Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 17 May 1999 01:22:01 -0700


Probe writes,

> Yeah, I was just reading Mark's synopsis of the 1YW Zeon mecha. The Zaku
>is semi-realistic, being based on the Zaku-I which was designed before the
>war. But during the war it gets pretty damn wacky! There's even a MS
>that's "Conceived" in August, and has production units being produced in
>September! Damn that's fast!

  Yes, way too fast. But it's possible to construct more plausible
development timetables for these things.

  Take the (heavily documented) Gelgoog. Supposedly, the project began as
early as April, with the goal of creating a successor to the Zaku for
space combat. By August/September, the design was nearly finalized and a
testbed mockup (the Zaku R-2P) had been constructed. Then they suddenly
decide they need to give it beam weapons, and the project gets delayed
another couple of months; the beam weapon-capable prototype rolls out in
October, the weapons therefore arrive at the end of November, and mass
production begins in early December. That's an eight-month process,
including a last-minute feature change.

  What about, say, the Dom? Despite the dates given in the CD-ROM and
elsewhere, there's no evidence that mass production began prior to
October, and they don't start showing up in the field until November. But
Zimmad Co. had supposedly been working on the hovercraft technology since
late 0078, and the effort to create a competitor to the Zaku and its
cousins for land combat likely began around April, in the wake of the
Earth invasion. That's maybe six months from conception to production,
not too far out of whack with reality.

  What of the amphibious mobile suits? Again, April seems a likely
starting point. The MS-06M Zaku Marine Type was developed at Side 3 and
tested inside colonies with artificial lakes, and it wasn't until the
prototypes were transferred to Earth in the wake of the invasion that
their suckiness became apparent. In reaction to this we get the MSM
family, developed in parallel by three different manufacturers, and none
of them appear in the TV series until November. The Gog is supposed to
have furnished feedback for the Acguy and Zugok, so it must have preceded
them by a few weeks at least, but that still gives you five or six months
to create the Gog and another couple of months to roll out the other two.

  The real crash program is, of course, Operation V. The Federation takes
a bunch of low-priority development projects, puts them on the front
burner in April, and has a complete set of prototypes by July!

-- Mark

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