The ver. 2.0 Zeta is something I'd considered building once or twice myself (particularly when the special Amuro Ray custom was sitting in one of the
Ximen hobby shops), but ultimately didn't make it onto my to-build list. However, I have remained interested in the model, and so I'm glad to be able to host a guest review of it now.
The comments and images here are Alberto's.
I must say I bought this model because its price was very attractive. I wished I had a 2.0 model, and this Zeta Gundam 2.0 did look great, even if according to my catalogue it is an old model. As it was released in 2005 it should be the very first 2.0 model made by Bandai.
I also admit I haven't seen
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam yet, so I can't say how similar to the original cartoon this model is. However, I loved it at first sight, and after building it up I haven't changed my mind: I like it more than I did when I found it in the shop.
The box almost shocked me when I opened it, as I didn't imagine a ver. 2.0 model could have so many pieces! Many stickers of all sorts were available, but I don't like having models fully covered with stickers, so I used only some. Above all, I preferred to paint the (very few) parts which needed a change of color instead of using the stickers to get this colour change (mainly yellow details on shoulders, legs, and beam rifle). I perfectly know by now these stickers after awhile are easily spoilt. Paint, on the other hand, lasts much longer.
Of course, as usual, I painted the entire model, even those parts already in the right colors. By the way, colors in my pictures appear to show some spots that are invisible to the naked, so there's no need at all to worry about them.
No weathering up to now. Before doing it on a model I didn't know at all, I do prefer to watch and examine it very carefully for awhile, and then I'll make up my mind about weathering it and where.
The head doesn't look overcomplicated, and in fact is not. It has a good internal frame, and is composed of three external armor parts (left side, right side, and central crest) easily inserted onto the frame, with an inside support for the vulcans. Thanks, Kamille Bidan, for designing them white instead of yellow. I hate to paint those tiny things…
I haven't got a metallic blue, so had to use the stickers to get the color of the cameras on Zeta's forehead and on the back of the head. To get the metallic effect on the eyes, I painted a layer of silver, and later a layer of transparent gloss green over it.
Panel lines under the eyes are really thin, much narrower than usual, and it was quite difficult to ink them with my 0.2mm pen. The double v-fin, besides, required a perfect trimming and sanding to be inserted correctly on the forehead.
The robot's upper body is full of hinges because of the waverider mode. It's actually empty, so neck and head can be folded inside. I must say that all those hinges make the model much more difficult to build than other MGs (such as Wing Zero Custom), but they seem to do their job perfectly, as the model looks quite strong even if it hasn't got proper chest internals. The polycap-and-ball joints on the sides let the shoulders move a bit back and forward. Obviously the usual pivot mechanism available in many models couldn't be used in this case.
The middle part of the frame is quite stressed by the weight of the other parts during the transformation, so I put a little glue in its middle to make it stronger.
The arms haven't got a complete frame inside. It's only in the upper part, not in the forearm. I suppose this is because the forearms contain some mechanisms to make a couple of guns appear over the wrists. Left and right arms are exactly the same: you must build the same arm twice and later insert the top joint and hand to decide which is which. I silvered some details on the arm, something like a spring actually. I don't know what it is exactly, but it's quite odd this part isn't protected with any armor, as it could be easily hit and destroyed in a battle. Didn't designers notice such a mistake?
Inside the hand, you can see the little tab that helps weapons to stay in place when handled by Zeta.
This piece of the shoulder gave me many troubles. It was joined to the sprue just along the back hole and with an enormous pivot. I took an awful lot of time to cut, trim, and sand it, and I didn't get a perfect result. These injection points are the real problem of the model. I imagine a new sprue design could make them really less visible and intrusive.
Sometimes it was easier to paint pieces by leaving them on the sprue. In this case, the lateral flash couldn't be seen in the finished model, so first I cut down and sanded only the front one, then painted the piece. I had no problem letting the piece dry where it was. I know many people don't like Danny Choo's technique of painting all pieces on the sprue very much, and neither do I, but I admit sometimes this way of painting does make the job easier.
Above you can see the shoulder and upper body completed. Please notice the arms are, according to instructions manual, turned 90° towards the robot, even if this makes Zeta look somehow like a gorilla… The odd part in all this is the hardpoints for the shield and weapons are therefore kept on the back side of the arms instead of the forward one. The position doesn't seem the best available for a fight: how can you use your shield if you keep it on the back of your arm and not on its side? I guess this position was shown in the series too, but it could be another great mistake in the design of the robot.
