-air loadout with the drop tanks fitted on top of the wings.
This came as a big surprise but none of the stores snapfit into place. Cement required!
A test fit of the canopy shows gaps in the slots where the canopy tabs fit so I added 0.2mm styrene plates to close these up.
Much better now.
Gaps are few but as is usual with Bandai kits, there are a lot of nub marks on each part which require cleaning up. It’s nothing serious, just tedious.
I began painting with a base coat of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black. Just for the heck of it, I used AK Interactive Black Primer for the bottom which turned out to be ‘flatter’ than Tamiya XF-1.
Then comes random patterns using Tamiya XF-2 Flat White for the marbling coat.
The main body color is silver but I decided to go with an off-white instead. Things started going awry though when I put paint to plastic. I used thinned Mecha Color Grey White but somehow managed to botch the paintjob due to a heavy trigger finger. I called it a night then and there.
After a few days, I went back to buff down the affected areas with a sanding sponge. I thought that the marbling coat up top was not prominent enough so I went back in with some black paint. I also misted Tamiya XF-1 Flat White to add to the distressed look.
For the red areas I used Model Air Red sprayed in multiple passes to build up the opacity. The antiglare panel was then masked off and painted Model Air Dark Panzer Grey.
I think I managed to mitigate the paint problem areas and the finish now has the ‘used in anger’ look to it. It’s always hard to balance the need for the marbling coat to show through and having too much to show through. I hope I’ve struck the right balance here as the following gloss coat will knock the effect down.
As yellow paint doesn’t cover well, I added additional white marbling coats to the parts that require that color. These were then given multiple passes of Game Air Gold Yellow. These were painted separately before being carefully attached to the kit. Most snapfit into place but the wing leading edge parts in particular required use of Mig AMMO Ultra Glue to fit without gaps showing. The nose gunport and the bottom quad gun barrels were then carefully handpainted with Game Color Gunmetal. I also friction-fit the landing gear at this point to make the subsequent steps easier.
After a gloss coat it was decaling time. I went with Susumu Kodai’s Unit 01 markings. Bandai decals take a bit of time to release from the backing paper but are very well done and react well with Mark Softer.
I didn’t really bother with the stencils except for the main ones.
After another gloss coat over the decals, I did a panel wash with thinned AK Interactive Starship Filth oil paint. The panel wash revealed some of the painting problems like this spot near the cockpit. So I went ahead and added more wash and a streak. Looks like battle damage now. Hah!
There were also some minor spots on the wings that I ‘hid’ with streaking.
Once weathering was done I gave the whole kit a satin coat to seal everything up.
The canopy masking was removed and I went over the edges of the frame with a sharp toothpick to clean up any paint bleeding on the canopy.
The exhaust was then attached. The instruction called for it to be the same color as the fuselage but I went with Vallejo Metal Color Jet Exhaust instead.
Then it was carefully attaching the stores onto the kit with both cement and PVA glue.
This took a lot longer than expected but now I can call it done.