28 April 2012
HGUC Zaku I Sniper Type
Despite having a lot of Federation grunt units, such as the Balls, Jestas, or recently the GM IIIs, I find myself not having a lot of grunt units for the Zeon side.
I got myself a HGUC Zaku I Sniper Type Yonem Kirks unit in end of March, and realising that I got a normal version some time ago, I thought I would do both of them at the same time ^^
Front view of the Zaku I Sniper
The Zaku I Sniper Type first appeared in Harmony of Gundam, which is a series of mechanical designs from Katoki Hajime for units that would appear in the One Year War of Gundam's universe, and the designs would later make appearance in games such as Senjou no Kizuna (Bonds of the Battlefield), Crossfire (aka Target in Sight), and Battlefield Record U.C. 0081.
According to the lore, the Zaku I was already an obsolete unit by the time the One Year War started with the iconic Zaku II being the mainstay of the Zeon forces, so it was regulated to duties that were outside front lines. However, as the war progressed and situations steered worse for Zeon, more and more Zakus I were pressed into the front lines. The Sniper Type was retrofitted with long range beam weaponry and a specialised generator backpack to accomodate it, making these obsolete machines becoming a threat for the Federation forces, even years after the war.
The backpack of Sniper Type is big, which holds a generator separate from that of the Zaku itself mainly to supply energy for the beam sniper rifle
The monoeye used for the Sniper Type is derived from the Reconnaissance Type, which has a much larger sensor for greater zoom, as well as a side antenna for obtaining ambient and atmospheric data which are inputted to a computer for firing calculations.
The beam sniper rifle is the Zaku I Sniper Type's main weapon. It has to be attached to the generator backpack before use, as the Zaku itself cannot supply enough energy to the weapon for firing.
A special kneepad is installed on the right knee for kneeling position
Zaku I Sniper Type taking up a firing position in kneeling stance
The kneepad deployed for kneeling position
Different angles of the Zaku I Sniper Type in firing position.
Yonem Kirks' unit from Gundam UC, which was seen in Unicorn UC OVA episode 4 as Yonem Kirks leads a large insurgency strike against the Federation forces at Torrington base
An optional weapon apart from the beam sniper rifle is the 105mm Zaku machinegun, which is used mostly for self-defence
Yonem Kirks' unit has a blade antenna on the head for greater communication capability as a commander unit
The shoulder armour is slightly different too, where there hooks supposedly for attaching Magella Attack tank tracks on them for extra protection (much like the tanks in real life back in World War II)
One of the most notable addition of Yonem Kirks' unit is the two barrel cases attached to the backpack, which holds spare barrels to change for the sniper rifle when it gets overheated.
There are minor differences on the backpack between that of Yonem Kirks' and the ordinary version. Apart from having tabs and holes to insert the barrel cases on one side, the other side had minor cosmetic differences too.
When the beam sniper rifle is not in used, the cable normally attached to the rifle simple reconnects to another part of the backpack.
As the Zaku I Sniper Type shares a few parts with the ordinary Zaku I and the Zaku II, some accessories from other kits can be attached onto the side skirts, such as the heat hawk or the Sturmfaust one-time use rocket launcher, giving the Zaku I Sniper Type optional armaments for self-defence.
Posing with the big gun~
A 2-unit sniper team in position. Thought I would have one of the Sniper Types with a Zaku machinegun for self-defence and to act as a spotter, which is the case for some military doctrines in real life.
Time to change the rifle barrel! Did a swift job on an ejected & overheated barrel, which was originally part of a cotton bud rod ^^;
As for overall impression of the model itself, the Zaku I Sniper Type isn't the kind of MS one would expect to have much action poses, but the arm articulations give it good range of mobility to pose with for the beam sniper rifle. The mesh pipe took me some time to connect as they can come off rather easily, and I decided not to stick the latches (like these and these as seen from hacchaka) on the torso of Kirks' unit; might leave them for modding in the future.