Zaku Kai scratch build 100 day challenge

tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
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For the last several years I've been really struggling in the hobby and have produced very little completed work. Some of it comes down to the demands of family life, some of it is due to a basement flood that destroyed a bunch of gear and threw my studio into a chaotic state I still haven't recovered from (now about 4 years later) - and moving all that chaos to a new, smaller studio in a different house, which is now a bit overloaded. Basically there's a lot of work to be done to make the space really organized and functional again...

But in the mean time I've been trying different strategies to just re-engage with the hobby. My wife took on a "hundred day challenge" with her artwork: I tend to avoid things like that (model show deadlines, group builds, etc.) usually because I feel like it diverts me from projects I may already have started, and desperately want to finish (but tend to avoid because the project starts to feel impossible...) But I thought the "hundred day" thing sounded like a good way to approach my problem: the idea isn't necessarily to finish the project in a hundred days, but rather just to work on the thing every day (or as close as possible) for a hundred days. Instead of saddling myself with a deadline that will loom over me and then fly by - instead it just gets me to engage with the project. So I'm going for it. 100 days of a project that's been in the pipeline, and avoided much more often than not, for about 17 years now. I'm-a try to finish my Zaku Kai.

This is day 4, and on the first 3 days I did some things - mostly casting work and design work gearing up for scratch-building some parts. Some of my casting supplies have gone bad, too, so a little bit of false starts all over the place. But so far, 3 out of 3 days working on the project again. I'm going to try to stick to that, work on the project every day and post an update.

Project Overview
Project Design Plans (June, 2006)
January, 2010 build update (kind of a good representation of how it'll look)

Week 1: (Feb. 13 - Feb. 19, 2022)


"The beginning of the end (day 1)"


Baby Steps (day 2)


My Resin is Too Old, But It Doesnt Matter... (day 3)


Making Straight Parts Crooked (day 4)


Something Something Forearm (day 5)

zakufz_20220218_forearm_integration_1_thumb.jpeg

Integration Over Forearm (day 6)


Technically It's Progress (day 7)

This ends week 1: Progress updates for week 2 will appear in a reply to this thread.
 
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urumomo

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Mar 18, 2013
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3,370
Cool Beans
Love scratch-work .
I'll be following your progress -- for the next 96 days at least ;) .
 

tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
88
Week 2: (Feb. 20 - Feb 26, 2022)

Day 8: Spent some time sculpting out the shape of the shoulder pauldron, casting and integrating parts that I need to complete it.
zakufz_20220220_pauldron_fill_3_thumb.jpeg

Never Odd or Even (day 8)

Day 9: Added a layer of epoxy putty to the pauldron form to create a shell.
zakufz_20220221_pauldron_overview_thumb.jpeg

Pauldron Stuff and Stuff (day 9)

Day 10: First pass at refining the epoxy putty shell of the pauldron.
zakufz_20220222_pauldron_overview_thumb.jpeg

No Lemons, No Melon (day 10)

Day 11: Worked on fixing messed-up pauldron alignment, messed it up.
zakufz_20220223_pauldron_spikes_were_crooked_thumb.jpeg

Abort, Retry, Refail (day 11)

Day 12: Data Not Found

Day 13: Repositioned one of the spike fringes on the pauldron to try to improve symmetry
zakufz_20220225_overview_thumb.jpeg

Let's try that again (day 13)

Day 14: Checking and correcting symmetry in the overall pauldron shape
zakufz_20220226_symmetry_check_1_thumb.jpeg

Symmeretry (day 14)
 
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tetsujin

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88
Week 3 (Feb. 27 - Mar. 5)

Day 15: Prepared a mold to make new duplicates of an old shoulder spike part
zakufz_20220227_pauldron_spike_thumb.jpeg

Punch the Spike (day 15)

Day 16: Data not found
Actually I did a bit of pauldron refinement, but nothing much and didn't put together a post about it.

Day 17: Used my new spike mold to cast some spikes for the new pauldron.
zakufz_20220301_pauldron_1_thumb.jpeg

Casting Spikes, Something Clever (day 17)

Day 18: Data not found
I made another cast of the spike part to replace the one that had a huge bubble in it. Beyond that I pretty much just fell asleep.

Day 19: More adjustments and refinements to the pauldron part, and discovery of a problem
zakufz_20220303_pauldron_alignment_check_3_thumb.jpeg

Pauldron Progress and Setbacks (day 19)

Day 20: Data no found

Day 21: Worked to correct the spike alignment on the pauldron... It's not exactly going great
zakufz_20220305_pauldron_minus_spike_2_thumb.jpeg

Flawed Methodology, Compounded Errors (day 21)

End of week 3
 
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tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
88
Week 4: (Mar. 6 - Mar.12)

Day 22: Wrapped up the pauldron work, for now anyway, and worked on restoring the old head sculpt
zakufz_20220306_overview_thumb.jpeg

Resnout (day 22)

Day 23: Little bit of head refinement, and beveling edges on the chest block
zakufz_20220307_chest_bevel_1_thumb.jpeg

Make Sharp Edges Rounder (day 23)

Day 24: Data not found

Day 25: Started work on the canopy for the cockpit hatch
zakufz_20220309_canopy_3_thumb.jpeg

Cockpit Canopy Work (day 25)

Day 26: Sculpted a first draft of the cockpit hatch and surrounding frame - a part that I've not really satisfactorily planned out before.
zakufz_20220310_cockpit_hatch_3_thumb.jpeg

Unimaginative Title: Hatch (day 26)

Day 27: Data not found

Day 28: Built the start of an interior structure for the head, which will later be used to build a monoeye and attach the head to the body.
zakufz_20220312_head_interior_12_thumb.jpeg

Springing Forward (day 28)

End of week 4
 
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tetsujin

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Week 5!

