JoJoHobbyNStuff

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

MG ZZ Ver. Ka Kit Review


Before we move into the meat of the review, I'd like to mention that I normally build a kit in its entirety before reviewing it. This review is being written as I am building the kit over multiple days.

I will probably not transform this kit during the course of this review, as I personally find the transformation gimmicks to be tedious and frustrating.

Section 1: Chest, Core Fighter & Head


The first chunk of this build was completed on the 7/21 live stream, viewable here.


The ZZ Ver Ka. includes two identical core fighters. Both fighters can't actually fit inside of the mobile suit during MS mode, instead, both are utilized in the core top and core base transformed mode. Outside of the transformation, the core fighter forms the waist of the mobile suit, without the core fighter installed, the MG ZZ Ver Ka. cannot be displayed in MS mode. I think it's a nice little bonus to have an extra fighter that can be displayed alongside the ZZ Ver Ka.


When I build a mobile suit, I like to start with the chest and head. These two components help to inform the design, style, and character of a mobile suit. At this point, I'm not really sure how I feel about the design. The head is really attractive, featuring a classic Gundam design with some bits of grey inner frame filling the vents around the face and 'ears'. But, the chest is very bland, geometric, and blocky, it gives off a strong 80s vibe that I don't necessarily care for.

From a design perspective, the torso is solid for a transformable mobile suit. It even maintains some posability with a swivel just above the waist. I don't think I'll have any stability issues with this design.

As mentioned, the design is very blocky and features many straight unbroken lines and angles. I would have preferred to see some notches, cutouts, panel lines, or really anything to help break up the mass of solid blue plastic on the upper chest.

The design of the head is layered in such a way that the appearance of seamlines should be minimal. If so inclined a builder could easily modify the design of the head to take advantage of the light pipping with LEDs. I feel like I will need to lightly scribe around some details of the head to improve the panel lining of the design.

The head is mounted to the body on a ball joint, which then connects to two sets of hinges at the base of the neck as well as the collar allowing for a good range of motion.


Section 2: Arms



I built the arms over the course of two nights.

The arms start to liven this build up and some design themes begin to surface.


Layered detail appears to be the theme of this kit. All over the arms, there are bits of the grey inner frame that erupt through the armor. These details are incorporated in novel ways, for example, the two rounded rectangles on the top and bottom of the forearms act as alignment pins that hold the transforming arms/rocket boosters in place.


These layered details extend into the forearm shields/wings and the elongated blue pauldron fins and white shoulder caps.


One fun/odd element of this kit is that it includes two sets of hands. One set has interchangeable fingers and the other is a noticeably smaller tightly clenched fist for the transformation.



Section 3:  Waist & Backpack


I chose to divert from the standard build at this point and move onto the waist and backpack. I built these elements over the course of two more nights. Normally these two elements are usually completely separate elements of a build. But, on the ZZ the gigantic backpack is directly connected to the waist. I think this connection really improves the overall stability of the kit.



The first thing that struck me about the waist construction is its stability. Most transformable mobile suits suffer stability issues in the torso and waist areas. This isn't the case on the ZZ ver Ka. This kit features a slotted design that the core fighter slides into, then it is secured into place with pegs on the front and rear of the chest. It's a very secure design and prevents the backpack from bending the torso over backward.


Let's be honest with ourselves. The backpack makes this kit look like it's carrying a fridge around on it's back. The backpack is huge and kind of bulky. But, there is a lot of good layered detail throughout. The backpack includes some moving elements like the missile pods, flaps, and ailerons.

Section 4: Legs


I built most of the legs during Saturday's build meet. The ZZ's legs are the stand out feature of this kit. The transformation is interesting to build, and well designed. The leg's don't suffer at all from 'transformation frustration' the same way the MG Delta Plus' does.


The upper and lower legs are built as separate units, the upper leg then slides into a rail system on the lower legs. This allows the lower segment of the leg to rotate 180 degrees so that the ankles and knees trade places. This process also reveals a set of verniers hidden in the knee joints. Without a doubt, this chunk is the highlight of the build.


Like the other sections of the kit, the legs feature plenty of detail, cutouts for the inner frame and a lot of colors. The design seems to emphasize stability and the transformation, posabililty is somewhat lacking as a result. However, I don't think we should expect a big bulky kit like this to be very posable.

Section 5: The Rest


I finished the last part of the build on Saturday's live stream, which is viewable here. Most of the build time was spent on the double beam rifle.


The ZZ beam rifle isn't my favorite. Even if you can get past the cockpit at the butt of the rifle (RIP whoever gets stuck in there) the stock of the rifle is way too long, and the targeting sensor is massive in proportion.


As far as the build goes, it isn't too bad. But one element I am disappointed with is the seamlines along the twin barrels of the rifle. There are two sets of silver details included in the barrels which will complicate the seam line fusion process as well. I'm preparing myself for the mandatory masking.

Conclusion

This is the very first transforming kit that I have built that hasn't made me worry about the stability of the design.

This kit is solid, as solid as many of the recent none transforming kits.


The design is a little light on panel lining, and the decals aren't anything to write home about. Despite those criticisms, this kit still gets a very easy recommendation from me. It has its own style and aesthetic, and I think a lot of people will dig the 80s vibe. I wasn't sure the retro design worked for me in the beginning, but over time I grew to appreciate it. Most importantly the build is fun, and the design is creative.

Fans of ZZ have no doubt already purchased this kit. But, if you're on the fence like I was, I would recommend picking it up.


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