My review for today is the HGUC Zaku II FZ or Kai if you prefer (Kai sounds cooler than FZ: D) that appeared in the MS Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket OVA, piloted by Bernard “Bernie” Wiseman. This Zaku belongs to the Zaku “F” series, and towards the end of the One Year War, Zeon decided to improve its designs by incorporating similar technologies and features across various production lines. Thus the Zaku F was upgraded to the Zaku FZ (Kai), which had an improved cockpit system and much more thrust power. This made the Zaku Kai much more effective, but at the cost of half the usual operation time, since all that thrust would drain it. As a result only a handful was produced and saw limited combat at the end of the war. Ever since I had watched the OVA I had decided this was my favorite Zaku variation, and as such decided to get the HGUC kit. I mean besides the fact that Bernie was my favorite character in 0080, he goes toe-to-toe with the NT-1 Alex Gundam and wrecks it pretty bad before dying against it (;_____; you have to watch the OVA it’s so sad…)..Using the Zaku Kai.
To jump right into the review, the Zaku Kai is nice sturdy little kit with a nice amount of detail. The head is on a ball joint and can turn its head side to side. It can probably go as far as a 360 degree turn, but the power tubes obstruct it, and will probably cause the head to come off XD. The ball joint can swing a bit to the front and back, so the head moves forward and back a bit. The arms are attached on pegs that scan swivel a bit up, down, forward, and back. The arms themselves can bend at 90 degrees and the left shoulder armor and shield on the right are attached via ball joints. The torso can rotate very little due to being obstructed by the power tubes (again -_____-) but it can swing back and forth a bit. The front skirt armors are attached together but can be lifted up with almost no problem to allow the leg so swing forward. The waist itself is pretty simple, BUT the pegs where the legs attach to can swing forward! Usually this is implemented on MG’s as a way to make the legs swing forward even more, so for a simpler one to be done on an HG is a really neat feature. This allows it for it to be able to be posed sitting on the floor sort of laying back. Of course because this a simple feature, the pegs tend to swing very easily when any of the legs are moved, but it’s not a big deal as it will not cause any problem while standing it up. The legs are nice and sturdy and are double jointed, but it cans still only het about 90 degrees when bended, and no; the power tubes aren’t what impede more bending XD. Lastly the feet are on a ball joint so it can move around and also the feet can swing out a bit more forward, a nice little detail.
In terms of accessories, the Zaku Kai doesn’t have much. It carries the generic Zaku heat hawk which can be mounted on the butt plate via a piece that clips on to the heat hawk, and pegs into the butt plate.
Although not technically an accessory, it brings three grenades that are molded together and attached to the right skirt armor on the waist.
Then there’s the MMP-80 90mm Machine gun. I personally think it looks better than the generic Zaku machinegun, plus this one sports a grenade launcher (noob-tubing anyone? >:D) and just generally looks like a much more badass machine gun to carry around.
Not much to say about the shield though. It’s attached to the right shoulder so the Zaku doesn’t have to physically hold it with its hand. Other than that there’s nothing else to say...it’s a light shield that shields against…stuff. Although it would be interesting to say that maybe this Zaku should’ve had a bigger shield given it was produced towards the end of the one-year war. I mean at first Zaku’s didn’t need heavy shields since the Earth Federation didn’t really have anything strong enough to really damage a Zaku.
Lastly there’s the B-type helmet. Not sure if you could count this as an accessory, but it was an extra head none the less. I really don’t like it because of the way the helmet is. I would have preferred the traditional Commander’s horn thing instead.
There aren't really many cons to this kit. It’s an HG so you can’t expect perfection. Everything is articulated nicely. I guess an only con would be that the power tubes often obstruct Zaku pose ability.
Overall this is a fantastic HG and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes Zaku’s or HG’s as a matter of fact. It’s simple yet sturdy design allows you to play with it at will to get some really interesting poses in. Plus you can get this guy for ~$13, a really nice and affordable price for an HG!
And there you have it! Personally, I quite like the Zaku II FZ's design [Zakus as a whole have really grown on me :D ]. It looks like a pretty nifty kit, but I much prefer the B type helmet over the regular Zaku head xD. But that's really all I've got to say on the HG Zaku II FZ! See you all next Friday~!