Now and Then: Custom Zakus part 2

By Christopher Troy

Since the first part of this series examined one of the “newer” Custom Zakus, it’s only fair that the “Then” portion examines the O.G. of Custom Zakus-The MS-06S “Zakue II”:Principality of Zeon Char’s Customize Mobile Suit from the Original Mobile Suit Gundam series. Of course we won’t be looking at the first release of this kit, but we’ll be dealing with 1/144th scale HGUC “remake” released back in 2002.

The name Char Aznable should be familiar to any Gundam/Gunpla fan. He’s the “Darth Vader” of the Gundam UC universe, as his story has been told in the original Gundam series, as well as appearing in Gundam Zeta, and Char’s Counterattack. He’s the sole reason while so many other Gundam series has masked villains, which is seen  even today, in UC series such as both SEED series as well as Gundam OO. And incase you’re brand spanking new to the franchise, I’ve enclosed a pic just to straighten you out.

With that history lesson out of the way, it’s now time to focus on the important part of this article: The review of Char’s Custom Zaku and how it compares to Lunamaria’s.

From the get go, you can tell see what the 30 somewhat year difference between the 2 Zakus are. The Zaku II is a little more bulkier, with a less dynamic color scheme. Not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s not as appealing as the sleeker design of Lunamaria’s Zaku.

As you can see, the shield for Char’s Zaku is definitely a lot more simplistic than Lunamaria’s, which is kinda given as it was designed nearly 30 years before it. It may be bland compared to the newer model, but it’s also a LOT more sturdier than Lunamaria’s. The snap-on peg seems to hold up better, which says something for an older kit.

2 of the 3 weapons are the same with the 2 custom Zakus, as their both packed with a Zaku Machine gun and bazooka.  The other is a Zaku Bazooka, which is accompanied by 2 “Shooting hands” to hold the various firearms. It’s a nice collection of weapons, but it’s not without it’s share of flaws. First and foremost, the hands, shooting or otherwise, don’t hold their weapons all too well, which is sort of the pain. For the machine gun, there’s a additional handle for Zaku to hold onto, but it doesn’t fit on well, and is liable to fall off.

Case in point with the Heat Hawk. While there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it’s design, the handle is extremely thin, which means that if you want the Zakue to be posed holding it, you’re gonna have to angle it correctly, which is annoying. However, the one thing this version has over Lunamaria’s is that fact that it comes with a little holster that can be attached to the side of the Zaku. For the record, the Heat Hawk fits perfectly into that.

The unique weapon to this kit is the Zaku Bazooka, which I have to admit, is very underwhelming compared to Lunamaria’s.  It’s a bit of an unfair comparison, and it remains completely faithful to the original series, but sprucing up the kit a bit couldn’t have hurt, as both Gunpla retail for the same price.

Overall, I wouldn’t say either Zaku is superior to the other. Both are good kits, but I feel that there’s a better value with Lunamaria’s, in terms of accessories and poseability.  Either way, there should be a Zaku kit in you collection, and either one of these kits wouuld make a fine addition.

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