Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:15:46 -0700


Ricky Lai writes,

> I am sure nobody ever thought of standardizing the specs back then.
> Nevertheless, Bandai was bold enough to put out a 1:2400 model of the
> Gwazine, which is only slightly larger than the Zanzibar class of the
> same scale.

  True. The 290-meter figure was a reasonable estimate based on the model
kit (or vice versa). But I think the 0083 specs override these earlier
indicators - after all, it would be silly for the near-unique Gwazin to be
smaller than the common Magellan class...

> As for the Zanzibar class, we can be more certain that it is roughly
> 250 meters in length.

  Yeah, that figure's remained consistent from the Roman Albums through
0083.

> Despite Axis' shortage in resources, it is very much a force to be
> reckoned with in 0087. Otherwise, both Titans and AEUG would not have
> tried so desperately to ally with Axis.

  Yep, so we'd have to assume that the Axis has other ships that simply
aren't seen on-screen...

>> On the contrary - since we have actual line art for the Sadaran's MS
>> hangar, complete with MS dollies and tracks leading to the catapults,

> Granted. I'd love to see the line art though.

  It's been reprinted in a couple of books - probably the ZZ 100%
Collection, for starters. I'll dig up some sources later.

> Given that Sadaran is described as a well-rounded battleship, certainly
> its MS capacity should be more impressive.

  Not necessarily - like I was saying, ten mobile suits is quite a lot, more
than the Federation's Lar Kairam-class battleship and probably equal to Neo
Zeon's Reyullura. Any more than that, and it probably _would_ qualify as a
carrier...

> That is quite possible. But at least he was able to convince enough ships to
> quit the battle with him.

  Yep, and there's a good chance he picked up some more ships during his pit
stop at Granada.

> The Salamis isn't that small, I know that too from my model. But judging
> from its araments, it's hard not to question: "what were they thinking
> when they first designed it?"

  They were probably expecting to fight puny civilian ships and space
fighters - hence all the anti-aircraft gun turrets. Its design probably
indicates how badly the Federation underestimated its enemy. Still, the
basic design remains in service for another 80 years, so it can't be _that_
bad. In fact, it's the gun-packed Magellan that becomes obsolete and goes
out of service, replaced by more lightly-armed and versatile ships.

> The Musai is definitely small compared to the two U.N.T. ship types.
> However, I wonder if the Magellan class used in 0079 are designed to
> accomodate MS's. If not, then it is only natural for it to possess
> more firepower than the MS-carrying Musai.

  The Magellan was designed before the creation of mobile suits, and isn't
able to carry them. It's basically a gunboat, kinda like Zeon's older
Chibe-class heavy cruisers (which _were_ subsequently upgraded to carry
mobile suits).

Scott DiBerardino writes,

>> Granted. I'd love to see the line art though.

> Doesn't the old Side 3 government have some Musai cruisers in Z Gundam?
> There's line art for a Z-era Musai in any case.

  I think I see the confusion here - Ricky was listing the quoted text
_after_ his response, so his "line art" reference was to the Sadaran, not
the Musai. :-)

> The Salamis has 7 main guns covering every possible arc of fire. The Musai
> has 3 double main guns, with nothing to cover their aft. The Musai, unlike
> the Salamis, notably lacks any reasonable anti-MS armament, other than its
> own MS (which we shouldn't discount).

  Right. One of the original combat roles of the Zaku was to guard Musai
cruisers - that was before the Zeons realized that the Zaku was a capable
weapon in its own right. Once the tactics changed to send mobile suits ahead
into battle, Zeon's ships started to look pretty vulnerable.

  (And on the other hand, the MSV Collection File also indicates that Zeon's
early mobile suit tactics were based on having a cruiser available to serve
as artillery - once mobile suits started fighting independently, they needed
heavier weapons to attack enemy ships.)

  The Federation designs, which have gun turrets guarding all angles and
lots of anti-aircraft guns, are more self-sufficient. It's worth noting that
this thinking was used for almost all post-One Year War ships - even Zeon's
later designs, like the Gwazin and Doros, are designed along these lines.
The Musai, designed to stand back from battle behind a mobile suit escort,
actually appears to have been a tactical failure!

-- Mark, who will one day write a whole essay on Gundam Tactics

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