Kitbash Spotlight: Zaku Minelayer and Regelg

By Loran

I’m sure you all know by now that I absolutely love kitbashing. To me, there’s hardly anything more fun than trying to fix a hole in my lineup that by taking an old kit and combining it with a newer one. Because really, you never know what Bandai is going to release and what they’re going to skip. The old MSV kits and ZZ kits are great for this purpose, and I love tracking them down as a result.

Some kitbashes are simpler than others, and make for really good practice. Of course, you’re limited to what you’re actually able to find. Older kits aren’t really rare, but sometimes you have to wait a bit for a rerelease. When they do these reissues, however, I stock up like nobody’s business, because you never know when they’re going to do them. So here, I’m going to show you a couple of simple kitbashes that don’t take too much work to do.

One of the first kitbashes most builders seem to do is the Zaku Minelayer. It’s a very easy kitbash and the two kits needed for it aren’t particularly rare. No actual modification needs to be done to the Zaku’s limbs, articulation, or basic structure-all that needs to be changed is the head and backpack.

The backpack is probably the easiest part of this-all you need to do is assemble it and cut down the pegs on the backpack and the back of the kit. The tubes on the waist feed into the backpack very easily. I can’t remember if I had to cut them down or not, but either way, you don’t have to change the holes in the backpack.

Where things do get tricky is the head, though. First, you have to cut the cord off of the right side of the head on the High Grade kit. Second, you’ll need the cord from the MSV kit, but there’s one problem-it’s too long! What I had to do was cut down part of the cord little by little and use one of the spare cords from the MSV kit (standard Zaku head tubes). I glued the two together and they joined pretty well. The only issue is it doesn’t fully feed into the backpack, so it comes out easily if I move the head. Still, it gets the job done!

The ReGelg here was my first kitbash ever in this vein, and it was a really fun project. Sadly it’s not completely accurate because of a few factors, mostly Bandai being jerks and including the wrong gun with the kit.

Doing the backpack here is much simpler than the Zaku Minelayer, although this one doesn’t lay as flat as the other one does. You might want to do some sanding to make it more form-fitting, or else you’ll have a gap in it like mine…

The majority of the work that needs to be done here is in the arms. For the GIANT SHOULDERS, you can build them right out of the box, but you’ll need to affix them to the body somehow. Take the pieces made for this purpose from the HGUC Gelgoog, trim down the pegs, and glue it onto the accompanying side. I also added some vents from an HGUC Gelgoog Marine to add some more detail.

The lower arms are a bit more difficult because you’re going to need the assistance of some putty. On the HGUC’s forearms, leave off the extra armor, and cover the whole surface with putty and sand it down until it’s smooth as you can make it. After that, attach the weird forearm armors from the ReGelg with a bit of glue, and you’re all set.

The ReGelg is also supposed to have five boosters under the skirt instead of three, but I just opted to go with the stock three instead of five. The old kit’s boosters are ugly, and I figured I’d rather have boosters that looked nice. I suppose you could make five boosters using parts from two Gelgoogs, but I don’t have a spare to take from right now.

Both the Zaku Minelayer and ReGelg are great kitbashes for someone who wants to move into that aspect of the hobby. They do need a bit of work, but anyone with a lot of experience can pull it off without much difficulty. In the FP store right now, we have the HGUC Gelgoog and the old High Mobility Gelgoog kit. You can do a pretty easy kitbash with the two of these. I need to do that, myself!

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