As the name implies, this is the much-needed and appreciated remake of the original MG Zeta Gundam. I don’t have the original MG Zeta but judging from the general consensus, it’s best to avoid it since it’s a disaster of a kit waiting to be built. I’ll judge this model on its own merits. This is my second transformable MG model (the first being the Zeta Plus A1).
First off, this MG comes with a lot of runners since it is pretty big and there’s plenty of tiny little parts that pieces an entire assembly. I have to admit, at the time I start building this kit I had no idea about the difficulty of this kit. This model is a bit on the hard side to built; the tiny pieces and indirect assembly to make all the sliding mechanisms can be confusing and easy to make a mistake like forgetting a PC piece or connecting things incorrectly (it happened) and you probably won’t realize till the whole assembly for that part is complete! I’m not saying you need to be a pro to build this model but some previous experience and familiar kits could make things easier. I made quite a few frustrating errors…some even discovered after the whole model was completed! One tiny thing I don’t like is the kit comes with a bunch of tiny yellow foil stickers for little details on its legs and shoulder; for a MG, these could/should have been tiny plastic pieces or something instead of stickers.
A lot of the constructions required pieces to be “clipped” onto another (like rods) or slided into (pistons) and sometimes a little of both such as the legs. The arms and head are probably the only parts that are assembled in a straightforward fashion. The legs, body and wings have some sophisticated structure design since the transforming mechanics are base inside there. The legs have pieces that you can use to “lock” the knees from bending abnormally (for Waverider) so it can stand straight and sliding parts on the back to “stick out” the feet. You can tell there’s much engineering put into this model to ensure all the flaws from the previous model were fixed and I definitely respect the model designer (Katoki?) for this great effort. The body also has its mean share of hooks, sliding pieces, flips and whatnot that makes construction a bit difficult at first and you’ll be glad once you are through with it. The wings also have a lot of gimmicks put into it such as wings folding/sliding out of its slots but this is actually easier to put together than the other limbs/body. Just follow the directions very carefully and you should be okay.
Once you’ve completed the model, you will have a VERY TALL Zeta Gundam (this could easily be one of your tallest models in your collection) standing. Proportions are slender, sharp and edgy… maybe a little too much edge; this Gundam can’t stand “flat”. Flawed by the nature of its design, the ankle doesn’t allow the foot to bend/rotate much so motion is very restricted and thus, the model will always be standing on the inner edge of its feet unless you put both feet standing straight up but that would look very lame. While just standing, you wouldn’t notice how awesome/troublesome the inner mechanics in this model are; just about every part of the model (arms, legs, body, head, wings, feet, hands, you name it!) slides/tilts/moves/rotates/turns/flips/collapses/opens/whatever. All of what I just said applies even to its weapons! Even so, you don’t have to fret that it’ll one day become loose and just sags down like the old MG Zeta is known for; there’s locking mechanisms inside the knees to hold things up and on the crotch to prevent unwanted leg split :)
Posing this model is a much different story… it’s hard. Not impossible. Just a bit difficult with all the parts shifting up, down, left, and right (exaggeration). Standing poses are hard because the legs are awkward as it is so getting it stable when stretched out can be a bit tricky and requires some balancing play. The model is also back heavy (backpack is not small) and very easy to lean to one side if there’s uneven weight (holding the Hyper Mega Launcher with one hand) thanks to a ball socket connection between the torso and waist. Holding the beam rifle and saber is effortless since the hands have a plug for them to stay in but the HML will require some arm twisting and bending to get it in firing position (this is how I snapped the right arm ^_^;). Try to be gentle with this model since it is somewhat delicate. Aerial poses are better for this model since no effort is required of its feet and it comes with its own display base but it takes up quite a lot of space and collects huge amount of dust over time.
I’ve only put this model into waverider mode once. The transformation was new to me so it was quite messy to attempt but I got it down. The flips and switchings of all the limbs and body can be eye-boggling as you disfigure its humanoid form into what looks like a plane. It’s just as confusing trying to take it apart. The waverider form also looks as nice but it takes up a lot of space (front to back) as well if you decided to slap the HML on it. I don’t recommend transforming this Gundam back and forth (maybe not even once) because some of the parts can become stubborn to remove from a socket and might break off (which the connectors to the wing binders did) and it just loosens the joints overall. If you want to display waverider, I suggest you buy two of these and leave one as Gundam and another transformed.
There are bound to be problems with a model this sophisticated that could transform… with too much play, the joints will become weaker (not loose). The joints where the legs are connected to the hips won’t be able to hold its own weight and gradually sag down in aerial poses. The body will be more readily to lean back or tilt to one side from being back heavy and from uneven weight. The arms will also sag a bit if it holds the HML for a prolonged amount of time (months) horizontally (firing position). Its beam rifle have a loose handle over time so the front just drops down every time when I try to point it horizontally but that’s easily fixed by taking it apart and letting a thin layer of glue dry on the handle slot (rotating parts will slowly grind the plastic). I got this kit when it first came out, playing with it from time to time, and it is still holding out so nothing too serious to worry about.
I would definitely shell out the money to rebuild this Gundam again if I want to but right now, I’m still happy with the way it is. I just think I didn’t do a good job the first time around and didn’t realize the difficulty but now I know and it will definitely be better next time. This is a great looking model!
The photos are a mixed of old and new. I apologize for not taking pictures of it in Waverider form ^_^;