Review: HGUC Zaku III

By Loran

Welcome to part two of Double Zeta week. I’d love to cover the new HGUC Gundam ZZ kit, buuut I don’t have that one yet. I’m going to cover one of the earlier ZZ HGUC kits, the Zaku III, which appeared only a few times towards ZZ’s end. The kit used the previous Zaku III Custom kit as a base, and unfortunately inherits a lot of that mold’s flaws, along with adding some new ones.

The Zaku III is a big, nasty, imposing pseudo-grunt that towers over all the previous Zakus. Its construction isn’t very involved or complex, but it has some issues with individual parts that make me hard-pressed to truly consider this a “good” kit.

The head is where some of my first issues with the kit come in. Aside from the number of pieces, there isn’t anything remarkable about the design. However, it has some parts fitting issues, mostly on the “snout” and on the vents in the back. Even if you aren’t gluing the kit, you’ll have to cut down the pegs to get the snout to stay together, and you’ll need to sand down the vents in the back to get them to stay in properly. Also, be careful when putting the antennae in, as they break easily.

The torso of the kit is pretty cool, actually, and is one of the kit’s better areas. The chest is connected to the stomach by a ball joint, which adds for some really nice extra poseability. The shoulders are connected with a standard stick joint, no added hinge on the inside. The backpack is pretty basic, but the elevating propellant tanks are pretty neat.

The skirt, however, is pretty much a block of plastic. The only movement on it is the little gun things on the front (and I thought The-O’s crotch sabers were hilarious…) with extending handles. Also, the boosters on the rear sides of the skirt are VERY annoying to get into place.

The arms are simple, with the shield and spike armor held on by polycap joints. No double-joint in the elbow, unsurprisingly. But my biggest beef with this kit is the hands… they SUCK. The ones I have here aren’t even the stock hands; they came off a 1/100 scale Endless Waltz kit. The actual hands the kit comes with are really ugly, and the trigger finger can barely hold the gun. Trust me, you want to swap the hands out on this one. I don’t even know where I put the original hands anymore…

The legs, sadly, aren’t much better, and feature one of the biggest problems I have with this kit-the thighs. If you don’t plan on gluing this, you’re going to have to do what I suggested for the face, and trim the pegs down. You’ll get some huge gaps if you don’t. Other than that, these legs would make a Dom jealous, and don’t have much movement, which is only exacerbated by the dinky little cables feeding from the knees into the lower legs. The ankles are pretty hollow, with only a ball joint attaching the feet to the rest of the leg.

You only get two weapons-the gun and the sword. The sword is pretty lame, with a beam waaaay too big for the hilt. I never bothered to do anything with mine. However, the gun is pretty cool, as it’s one of the few (maybe only?) canon weapons in Gundam to have a BAYONETTE that the suit can even carry around.

In the end, the Zaku III isn’t that good of a kit. It’s a shame, since the suit didn’t get much screentime, I would’ve liked to see it get a better kit, especially for such a nasty design, although I personally prefer the Zaku III Custom. It’s good if you like big, nasty grunts, because it is an imposing design, but if you want a cool, bulky, absurd suit, we have the Extraordinary Superior Gundam, also known as the “Ex-S” (or as I like to call it, Excess Gundam) from Gundam Sentinel in the FP store, which should feed your bulky suit hunger!

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