I remember being in awe when I first saw the MG FA ZZ Gundam at my model store back in 2001… this was before my first MG and considered getting this Gundam but the price range was wayyy out of my budget at the time. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on it some four years later in 2005 ^_^. The unfortunate thing is that I didn’t really built this model all by myself; my MG FA ZZ was assembled by me with three other friends who’ve never built a single model before. At the time, I thought it was fun for us to build a big model together since I had to catch a plane the very next day. Even with the four of us, this model took us 16 straight hours and it was a rush job.
I can’t really provide a fair nor thorough review of this MG since I can only vaguely remember that day and I did the least amount of work on it ^_^;. Then again, this is probably the only model that’s truest to the purpose of this blog… a straight built model, letting viewers know how it looks exactly out of the box at home.
Frames aplenty, this model has both huge and tiny pieces. Most of the parts are well detailed with moderate panel lining but the quality of the plastic is rather on the crap side. The crappy quality is especially noticeable on the blue parts since they have the biggest surface area. It just looks really cheap… I don’t know how to actually describe nor do I know if the pictures will show you what I’m talking about >_<. It just isn’t as solid as some of the blue parts you see in later models. Think of bootleg lego pieces compared to real lego pieces. The red and yellow also have this cheap look to it. The problem is the same case with the MG Sazabi. Basically, my point is this model needs some serious painting to look good. The white pieces are fine but the pieces are so solid looking and big (all details on one piece) that when you put it together with the cheap blue and red pieces, the whole thing just looks… UGH! Please take the time to paint this Gundam if you want it to look at least decent.
As far as construction goes… I can’t recall much (and I didn’t skimp over the manual) but I do remember that there’s some screws and construction is somewhat indirect. You built this, this, that and that then put it together to make just a single part (The body). The legs probably require the most effort since it was a PITA to put in the screw right and slapping layers of layers on top of it. The rest of the models are pretty much giant pieces that clamps together and connect through giant pegs. Overall, I didn’t think it was very sophisticated aside from the body and legs. There’s just a lot of pieces. The annoying part is cutting the mesh cable and connecting it around the waist. Sometimes the FA parts need some playing around to fit properly around the base body. The Hyper Mega Cannon is a big blob of grey plastic with a power feed cable (very tedious work to build)… the thing, without decals and paint, looks VERY cheap… Please paint this part too >_<.
The completed model isn’t as impressive as I thought it would be… maybe at the time it came out it was something to gawk at but still… it’s a monstrosity! The parts just clobber on top of each other loosely and it doesn’t even look like it hold together very well (which it doesn’t). I will ignore the color detail problems and poseability of this kit since I understand plastic manufacturing wasn’t all that great in 2001 and action poses weren’t really top priority for the engineers’ minds either for this model. However, I do want to nitpick on other aspects that could’ve been a lot better. The first thing I like to attack is its proportions. Even though it IS a bulky MS, the proportions are bad in that the MS actually looks FAT and bland. Just take a look at its GFF counterpart; you can still have somethig look bulky and sleek in one package. The other thing is the massive amount of loose parts falling off; The blue plates on its shoulders, the leg armors, the chest armor, the loose gun barrels, and some other parts I’m forgetting… they all fall off very easily.
I won’t denounce this model and tell people to stay far away from it as possible but I do caution that it doesn’t look as good as one might think it does. My MG Sazabi looks great after some painting… but the Sazabi also has better proportions than this model. I’m sure those who put in the effort to paint, panel line, and rub decal on this model will be able to make it look impressive but for a straight build, it’s one of the worst MG I’ve seen. I am considering buying another one and building it all by myself this time to see how the results turn out. This one is definitely a failure on my part… partly.
Notes about the photos:
-Only the V-fins are painted since the yellow looked like crap.
– There are no panel lines done.
– I popped off the chest missile plates to reduce the amount of bland cheap blue surfaces.
– The center piece was a test piece for my blue Gundam marker ^_^;