For fans looking for detailed new takes on the franchise’s oldest models, Gundam: The Origin has been a windfall. With this dazzling OVA has come dozens of new Gunpla kits based on the mobile suits first seen in 1979. Isaac takes a close look at one of these classics, the accessory-laden HG Zaku II Type C / Type C-5.
After I bought the Gundam: The Origin version of Char’s Zaku II, I immediately became a fan. I especially loved the weapons it came with—but it didn’t come with all of them.
Then one day, I saw the Bandai announcement for the Type C/C-5 Zaku II kit. With. All. The. Weapon. Options! The rest, as they say, is history.
Read on to see why I think this kit lives up to my initial excitement.
Color and Design
As you’d expect for a mass-production Zaku II, this kit’s coloring is almost entirely dark green. In the show, these darker colors allow it to hide and operate in most environments without standing out. But for a Gunpla, it’s a little generic, so I’d recommend a bit of panel lining to bring out its intricacies.
Panel lines for this kit are plentiful and well-placed. My only complaint is that some of them are a wee bit shallow, especially for the spiked pauldron. I had to deepen them with a hobby scriber for the panel line accent to flow well.
Design-wise, this is easily one of the better-looking and proportioned Zakus in the HG line—by far. It captures the intimidating look and feel that we’ve come to love about Zeon suits: solid and designed to kick ass.
The top spike and the lower calf: two places where wide seam lines are visible.
The build process is quite straightforward, but there is one tricky bit: some spaces where the pieces fit together more loosely and thus leave large seam lines.
The two seam lines along calf section and the forearms are easily handled. [Editor’s note: our seam line removal tutorial will show you how to deal with these.] However, the spiked shoulder is a bit more complicated. Both the curved surface of the pauldron and the center of the spike leave L-shaped seams. I highly recommend using a gap-filling material like Tamiya Cement to fill them in.
Thanks to modern joint designs, you can pull off some very satisfying poses with this kit.
The head is connected to a ball joint located in the chest for a nice front/back head bob. Up and down movement is limited due to how near the backpack is to the back of the head. It won’t stop it from looking intimidating though!
The arms have a wide range of movement, thanks to shoulder joints that can swivel to the front and back. The spiked pauldrons can flip out for those higher angle arm poses, while the other shoulder plate can be rotated thanks to the ball joint used.
The upper arm can be rotated along the socket joint, and the elbow has an impressive 180-degree turn. All the hands are connected with a standard HG ball-socket joint. The joints on my kit are strong enough that it does not have any issues holding even the largest weapon, the anti-ship rifle, one-handed.
Due to the placement of the pipes, the waist articulation is somewhat limited. It has a decent forward crunch, but no backward bend. There is very little side stretch available, and you can achieve a nice 45-degree waist rotation to either side.
The front skirt armor can be clipped for individual movement. [Editor’s note: for more information, read our tutorial on clipping skirt armor] The side skirts fit in a “rail” that allows you to slide them to the front or back. The back skirt is a single static piece.
The legs are mounted to the waist piece on another rail that allows for exaggerated leg poses. The hip joint is a swivel mount with upper thigh rotation. The knees have a 90-degree bend with all armor on. If you take the trouble to tune the armor parts near the back of the knee, you can increase the range of movement by quite a bit.The feet are mounted on ball joints at the ankle. There is limited side and back swivel due to the armor pieces. You do get a nice amount of upward bend on the front.
Extras (weapons, hands, effect parts)
This may be a Gundam: The Origin grunt suit, but it has enough extra equipment to make it look like it belongs in Gundam Thunderbolt. Here’s everything:
- The anti-ship rifle, which fires armor-piercing rounds of awesome;
- The standard Zaku machine gun, with an extra ammo drum;
- The belt-fed Zaku machine gun. Previously, this was only available when you bought the Gundam: The Origin Zaku I kit. The ammo pack is attached to the bottom of the backpack via two slots.
- Zaku bazooka, that we all know and love. It comes with three ammo packs: two that can be mounted on the shoulder, and one to be fitted in the bazooka. In the photos, you can see I’ve taken the liberty to add a bit of color to mine;
- Two heat hawks, active and inactive;
- Arm vulcan;
- A holder for the bazooka that attaches to the backpack;
- Four hands: two holding hands, a right trigger hand, and a left open hand;
- The C and C5 backpacks. I built mine with the type C backpack, as it had an extra side slot.
- A helm with a commander fin;
- Extra torso parts for the type C build;
- An alternative left forearm armor bit if you do not wish to use the hand-mounted vulcan piece.
As you can see from the photos, I had a lot of fun using almost all of these!
Generally, this kit looks awesome.
I enjoyed building it thoroughly, especially when I got to the weapons section. As with most HG kits, this kit is built to be playable. I had lots of fun posing it in Street Fighter attack poses and recreating battle scenes. Even with that heavy use, I have not experienced any loosening of the joints so far. If you have not built a Zaku before and want a TON of weapons and play options to go for it, definitely go for this one.
My gripes for this kit are minor. Bandai could have included a clear glass piece for the head, which most other Zaku kits include for the eye hole. They also could have placed the seam line for the spiked pauldron somewhere else, instead of making an L-shaped hole. I feel they could have easily placed the seam along the bottom of the spike, to disguise it as a panel line.
I fell in love with grunt suits watching Char soar through space in the first Gundam: The Origin OVA. Building this kit has only reinforced my appreciation for these mass-produced Zeon suits, no matter which Gundam show they appear in.
Isaac has a burning passion for building toys and recently discovered Gunpla. When not spelunking in his datacenter at work, he enjoys swimming, reading, and flying through the skies of Azeroth.