Man, these kits have been done for awhile but between work and the general apprehension I had towards transforming them yet again to retake the Waverider pictures made it just take even longer. There was a lot of hype around this kit when it first came out since it was the first fully transforming 1/144 scale model Bandai has done and they’ve really knocked it out of the park with the Zeta.
Frankly I think the RG kit looks even better than the MG 2.0, and that’s saying something since that is one of my favorite kits of all time. The RG just looks…sharp. The MG almost feels like it’s too skinny by comparison now, though it does feel markedly less fragile than the RG thanks to it’s bigger size. As for the actual paintjobs I started with the Zeta+ colorschemes from the GFF figures released some time ago and took some artistic liberties here and there to get the final kits. I really really really like how they turned out, a fitting nod to both the Zeta Plus suits and Max and Milia Jenius of the Macross fame, which is partially responsible for my deep-seated love of mecha. Construction of the kit is a little different than your usual kit, as is the standard MO when it comes to transforming kits. The sonic-welded parts are really sturdy and while you’re building I definitely suggest that you break-in the joints before assembling everything to prevent any sort of breakage. Once everything together the kit is pretty solid, though I do have some issues with the legs staying put in extreme mid-air poses but it’s likely that this is just a quirk of my own kit due to the joints being played with so much during the photoshoot.
The kit comes with everything the Zeta needs…except a Hyper Mega Launcher. While it’s too bad it wasn’t included, the Zeta is already the most expensive RG in the line and adding in the HML would only increase the price by 500-600 yen, most likely. If you really need one, you can always snag one from the High Grade Zeta and use magnets to attach it like this builder did.
Everything poses pretty well, though the shoulders can be a little bit of a bear to work with and the aforementioned worn out leg joints. Overall though it’s got the range of motion that holds up to the standards of today’s kits. The hands can be a bit tough to work with in regards to keeping a solid grip on the beam sabers but for the beam rifle it has a hand dedicated to that. Working with the kit is a pretty easy experience though and I didn’t worry about breaking anything like I did with the RG RX-78-2.
The transformation to waverider mode is actually pretty similar to the Master Grade’s transformation with a few differences in how the backpack and legs transform. It’s really important to make sure you have the joints broken in during assembly so you don’t stress anything here and break parts. The big things to be careful with are when you fold the chest part up to form the middle area of the waverider so you don’t bust the v-fin and the arm/shoulder joints that you pull out and fold in. The kit looks fantastic and sharp in WR mode, transformation being somewhat of a pain in the ass aside. The RG Zeta is a fantastic entry in to the RG line and now that Bandai has proven that they can do a fully transforming MS at 1/144 scale I really feel like the sky is the limit for what they can make kits of. I’m sure that this is a huge leap for the RG line so I think we’ll see some really impressive kits further down the line, maybe once the line circles back around to other shows that have had transforming MS we’ll see some really unique entries. For fans of Zeta Gundam this kit is one of the most definitive releases of the mobile suit if you can get over the lack of a hyper mega launcher and don’t mind 1/144 scale.