Anime Ja Nai! MG FAZZ Info and ZZ Review
This years 'All Japan Model and Hobby' show got us a peak at the next Ver. KA release; The MG Full Armor Double Zeta Gundam, or “FAZZ”. Bandai Spirits plastic Model FES in Okinawa started today, hopefully we'll get a further look at this big boy. I’m in such awe and anticipation that I thought it the perfect time to go back and revisit the predecessor design to this amazing beast. The original ZZ Gundam.
Priced at 11,000 yen (roughly £83/€84/$93)
MSZ-010 ZZ Gundam, the titular mobile suit from the 1986 series "Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ". After being sucked into the franchise by MSG: Iron-Blooded Orphans I immediately gravitated to the Main timeline, or Universal Century. One of my favourite designs from this timeline is this very mobile suit. It's a transformable mobile suit (bonus points for giant robots in my books). When hearing about the release of the ZZ Gundam Ver Ka. I immediately pre-ordered the kit. I love Ver. KA kits, they add a level of complexity to your usual MG kit, although sometimes these additions seem to hinder the kit in some ways, I personally have found the faults in my collection not only manageable but also highlight the kits as model kits and not toys. This kit, however, poses none of those limitations usually expected in the trade off for extra gimmicks. I had heard many a tale about the previous transforming Ver. ka entries, like the Victory Gundam, and its instability. ZZ Gundam has none of those issues. There was no disappointment at all when building or upon completion of the OOB build.
Get ready for a biased opinion; I love the way this kit looks, the original design is awesome, the slight changes in proportions only make the kit look even better. Its bulkiness is portrayed perfectly, it seems just as imposing as it did in the anime. I've always thought if it weren’t for the typical main Gundam colour scheme, this design would fit a villainous bot especially well. The colours although nothing new to fans of the main suits, are perfect. It may not match the blue-green tinted show version (something a P-Bandai release would later rectify) but the white, blue and red with accents of yellow perfectly represent the heroic suits we’ve grown to love. One thing that stood out is the pre-coated silver parts that dot certain parts of the kit., this was a very nice touch by Bandai, granted as someone who doesn’t plan to leave his kits as their out of box builds I still appreciate this extra step that Bandai took.
The build for the ZZ was surprisingly simple but not in a bad way. You can see the usual bells and whistles of the Ver. Ka line have been reworked for functionality. I knocked it out in a day. Thanks to the somewhat more simplistic frame and design the kit is rather sturdy (I'll admit it fell off my desk when I first completed the build), It also holds poses rather well thanks to it's less complex design meaning there's not much weight on most parts, I've had the kit since release and the joints are still pretty nice and stiff. The sticker count is restricted to the metallic seals for behind clear parts and as per usual all decals and details are left for water slides. Beautiful.
Another pleasant surprise upon completion of the build; the articulation. It’s actually rather good. When you think of a bulky transformable mobile suit you kind of expect a relative brick. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t going to be touching the likes of the RX 78-2 Origin Version or 3.0 but it’s still more than an acceptable amount of articulation. The one part I would fault is the hip joint, because it doesn't really lock in anywhere you find that you rely on gravity to hold the extreme ab crunch poses.
Accessories & Gimmicks
In terms of accessories this kit is pretty lacking; it includes a 1/100 Judau Ashta figure, the Double Beam Rifle, two Beam Sabres with exceptionally large beam effect parts (the 1/60 scale kind you find with Perfect Grades), An extra Core Fighter, one trigger finger hand for the right arm, a beam sabre holding hand, a closed fist and a closed fist for transforming for both sides. However, I personally can't really remember the ZZ to have many additional accessories within the show so personally the lack of gimmicks doesn't really hurt me much. The transformation though, Oooooooh Mah gaaaawd! I love it, I grew up with transformers, I've even constructed a basic one of my own, so I like to think I know a good piece of transformation engineering when I see it. It's unusual for me to be contempt with a Gundam transformation as they usually include non-canonical parts-forming or an alt mode that looks like a folded up robot but this one ticks all my boxes. The robot mode is hidden well enough for you to forget that it's there and the general shape is good enough for me to suspend my belief enough to see it as a spacecraft of sorts. While on the topic of its alt mode, one accessory this kit is in dire need of is an action base, it is a crying shame that one was not included. Also a note for anyone planning on purchasing this kit, get one of the older action bases, the newer one doesn't quite have the strength. One flaw I will point out is in it's single Double Beam Rifle, because of it's shape it can be awkward to hold in the hand, also because the cannons are meant to swivel around for the transformation they aren't really the sturdiest and can fall victim to not looking perfectly aligned.
Without adding my bias opinion for the design I'll have to say this is a better than average outing for the MG line, it perfects what until now have been flawed attempts at transforming mobile suits, it stands together well and Bandai have done a few touches to keep this from just being your run of the mill Ver. KA.