Elevating the HGUC Z’Gok – Snap Building

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During a recent overstock sale on mechawarehouse I found the HGUC Z’Gok for 20% off. I knew from the very moment I saw it in the sale section exactly what I wanted the final product to be. This begins a series of posts outlining my process taking this kit which is now old enough to drink in the United States (the manual is dated 1999) from three runners and a set of polycaps to finished, detailed diorama.

The snap building process is fairly straightforward. You at the bare minimum need a pair of nippers and a hobby knife to get by. Those linked here are what I bought to use when I was getting started back in May. Cut the parts away from the runner, trim down the nub marks, and snap the baby together.

So far as my process differs from that slightly, I have since upgraded to single-blade nippers and the use of a glass file. So far as my tools go, I use a Godhand GH-PN-120 which cuts through runners like butter and a Gunprimer Raser file. These aren’t necessary for success, but they have made my life easier.

One note about nippers and this kit. I actually used both my Tamiya and Godhand pairs for this due to different plastics involved. Runner A2 was a much harder, thicker plastic than A1 and B, so I used my Tamiya double-edged nippers to cut A2 to prevent damaging the more delicate blade on the Godhands.

A piece after cutting from the runner
The same piece after filing the remaining plastic away

While I’m building I try to remain aware of the color scheme I intend to use and which bits and pieces will require which colors of paint. That way, if I find that there are multiple pieces in a section requiring different colors (say, the main torso has different layers of plating needing different colors all attached to the same center piece), then I cut the pegs on the connecting pieces to make disassembly easier for painting. How I make these cuts is fairly simple. Taking my standard double-edged nippers (don’t do this with single-blade nippers, you can damage the blades) I cut the peg connectors at about a 45-degree angle across the end of the peg. This lessens the surface area creating friction in the receiving hole, which will make pulling the pieces back apart for painting significantly easier.

Main torso frame, pegs before cropping
Main torso frame, pegs after cropping
Head plate pegs before cropping
Head plate pegs after cropping

With the very few necessary pegs cropped, this all snapped together in what may have been two hours, not counting breaks taken for household tasks. With everything all said and done, I like my options for posing the Z’Gok. It uses some really simple ball and socket joints to articulate the tubular arms and legs, typical of the amphibious Zeon kits (even the Beargguys based on the Acguy kit), and you can get some decent poses out of it!

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