Zaku Flipper Kitbash

By Loran

Kitbashes, kitbashes… I have way too much fun doing these. If you think about it, if you have a backlog as big as I do, kitbashes are the best way to clear it out! It can help take out two kits at once! Of course, that doesn’t really help when said kits are ones that you keep ADDING to your backlog. Ah well.

From my last little “update” on my works in progress, I showed three Zakus: A tank, a High Mobility Type, and a Flipper. So far, I’ve only had the parts to finish the Flipper, and thus, I got him completed a little over a week ago.

Curiously, when I was working on my GM Cannon last year, I shelved the project because for some reason, the color scheme just wasn’t doing it for me. Something about the two-tone gray just bored me. Yet here, the two-tone gray made me finish the project with total ease! How about that. Maybe it’s because the kitbash was easier. Or the fact that I get to do some copper detailing again. Or maybe I’m just biased towards Zakus.

At its core, this is a pretty easy kitbash as very little of the HGUC Zaku’s structure actually needs to be altered. You’ll need to cut down the pegs on the Zaku’s shoulders that allow the spikes and shield to be placed on and sand them smooth. The hardest part is probably the crotch piece, where you need to cut an area that can fit the camera.

It may seem daunting at first, but don’t worry–you just need to take your time. Thankfully, you need to do no alterations to the camera itself, because it is perfectly proportioned to fit on the base Zaku. Just sand the Zaku’s crotch to make it smooth to stay in place.

Keen-eyed readers will notice that the Zaku Flipper actually has different legs from the standard Zaku. I ignored that detail on my Flipper because… I really don’t see the point. It just seemed like extra work that doesn’t really add much to the design.

The Flipper’s head was just placed on the base body with little modification. Unfortunately the head on my Flipper won’t move side-to-side because I haven’t found an efficient way to transfer ball joints from one kit to another, so I’ll have to look into that the next time I try one of these.

The thrusters on the chest were just glued on. The actual design has them recessed, but I opted to glue them in because the spot where they’d go has the pegs for the torso assembly. I left it as is because I didn’t want to sacrifice any stability.

Attaching the cameras to the shoulders was easy, but requires a LOT of cutting/sanding from the Flipper’s shoulders, but after those are properly cut they go right onto the Zaku’s shoulders with just a bit of glue.

Probably the hardest part was actually the backpack. The backpack itself just needed sanding to get it on the back, but the tubes were another story. I had to trim them down and get them to stick, which was really annoying without any proper clamps. Still, it works.

The Zaku Flipper was a pretty fun project. Not as much as the GM Sniper Custom, but certainly easier. I’d recommend it to beginner-intermediate kitbashers. Keep an eye out some MSV kits at FPNYC, cuz they go fast!

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