Gaijin Gunpla

You may recall seeing this in The Poll, and with over 50% of the vote was the clear-cut winner.  Thanks to everyone who voted.

I picked this conversion kit up some time ago when Ako Hobby first put it up on the fichtenfoo forums, and then it sat there, and then had things pile up upon it and then got lost, and found again, and put back in the pile.

For this conversion kit one needs the MG Gundam Mk-II Ver 2.0 Titans kit as the base.  However, when it came to picking up that kit I always opted for a newer MG kit instead.  Well, finally I’ve got the kit and am ready to take a crack at converting it into my own Barzam.

What is inside a conversion kit from Ako Hobby?

Here are the runners. These are not resin but a softer kind of plastic. They remove from the gate easily and are somewhat flexible but will stress relatively quickly.

When Ako Hobby first made these parts they actually made a mistake with some of the leg armor and were kind enough to ship everyone the proper parts free of charge. What great service.

Here are the decals. I have yet to work with them but they seem to be of good quality.

Here are some bonus metal parts that were given to fichtenfoo forum members who preordered. There are also aurora type stickers as well.

The manual is clearly photocopied from a master.

While that doesn’t bother me, it is difficult to follow at times. They don’t differentiate well between what is from the original kit and what is from the conversion.

Before you can use any conversion parts you need to assemble some frame.

The Mk-II is the basis for the Musha Mk-II which I built last year (was it last year?) so I am in familiar territory.

With the majority of the torso frame completed you get your first taste of the conversion parts. And the taste is not a pleasant one.

Right away I am encountering problems. These pieces are placed onto the frame and then covered over by the conversion armor pieces, yet the fit is not good at all. Trying to get the front armor piece on always puts pressure on these two pieces and, in some instances, actually sends them flying off. If I try to hold them with pressure I see stress marks develop.

Here’s the torso armor with additional pieces which also do not fit well. At this point I’m becoming frustrated and disappointed. Is this going to happen throughout the entire build, I wondered.

Being very careful, I actually manage to get it together and take this photo.

It looks cool, but it took me a large chunk of time to get to this point. I think I will have to reshape some pieces and then glue them to the frame after they are painted to get them to stay put.

The head assembles okay but the spike on the top does not. Once again, the fit is poor and this piece just falls out far too easily.

For this section, I was able to get one side to fit fine but the other has no hope of it. I will have to remove large amounts of plastic to get it to fit properly.

Here’s the conversion parts used for the weapon, but the instructions don’t actually list how they go together with the parts from the main kit.

I will have to play around and see how it works.

The front half of the feet are easy enough. The fit isn’t perfect but it will be easy to get them to stay in place once they are painted using only a small amount of cement. The armor for the heel, however, does not stay in place.

Here’s the ankle armor. No complaints on this piece.

Here’s the parts used for the legs. The fit is somewhat loose and the alignment doesn’t seem right to my eye.


Assemble those sexy legs…

And the outer leg armor. Again the fit isn’t great.

Using the skirt frame…

I need to note here that these parts don’t work as they should. The balls are meant to fit into the socket and then the front center block holds them in place, however the ball joints just fall out whenever you release them with your hand. It’s easier to place the center block on and then slide the balls into the socket. I have a fear that this Barzam won’t be very posable.

Here are the parts for the back of the skirt. The fit isn’t perfect so I had to get my design knife and trim some plastic away.

After several hours, most of which was spent trying to get parts to fit together properly and stay on, here’s what I ended up with.

With great care I put the entire kit together for these test shot photos, leaving off the collar parts which I can’t get to fit properly and the spike on the head which won’t stay on.

Next step will be to modify pieces and start painting, but I am waiting until I have two days off in a row to do that.

7 Responses so far.

  1. Busterbeam says:

    unfortunate news. i was hoping it’d go smoother but i guess these conversation parts are more art than science. good luck my friend

  2. Gamedingo says:

    Well this just really ruins it huh. I was so excited to see the Barzam, I bet the fit issues are probably because they didn’t use resin or a harder material, maybe the pieces have some warp to them?

  3. Tom says:

    I’m guessing the problem is more of the fact it’s softer plastic then resin. Still can’t wait to see what you do with this.

  4. Shaomu/Nyanerius says:

    Guess it really is like any other med-quality GK. My attempts with RECKLESS Studios has me unsurprised about the fitment issues. Minor mods and fixes are always required, even with simple conversion kits.

  5. Dennis says:

    Sounds like your having as bad a time as I’ve had with some resin tank conversion kits I’ve built. Considering it’s plastic I wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it seems. I think you have alot of work ahead of you, but to have a Barazam might make it worth the effort. Keep at it, even though it’s partially complete, it look great. I hope you do a review of this conversion.

  6. Blitzkriegomega says:

    Why do I have a strange feeling that these pieces were made so they needed to be painted BEFORE assembly…

  7. Aluus says:

    I suppose no one is going to point out that the conversion kit was designed for the original Gundam MK II and that the MK 2.0 is a VERY different kit? It’s not surprising that he had issues.

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