To all my American friends, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgivings, and eventful Black Friday shopping!
Today I have for you, one of the newer HGUC kits, the ZII or Zeta II.
I actually had no real prior knowledge of this Mobile Suit, and recently read up on it. Originally I was fairly underwhelmed by the design, until I saw that it transforms!
If you know anything about me, you know that I love mobile suits that transform into flight modes. This was another to add to my collection, and recently I even acquired an MG Zeta 2.0 from my secret santa over at r/gunpla. Shoutout to u/The_Tavinator for an awesome gift.
Anyways, the ZII was released just a few months ago, in September. I had some rewards points on Amazon left over, so I decided to pick this kit up for virtually nothing. I had my anxieties and hesitations afterwards. Most of my friends made fun of the kit for its "high heels" but I really started to grow to like the unique feet design.
Without further ado, here is a look at this new kit. I hope this is helpful in seeing if you are interested in it or not.
Here we go... as you can see there are 10 parts runners, 1 beam effect runner, and 1 polycap runner, and a hellish tiny sticker sheet with tiny seals for details. That'll be fun.
The kit comes with a blue A plate, which interestingly enough is molded in only blue. No multicolored A plate here.
The B plate is actually two identical blue molds, mostly for symmetrical armor pieces.
The C plate is split into C1 and C2, and share similar parts, except C1 holds parts for the torso.
The D plate holds the red detail pieces that are mostly just armor pieces that attach to the blue parts.
The E plate holds most of the weapon pieces.
The F plate holds an assortment of pieces ranging from joints, to weapons, to manipulators.
The G plate is interesting. It is split into a G1 and G2 plate, but they share no parts, rather the G2 plate is molded in yellow, and provides for some of the yellow accent pieces.
The ZII is fairly short and bulky. As you can tell, the leg armor makes it really look like a triangle in shape. It is much shorter than the Unicorn, but seems to have a wider base. It extends a bit higher because of its backpack, adding to its height. Its upper body is not as bulky as the ReZEL. In general, it is fairly short, standing at 5 inches head height, and about 7 inches to the tip of the backpack.
Weapons and Manipulators
This kit comes with 2 bazookas, 1 beam rifle, 1 mega beam rifle, and 2 beam sabers. The beam sabers can be plugged into either rifle, just like its predecessor.
This kit comes with two pairs of manipulators for each hand. Two triggered finger hands for all of the long range weapons, with an angled wrist, and open hands for the beam sabers.
In general, this kit has some decent articulation. The arms can rotate freely at the bicep, and also swivel within the shoulder armor. The legs get good bend, but as you can see, there is a lot of bulky armor that gets in the way of some poses.
The posing issues continue with the "high heels". with such a narrow base, it is hard for this kit to stand upright without looking fairly goofy. I would definitely have this guy in some aerial poses.
The arms have some problems as well. The rotating piece in the bicep is just a short peg, that doesn't seem to reach as far into the forearm as you would want it to. You would think it'd be longer and sit snugly in the polycap, but it doesn't which causes it to loosen and sometimes fall off when fiddling with it.
Color and Quality
This kit definitely has the yellow blue and red going for it. The deep blue that it comes in really sticks out, and looks great. The rest of the pieces just add to it. Here you can see that they provided yellow pieces to stick into the chest, and also red pieces to stack on top of the blue armor. These really contrast well, and give it that pop you want out of a kit. It definitely is not bland.
However, you also see the amount of thin seals used to detail up those yellow parts as well.
The weapons also need some seals to finish them off, as you can see there are some yellow seals on the rifles as well.
In terms of quality, for a new kit that is also transformable, it is very sturdy. The only parts that fall off are the arms, as I mentioned earlier. There aren't really too many flimsy parts on this kit, despite it being transformable. It actually uses the same gimmick as the HGUC ReZEL and Delta Plus where there are parts included that you build, and then attach parts from the kit onto to make it the wave rider.
No real issues in terms of flimsy joints, however the weapons can be very cumbersome. With the long stocks, and the design of the rifles, even with the angled wrists, the ZII has some trouble holding the guns without it looking a little weird. I also had the wrists pop off a bunch of times while trying to pose it with the mega beam rifle.
Pros and Cons
This kit is very unique in its design. I actually love the color scheme it comes in. I don't have any kits that are primarily blue. It comes with a great assortment of weapons, and I just love how the bazookas can attach to the backpack. The color contrast and design is really great. I love the placement and use of colors to accent areas, and cut through some of the blue. Its just a fantastic piece to add to your shelf. This kit can also hold weapons ambidextrously, and also interchange which rifle can go in which hand.
However, the weapons just look odd at times when you pose them. This kit comes with angled wrists because the weapons are long, and have long stocks. 90% of the time you will be tucking the weapons under the armpit for hip firing. To also get the desired finish, you either have to use those tiny seals, or paint it. Paint is a definite, because there are some areas what don't have seals, but need some yellow and black to finish, like under the shoulders, and on the leg armor. This kit also doesn't stand too well because of the design of its feet.
At about 25$ retail, this kit is about right for its price. It comes with a good amount of parts, and will definitely keep you busy. It might be short and stubby, but it has a lot going for it. Maybe wait a little while for the price to drop, or pick it up on sale, but if you like unique designs, transformable kits, or the Zeta lineage, you should add this guy to your collection. I really enjoyed building this kit. It may look a little cartoony next to my Gundam Unicorn kits, but it really does pop off my shelf.
I definitely don't regret getting this kit, and maybe you're thinking this design strays way too far from the original Zeta. If you really loved the old 80s designs, and are hard-pressed to see how Z-MSV designs can compare, I can understand why you might not like the design of this kit.
My recommendation is, however, to give it a chance!
I didn't get a chance to transform it yet, but here are some images to show you what it should look like.
Like I said before, the kit comes with pieces to replace the torso, just like the Delta Plus and ReZEL, so that you can transform the kit without having to insert the transformation gimmick into the entire kit, and make it flimsy.
Not sure what I want to build next though. I have that Zeta 2.0 that I really want to do justice, the Tallgeese I that has been in my backlog for awhile, and the Byarlant kitbash that I've been procrastinating...
I also have a Strike RM on its way too...
Christmas break has a lot of potential this year!
Until next time!