Sazabi WIP

1/144 Scale HGUC Sazabi

In Progress Page

I’m having WIP withdrawals, so I decided to snap some pictures of my current project. I told myself I was going to do a completely OOB model after the 10-month Hazels project, but since I’m building another HGUC Sazabi, which several people have already built, I had to do something.

I started right after getting the kit at Anime Expo by designing some decals:

I snapped the kit while finishing the Hazels, but didn’t do any serious work until they were done. Of the HGUC Sazabis I’ve seen done, this is my favorite:

HGUC Sazabi

So I’m going for that look (although mine is much simpler) and experimenting with panel lines:

I’ve done a few panel lines before, but only straight lines on flat surfaces, so making curvy panel lines over compound curves was a new challenge. I made them using Dymo labeling tape to make templates and scribing the lines with a sewing needle held in a pinvise.

To make the templates I first covered the area I was going to line with a piece of Tamiya masking tape. I would then fold it over the edge (most of my panel lines are parallel to an edge) and mark the edge with the side of a sharpie. That way, when I pulled the tape off, I would have a 2D shape that would match the contours of the model. I would then mark some reference points at an even distance from the sharpie line and draw a line on the tape.

I would put this piece of tape over the Dymo tape and then cut the Dymo with a new sharp Xacto blade. I’d measure a few reference marks on the model, and put the Dymo place in tape, then scribe the panel line along the edge. Overall it worked pretty well. I’ll have to fix some slips with Mr. Surfacer, but less than I expected.

When you make panel lines, the plastic on the edges are pushed upwards, and you have to get them back to level. I shaved them first with the edge of the Xacto knife and then sanded the surface and then ran the needle back through the line to remove the sanding dust.

After the panel lines were finally done, I went to work adding other surface detail with metal beads and balls and Koto bits. Here’s the rear skirt that’s representative of what I’m doing. I added round molds to the boring blank circles in the black detail. I also added some to the blank squares above the lower vents. I’m not replacing all the thrusters, but the ones on the sides of the skirt had really soft detail because of where they were on the mold. I drilled them out and I’m replacing them with Koto thrusters.

I’m currently about halfway done with this kind of detailing. Since I had the day off for Veteran’s day yesterday, I switched to my two “big” modifications. The first is the crest on the head. Maybe it’s because I had cockatiels as a kid, but I like the Zeon crests pushed forwards more. I tilted the crest on my Zaku I forward and I’m doing the same on my Sazabi:

It still needs work and I’ve cut off the little antennae on the sides. I have to decide whether to replace them or just leave them off.

The other thing is the gun. The HGUC gun is better than the even stubbier gun on the MG Sazabi, but I wanted it to be longer. I also decided I didn’t like the handle on top, so I chopped it off:

I tried this look below, king of an SMG, but I want the gun longer, not shorter, so I didn’t stay with it, even though it would have been so easy:

So I added about ½ inch to the barrel, and turned the end upside down. I’m going to replace the handle with a scope or something, but it will be parallel with the barrel of the gun, and not slanted like the original handle.

Before (from Dalong):


Got quite a bit done over the weekend (I work Sun-Thurs, so my weekend just ended). I’m nearly done detailing all the parts. Mostly what I did aside from the panel lines was just drilling out small holes for beads and balls. I just have to detail the two red pieces on either side of the chest, but since they’re gonna need quite a bit of work I put them off until last. I want to open up the vent slots, but there are six in all and I’m not looking forward to it.

Here’s what I’ve done. I added small strip styrene and a Koto vent to that backpack:

I added some textured styrene sheet to the recesses in the shield to simulate a vent:

I cut apart the closed funnels (they come attached to each other in threes, one of the few places this kit lacks quality) and drilled out the tips with a 1mm drill bit which fits an IC pin perfectly, creating a nice gun barrel. I did the same for the beam cannon on the torso.

I’m almost done modding the head and gun as well. This kit is very well engineered and here are the only places I’m using Mr. Surfacer as putty, with the exception of mistakes in panel lining. If I had built the kit stock, the only thing to fix would have been the seam line on the gun:

Hopefully I’ll be priming next weekend. Painting this kit should be very easy as the parts breakdown is very good. I’ll only have to mask a few thrusters molded into the rear skirt and crotch piece. I hope to have it all done by the end of the year, even with the holiday rush and my normal slow pace.

I should learn never to talk about time when I talk about building… It’s still not primed.

I’ve been accused by Gamerabaenre of having AMS, Advanced Modeler’s Syndrome. At first I took it as a backhanded compliment, thinking it meant a syndrome suffered by advanced modelers. Now I realize it’s just a syndrome modelers get and my case is advanced.

Here’s proof:

I finished the gun by adding a rectangular scope and a kind of iron sight up front:

Then I succumbed to peer pressure from Mechanoid Paranoid and lengthened the propellant tanks using Evergreen 7/16” tube, which is almost exactly the same diameter, but not quite. I sanded and filled it, but I’m worried I’ll still have a bump where I added the tube, kind of like a snake that just swallowed something just a little bigger than itself. I should have cut off just the very ends of the tanks and replaced the whole length with the tube. We’ll see once I’ve primed it:

Then I decided to open up the chest vents. They look stupid closed, even on the MG. I did it by drilling out a bunch of holes and then cutting out what was left with an X-Acto blade and then using a jeweler’s file to smooth it out:

I also added some simple plate detail (which I did after taking this picture) under the armpit because it needed something.

Finally, I got the AMS real bad one morning and realized that I had an old Zaku ver. 1.0 I wasn’t going to build and its small head conduits might be a good replacement for the torso conduit on the Sazabi…

The plastic cable in the kit wouldn’t have been so bad except that the detail molded into it does not depict tubes on a cable, but a cable that has been cut into slices on a perfect vertical plane. this would be fine if the tube were perfectly horizontal, but it isn’t, so it looks distorted.

This is what I’m talking about, notice the “tubes” look like they’re being seen in a funhouse mirror:

Stock Tubes

To make my own version I added thinly sliced pieces of 1/8” evergreen tube to the front and back conduit receptacles (the red plastic pieces). It fits the spring in the MG kit’s conduit perfectly. I bent some very thin brass wire to match the shape of the Sazabi’s plastic conduit and drilled holes in the receptacles for it to go into. I slipped the spring onto that (I had to cut about 1/8” off its length for the right fit), then three armor tube bits, then the side receptacles, which had to have a little plastic carved out of them, then three more tubes, then plug it into the back. In the pictures, the conduit is installed without even using glue.

I’ve washed all the pieces and put them on skewers and now I’m ready to prime.


Click the picture link below to see the completed model.

Completed Model

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  1. Lovessazabi
    January 19th, 2012 at 05:17 | #1

    Funkatown, can i use your decals?

  2. admin
    February 23rd, 2012 at 11:58 | #2

    As long as it’s just for your own model and you’re not making money and give me credit, sure.

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