Wing Gundam Zero (Endless Waltz version)
Submitted By: George Caswell
From: George Caswell
Subject: Wing Gundam Zero (Endless Waltz version)
This is a project I did several years ago: the 1:144 High Grade Wing Zero from Endless Waltz. Originally I bought the kit as an impulse buy at the local Target. (It’s kind of hard to believe now, that there was a time when they sold Gundam kits and action figures in retail stores in the US!) It turned into a fairly massive project. Back then I actually kept logs of the time I spent on different projects – I spent around a hundred hours on this thing over a period of three months.
Probably the most significant modification was the wings: the original, kit-supplied wings were made of a rubbery soft plastic. The wings themselves were pretty nicely shaped, but the feathers were thick and slab-like. I recast the wings in resin, then made new feathers from styrene and polyester putty, recast them to create the duplicates.
The kit-supplied forehead antenna was pretty hopeless: way too thick with soft detail all over. I scratch-built a replacement from sheet styrene, a Kotobukiya rectangular vernier part, and polyester putty. The original scratch-built part was very fragile, so I made a mold and recast the part in resin over a core of piano wire. The resulting V-fin has a very refined look, but it’s strong enough that I could probably drop the thing on its head and it’d be OK.
The original kit was reasonably poseably but it had exposed polycap elbow joints and was missing a few bits of articulation that should be present on a Wing Zero Custom kit. I wasn’t interested in turning this thing into a better action figure so I focused on setting it into a good pose mostly by cutting and re-joining parts. For instance, the pointed toes, the folded-up part of the separated buster rifles, or the rotated upper arms. I did replace the elbow joints with Wave T-Shaft parts – that gives the elbows more mobility but I mostly did it for looks.
The paint job was meant to give the thing a bit of a worn look. I printed my own decals on a laser printer: unfortunately this means the markings are all black, instead of red or gray. I oversprayed the decals with white paint to cut the contrast a bit. The markings are largely a joke: every part of the robot is marked as “such-and-such type zero”, like “leg unit type 0” or “foot unit type zero”. He’s got a giant goofy acronym printed on his leg, and a few intentionally incorrect kanji (as well as various bad transliterations) of “rei shiki” – meaning “type zero”.
I made this model a short time after the MG version came out. I certainly could have just paid more to get the MG version and saved myself most of that work: though the MG wouldn’t fit as nicely on my display base, and all of this stuff I did was a great learning exercise. I’d never scratch-built mecha feathers before. 🙂 I also prefer the more anime-accurate design of this kit’s wings over the more elaborate but inaccurate wings of the MG and PG versions.
Looking back at this thing five years after completion, I can’t say I’m entirely pleased with the paint job. I laid a ton of dull coat on top of already muted colors… I wanted the thing to look muted but I think I went too far with that and it actually wound up kind of muddled and dull. If I did the same project today I think the whites would be brighter, the blues would be bolder, and maybe I’d think about simulated paint chipping instead of making the colors themselves look all dusty. But I still enjoy putting this old model on display every year…