Elevating the HGUC Z’Gok – Lighting Prep

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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 is the second in 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.

With our snap build complete, it was time to move on to preparing the kit to hold two LEDs to give it a little extra oomph. One light would be housed in the head, giving us an illuminated monoeye, and the other in the palm of one of the iron nails, to glow and pulse as the mega particle cannon charges up.

The monoeye

Prep for (and selection of) a light for the monoeye took a few steps. First, a quick measurement of the facing side of our interior head piece showed that we could fit a 3mm LED under that plate. To accommodate this LED, first I needed to decide on eye position for the pose. I had previously decided on the physical pose having the left arm pointing to fire it’s mega particle cannon at a 30-ish degree angle left of center from the torso, so that gave me an idea of where the camera in the monoeye would be pointing. With that decided, I marked the location for the center of the eye with a pencil and centered a 1.5mm pin vice on it to give myself a pilot hole. Follow the 1.5mm hole with a 2mm, and ultimately a 2.5mm pin vice. This was all done using my GSI Creos Mr. Pin Vice set.

Why not 3mm if I’m using a 3mm LED? Well, I wanted the light to be recessed at the back of the hole, allowing me to fill in front of it with either superglue with a gel base or some other material to help diffuse the intensity of the LED. A 2.5mm hole allows the rounded tip of the LED to fit in it without the whole diode wanting to slide in.

Once happy with the hole size, it was time to test-fit the LED by butting it up to the inside of the hole. This wouldn’t be complete without testing the LED of couse!

Mega particle cannon

Wiring for the MPC required a much smaller LED. For this I chose a Z-sized chip LED from Evan Designs. At 0.65mm wide, the Z chip allowed me the best chance at fitting a light into the center of the iron nail which was approximately 1mm in diameter. To install the light I needed to drill through three separate pieces. First a 1mm hole was put in the center of the plastic cone that constituted the external plate of the iron nail. This is what would allow the LED to shine through. Then to accommodate the wiring and the in-line resistor included on the pre-soldered wiring, 1.5-2mm holes were drilled through the center post of the interior piece the claws of the iron nail mounted on and the polycap which the center post attached to to make the assembly connect to the arm proper. After a bit of fighting to get the resistor on the positive wire through those holes, the test fit was complete.

Mega particle cannon fitment, There’s a TINY LED on the left end of that wiring!

Once all fittings were satisfactory, it was time to break everything down and prepare for painting! Stay tuned for the next post in this series as I outline how I prep for paint, priming, and my painting process!

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