Thursday, May 21, 2015

[Unboxing] Bandai HG Gundam The Origin MS-06S Zaku II

3x The Normal Speed

Time for another unboxing.  This time, something familiar to everyone - Char's Zaku II from the Gundam The Origin storyline!

I was actually not originally planning to get this kit, but when I saw my supplier posted that they have on-hand stocks fresh from Japan, I was tempted.  Then, I saw that they also got the Zaku II Folder included, I said to myself, Let's go get it, もらわなくていけないぜ! I contacted my supplier and got the kit delivered the next day.

By the way, my supplier is Genki Panda
Genki Panda Logo
 Click here for their FB page and to contact them for your Gunpla and other Plamo needs.  I already got a few kits and tools from them.  They get their products directly from Japan and depending on their vendor in Japan, they will price the product as close to the real retail Yen price as best as they can (of course, they will put their own charges so they would profit but it's not that much). Their selections and customer service is so far the best if not one of the best.  With new kits coming, I expect buying more from them (I actually have a backorder of Advanced Hazel, hopefully coming this July).  Anyway, let's proceed to the kit itself.


We all know what the Zaku II is.  It was the first Mobile Suit ever to appear in the Gundam Universe, at least in the TV shows.  It is the basic grunt suit of the Principality of Zeon during U.C. 0079.  It was also technically Char's first featured Mobile suit (in the TV series) and was customized so that Char's skills can be maximized.  The Zaku II is available in HG, MG, PG and also it has variations like the Shin Matsunaga custom, Johnny Ridden, etc - all of which are customized according to their owner's skill or general use in the battlefield.
This 2015, we got to see a new OVA movie based on the Universal Century series and it's supposed to be a series of OVA movies based on Gundam The Origin.
Picture from Wikipedia
Frau Bow looks more voluptuous here and where's Amuro's other hand going to?
 As far as I understood it, Gundam The Origin is the manga serialization of the original Gundam anime series.  If I understood it correctly, Gundam The Origin actually started like it did in the anime; it started with Amuro's story arc and his misadventures in his hometown Side 7 colony, where he encountered and first piloted the RX-78.  Gundam The Origin follows the 0079 story specially the chronicles of the One Year War.  The movie that was released this year (2015) is basically following the story of a later arc in this series which tells Char's story.  I am not quite sure if they will only make the movies within this story arc of if we will get to see Amuro in the big screen as well.  My guess is just the former.
Now in terms of mecha lineup, there are a few new stuff but the same usual things we already are familiar with should be expected (Zaku, Gouf, etc - just like in the anime).  The only changes I know is that they tweaked the mecha design a bit.  One example is this Zaku II, aside from new armaments, Zaku II's now have vulcan cannons equipped on their bodies.  Also by default, they look like RG's now, with more panel lines and warning marks.  Another thing I saw is the Gundam itself.
It is now named RX-78-'02', take note of the 02, it is now double-digit.  It descended from the RX-78-01 which looks like a yellow GM.  I think it has a new extra vulcan cannon on its torso and also has a default grenade launcher at its back.  The fix figuration version of this is actually appealing and not that expensive too.  Now why am I telling you this info?  This is because this is the reason why Bandai released a new HG line.

This new Zaku II HG Kit (Char's Zaku II) is the kit form of the Zaku II's design in the Gundam The Origin storyline.  It is no longer in the HGUC line and designated as HG Gundam The Origin line with this Zaku II numbered as 001.  002 is also already out and it's the Guntank Early version which Casval Rem Deikun piloted (at least as a gunner) - Genki Panda also already had this in stock.  I don't think I'll be getting that Guntank yet, as I don't feel like building model tanks yet xD.  Anyway, 003, I believe is one of the Black Star Trio Zaku II High Mobility.  Gouf and that Worker/Construction mobile suit is also in the pipeline.  Now, I am not sure if they will be making HG kits for Gundam The Origin even after the movies are done (specially if they will only cover Casval's story arc).  I hope they do, so we could get also get an RX-78-02.  I haven't read the manga yet but I am sure there are a lot 'updated' mobile suits that they will release in this line.
Let's not delay this further - let's proceed to the kit itself.

Box Art

 The top box art (or the front of the box, if you'd like).  It features the Zaku II's as Char rapes Federation ships one after the other.
Box Top
This side has the same art as with the opposite side
 *These two sides feature a puttied, finished and painted kit, so don't expect you'll end up with the same results unless you intend to paint it at least.
The box size is that of normal HG kits as you may be able to tell.


I actually found a lot a lot 'irregularly' shaped runners.  Also, unless I missed on some details, I believe all runners are unique to this Zaku II The Origin and I didn't see any re-used runners from old kits telling us that this is Bandai's new casting technique.  We'll most like see this in future kits even outside this series.
 A1 runner is in that Dark Salmon Red color.  You'll also see other runners for the armor pieces in this color as well.
A2 runner is the first Maroon or Mahogany colored runner.  This color is used on other runners as well.
B1 is in panzer/german gray colors for the feet and knee armor panels.
I am actually intrigued with the C-runner, it feels like the normal PS plastic but you are supposed to manipulate those tubes to get them in to place in the final assembly.
Foil Stickers
Foil stickers for the mono-eye and one for the gun camera.
Clear sticker seals
They provided a clear sticker sheet for the markings.  It actually looks like a trimmed-down version of the RG-version of the Zaku II.  I asked Samuel of Samuel Decals if he already made water-slides for this kit but unfortunately, none as of yet.  He asked me if I could scan this so he could make a water-slide version.  I just sent him the scan two days ago and hopefully he'll be able to make one in a few days more.
Manual - nothing special, just your normal HG manual


Some trivial things that came with the box:

These are just leaflets that came with box.  The 1st two pics are just promotional leaflets for the upcoming Revival series Bandai will be releasing.  It also indicates information on the Gunpla Expo Tour going on this year.  The 3rd is just a 2D-barcode if you want to answer surveys for Bandai.  This is for Japan-use only.

Now this one is I guess what made me get this kit early.  This Zaku II Folder:
If I read the Japanese promotional posters correctly, you get this folder along with the kit if you get it during its 1st run (or 1st batch of its print).  I am not sure if this is a pre-order bonus because my supplier just got this as a normal supply from their vendor so I am guessing it's just a limited bonus for the 1st batch of this kit.  This is actually just one part of a 2-part folder.  The other part is if you get the bluray or DVD release of first OVA of this series.  You're supposed to put that other folder over this one to complete the 'look'.  Money-grabbing schemes by Bandai - exploiting the words 'exclusive', 'limited' and the likes.

My thoughts about this kit as it is right now

They've said that Bandai is using a new moulding technique or process for this one.  I am not sure because this is my first HG Zaku II so I have no point of reference.  In the end, this is just another variation of this iconic mobile suit.  I have read the manual beforehand and I found that this is just a typical HG and I saw that I will still have some seamline removals in the horizon.  Then again, if you don't have an HG Zaku II yet, get this.  Otherwise, the only reason you'll even want to consider getting this is if you'll be able to get the folder from your supplier as well for collecting sake.  I personally got it because of the folder and its sniper rifle, and also for the fact that I don't have an HG Zaku II yet.  But still, this is a potentially great looking kit - I am looking forward to build and paint this!

Well that concludes my unboxing of this kit.
Hope you enjoyed and learned something new as well.
Until next time!

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