Mark Simmons (
Mon, 8 Nov 1999 16:31:12 -0800

Eddie writes,

>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.

  The use of "F" to denote the space combat version goes back to Gundam
Century, and was echoed in the MSV line. The Minelayer doesn't have its
own letter because it's a simple equipment swap - just an alternate
backpack for the standard F type, as is pointed out in the accompanying
kit manual. The Minelayer kit was basically an excuse to put out a better
kit of the standard Zaku. :-)

>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.

  It did, but for no plausible reason...

>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.

  Both the V and W types are recycled battle-damaged Zakus, now good only
for non-combat engineering work. They include parts from all kinds of
Zakus - note that the MS-06V from 08th MS Team is based on the MS-05 Zaku
I - and the model numbers are little more than unofficial nicknames.
(Incidentally, Bandai was planning to release a kit of the W type, but
decided to wind down the MSV series and get ready for MS-X and Z Gundam
instead - you'll see blueprints for the W type on the Gundam Shop CD-ROM.)

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

  Or the other way 'round - one unit of the Z type was given boosters in
place of legs, and renamed the MSN-01. (This happened around the same
time the MS-16 project was changed to the model number MSN-02.)

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

  The Black Trinary Zaku I kit still amuses me - what a convoluted excuse
they came up with to do it in the black-and-purple colors! :-)

-- Mark

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