Well, after two years of me reviewing every single standard Zoids Wild release, the forces of the universe have conspired to give me the rarest item in my entire Zoids collection. This kit from one of Corocoro Magazine’s silver peel promo campaigns is limited to a measly 100 pieces and basically impossible to find, but… I got me one.
As usual, I did an extensive video review, which you can check out here, since WordPress no longer allows me to embed videos.
For those not in the know, Corocoro is a manga magazine in Japan, and they regularly do promo campaings for Zoids (and, I assume, for other toylines) with these “silver peel” cards that are basically like scratchoffs. You complete some specific challenge, send it in if you get it right, and then they randomly select 100 winners to get add-on parts allowing you to build a color variant of a Zoid.
So these are super-rare as it is, plus they’re only available in Japan. Since color variants don’t really mean much to me as the proprietor of an airbrush and several jars of paint, I’ve never bothered to pursue these variants because their scarcity just makes everything to do with getting them frankly insane, and I already spend way, way, way too much on this hobby in general and my Zoids collection in particular.
Until the Zero Grizis Dark Form came along. Because look.
The regular Zero Grizis is already one of my favorite Zoids ever, but if I ever had one issue with it, it’s the fact that the majority of it is made up of silver metallic plastic, which is never a good idea, and it really kind of clashes with the gunmetal and especially the light grey parts on the Zoid. Not so the Dark Form version.
Honestly, it was love at first sight. I saw pictures of this version and I thought, man, this is what this Zoid should look like. Color variants are usually just fun because of how they deviate from an established color scheme, like the reverse colors of the Bloody Deathsaurer, but this looks like the definitive version of the Zero Grizis, and the regular version is the deviation.
I really wonder if this wasn’t originally meant to be the standard color scheme and then there was some last-minute design change. Everything fits together much better on the Dark Form version, it just clicks visually.
So I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re in a position to get this one, you really should try to get your hands on it because it’s fantastic. Failing that, though, just get a regular Grizis and paint all the silver pieces black. That’s the only difference – the Corocoro version is just a bag full of black parts, as you can see on this leaflet that comes with it.
I assume all the Corocoro kits come with a leaflet like this. On the left it says “Zero Grizis” in katakana, the kanji means “Dark Form”, and the katakana underneath says “armor parts kit” in the usual strange mashup of English and Japanese for no reason.
Anyway, if you’re going to paint your Grizis black, unless you’re like me and have to weather everything, I’d recommend gloss or at least semi-gloss black. The only minor issue with the black color is that the detail doesn’t pop as much, and using a glossy paint will help a bit with that.
Well, and there you have it. Before I go, here are the photos I took for the YouTube review.
So with this being basically the most anticipated kit in the entire Zoids Wild line, I decided to make two videos. One is my usual unboxing and review:
The other is a montage of me building it:
I did this mostly because the Zero Grizis is far and away the most interesting build in the Zoids Wild line so far – it has a ton of parts and because the Zero Blast mode basically involves the Zoid’s entire body, you end up building a lot of the internal mechanics that drive its movement.
I’ll also say that this is very easily my favorite Zoid since, well, before Zoids Wild. I figured I was going to at least have some appreciation for it because it’s a Godzilla type, but it easily surpassed my expectations. It looks really, really cool and everything about it works fantastically well. Get yours while you can – I bought three.
It’s summer, so I have more time on my hands to do model kittening, and that means more output here and on Youtube. And then there’s also the whole Coronavirus situation, obviously, and at the very start of that, I thought about whether I could do something to keep people entertained. I ended up cracking one of my NJR Madthunder boxes open and building the whole thing on camera. I also meant to write a blog post about it because Madthunder is my favorite Zoid of all time, but that somehow never materialized. Anyway, here’s the video.
And more recently, I decided to build the Anime 10th Edition Shield Liger that I have for… some reason I can’t even remember. I honestly don’t know when, where and why I bought this thing. But anyway, here it is.
Like I say towards the end of the Shield Liger video, I’m thinking I might do more of this sort of thing in the future, especially on Youtube. There’s really basically no content on there about Tomy Zoids pre-Zoids Wild, and given my extensive collection, I really feel like I should do something about that.
