Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Thu, 28 Dec 2000 09:47:26 -0800


Chungus writes,

>I have heard many different figures and want to see what other people got
>
>GMs Zakus Ms-14A
>2291 8124 740
>
>Gundam century (1971)

  Bless your little heart, Chungus - you know I love this kind of
question! :-)

  This topic has kept me up for many a night. In perfect honesty, I've
become convinced that the commonly-accepted numbers for mobile suit
production quantities and the numbers that participated in major battles
are grossly inflated (by as much as 10- or 20-fold). But here's what the
latest Bandai-endorsed figures say...

MS-14 GELGOOG
Some variation in the numbers here. Older sources - of which Gundam
Century was the first - give a total production run of 740 units, though
some claim that only 67 of these entered battle at A Bao A Qu. It's also
claimed that as many as 122 sets of Gelgoog Cannon conversion kits were
produced, but never installed.

  More recently, the MG Gelgoog kit manuals give the breakdown thusly: 83
A types, 67 B types, and 15 C types (the standard, High Mobility, and
Cannon types respectively). That's a total of 165 units, including the 25
YMS-14 prototypes in their various configurations. This tally apparently
doesn't include the 30-plus F types used by the Marines - as the MSV
Collection File explains, no documentation survived of the Marines and
their custom mobile suits, and the Gelgoog Marine is only known because
of its participation in Operation Stardust.

  This tally isn't incompatible with the earlier claims that only 67
Gelgoogs fought at A Bao A Qu...

RGM-79 GM
One older issue of B-CLUb estimated a total production run of 3800 for
these guys, but the MG kit manual and the MSV Collection File echo the
assertion of the classic MSV books, claiming that the total production
run was just 288 units, plus 42 pre-production ones. (I've come to think
that the latter 42 units must be the RGM-79[G] and [E] versions shown in
08th MS Team.) Since the MSV Collection File and MG kit manuals are
vetted by Bandai's Katsumi Kawaguchi, one of the most legendary Gundam
fans in history - he was a member of the Stream Base modeling trio, who
also prepared all the MSV background materials - I'm inclined to take his
word as gospel.

  Okay, so that's a total of 330 RGM-79 units. Admittedly it's a pretty
miniscule army with which to reclaim the Earth Sphere. But this total
presumably doesn't include variants like the Light Armor, Sniper Custom,
Commando, and Sniper II. There are also some 58 GM Cannons in the mix.
That means the Federation would have something on the order of 500 GM-
derived mobile suits, and those assigned to Operation Star One were also
accompanied by a roughly equal number of Balls for fire support.

MS-06 Zaku
The estimates for the Zaku have generally ranged between 3000 and 4000 -
Gundam Century's figure is at the extreme high end. It's generally agreed
that there were more than 800 MS-05 units - 27 A types and about 790 B
types - almost all of which had been phased out in favor of the MS-06C
Zaku II by the time the war began.

  Assuming that the C type's production run roughly matched that of the
MS-05 it was replacing - an assumption that isn't universally shared -
I'd guesstimate 800 C types. Add 114 D types, about 100 E types
(including 16 E-3 versions), 9 K types, 7 M types, 84 R types, 3 Z types,
and assorted other specialized variants (G, S, T, V, W, etc.). That gives
you well over 1100 units right there, plus a whole lot of J and F types.
Since the F type was supposed to account for at least half the Zaku II's
total production run, once you account for a substantial number of J
types for ground combat, I'd say the oft-cited figure of roughly 3200
starts looking like a conservative estimate. Add the 800 or so MS-05
units, and we have a total Zaku population of about 4000 - the high end
of the commonly-claimed figures.

  Naturally, this figure alone eclipses the Federation's meager mobile
suit production run. But remember, these 4000-plus Zakus were produced
over a span of a few years, and constant combat against the Federation's
conventional forces would lead to huge attrition rates. Almost 800 MS-05s
were obsoleted before the war even began; the C type Zaku IIs were pretty
much used up in the first month of the war. By the time the GM appeared,
there were probably only about a thousand Zakus left.

-- Mark

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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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