Gunpla Chronicles - Upper Body

For reasons which will be explained later, I’m going to detail the remainder of the build process in this single post. Apologies for the lack of photos.

Right Arm - I was a bit too tired when I assembled the right arm, and when I get tired, I tend to do things fast and sloppy. Some of the pieces became warped at the cut points, though luckily most of these pieces were part of the exoskeleton, meaning they’d be concealed under the outer armor. The rest of the assembly process went smoothly, which was a welcome state of affairs after the crisis I had with the leg joint.

My stickering got a lot better with the right arm. I found myself coming up with a process; I would remove the sticker with the hobby knife, transfer it to the nail care stick, and apply to the model. I then used the stick to reposition and set it in place. All told, the stickering wasn’t perfect (the larger decals on the shoulder mounted shield are a little off angle), but it was still a dramatic (and noticeable) improvement.

I did the entire arm in a single night, spending a little under three hours.

Left Arm

My cuts were a little less messy with the left arm, and my stickering was better still. I’m especially proud of how I placed the decals on the spiky shoulder pad. This is also the section where I got a lot better at sanding and filing. I discovered that if I used a lighter touch, I could remove much of the discolored plastic. I also began to file along the length of the piece. Previously, I’d put the tool at an angle, focusing it on the target area. If I wasn’t careful, this could cause even more damage. I used my new skills on the scratched section of the Heat Hawk, and the results were more than acceptable.

Between the legs, arms, and weapons, this was my best work yet. When I started writing these posts, I said that I didn’t believe one could get significantly better as a builder after just one or two kits, but now I can see how wrong I was about that. If you strive to do good work, and pay attention to your mistakes, you can make major strides after just one model.

This arm was also done in one night, though I can’t recall how much time it took.


I felt more awake for building the chest than for either of the arms, yet I probably made some of the worst cuts yet. Just like with the arm, a lot of them ended up being concealed, but there were more than enough on the visible sections. I also got a little too heavy with the file, to the point where I started to file away otherwise good sections of a piece. I don’t think this is easily apparent anywhere on the torso, unless someone were to hold the model right to their eye. Nevertheless, I must not repeat this performance in any future builds.

I did the chest over the course of two nights, and probably spent another three hours total on it.


The head is the defining part of a Zaku, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t screw it up. I was careful to the point of paranoia, and it paid off in spades. I even managed to note and interpret the suggestion in the instruction book which said to set the red eye sticker before sticking the eye construction into the head proper.

In terms of perfection, I think this was ultimately my finest work (though due to the greater number of stickers, I’m still most proud of that left arm). Build time was well under than hour.

A note on topcoating

I used my entire can of paint to topcoat this model. In fact, I barely had enough to give the head a once over. This makes me wonder whether I didn’t start with enough paint in the first place, or if I simply wasted a lot of it due to bad technique. I don’t think any of the parts wound up with a spotty topcoat, but I’d have liked to have gone over them one more time.