Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Thu, 13 Jan 2000 15:56:00 -0800

>Thought you fellas might like a peek at this.
>From: "James E. \"ZEE\" Doyle" <superwombat@earthlink.net>
>Newsgroups: rec.arts.anime.models
>Subject: (REVIEW) Master Grade ZZ GUNDAM 1/100 scale model kit (LONG)

>Review: Master Grade series -MSZ-010 ZZ GUNDAM-
>1/100 scale plastic model kit by Bandai


>Opening this box reveal parts. Lots of parts. A virtual SEA of parts.

One problem I had was with the packaging. The kit came with 4 sets of
metal screws, which came in its own little plastic bag. I dunno what the
guys at Bandai were smoking, but (1) the little plastic bag is NOT sealed,
allowing the metal screws to leave the little bag. The big bag that
contains the little bag and parts had HOLES punched on it, thus after some
shipping or shuffling the metal screws and screw mounts were all over the
box. A big no-no considering model kits don't come shrinkwrapped in Japan
(those are applied by importers/US distributors). If you buy this kit,
make sure you inspect the box contents and check that all screw sets are
accounted for before forking over the dough.


>(there is a bonus
>booklet of some sort featuring the ZZ on the cover which, sadly, did not
>come with my kit... I suspect it was harvested from the box before I
>bought it).

It is the MG Catalog which came with 1st pressings of the MG ZZ Gundam kit.
If you bought your MG ZZ kit from Legends then you don't have it. I've put
a copy up on eBay (currently on auction, see the URL below in my .sig) if
anyone wants it but don't feel like buying the kit. More shameless plug...
I've got a sealed copy of the Official Guide Mook to Mika "MS Girls"
Akitaka's Galaxy Fraulein Yuna on eBay now too.

>Several times I sand the posts on parts E22, to no real avail. The
>polycap gets stuck again and torn up again as it's placed and removed
>several times in a row. I decide to let it wait. E22 and E23 are
>ridiculously tight fits. Same deal with the other heel unit. Sometimes I
>hate snap-fit model kits.

Yeek, I wonder if it is due to bad design or production quality problems?

>Continuing on: the soles of the feet are another overly tight fit...
>could this be a rushed tooling job?

Very possible, considering how accelerated MG releases have become - we
used to be teased for months with sketches and prototype photos of
upcoming MG kits in Hobby Japan, but that hasn't been the case for most
of this year's releases.

>needless to say I've never
>spent so much time on the floor looking for lost parts for one kit as I
>have with this one.

Uh oh, and I thought the MG Zaku IIs were bad with all their conductive
cable tubes...

>Note: do NOT be like your faithful reviewer and try to build this stage
>of the kit over deep shag carpet. I never did find two of those washers
>again. And no, the kit cannot be built without them, and no, Bandai is
>not generous enough to provide 2 or 3 extra for you.

You can order replacement parts from www.hlj.com.

>Construction woes do not end there. As I am pushing the yellow thruster
>insert into the rear shin armor (part E7), the pressure of my fingers
>causes the top half of the thin part to almost snap clean off.

Yikes! Sounds like a kit from design hell the more I read on!

>The MG ZZ is beginning to ride that fine edge between "challenging" and
>"f*cking nightmare".

You mentioned test fitting... I am just kind of wondering, is this standard
procedure? I never test-fit parts because there is no need. The assembly
instructions give me a good enough idea. In fact, with snap-together kits,
you probably _don't_ want to test fit as it is more time consuming.

>I notice that the calf armors have tiny panels that plug into hidden
>polycaps. These serve no useful purpose here, but could easily hold
>additional armor parts to the leg, so I am taking this as a pretty clear
>sign that a FULL-ARMOR ZZ kit is, if not inevitable, certainly a strong

Sounds good... knowing Bandai, it will not be a FAZZ armor option, but a
full kit with the damn ZZ included, pushing the price tag to 6000 yen or
above. ARGH!

>On to the core fighter: actually, this kit provides parts for a fully
>transformable core fighter as well as a folded-up core block, but only
>the fighter is molded in full color. You can assemble the robot using
>the transformed core fighter, but the fit to the upper body half is
>ridiculously tight (prepare for scratched-off paint if you insist on
>doing this).

Looks like no matter how much MG kits have come a long way technology-
wise, they still haven't figured out a solution that'd prevent paint

>The core block is molded in white, with the fighter's nose
>in red, and indeed lacks much detail at all. However, it fits into the
>robot halves much more cleanly and looks better than the folded-up
>fighter, and the tiny pilot figure is properly situated in an upright
>position. Besides, when it's inserted into the upper body, you can't
>tell that the blue and yellow bits are missing.

"Somebody's cheating...!" - James Belushi, "The Principal"

>.... you know, this model is now officially a pain in my ass, I think. I
>am growing tired of its many and sundry parts and its many and sundry
>flaws. I want this to be over. Now. This isn't fun anymore....

Perhaps paying closer attention to the assembly instructions in the first
place would have helped the situation? I have a friend who puts together
Gundam kits without assembly manuals either, but the ZZ is quite different
in design from the general, non-transforming suits.

>I'm reminded of a quote to the effect of "I can't even do something I
>LIKE for 12 hours straight"
> Sheeesh!!!

If you've put together a PG Gundam, how did the experience compare?


(major snippage)

Looks like they worked a lot on interior/minor details and the
transformation system but didn't do a good job on balancing and a
visual makeover.

>Also, this kit
>sports far less visible panel-line detail than even the original, and in
>my opinion it could sorely use some.

LESS panel-line detail than even the original?! What kind of MG kit is
this? Should we call it a First Grade retooling?!

>Something tells me another month in
>development might have done wonders for this kit.

Obviously rushing it out for a December release helps cashing in for
the holiday shopping season, not to mention the company's 4th quarter


I am a bit confused here. Are you saying that the design allows for
great articulation, but due to joint problems it's not possible to
maintain these cool poses?


I have a feeling that the MG ZZ came out as a major disappointment
because model makers are less experienced in designing it - the
basic RX-78-2 or Zeta have been popular, and there have been numerous
releases over the years in both plastic injection and GK formats.
Sculptors and designers have years of designing lessons learned with
these designs, but not so with the ZZ, and a transforming one at that.

Thanks for a candid and detailed review!


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