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Aug 7, 2013

1/144 RG MSZ-006 Zeta Gundam Review

Zeta Gundam

Hey guys! Apologies for the long absence in you've been following my blog reviews! (Thank you if you do by the way)

                      I never had any Real Grades before so this being my first one I am going to really lay                                                        everything straight out based on my first experience.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           What do you think of when Real Grade comes to mind?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Are you thinking of a model capable of realistic detail, features, and gimmicks that could rival a Master Grade?
I'll stop you there. No 1/144 scale could ever truly win against a 1/100However no High Grade ever had a full inner frame before either.                                                                                  Yes, you heard right. If you're unfamiliar with Real Grades, the Real Grade line takes 1/144 scale models to a whole new level.                                                                                                         The Real Grade line is still starting out but there are as of now 13 to choose from and the Zeta is Real Grade #10. 

Now let's see what's so special about this Real Grade!

Since this is the first real experience I had with a Real Grade I am going to break it all down and compare it with the usual 1/144 High Grades I am normally used to.

The detail on the RG Zeta compared to a HG Zeta is remarkable. The entire model consists of varying small pieces all making up one intricate design. Thus bringing out detail like you've never seen before for a 1/144 scale. The model also comes with stickers used to bring out more detail and add more of a depth. In short it brings out the detail and it makes the model close to realistic as it can get. I don't want to confuse you though. Just because the line is called Real Grade it doesn't mean you're ending up with one realistic finished model. Real Grades feature full inner frames never before seen in 1/144 scale and amazing quality in detail and features. They're like mini Master Grades. 1/144 scale can look good to only a certain level though. It's still a small size to really go to town on. 

The markings and with panel lines applied you really see the quality come out from the model. Which is why I recommend you panel line if you don't. The Zeta is most common for its transformation feature however. Bandai doesn't disappoint on that end though because this RG is the first to introduce a fully transformable frame. Thus you can transform it from mobile suit form to wave rider in you're choosing. 

In Short

Although the RG Zeta is remarkable for the quality in design and features there is one incredible flaw with it. The frame is very delicate. A 1/144 inner frame can't withstand pressure for a long time and you will eventually stress the frame or particular parts causing a broken model as a result. Many had issues including me in transforming the RG Zeta and ended up stressing or breaking their models. Therefore I am sad to say I cannot really go over wave rider in this review. The RG Zeta I have has stressed shoulder frames so if I attempt a transformation it could result in a break. 

How is the posing?

Have you ever seen lightning's photos of his RG models? These models are highly articulate and more advanced than regular HGs. Not only do you get a great quality in detail but the models offer more satisfaction. 

The RG Zeta comes with standard beam sabers, rifle, and shield. However the rifle also has a beam effect for added measure of awesomeness. The RG Zeta is capable of also doing a full kneeling pose as you see above. The true way of seeing if a 1/144 scale is good or not sometimes is to see if it can take a knee. At least that's how I test articulation. The RG is capable of more however though so not just a knee pose is in its bag of tricks. As a reminder it is a transformable model so it is one flexible beauty. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully I will have more experience with Real Grades in the future. As for the experience I have gained from my first I must say I am left with a craving for more. The Real Grades offer something unique in models. I never really expected a 1/144 scale inner frame to be quite successful. Of course with size comes the caution of being fragile but it is as good as it gets. I doubt there could be any better attempt at such a quality and detail. If I really had to nitpick the RG Zeta to satisfy those of you who want to know everything wrong with it I admit the transformation gimmick is slightly a downfall. Note this is the first RG to offer such a feature so it isn't going to be perfect. It doesn't feel solid enough. The chest has a habit of getting loose and open up as if its beginning to transform (if you touch and play with it too much like me). This is entirely opinionated of course many actually successfully transform their RG Zeta's without any issues. 

The bottom line of it all is get a RG based on what you like. I wanted more of a challenge and something that I could be proud of as is. (I am not going to paint any Real Grades I get) There are 13 in total to choose from as of now including the two latest ones which are the GP01's. The best one out of them all are the RG MK II Gundams. (I admit I probably would have loved those more than I did this one)

Recommended for Intermediate Levels. 

While you're at it check out my video review for more!

1/100 MG RGZ-95C ReZel Type C Defenser a+b Unit Review

ReZel Type C a+b Defenser

Time for another 1/100 review guys! (Man I am starting to like 1/100 scales more than my usual 1/144) 

The pictures don't give this one any justice. By far the biggest model I have ever built!

