Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Mon, 8 Nov 1999 16:05:50 -0800


>Even though several source books lists the GM as having titanium ceramic
>armor. I find it difficult to believe that their armor is so much better
>than their Jion counterpart MS-06F/J which only has High Tension Steel armor
>yet, for the most part, the GMs were getting their asses kicked by the
>Zakus.

The GMs were developed much later than the Zaku IIs, so it's plausible that
the Federation would want better armor material than what the Zaku IIs have.
Of course, taking into account the inexperience of most GM pilots compared
to Zeon pilots, that kind of balances things out when they face off Zeon
suits, even the Zaku IIs.

>sometimes I wonder if the tech boys at Bandai knows what the hell they're
>doing. :P

As far as their English stuff goes, the answer is an obviously NO.

>By the way.. what exactly does the J, F, S, FZ prefix standfor? I think F
>stands for Final and S stands for Special, but I have no idea where the hell
>the J and FZ fit into all of this.

The FZ simply means this is the final model of the Zaku II - Z being the
last letter in the alphabet. The F/J suffix was used to designate the two
basic variants of the grunt Zaku IIs - F for space-combat and J for ground-
combat variants. The S is reserved for officer/commander's use. MSV opens
a new can of worms by introducing more wild variants:

D Desert type, with extra heat vents and head-mounted vulcans, and a
        hip-mounted grenade box, plus a forearm-mounted missile launcher.
        A modified version appeared in ZZ.

E Recon type. Has cameras mounted on its shoulders, pelvis area, and
        where te monoeye used to be. Two major verniers at its chest (where
        the Gundam's chest vent would be located at), is apparently unarmed,
        because the handgun it carriers is also a camera IIRC. The E-3
        variant, called the "Flipper", has a different head which now sports
        a three camera array, and a new backpack equipped with fins (not fin
        funnels!). This one is probably a high mobility version of the
        original Recon type.

F The F suffix was originally reserved for the Mine Layer, which has a
        huge backpack to carry space mines. I am not sure how Bandai
        reconciles this with their MG introduction of the F suffix to
        designate the space combat variant.

K Shoulder-mounted cannons, mostly deployed in the North America area.
        Has missile launchers on the hips, mounted sort of like the F-91's
        VSBR. Not sure if this appeared in Zeta Gundam as well.

M Marine type. Has optional chest-mounted torpedo launcher. Probably
        a costly lesson for Zeon before they realized a more smooth type of
        body frame is required for amphibious suits. A blue version
        appeared in ZZ.

R high mobility - there are tons of variants within this category:
        R-1 for Shin Matsunaga's and other earlier variants, R-1A for the
        improved version used by the Black Tri-Stars, and R-2 for the
        Gelgoog testbed guts in a Zaku II armor, one of which was piloted by
        Johnny Ridden. There's also the beam weapons test type variant,
        and several ace custom suits here. The HJ Gundam Weapons issue for
        the MG MS-06R kits is a good visual guide to this series. Note that
        in the original MSV materials, Shin Matsunaga's R suit was a R-1A,
        but the MG kit release changed it to an inferior R-1 instead.

V Tank. Basically a Zaku II head with a very skeletal upper torso
        mounted on the tank portion of the Magella Attack tank. Most likely
        used for repair and maintenance duties and is not very combat
        worthy. IIRC it also appeared in Zeta Gundam.

W Worker. Has no shield or shoulder armor. Never released as a plastic
        injection kit probably because it has no weapons. :) It actually
        looked more like a Zaku I, especially its head.

Z Psycommu System Testbed. This one was like a legged version of the
        MSN-01, which yielded the MSN-02 Ziong.

>Since the J stats is slightly worse than
>the F in 8th, I surmise its an older version of the Zaku, maybe an
>intermediary between the MS-05 and the MS-06F which is the standard.

J is just the ground combat version of the F, I'd blame the inferior
performance on gravity.

>Since
>in 0080, the tech boys went on a German Frenzy (Kampfer, Jager, etc..) the
>FZ may be German for something.

You can still catch some of that German Frenzy in the MG Black Tri-Stars
kits (MS-05B, MS-06R-1A, and Dom).

Eddie

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