Day 29: More work on the head interior and monoeye, and a bit of iterative work on the cockpit hatch.
zakufz_20220313_overview_thumb.jpeg

That's Right! Monoeye! (day 29)

Day 30: Bit more work on the monoeye, adding a lens housing and "rails"
zakufz_20220314_overview_thumb.jpeg

Gettin' down on pi-day

Day 31: Data not found

Day 32: I was at a bit of a loss for what to do, so I added some detail to the chest block.
zakufz_20220316_shoulder_fringe_3_thumb.jpeg

Detail Waggin the Dog (day 32)

Day 33: More detail work on the chest block, including relocation of the ridges I added to the chest block yeaterday.
zakufz_20220317_overview_1_thumb.jpeg

Detail-related pun (day 33)

Day 34: Data not found

Day 35: Started work on the chest vents and the changes to the chest block to mount them
zakufz_20220319_overview_thumb.jpeg

A Vent Countdown (day 35)

End of week 5!
 
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tetsujin

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Messages
88
Week 6 (Mar. 20 - Mar. 26)

Day 36: Data not found

Day 37: Revisited the cockpit frame to improve the sculpt and start building out the area behind the canopy
zakufz_20220321_overview_thumb.jpeg

Contact (Day 37)

Day 38: Working on the head interior to give it a better interface to the helmet, and recentered the eye
zakufz_20220322_overview_thumb.jpeg

Can't be bothered (Day 38)

Day 39: I lost a part, decided to build an improved replacement
zakufz_20220323_overview_thumb.jpeg

New Canopy (day 39)

Day 40: Altered the midriff part so I could start integrating it with the chest
zakufz_20220324_overview_thumb.jpeg

Midriff Work (day 40)

Day 41: Data not found

Day 42: Started work on a polycap joint to connect the chest block to the midriff
zakufz_20220326_chest_midriff_joint_5_thumb.jpeg

Poseable, Therefore Valid (day 42)

End of week 6!
 
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tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
88
Week 7 (Mar. 27 - Apr. 2)

Day 43: Data not found

Day 44: Data not found

Day 45: Did some more work on the midriff joint, installing the second polycap and rod.
zakufz_20220329_overview_4_thumb.jpeg

Five Years Later... (day 45)

Day 46: I started over with the midriff joint and tried an adjustment to the chest block's symmetry:
zakufz_20220330_chest_block_adjustment_3_thumb.jpeg

Do it again, Do it better (day 46)


Day 47: Data not found

Day 48: Data not found

Day 49: I realigned the connecting rods for the midriff joint, and did some more work on chest block symmetry.
zakufz_20220402_midriff_joint_rework_11_thumb.jpeg

We'll give it a shot... (day 49)

End of week 7!
 
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tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
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Week 8 (Apr. 3 - Apr.9)

Day 50: Wrapped up work on the midriff joint for now and started looking into integrating the hip joint
zakufz_20220403_hip_work_2_thumb.jpeg

We're Halfway There (day 50)

Day 51: Data not found

Day 52: Data not found

Day 53: Data not found

Day 54: Data not found

Day 55: Data not found

Day 56: Started work on some hand parts
zakufz_20220409_hand_4_thumb.jpeg

Take my hand; I'll make it, I swear! (day 56)

End of week 8!
 
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tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
88
Week 9 (Apr. 10 - Apr. 16)

Day 57: Data not found

Day 58: Data not found

Day 59: Data not found

Day 60: Data not found

Day 61: I started on the rubber mold that I'll use to duplicate the upper leg part so I can differentiate it for the left and right sides of the body
zakufz_20220414_leg_overview_1_thumb.jpeg

Been Skipping Leg Day (day 61)

Day 62: Data not found

Day 63: Data not found

End of week 9
 
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tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
88
Week 10 (Apr. 17 - Apr. 23)

Day 64: Poured the other half of the upper leg mold, and sculpted the top of the foot
zakufz_20220417_foot_work_6_thumb.jpeg

Facing Defeat (day 64)

Day 65: Data not found

Day 66: Using the new mold I made some hollow castings of the upper leg part from epoxy putty
zakufz_20220419_hollow_cast_leg_7_thumb.jpeg

Advance Fee Fraud (day 66)

Day 67: Data not found

Day 68: Data not found

Day 69: Did some work on the openings in the hips and detailed the snout
zakufz_20220422_snootful_thumb.jpeg

Heh, nice. (day 69)

Day 70: Data not found

End of week 10!
 
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tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
88
Week 11 (Apr 24 - Apr 30):

Day 71: Data not found

Day 72: Data not found

Day 73: Data not found

Day 74: I decided to use the epoxy putty-cast copies of the upper leg after all, so I've been working to clean up the copies.
zakufz_20220427_upper_leg_prep_1_thumb.jpeg

Elbow Grease (day 74)

Day 75: Data not found

Day 76: Data not found

Day 77: Data not found

End of week 11! (Didn't amount to much, unfortunately...)
 
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tetsujin

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Jun 26, 2009
Messages
88
Week 12 (May 1 - May 7)

Day 78: Data not found

Day 79: Data not found

Day 80: Data not found

Day 81: I built the central portion of the knee joint. This part was a bit challenging for me because of its sparse interior structure
zakufz_20220504_knee_joint_7_thumb.jpeg

Knee Joint Struggles (day 81)

Day 82: Data not found

Day 83: Data not found

Day 84: Data not found
 
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