GUNPLA Collectable – RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai
Welcome back, Gunpla fans both old and new!
Today we’re going to be looking at, and unboxing, the RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai in 1/100 Scale. This particular kit isn’t a Master Grade release, despite it’s 1/100 scale, and is in fact the 13th officially released Reborn-One Hundred release. What that means is you can expect decent build quality and surface detailing with some above average materials being used in production, but when viewed and felt up close in person, you can tell that it’s not quite a Master Grade. With many Reborn-One Hundred releases being merely “meh” in their overall construction (I personally make an exception for the incredible Gundam GP04G Gerbera), the MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai has something of a negative stigma that it needs to shake off.
This is of course an official Bandai kit modeled on the stylized Zaku that made its iconic appearance in the OVA, Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket where it was piloted by Bernard Wiseman. This is also the first time that the Zaku II Kai has appeared in Gunpla form since 2008, where it appeared in the form of a 1/144 HGUC kit. The kit is in 1/100 in scale and unlike its similarly iconic counterpart, the Gundam ALEX, the Zaku II Kai is less content rich, which is fine, given the considerably lower cost, coming in nearly half as cheap. The RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai will cost you £23.60, or roughly $30.
As mentioned above, the Kai comes with less gimmicks and accessorizing parts than the Gundam ALEX, so the box is markedly smaller, no larger than most Master Grade boxes, but this shouldn’t fool you into thinking that the Kai doesn’t deliver on additional parts. Where the ALEX has a full suit of CHOBHAM armor, the Kai has additional weapons and moving parts.
The very first thing you’re going to notice about the Zaku Kai is that it is very colorful in comparison to most other Zaku kits. Char’s Red Comet has nothing on the bright glossed green of the Kai; it’s so vibrant that it makes the Red Comet see, positively dull in comparison.
Something worth noting however, and you’ll notice this while building the kit if you haven’t done this before, is the darker green that covers the chest, shoulder and waist area is easy to stress. This means that if you aren’t careful with your cutting, you can leave white stress marks in the plastic. This can be avoided by cutting further away from the material on the sprue and removing what remains with a hobby knife before sanding the surface flat and buffing it back up to its original sheen.
The cable housings for the Zaku Kai may be quite different to what you might be used to working with. On HG kits, the cable housing is typically a single piece of slightly flexible hard plastic, on MG kits the cable housing can sometimes take the form of a cable or pipe that you feed rings onto. For the Zaku Kai, the material being used here is a very soft and rubbery soft plastic. Think of an elastic band, but thicker. This stuff is fantastic at quickly and effectively achieving the effect of representing the cable housing on your leg, waist and head units, but be warned, if you tear it or cut it in the wrong place, repairing it may not be easy. So be careful with those nippers.
Comprised of 12 separate runners, all of which are color separated, and one sticker sheet (alas, there are no waterslide decals in this kit) which is mostly focused on detailing the kit opposed to color correction, the Zaku Kai looks fantastic straight out of the box as a straight build with minimum effort. Such is the simple and militaristic design of all Zaku.
Should you feel the need to paint the kit, here’s the relevant paint scheme.
When it comes to the accessories that you can expect to find in the kit, you’ll be getting:
- Shoulder Shield – A shoulder mounted ballistic shield for protecting against conventional fire arms attacks.
- MMP-80 90mm Machine Gun / Underslung Grenade Launcher – A 90mm, magazine fed machine gun that has a greater rate of fire and improved armour penetration capabilities than the standard 120mm Zaku Machine Gun, it comes with an underslung Grenade Launcher for added offensive options.
- Heat Hawk – The standard melee weapon of the Zaku, the heat hawk takes the form of a thermally enhanced single bladed battle axe. The Zaku Kai uses a heat hawk with an extendable handle that allows the mobile suit to wield the weapon two handed.
- Grenades x 3 – The Zaku Kai come with a brace of three high explosive grenades that can be used in a manner similar to the standard stick grenade.
And that’s all that can be said about the unboxing of the RE/100 MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai, be sure to check back to see our overview of the finished kit soon!