SAZABI : Medieval Custom

In november '02, I decided to undertake my sazabi project. It seems to be a common understanding that the proportions of the bandai MG kit are not accurate, compared to much of the lineart. Personally, I thought the kit looked pretty good on its own, (I'm not much of a stickler for the lineart anyways) and even so, I decided to try to further hone my scratchbuilding and modification techniques. I wanted to create a Sazabi unique to my own tastes and thus was born......


Ankle mobility  -I wanted to increase mobility in the ankles, which would enable more 'animated' poses. You can see the areas I cut to allow for more movement. Although I do not have any pics, I also made the heel moveable against the toe section. I've gained about 45 degress movement on the foot this way.

Hip mobility  -I wanted to increase mobility in the hips too. I've studied Max Watanabe's (and other's) articles and did sort of my own thing, although borrowing from elements I'd seen. I cut the upper leg, while retaining the ball joint, to allow for more movement. That white stuff is SGT, placed in there to retain the plastic that holds the polycap inside the upper leg.
-I also provided these changes to the hip joint itself. Two polycaps that allow the legs' ball joints to angle further.
Cosmetic changes  -Most of my other modifications were cosmetic. I wanted to create a sazabi that was unique both in syle and flavor. I wanted to create a medieval sazabi, perhaps an archer sazabi. I was still a little uncertain during building, yet I did know I wanted to have elements from medieval times. While I did borrow from elements of other mecha and series, I think the end result is pretty unique. Lots of spikes were added, most notably on the shoulders, although lengthening the side skirts and adding to the forearms and knees certainly count as spikes too. The shoulder spikes were constructed by glueing 3 pieces of styrene tube to each shoulder, then building them up with SGT and sanding for a very, very, very long time. It probably took me at least 2 weeks to complete them, probably more - I wasn't counting. You will notice many additional armor panels too. Armor was certainly prevalent in medieval times, so I wanted armor here too. Every additional panel is highlighted with rivets. You can't have armor panels without rivets now, can ya? The head was changed a little too. Away with the V-fin, extending the brow and chin, and adding a translucent visor were my changes here. I also reshaped the face area to accomodate the new visor. Not in these pics here, but in the final pics, I also added cloth as an additional way to demonstrate the medieval theme. Many knights/archers/warriors wore robes as traditional garb, so knowing it was a gamble here (many people scoff at using cloth with mecha models) I did it anyway because I like the result and it made me happy. And that's what it's all about now isn't it? Underneath the huge shoulders is a large barren area as well, so I filled it in with a few minor details.
Side skirt armor
 Lower leg armor
Front skirt armor
Under shoulders
Since my theme was medieval, I figured some new weapons were in order...

-Mace/Morning star   -This started out as an experiment really, then I just sort of decided to stick with it. I know the final product is sort of 'unrefined' and could've been made more symmetrical and uniform, but I was not able to find the patience to spend on a task I deemed extremely tedious...especially since I was trying to meet a deadline. I'm still very happy with the result. Construction was very simple. I took the chain from a necklace that happened to be 'junk mailed' to me as part of a religious campaign (Of which I had no use.) For the ball itself, I took some tin foil, crushed it up and rolled it into as even a ball as I could get. The spikes are tacks (carpet tacks I think) that I proceeded to glue the heads onto the foil ball. I then coated the heads with SGT a few times until they were no longer visible, it was also at this point that I picked a spot to glue the chain into, simply resting it into the SGT. The handle was a length of brass rod, with SGT at the end, attached to the other end of the chain. The lower half was wrapped in wire to simulate a grip.

Crossbow   -This was built from sheet, tube, and strip styrene. I also used thread, a set of H-eyes from WAVE and some SGT. I started with the bow section, which consisted of two 'strips' of 2mm styrene, glued together then sanded to rough form. While the glue was not completey dry, I sort of 'shaped' the bow ends to attain a curve. I then took a length of rectangular tubed styrene to form the main body and cut a slit in which to glue the bow section. This was SGT'd in place. Short reinforcing pieces of styrene were placed towards the inner section of the bow, both in front and behind it, Once again, all SGT'd in place and later sanded to shape. The sight was constructed from varying diameters of styrene tube and two different diameter H-eyes were placed as lenses in both ends of the sight. The handle, trigger, and framework around the trigger was all done with pieces of sheet styrene and assorted shapes of strip styrene. The side-cladding along the body was strip styrene. I cut triangular shapes from sheet styrene and applied them to the front to make it a tad more menacing. The thread was then attached and viola', the crossbow was ready for painting.
Backpack   -I had no real plan for the backpack. I sort of did it as I went along, the only thing I took into account was that I wanted a place to hold arrows, the gun, and the funnels. While it is entirely scratchbuilt, I used various accessories from WAVE/KOTOBUKIYA, such as minus molds, hinges, 'propellant tanks', etc. The tanks became the twin quivers, secured with glue and two strips of some scrap metal I had lying around. The hinges were used to create the door on top, in which the pilot can of course store his tuna sandwiches! Minus molds were used to add a little detail, as was some aluminum mesh I had, and some tube styrene to create the bars on the left side of the pack. A tiny 'hook' was added to the gun, so it could attach to the pack, and the stock pack's mounting tabs were mimicked so it would fit easily to the back of the sazabi.
I didn't want to go with the stock red color scheme, so after some fiddling with the lineart and photoshop, I decided on a scheme consisting of 2 shades of grey, and a deep green. The green began as olive, mixed with some black, and perhaps a tad of white. The darker grey started with french blue gray, adding a little black to that. The lighter grey was a neutral gray, with added black and white. All colors were liquitex artist acrylics.
©2005 Andy Wacht