GUNPLA Collectable – RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai Rundown
Today we’re following up on our unboxing of the RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai 1/100 Scale kit by having a look at how the kit looks when it’s built and detailed straight out of the box.
What that means in the context of this rundown is that the kit has been assembled, armed and decorated using components only found in the box but has also been given some minimal panel lining and accent detailing to draw out the details that would otherwise be lost in pictures. There will be no third-party applications, weapons, or adornments found in other kits. There will be no additional painting with the exception of a dot of red paint to replace the color-correcting sticker on the eye.
The reasoning behind this is that we wish to present the kit to you in as plain a fashion as possible while also adding the average improvements that most gunpla enthusiasts employ. There is only one set of color-correcting stickers in this kit and aside from adding the camera lens (which we have replaced with a dot of red paint) they are primarily used for adding unit markings and safety warnings for crew members operating on or around the Zaku.
Earlier this year, I would have laughed in your face if you told me that a Reborn-One Hundred kit would resonate more with me than a Master Grade 2.0 kit based on one of my favorite suit designs, Gundam ALEX.
Well, I find myself surprised to admit that despite my love for that fantastic Master Grade kit, I genuinely find myself liking the RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai much more. Everything I’ve said about the Gundam ALEX is true here. The suit has a large and bulky aesthetic, with flared armor plating covering thrusters and boosters that stick out from the leg units while being made clearly visible by way of clever color separation. But where the Gundam ALEX uses a rich blue against a white backdrop, shrouding the booster unit in yellow, the Zaku Kai goes in the complete opposite direction.
Rich and highly glossed greens take the place of white armor plating with boosters being shrouded in grey with inset red accents lining the boosters inside while yellow cable housings snake between the lower and upper leg, circling the waist unit while also coiling around the head and through the iconic Zaku snout helmet. Where the Alex has a simple, but advanced appearance with its separated armor plates and large thruster shrouds, the straightforward and comparatively simple nature of the Zaku shines as it represents the utilitarian nature of the suit.
This simple but blocky utilitarian design is carried throughout the suit, from head to toe. The three large booster units mounted into the backpack stand out again thanks to those red color separated inner pieces. The darker green used on the skirting and chest units helps to contrast the richer, more saturated green that appears on the legs, arms and head units and it also comes wrapped with a coil of the aforementioned snaking yellow cable housing.
A couple of nice features on this suit are both mounted on the side skirts. On one side, the left, we have a housing unit that conceals a second magazine for the MMP-80 90mm Machine Gun. It’s a fairly useless gimmick in the grand scheme of things, a nice nod to the fact that this suit is meant to exist in a militaristic capacity, and as such, should carry extra ammunition. On the other side of the skirting armor, we have a brace of three high-explosive grenades which are modeled in the same vibrant red that accents much of the suit. These grenades fit into the hand of the Zaku and can also be deployed in a stick format, akin to the conventional stick grenades of our world.
The articulation is fantastic too. Being a RE/100 kit, the joints are less “premium” than those found in modern Master Grade kits. Where the ALEX has multi-jointed wrists with articulated thumbs, the Zaku comes with fixed pose swappable hands. Where the ALEX comes with full inner frame legs, the Zaku has a much less fancy construction. But this ultimately makes the Zaku much more easy to pose in an array of positions that look and feel far more dynamic. In fact, the shrouds on the Gatling Guns found on the arms of the ALEX can make posing the unit an exercise in frustration when you have a specific pose in mind, whereas the straightforward design of the Zaku makes posing a delight.
You’ll get a full 180° bend at the elbow with a full wrist swivel and a full 360° rotation at the shoulder. You’ll also be able to bring the heel straight up to the rear skirt, with a full heel-to-butt bend being easily achievable, but it would perhaps look more impressive were the booster shrouds not preventing it from flexing completely.
The feet also have a joint in them, meaning you can say goodbye to a flatfooted approach to your posing, this makes running and crouching poses a breeze, which is always nice to see, especially when so many kits today still don’t have articulation in the feet.
If you are a fan of Gundam ALEX and have fond memories of Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, then you owe it to yourself to pick up the RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai. It is, without a doubt, the shining gem in the crown of the Reborn-One Hundred lineup with its striking aesthetic, value for money and incredible build quality. It wasn’t too long ago that I would roll my eyes at the announcement of another Zaku type, but now I have nothing but love in my heart again for the grunt suit of Zeon.