Grabbed this kit at the same time I ordered a HGUC Kampfer and a HGUC Gaplant Hrairoo - just couldn't resist such a great looking Zeon mobile suit.
I wasn't really planning on doing anything besides a bit of touch up with painting some of the details (boosters, fuel/energy pipes/cables) and then some flat top coat, but I felt like the model was missing something.
So, after painting some details in, I added some verniers/rivets. Here's the end result:http://img804.imageshack.us/img804/4317/sam0532c.jpghttp://img696.imageshack.us/img696/2/sam0534y.jpghttp://img813.imageshack.us/img813/4957/sam0544h.jpg
I painted the white details on the black armor pieces with a white gundam marker - went over them quite a few times to get it to look right. For any spillover, I used a dental scraper tool I had lying around to scrape off excess paint once it dried a little. I used silver and a very dark gunmetal gray (it's almost black) for various details. At first I was going to use the pink sticker for the mono-eye, but at the last second I ripped it off, threw it away, and did 2 coats of white gundam marker and then went over it with a red gundam marker once dried. The red gundam marker has a very shiny finish, so the end result looks pretty good.
I used a lot of silver on the bottom of the feet and also added some detail to the thrusters.http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/2654/sam0575m.jpg
After look at it some more, though, I still felt like the model didn't really have the kind of presence I wanted. I think it has to do with a lot of the big, flat surfaces. It's not really the fault of the kit, the Kshatriya and Zeon design in general doesn't really use much in the way of panel lines and such. However, in the OVA and illustrations, artists use shadows and shading to give the Kshatriya a deeper, busier look. You can see what I'm talking about in the Kshatriya's legs and skirt armor (not pictured), especially:http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/9757/sam0568rw.jpg
So I decided to try something for the first time - scribing my own details/panel lines. I took a roll of painter's tape (the kind you use to mask things while painting walls and etc.), cut it into thin strips, and used it to create straight edges along which I used the back/blunt edge of my craft knife's blade to etch out the details. Here's an example on the way I would set it up with the tape:http://img861.imageshack.us/img861/4624/sam0576.jpg
The result looks something like this on the back of the [very] plain back skirt armor:http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/7647/sam0592q.jpg
After the initial scribing with the craft knife, I would widen and scrape out the panel lines with the dental tool then clean up with sandpaper + more dental tool. I made the little rivet holes with a safety pin.
Here's some shots of the thrusters on the binders - painted with silver and gold with a detail piece glued on the inside and painted silver:http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/7928/sam0581u.jpghttp://img4.imageshack.us/img4/3357/sam0582l.jpg
I didn't want to spend a lot of money buying aftermarket metal boosters and waste the ones that came with the kit. I think it ended up looking pretty nice.
After a whole lot of work designing+planning/scribing/etching/decaling/panel-lining/top-coating, this is what I got:http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/534/sam0665.jpghttp://img822.imageshack.us/img822/6217/sam0668ah.jpg
Here I used a leftover gold waterslide decal from my MG Sinanju kit. At first I wasn't sure if it would fit since there's not a lot of gold on the kit, but it actually looks pretty good I think. It didn't play nice all the way with the custom panel lines and rivet holes I made even with MicroSol, but I still like it. I tried to make the rivet holes stand out on the darkblack gunmetal armor plates by getting silver paint onto a toothpick and pushing it into the holes.http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/8651/sam0670k.jpg
In the back shot below, you can also see that I added 2 boosters to the back of the Kshatriya - I felt that it seemed a bit naked there as well. They were two matching leftovers from my Gaplant Hrairoo kit, so I also cut up some leftover polycaps and glued the pieces together to make the thrusters look like actual booster units that belonged on the model.http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/2715/sam0671z.jpghttp://img138.imageshack.us/img138/6964/sam0677.jpghttp://img849.imageshack.us/img849/9498/sam0678.jpg
I'll probably have a fully complete model in the coming weeks. The decals and panel lining/detailing on the binders are pretty much complete, they just have to be top-coated. I also need to paint the funnels and find the one funnel I dropped somewhere (curses). I'm planning on getting some memory wire so that I can pose the model with funnels flying out. I'm planning out how I want to use leftover plastic and polycaps from other kits to try and spice up the "arms" that connect the binders to the shoulders, too - atm they're kind of boring looking, so I'm thinking some kind of piston-looking detail would be really cool.