The first Gundam thing I've bought in the States since the last HG Gundam Wing kit I built as a highschool freshman some seven or eight years ago. Let's think of it as one last present from Taiwan's Ministry of Education (since it was purchased with some of the leftover moneys from my final stipend installment).
This gallery's photos were taken at my folks' house in California, before my triumphant return to Portland. That sunshine made for some nice lighting.
Char's classic suit comes attractively boxed.
While he can't boast every single weapon a Zaku II is known to have used ever (like the SHCM Pro MS-06J), the standard Zaku arsenal more than suffices for the Red Comet. Bazooka, machinegun, and heat hawk are nicely detailed, and feature slots for the figure's tabbed hands (glad to see they adopted that
handy innovation from the MG line). An effect part to make the heat hawk blade look like it's glowing is also included, and actually looks quite good.
Additionally, parts are included to assemble a scale hangar dock for the figure, complete with racks for all the weapons. A number of little cables may be used to set the suit up in the dock as if it were being serviced.
Will hold off on putting that together until I get settled back into the dorms sometime in the ongoing future. (Finally put it together! See below.)
Like most figures, up close mold lines and other flaws are clearly visible. On the whole, however, the figure looks great. Moreover, it's clear that the high price tag on this line comes from the mechanical detail, which easily rivals — if not outright bests — that of the MG ver. 2.0 iteration of this suit.
The paints used are slightly metallic, which overall is to my liking. The backpack cover, however, isn't red enough, perhaps as a result of too much silvery metallic paint being mixed in.
The figure kneels very easily, with skirt armor modeled after the MG design, but rather more accommodatingly executed.
The cockpit is accessible both by opening up the entire chest, sort of à la 08th MS Team…
… And by the traditional side hatch method.
Internal detail obviously doesn't rival this figure's MG cousin, but on the other hand, let us not pass over the fact that this figure has a more or less complete internal frame. Much of that skeleton's detail is accessible by removing the armor panels.
A small dial beneath the dome piece rotates the monoeye camera.
Demonstration of flexibility and balance.
Can you see what I mean about the backpack being too light a color?
He's got that classic Zaku look. I don't generally subscribe to the markings-and-decals-everywhere aesthetic, but I feel alright about it on this figure. Admittedly the old Zaku is a little sparse without any embellishment.
Internal backpack detail. The nozzles have a nice range of motion.\n\nNote also the bazooka rack on the rear skirt.
Char ga kuru. (Char! Char! Char!)
The Super HCM Pro Zaku bazooka has incorporated the hinged handle seen on the
MG RX-78-2 ver. 2.0's hyper bazooka. This at last allows the Zaku to comfortably shoulder the big gun with minimal contortion. Bravo, Bandai.
Some two and a half years later, I've finally gotten around to building the figure's hangar bay. It handily stores the Zaku's weapons on those racks, and additionally pieces of armor (or even either of the whole arms) can be removed to create a repair scene. The figure includes a few lengths of wire to attach as maintenance tubing.
Looking at it in the hangar bay, the little figure takes on a sense of scale from the right angle.
Hangar bay front view.