Well, here’s another build that’s been a long time coming. I’ve actually had the HMM Iguan ever since it came out in 2013-ish, and the idea to paint it in the colors of the OER Zillon came soon after, but I never got around to doing it. Part of the problem was that I’d already built an HMM Godos and found the kit a bit disappointing, and I also needed a Blue Zoids emblem for the head, of which of course there was no waterslide on any kit in existence. That is, until this year’s reissue of the Godos came along, and I’m not kidding, the availability of a waterslide version of the emblem was what finally motivated me to do this one.
First I needed to adapt the color scheme. The HMM version isn’t necessarily the most amazingly detailed kit Kotobukiya has ever made, but there is quite a bit of added detail, and I needed to figure out how to make that stand out without ruining the overall color scheme. Note, for example, that the legs on the Tomy version are just one solid chunk of grey – obviously that wasn’t going to look good on the HMM kit.
Once I had decided on a color scheme, I airbrushed the parts with the base colors – Light Grey, Flat Black and Blue from Tamiya, and Duraluminium from Vallejo because I’ll be damned if I build a mecha kit without metallics.
The next step was to paint on the detail with Citadel paints – Retributor Armor for some of the gold accents, Mephiston Red and Abbaddon Black for the other stuff. If you’re beginning to notice the pattern, yeah, these are all very plain and basic colors. I also did a tiny bit of airbrush shading on the legs and some highlights on the black parts.
Then I did the subassemblies and started the chipping. I decided to try something new here and didn’t go straight for the metallics. Instead I did some initial chipping with a lighter version of the base colors – Mechanicus Standard Grey on the black and Administratum Grey on the grey parts – followed by smaller chips with Tamiya Chrome Silver and Gunze Rust. I also did a tiny bit of drybrushing here and there. You can see the two-step chipping best on the head.
Then I gloss coated everything for washes and streaking. The issue here was that it was flat-out impossible to separate the metallic from the dull parts, but I’ve found that even with a matte final topcoat, the finish of the Vallejo Metal Color paints looks different from the parts that are just several layers of matte colors on top of one another.
The washes were done with Starship Filth on the grey and Ghost Grey on the black and blue, both from Abteilung 502, as usual. Ghost Grey on black worked really well as a gunkwash on the PG Strike, but doing it as a regular wash proved to be a bit more fiddly because I had to get the thinning just right. It worked out ok, but I would’ve preferred for it to be a bit more uniform.
The streaking was done with the method I started using on the Ma.K S.A.F.S. – drybrushing first and a then a tighter streak on top with a thinned version of the same paint in some places. I kept it relatively muted this time because I just liked the way it looked after the drybrushed streaks already. Here you can also see the preshading on the leg, at least if you look closely.
The dirt on the feet was one of the last things I did after the matte topcoat – I used Tamiya pigments for this and applied them wet with a toothbrush to get this dried mud effect.
The other finishing touch was the cameras. The kit only has two actual clear parts – a light on the back and the canopy. Those are pink, so I painted them with Tamiya Clear Red on the outside and Vallejo Duraluminium on the inside. The hand painted cameras like the one seen here or on the tail guns were all done with the same paints plus a glob of Citadel ‘Ardcoat on top for a bit more glossiness.
And that was it, really, barring some drybrushed stuff here and there. As you can see in one of these pictures, the dirt on the feet was done because I really wanted to have this guy standing on the OER boxart base I created for the Red Horn. It looks pretty cool and I have them both displayed next to one another at the moment, but that doesn’t make any sense of course, so maybe I’ll create a little mini-desert base for the Zillon eventually.
The Iguan is set to be reissued in July, so if you want one, now’s the time to snap one up at a reasonable price. Personally, I can’t say I’m particularly thrilled with the kit, as happy as it makes me to see one of the original clamshell headed windups in HMM form. I will say, though, that I enjoyed recreating the OER colors on a Kotobukiya kit, so I’ll probably do more of this sort of thing. I’ve wanted to paint the Iron Kong up to look like a Gore the Lord Protector for a long time, but that’s going to be, um, a slightly more ambitious project than this little guy.
Anyway, sorry for the long radio silence, folks. I don’t need to tell you that 2020 has been a bit of a crazy year, but being shut in kind of lends itself to hobby time, so you can actually expect my first finished Gunpla since 2018 soon.
In keeping with last month’s pattern, here’s my Gatling Fox Youtube review on the last day of the month. Or, you know, the decade, if you’re not into the whole math thing. Anyway, aside from the fact that I haven’t been particularly good about writing something at least once a month lately, I also think I’m going to lose the archive widget in the sidebar soon – it’s gone from “easy access” to “kind of unwieldy” because this blog has lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. Anyway, here’s the Gatling Wrooff. It’s like Hunter Wrooff, just a bit less shitty.