Just look at this monster. What's nice about this is the fact that Bandai threw in a back support stand to prevent it from falling over. (Man would it suck if it did I was taking pictures outside)

Quality of Detail

Ok so just by looking at the above pictures you can see the ReZel is fully loaded. The pictures display it in the b unit but it also has another unit to give it two forms. There is no rule though by the way you could interchange and combine one trait from both of the units to make a custom unit. (Ha take that imagination!)

Here comes a blast of reality though. No matter how badass the ReZel looks it won't make up for it's simplicity. The entire model has a bulky quality to it. Majority of the pieces are all bulky and big and it doesn't have enough of a intricacy. The backpack is a given on how huge it is. However it doesn't make up for the rest. The chest is by far the bulkiest piece. Then we have the arms and legs to look at. All together if I split up sections of the body I will only see the parts contrasting of a few small pieces and 2-3 big pieces making up the rest. 

You could say what's wrong with that? Well it's a Master Grade. I don't want to nitpick but I see a standard bar for MGs. I would have liked the model if it showed off more quality in the detail of it. It isn't something that can't be fixed with some custom scribed panel lines though. It just needs extra work to bring out more detail. In general if you ask me it's a oversized HG. (Yeah I said it, ....don't flame me) 

a+b Unit

Ok so I am going to cut straight to the main feature of this badass. The articulation is really a given it is more of a model that focuses on displaying it's weapons in an ordinary fashion so it won't be able to do anything extreme in posing if that's what you're wondering. It's not a statue though. You should expect Bandai to have standard features in articulation in their releases by now right?

a Unit

The a Unit seems more of a show off. The main feature is the two oversized rifles resting on it's shoulder. You can angle it and pose it like its attacking or being gripped by the hands because it has a hidden handle. Then we have the secondary weapon being the cannons on the side. At least I think they're cannons. They have a better range of movement so it could be posed to look like its about to hit you with a cannon. That's about it when it comes down to it. Going back to the size of it all I still see the size being a downfall. All of it just screams big plastic chunks that require scribing and pla plating for detail. (I am a detail freak)

b Unit

The b Unit looks better actually. Although the a Unit makes the ReZel badass, the b Unit makes it lighter and quicker on its feet. I personally would like to spam my opponents on the battlefield with missiles than spamming them with beams. The main part has 32 missiles together in all. The secondary has 16 missiles and a added bonus. If you think the b Unit could be vulnerable to close combat it makes up for it by holding two chopstick sized beam sabers. I do emphasize that. Simpler yet more appealing. Taste depends on the modeler probably. Either way you get a badass result. 

Of course besides the units the mobile suit would have a big opening if it didn't come with a standard rifle or shield. The beam sabers aren't given justice with that picture but it was the only way I could have captured the entire beam saber on camera. I must mention though I like how the shield not only acts as a shield but it can also shoot you down. Rifle shield is the best invention as of yet! 

Don't mind the perceptions lol I look at the design of the model in general and think of how it would be used in realistic scenarios. (Hence giving it more likeliness if you ask me)

Wave Rider

There isn't anything special about the wave rider per say. Not like you can move it. The ReZel comes with a wave rider action base peg that works on a action base 1. Just put it on and adjust the angle of the pose and you got a deadly force to reckon with. The rifles really look great in wave rider. I can't get enough of it. However the missiles also have a great look and especially when I put on the chopstick sabers. Definitely would want to avoid getting swiped by those. (It sucks that in series' in general the common faction designs always get destroyed by Gundams and the latter) Really cool design all together for the ReZel in both mobile suit and wave rider form. 

Final Thoughts

The ReZel is a badass don't let anything persuade you to think otherwise. However throughout this year we have seen some greats. The ReZel just doesn't qualify to be in that class though. Its not the best model of the year or the worst model of the year at that. With the prices to choose from in terms of Master Grades in general though there are better things to choose from. The ReZel is a solid model and the transformation is impressive. If I had to nitpick anything I would say the only downfall of this model is the huge plastic pieces which aren't as detailed as you want them to be. Some modifications are required to make this impressive. As is though the result just shows off the big guns. One thing I want to really make note of is that Bandai should be proud of this one. This is by far the first MG I have had the satisfaction of transforming. Nothing is wrong with it and it is solid. Comparing to something like the MG Age-2's transformation this has no issues with loose parts. It even has a locking gimmick to hold down the legs once transformed using the backskirt. 

Overall the ReZel is good but it still has room to be called great. The satisfaction level is there but in all honesty this was built in a day just because of how many bulky pieces it had and because of the simplicity. Simplicity is kind of a bad thing in models because if it goes over the line then it starts to leave a sour taste. Just looking at the price of this and if you decide to just leave it as is out of box then you will be wasting your money. Better choices are out there.

Recommended for Intermediate Levels

While you're at it check out my video review for more!