The waist internals are really overcomplicated, but the waverider mode requires them. The new-style pivots for the legs are perfect for this model instead of the old polycap-ball joints, but this new mechanism limits the legs' rotatation a bit.
The right and left legs are totally alike, just like the arms. Other MG models instead have two symmetrical inside frames for the two legs. I must say I like that design much more.
The full armor on the waist and legs doesn't limit the robot's movements, as you can see. Kneeling is quite easy. The foot can't be turned at all because of the boosters around it. I wonder how it could work in the series. I admit, by the way, I made a mistake in painting the verniers inside the rear waist. The color guide was oddly very poor in the manual, and no picture of the model's back was available. I thought the verniers were entirely red as they came on the sprue. Only after building all this did I find a picture on the box showing the external part of verniers was silver, but it was too late… Oops!
The robot's built up. Of course, I silvered that sort of pipe on the back of the knees. Even here, anyway, I wonder why this part looking essential for Zeta's mecha is not protected by any piece of armor. It's totally illogical.
Closed and open wings. What a complicated affair! The stabilizer seems to have a really great design, though. I guess I'll have some more work to do, as I've seen a frame from the series in the manual, and the small external red wing should be totally black with a narrow red rim. The color guide shows it red, instead.
The completed suit before its final color touch-up. I turned the right arm in the proper position, and its mobility looks good, as it can reach the beam sabers stored on the waist with ease. The shield, however, bumps too easily into the back wing, even more if I turn the left arm in its 'normal' position. In the second picture, please notice the slight forward range of the right shoulder thanks to the polycap-ball joint inside.
Waverider mode looks really great. Its design is wonderful, so are its colors. The transformation isn't easy at all, as I'll show below. But first…
… There's also a Kamille Bidan to show! I'm not good at all at painting these miniatures, but I did my best to make this look at least acceptable. Only after building the cockpit up did I realize no more than this little part would be visible.
Let's turn the waverider into the Zeta Gundam. First, I must bend the feet and fold the stabilizer…
…Then the wings are separated from the shield, closed, and rotated.
The wings are connected to the stabilizer…
…The legs are detached from the waist…
…Where they were kept in position with this pin, which is the fulcrum of the waverider transformation.
Finally the head lifts and chest folds back in its natural position.
Let's examine Zeta's weapons. By moving the blue loader on the forearm slot, a double grenade launcher appears over its wrists.
This is the classic beam saber. The tab inside the hand keeps it perfectly in position. I still wonder how that small shield can block enemies' blows…
The beam rifle looks much bigger than the
RX-78-2's and considerably more dangerous. Its design is fantastic, I must say! By the way, the display base can be easily turned into the launch catapult, or connected to the display base of the MG Gundam Mk. II ver. 2.0 to make a sort of diorama.
This is Zeta's boomstick. I'd like to make the robot hold and aim this hyper mega launcher so I can pair up Zeta and Wing Zero Custom, but I can't figure out how to do it. The handle can't be inserted properly into the hand, as if the hole in the handle doesn't match the palm tab, and the mega launcher doesn't stay in place at all! What a pity!
In the end, this is the attack position I like most. Please notice the beam rifle stored along the forearm.
Zeta already feels at home among some other models of mine. A smaller display base wouldn't hurt, though.
These were the other miniatures included in the kit. Of course, the man with red torches is to be put on the display base when you use it as the launch catapult. Someday I'll also learn how to paint these little nightmares decently!
What are my considerations and my thoughts about this model, ultimately? Overall, it's great: posability is incredibly good, above all when you use the display base, which lets you do everything you like. The feet's movements are a bit limited because of the boosters, and the wings limit a bit the movement of the shield on the back of the arm. The wings are also a bit heavy, and the robot can't be bent too much backwards when standing, but I guess this is normal. However all these are very small faults.
I do believe this model is actually fantastic. Its design is really beautiful. The internal mechanisms are complicated, but once you get used to it the transformation isn't too difficult. The details are really incredible, and overall appearance is almost perfect. The real pity is the fact I can't find a way to get a ready-to-fire position with the mega launcher.
Really wonderful and worth every euro I spent for it!