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From the start of the Gundam TV series, the Zaku (bad guy) kits outsold the Gundam (good guy) kits by over a 2:1 margin. Let's face it -- the Zaku is cooler looking. Bandai put the Zaku kits on sale a couple of months after the RX-78-2 kit and their sales, too, have surpassed that of the Gundam. Two versions were released from the start -- Char's Zaku and the "standard-issue," green Zaku.
Their are several differences in the two kits. Besides the obvious coloring change, Char's Zaku has a spike on the top of its head. In addition, there are numerous changes to the weapons set that comes with each kit. While the basic 120mm machine gun, 280mm bazooka and "Heat Hawk" energy axe is standard to both, Char's Zaku includes a 175mm tank gun and two "Sturmfaust" units (which look just like giant Panzerfausts). On the other hand, the green Zaku comes with a MMP-80 Machine Gun, two "Cracker" space grenades, and missile launchers that strap onto its legs.
Like all the kits in the MG series, the level of detail is superb, and virtually everything moves. The pipes running from the thighs to the calves, as well as around the sides of the head are flexible springs covered with plastic tubes. The head has a panel that opens and a small tab on the back of the head lets you position the Zaku's scanner eye. Three types of hands are included -- open palm, fists, and posable (moving fingers).
All of Bandai's MG (as well as HG) kits are completely snap-together, and parts are molded in color, so no painting is necessary. Of course, the use of cement and paints will improve the appearance of a finished model. Many of the surface markings are printed right onto the plastic parts to begin with, but the kit includes replacement transfers for those people who wish to paint their work.
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