View Full Version : gunshy: WIP - MS-05L Zaku I Sniper Type (Yonem Kirks)

June 28, 2013, 7:31 PM
My first Gundam model is coming along. I'm really enjoying it so far.

I'm not doing any painting other than panel-lining. I'm doing it with the lighter fluid-paint mix. I'm getting the hang of it, but it's not going as smoothly as the videos all show.

Since I'm not painting, there's only so much I an do with some of the seams. I've been gluing them all and then scraping and sanding. There's a pretty big seam in his forearm that I cleverly turned away from the camera. I'll probably give it all a shot of Dullcote when I'm done.

After I looked at the pix, I realized I needed to do some more sanding on the snout/mouthpiece-helmet joint.





Ginga Bishōnen
June 28, 2013, 7:47 PM
Looking pretty good so far. Keep up the good work.

June 28, 2013, 9:45 PM
You're attempting a near-impossible feat by doing seamline removal without painting and trying to make it look like the rest of the parts. It can actually be done, but it will always end up changing the color on the parts.

A really nice effort, especially on a kit that has pretty obvious seamlines. What are you using for scraping? Hobby knife?

June 28, 2013, 11:57 PM
You are a very brave man. I don't think I'll ever have the guts to attempt seam removal without painting. Kudos. And I hope it works out well.

June 29, 2013, 6:53 AM
I'm using a hobby knife, sanding stick, and 1500 grit sandpaper.

My whole venture into Gundam was to take a break from painting, but that may be ill-conceived.

When do you paint? I assume you would paint sub-assemblies, masking off any joints that you don't want painted. It's probably not too late to go the paint route if I wanted to.

Of course, that means redoing the panel lines, clear coat, etc. I'm a rattle-can guy. I guess I better go back to the how-to thread and start reading up on painting, clear coating, etc.

June 29, 2013, 8:36 AM
I assume you would paint sub-assemblies, masking off any joints that you don't want painted.

That varies from kit to kit. Sometimes, you can do minor mods to make it so you're able to attach a kit's joints after the leg/thigh/forearm's seams have been dealt with, painted, etc. Your Zaku is a good example, as I've done it with the elbow on mine. (I managed with the knee, but don't recommend it)

June 29, 2013, 1:39 PM
You can still complete a kit and have it look nice without painting. You just can't remove seamlines without making it obvious. That's why most people who build these kits out of the box with no paint don't bother removing or hiding seamlines.

When I did my Zaku Sniper, I painted the joints first, clear coated, then masked as much as I could. I handpainted the entire thing so it wasn't too difficult to keep the paint out of the joints. For spray cans, masking works too, along with mods like Asterisk mentioned.

June 29, 2013, 6:57 PM
Most of the seams are cleaning up OK, not quite invisible but almost. I started off clamping everything pretty heavily, but I noticed on the thigh that the clamp made the seam worse. My theory is that the pressure from the clamp was deforming the piece and causing the seam to open. I'm switching to nature's clamps (fingers).

I think I'm sticking with the no-paint plan for now. I'll try to post some pix tomorrow, although I'm not sure the seams or lack of them are going to show up.

Thanks everyone for your input! I have to say this is one of the most (if not THE most) polite, supportive forum I've ever been on.

June 30, 2013, 3:15 PM
Finished vs. unfinished seam


Panel-lining the weapon. I guess it's going to be my trademark to include a cat hair in every picture.


Note to self: if you're not going to paint, a dark Gundam would have been easier to hide seams on.

Some thoughts on my first build:

I'm amazed at the quality of the moldings. Zero flash.
It breaks the work up and is more fun (to me) to work in sub-assemblies. Cut parts off sprues for right arm, denub right arm parts, assemble right arm, sand seam on right arm. Repeat... The downside is that it makes for a messy work bench. Every tool is out all the time. It also means you always have sanding dust and plastic scrapings all over the place.
I figured out what the little exclamation/quote signs mean: pay attention!

Time to get to work on that other leg!

June 30, 2013, 6:17 PM
Being polite and supportive is starting to become a trademark of this forum, haha.

That's some awe-inspiring seamline removal on the leg, man. A bit of flat coat and you really might not notice it, especially if you decide to do very light sanding on the rest of the part (and even then, I bet it's only during close inspection). Regarding the removal method, there is one other method that's similar to using putty that you might be interested in because it uses the plastic from the sprues.

Glad to see you're enjoying the build too. That one kit isn't unique in its quality; many of the kits are like that so hopefully you'll try out some more after this build.

June 30, 2013, 6:22 PM
That is amazingly impressive good sir. I have never seen a more clean job of seam removal without paint before.

July 1, 2013, 10:24 AM
Thank you gentlemen. That kit seems to lend itself to easy seam cleanup since the shapes tend to be gentle curves, and there is no detail near the seam. It allows you to remove a good amount of plastic without affecting the shape.

2 minor setbacks: I brush painted the small rifle and it looked crappy. I had to strip the paint and start over. Then I splashed panel wash all over my shirt. I dabbed it with mineral spirits and scrubbed it with Dawn dishing washing detergent, then gave it 2 good washes in hot water. Came out clean as a whistle. This was a 100% cotton t-shirt, you may not want to try this on synthetics. Considering I had finished parts all over the work bench, it could have been a lot worse.

Notes to self: Wear an old t-shirt while painting. Move finished parts to a safe place.

July 3, 2013, 11:43 AM
Question: On the hose that goes on the backpack, it shows you inserting something into the hose as a coupler, but I'm not sure what it is. It has no part number and I see nothing that fits. Any ideas?

July 3, 2013, 12:05 PM
Could you post up a pic or a scan of the manual?

July 3, 2013, 12:29 PM
Part in question is circled in red.


Please disregard the bloody fingerprint!

July 3, 2013, 12:37 PM
Oh ok. I took a look at the contents of this kit. There should have been some piping that came with it. Looks to be black, and probably bendable. That's what it's talking about there in that part of the manual.

July 3, 2013, 12:53 PM
Thanks thwalker13. I do have a piece of bendable wire. It doesn't seem thick enough, but that's what I'll use.

July 3, 2013, 1:03 PM
Yeah, you'll have to squeeze it through. I had the same exact conundrum with mine and I ended up just cramming it in there as best as I could. The wire expands eventually.

July 3, 2013, 2:11 PM
Glad that I could help out. Good luck on the rest of the build. Can't wait to see more updates.