Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Sun, 29 Oct 2000 11:18:16 -0800


Lim Jyue writes,

> The great Mark Simmons denigns to grace his presence in a thread I
>started! =)

  Aw, c'mon... with the words "One Year War" and "Grand Re-unification
Idea", it was only a matter of time. :-)

> Okie. I've done up the Gelgoog table too, just to make sure:
>
> MS-14B OYW 76.8 79,900 1.04

  Note that the thrust is exactly 30% higher than the regular Gelgoog -
the same increase originally claimed for Char's Zaku II.

> MS-14F 0083 81.3 55,000 0.68
> MS-14Fs 0083 80.0 89,500 1.12

  Note again the halving of the Fs type's thrust (relative to the
Jaeger). The regular Marine type is clearly underpowered - its
performance is supposed to be comparable to that of the B type. So, in
contrast to the 0080 specs, the Zeon mobile suits from 0083 are _underspec'd_.

> However, the claims of a Gelgoog being a Zeon Gundam-equivalent is a
>bit suspect, since the base type, the MS-14A, could not match a RX-78 in
>this department. Both the B-type, a high mobility type, and the C-type, a
>cannon(!) type can match a Gundam, but those are specialized units. Heck, a
>GM could outrun a A-type. =) Hmm. Is it me, or is the GM built for running?

  It's complicated by the fact that the Zeon mobile suits have
historically been credited with waaaay too much propellant, pushing their
full weight up so high that their thrust-to-weight ratios become
pathetic. The commonly-accepted specs for the standard One Year War
mobile suits (Zaku, Gouf, Dom, Gelgoog, GM, et al) were first published
in The Anime's third Z Gundam book, where a footnote explains that they
made the numbers up themselves, inspired by Gundam Century.

  Problem is that The Anime's writers gave the later Zeon suits - the
Rick Dom and Gelgoog - more than 30 tons of "payload" (weapons +
propellant). However, Z-era suits like the Rick Dias are supposed to
carry _more_ propellant than their One Year War ancestors. Using the mass
ratio stats (on which more later), we get figures like these...

  Mobile Suit Weapons Propellant Total Payload
  RGM-79R GM II 5.0 t 13.2 t 18.2 t
  RMS-117 Galbaldy Beta 6.0 t 14.6 t 20.6 t
  RMS-106 Hizack 6.0 t 14.9 t 20.9 t
  RX-178 Gundam Mark II 4.1-4.3 t 16.4 - 16.6 t 20.7 t
  RMS-099 Rick Dias 6.0 t 16.5 t 22.5 t

  So, at the start of Z Gundam we have a pretty narrow range of
propellant capacities - 13 tons on the low end, 16 tons on then high end.
The Gelgoog, which shouldn't carry much more weapons payload than the
Galbaldy Beta, would be carrying about _25 tons_ of propellant judging
from The Anime's specs. Conclusion? The full weights of the Zeon mobile
suits are about ten tons too heavy. If their weights were more sensible,
their performance would be a lot better.

> Is there another (book) source for the full-weight and thrust of the
>MS? I happen only to have the Gundam Mechanics and MSVs, so I could only
>corelate from these.

  None that's really reliable - the MS Encyclopedia is rife with errors,
and with each edition they accumulate more. I tend to go back to the
primary sources - publications released while the show was on the air -
but most people don't have a Gundam library like mine. (Hint: I have
pretty much every book listed in the Gundam Project's goods section.)

> Eh? Really? I could only get the full weight from the Mecha Domain,
>since Gundam Mechanics didn't have the Quell, and MSV only supplied the base
>weight.

  The GM Quel specs on the Mecha Domain aren't correct... Burke must have
got them from the Z Gundam Data Collection. The MSV editors referred back
to the original specs (printed in one of Keibunsha's Gundam 0083 books,
among other places). You'll note they list different (and more
reasonable) values for thruster and generator output.

> Most sources I've seen don't even have the thrust rating. Since it
>appears for all of about 5 minutes, and a shot-up one at that, I suspect
>that the E didn't really exist... except in the imagination of the 08MST
>creators, who just needed a new space GM. =)

  Yeah, pretty much. They repurposed the GM Kai design (erasing all the
verniers from the line art, as you can see in one of the Data Collection
books) and threw it into the first episode because it looked cooler. The
[E] designation, like much of the other mecha back story from 08th MS
Team, was a hasty retcon after they realized how much they were screwing
with the continuity. :-)

> This is true, but not necessarily a good indicator (to what?). For
>example, although the GM Sniper II has a third more thrust than the Sniper
>Custom, the Sniper II actually came from RGM-79GS, not from the Sniper
>Custom. The relationship breaks down there, as the Sniper has about 1.38
>times more thrust than a GS-type.

  True, true. I could argue that the G and GS types are a bit
overpowered, but that would be a stretch. :-)

> Although it retains most of the thrusters of the unarmoured Alex, it
>only has 6 additional small thrusters to bring an additional 42,000 kg worth
>of thrust. While not impossible, it seems unlikely and thus suspect.

  No, it's true - the original specs list an extra six 7,000-kilogram
thrusters for the Full Armor Alex. Remember what I said about primary
sources. :-)

> Incidentally, the 146,000kg figure tallies in both Gundam Mechanics
>and MSV.

  Yes, and they're both wrong. They probably copied the info from the
error-riddled MS Encyclopedia, which lists the Full Armor Alex's
thrusters as "Normal mode + 7,000 kg x 2".

> Again, it's pretty ludicrous. However, we now have a problem, as
>Gundam Mechanics pegged it at 144,000kg, MSV at 180,000kg and Mark Simmons
>(^_^) at 234,000kg. Since IIRC we never saw the GP01Fb in a drag race with
>any other MS, we can't really peg the thrust properly.

  The original specs list the thrusters as 45,000 kg x 4 (in backpack)
and 13,500 kg x 4 (in feet and legs). The MSV editors have an excuse,
since their specs are labeled "main thrusters", so they just counted the
four 45,000-kilogram thrusters to get 180,000 kg. The Gundam Mechanics
staff are just being sloppy, which is a major problem with that series.

> Opps! The MSV has the 2,265,000kg figure. The Gundam Mechanics
>apparently missed the leading 2.. =)

  Yep, just plain sloppy. Gundam Mechanics is a nice reference for large
color pictures, but I wouldn't rely on anything printed on the backs of
those cards. :-)

> Franz Co mentioned that the MS Encyclopedia '98 had the Ex8 at 53.3
>tons, which makes it heavier than the standard RX-79[G].

  They were guessing (the figures are labeled as "estimates"). The Ez8
model kit came out right around the same time, establishing the official
specs, which have been echoed in all subsequent publications.

> Ehm.. Doesn't that means the Flight-type Gouf is a flying fuel tank?

  Nope, it's jet-propelled, so it mostly uses air for reaction mass. (The
backpack and skirt thrusters may be regular rockets, but it has so much
thrust that it may be able to hover using the leg jets alone.)

-- Mark

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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