Zeta‘s starter suit, the Gundam Mk. II, is my first UC entry for my All Gundam Project, ironically before the RX-78-2 because that suit’s REVIVE kit is so popular it’s been sold out everywhere I go.
This Mk. II is of course a REVIVE model as well; I can only hope and pray that Bandai gets around to the actual Zeta Gundam sometime soon, since I think that kit needs an update more than the Mk. II ever did.
A lot of the Zeta suits had peculiar purple-gray inner frames as their official mechanical color for some reason. I’m still not sure why this is, but it’s been reflected in every Mk. II kit as far as I’m aware of (including the Perfect Grade).
Normally this would mean that Mk. II technically has a different stock frame color than the rest of the suits in my All Gundam Project, but I decided to make it all gunmetal anyway.
I’m glad the main body of the suit is generally well-designed and put together in a way that eliminates seams, but the same can’t be said of the backpack, which has a very basic construction in comparison to the rest of the kit. Applied some cement and sanded it all down as usual.
A single clear green piece is given for the eyes. You get the option of using the traditional eye stickers or applying silver reflective stickers behind the clear piece for a nice clear-reflective glow.
In keeping with the rest of my HG suits thus far though, I decided to forsake any of those black magic hi-jinks and just straight up paint everything away with solid paint.
It seems pretty universal across all these new HG’s that the weapons and accessories are still always half-pieces with nasty seams. Thankfully that also means it’s a very straightforward process to mending them though.
The bazooka came in the same gray/purple as the rest of the kit’s inner frame, so it had to be completely re-painted white and masked like crazy to get it to stock colors.
As expected, the yellow bits on the shield came as stickers, so I tried my hand at masking them for painting. Ended up a bit rough around the edges, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be cleaned up.
And of course, because I’m a stickler for details I had to mask the underside of the shield and spare e-packs to get them in their correct colors.
I even went out of my way to paint the insides of the side skirt slits in red. Ironically while this is color-accurate it also means the kit kinda loses the feature to store the rifle at the hips now because it would scratch the paint.
The “hoses” throughout the suit were painted flat gray to differentiate them from the rest of the inner frame.
I actually screwed up pretty bad with this kit when it was all finished and assembled and I tried moving the left arm and the ball joint at the shoulder totally snapped off. The ball itself remained in the socket, which took quite a bit of scary prying to remove. The reason for this was that the paint made the connection too thick, and the joint was just too weak.
It took a while to fix since just gluing the ball back onto the shoulder was putting two big things (the arm and the main body) together with too little surface area for glue. Eventually after having it constantly fall back off whenever I moved the kit I finally found a way – cut the tiny “rod” that sticks out of the ball and connects into the shoulder and just glue to the ball straight to the shoulder. This gives it direct surface area from the shoulder to the joint to be glued, which makes it sturdier, though without that “rod” it means the arm can’t go outwards from the body as much.
She’s standin’ by the end of the day though.
A funny thing I want to point out about this kit now is that it’s actually very color-inaccurate for such a recent model.
I can forgive miscolorations for stuff like the weapons (lookin’ at the bazooka mostly). But officially, the chest and torso is supposed to be a very dark navy blue while the backpack unit is entirely black. This REVIVE kit gives you both components in dark blue, meaning technically the entire backpack is miscolored right out of the box. Now would the average person be able to tell the difference because the colors are so similar? Probably not, but for better or worse I’ve become very intimately acquainted with this suit after building its Perfect Grade model twice over.
I don’t know how much of an improvement this REVIVE kit is over its original HGUC release, but I have to assume that the most strides were made in articulation.
All the modern HG-inner-frame goodness is present here, meaning Mk. II actually has a fair range of movement despite its inherently bulky design.
The rifle is standard fare; nothing special. The shield technically has a retracting gimmick, but on this kit it’s done by pulling the lower half off and reattaching it at a higher point to make it appear “smaller.”
Overall the weapons all require some serious paint-work to look presentable. The little vulcan pod is also a stationary piece that clips easily around the head and remains pretty sturdy.
Shield comes with two option parts to either have it underneath the forearm or to the side.
The bazooka has a moving handle that makes it easier to get over the shoulder, and is generally hassle-free for the Mk. II to move around. I’m glad all the weapons nowadays aren’t constantly falling off all over the place, as I sure as hell have had experiences with some older HG’s having that as a major issue.
Rear skirt panel flips out for bazooka storage. Again, no issues with stability here; it’ll stay on when handling the kit.
And of course, beam sabers. They peg securely into the backpack racks and just slot into the standard manipulators.
Ironically, I had actually built about half of the original HGUC Mk. II before, along with a friend for another friend’s birthday. Unfortunately that was a rush job so I really can’t recall much about the kit, so it’s hard for me to compare it to the newest version of the suit showcased here. As a model on its own though, the REVIVE is plenty sturdy and offers fair play value.
The new HG technologies with the pseudo inner-frame and increased part separation grant the kit impressive range of movement, but that doesn’t stop some bits like the ankles and waist from being limited just by the suit’s originally bulky design. I do think quite a bit of paint is required for this kit though, especially since I’m usually a stickler for small details like the slight blue/black contrast I mentioned earlier.