Nicholas \ (echofox@wingzero.net)
Sun, 11 Mar 2001 20:37:08 -0800


It's been a while since we all did a little technical nitpicking, so here's
something that's been bugging me for a while.

Back in First Gundam, the RX-78 and the GM's all carried those hexagonal red
Feddie shields. Ignoring the very giggle-worthy image of the Gundam holding
the shield in front of it and peering through the hole, it was pretty
obvious what the shield did. Beam weapons weren't yet in widespread use, so
it was able to absorb the impact of ballstic weapons and could be sacrificed
to a swinging heat hawk which was able to slice through it.
08th MS team has very, very small shields ... little bits of metal strapped
to their forearms, really. This makes quite a bit of sense, though, since
they're subject to gravity, and carrying around a few tons of (more or less)
dead weight would certainly have a negative impact on performance..
Onto 0080 and 0083, we see even larger shields being carried by the GM's and
extendable shields by the GP-01. The GP-02's huge shield had an obvious
function (protecting it from the nuclear blast). Shields are plenty large
and seem to be useful in blocking stray shots, especially since beam weapons
aren't commonplace yet.
By Zeta Gundam things have changed. The Mk.2 carries a more modern version
of the original Feddie shield that is able to extend to a larger height for
use, and a smaller size when not needed. The Zeta's shield, however, is
very, very small. Beam weapons are plentiful so the usefulness of a shield
is questionable indeed. So, does the Zeta carry a shield for any reason
other than it forms part of the Wave rider? I can't see it blocking too many
shots ... about the only thing I can think of is it could be used as a
sacrifice in hand to hand combat, intercepting a swinging melee weapon.
Hopping forward to CCA, we find the Nu Gundam (And the Sazabi, for that
matter ... not too many Zeon MS's have had shields, with the most obvious
exception being the Gelgoog) again sporting a huge shield. In an age of fin
funnels and beam weapons for the masses, did it really serve any great
purpose?
Zoom even further into the future to F91 era and we at least have beam
shields, which make the most sense ... being able to block beam weaponry
shields once again have a use.

So ... early in UC, shields make sense (Except on land), and late in UC,
beam shields also make sense ... but in the middle years, where beam
weaponry became common and heavy armor a hindrance, why were they still
used, other than for aesthetic reasons?

---
Nicholas "Echo|Fox" Paufler
http://www.outlawstar.org - The Unofficial Home of Outlaw Star
"Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Study hard. Be evil."
"Hail Eris ... All hail Discordia ... Hail, she what done it all!"

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