My run of posting a video every week kind of fizzled out at the end because of the whole COPPA fiasco, and I actually still have yet to produce any proper content about my Maschinen Krieger competition build, but, um, anyway, here are some recent Zoids videos, mostly because I almost let November go by without posting anything here, and you know the rules.
This build is more or less finished, and like an idiot, I didn’t take pictures during the kitbashing/scratchbuilding part, so I guess I’ll just show you guys the Youtube video. The one thing left to do is to build a small display base for it, and then we’ll do a proper photo gallery and I’ll talk about it a bit more on here as well. For now, I’ll just say that this is easily my favorite thing that I’ve made.
Just two Youtube videos today – I’m working on a longer blog for my most recent Maschinen Krieger build, and I’ll have a big, fat update about the Berserk Fuhrer soon. In fact, I’m spraying the final topcoat on that sumbitch tonight.
Well, looks like I’m actually making progress on this guy. In fact, the BF kit is finished, which means two things: that the hard part is next, and that it’s time to post some WIP pics.
Basically what was left to do after the last update was the weathering, and since I didn’t want to go too crazy with that, I decided to just do the same thing as on the PG Strike, so just some chipping, streaking and some heat marks around vents.
The process started with the chipping, which I did with my usual method of running a small brush along the edges of the armor with Tamiya Gun Metal, followed by adding a few rusty spots. I used Citadel Mournfang Brown this time, but just because I finally ran out of my trusty Gunze Rust (which I’ve since restocked, and now I can sleep again.) This was really easy to do on this kit, obviously, because of all the sharp edges, so it was twice as important not to go overboard.
It’s kind of funny to me – if you look up close at how much chipping I did, it’s not very much, but it adds up to a pretty battle-worn look. This is why it was important to get all the armor parts on the kit before I did the chipping. What you’re seeing when you’re looking at individual parts always gives you the wrong impression.
After the chipping, I did the rust streaking that you can also see in the pictures above. This was just a simple combination of Vallejo’s Streaking Grime first, followed by Light Rust. The Streaking Grime is this greenish color that you sometimes see on rust streaks in the real world, and combined with the Light Rust, it produced a fairly realistic look. I’m a bit torn on doing the streaking with water-based acrylics in general, though. I find that oil paints work much better for most weathering effects, but I also don’t know that I could create streaks this thin with oil paints, so… I dunno. Just something I’m mulling over at the moment.
The final weathering step was the heat streaks, which I did with Tamiya Flat Black, as usual.
Also more or less as usual, this grill is a combination of gloss and matte, achieved this time by painting and topcoating the grill piece separately, then stippling the black on it without topcoating again.
And that concluded the weathering, so it was time for a gloss coat and a gunk wash. Continuing the general theme of “business as usual”, I used Abteilung 502’s Starship Filth for this.
I’m a bit ambivalent about gunk washes these days. I love the effect they produce and like basically everyone else, I have an unhealthy romantic relationship with Starship Filth, but as easy as a gunk wash is to do, it’s also boring and time consuming even if you don’t take into account that it takes literally almost a week to dry.
Anyway, here’s the rest of my pictures.
I’m really happy with how this thing came out. The various layers of shading and weathering combine into exactly the look I was going for, and if you do any kind of modeling yourself, you know that’s rare. It was all very controlled and purposeful, none of those not-so-happy accidents where you go, well, it looks ok, but that wasn’t what I was going for.
Of course that’s also because I just stuck to my guns with this one – every technique I’ve used so far is something I’ve done before plenty of times, so I knew it was going to work. And I’m okay with that because I’m not done yet. Next is going to be kitbashing that weapons array for the back, as you may remember from the previous blog, and that’s way beyond any kind of modification I’ve ever done before.
So if you’ll excuse me, there’s a stack of pla plate and greeblies on my workbench that I need to go to work on. In the meantime, here’s the Youtube version of this post.
I was going to act like a real Youtuber and withhold this one for a week so I’ve got something resembling a regular output for once, but I can’t stop fiddling with the stupid video, so I decided to just, y’know, get it out of my system. So here it is. The very exciting and great Beast Liger which I’m greatly excited about because I really like Liger Zoids.