Sunday, May 6, 2018

[Kit Insight] Premium Bandai HGTO 1/144 MS-11 Action Zaku (Early Deployment Type) (Painted Build)


Model Number: MS-11 Action Zaku
Designation: Principality of Zeon Mass Produced General Purpose Mobile Suit

One of the best iterations of the classic Zaku frame!
The Action Zaku or Act Zaku was developed on the Zeonic Pezun Asteroid Base as the successor machine for Zeon's military, intended to turn the tides of war against the Federation. To achieve this lofty ambition, the Action Zaku served as the testbed for magnetic coating technology, a mobile suit joint application that reduces joint friction to almost nothing, resulting in a faster and more responsive machine.

While the first Action Zaku to be fielded into battle was a black-coloured one under Kycilia's Forces, that particular unit was more of a tactical demonstrator and prototype than a full-fledged combat machine, used to gather actual combat data in order to refine the model for eventual mass production. Fielded at the end of the One Year War, the Action Zaku would see combat during the events of Zeta Gundam.

Build Notes
As a P-Bandai variant of the HGTO 1/144 Act Zaku (Kycilia's Forces), the kit has a number of notable additions and changes. The head unit is a standard no-horn type, while the backpack is now a larger one equipped with antennae with two options of thrusters. The P-Bandai Action Zaku retains all of the weapons from the regular release version, additionally including a pair of beam sabers and a beam rifle that is reminiscent of the Marasai's. 

To create a version of the Action Zaku that was sent into battle before the rest of its brethren, the following colours were used to create the Early Deployment Type:
  1. Nippon Pylox Light Blue
  2. Nippon Pylox Deep Blue
  3. Nippon Pylox Medium Gret
  4. Nippon Pylox Deep Grey
  5. Nippon Pylox Naval Grey
  6. CT7 Grey
  7. CT7 Gold
  8. Red Fox Flat Black
  9. Red Fox Bright Silver
  10. Tamiya Gun Metal
  11. Tamiya Metallic Black
  12. Bosny Metallic Black
  13. Bosny Gold
As always, a red crystal sticker was used in lieu of the monoeye sticker, while a green flat crystal was used for the optic on the beam rifle. Metal parts were also installed into the power cables that connect the backpack to the side skirts. 

Fictional Lore

Developed sometime during the end of the One Year War, the Action Zaku was refined and updated with contemporary technology and mechanical advancements before being put into mass production. Intended as the successor machine to the venerable Zaku II mobile suit that saw much action during the preceding war, the Action Zaku was meant to take affirmative and firm action for the reviving Principality of Zeon.

While the Action Zaku mounted a generator that was able to support beam weaponry, it was deployed with solid weaponry more often than not. The Action Zaku was able to use all previously-developed weapon with no issues, from the Zaku machine gun to the anti-ship rifle. Befitting its general purpose designation, the Action Zaku was able to make use of Zeon's deep arsenal to accomplish its missions. Weapons could be airdropped or ferried by trucks to Action Zakus in the field, although ammunition almost always proved to be a thorn in Zeon's side.

The Action Zaku had a number of weapons unique to itself, chief of which is the quadruple-mount machine gun. Essentially a four-barrelled mid-range portable Gatling cannon, the quadruple-mount machine gun was typically issued with a high-cap magazine of 500 120mm rounds. This allowed the Action Zaku to lay down a thick screen of suppressive fire and while solid ammunition do little damage to modern mobile suit armour, they can still inflict significant harm to sensitive and vital systems.

Depending on the pilot, Action Zakus could deploy with a pair of giant heat hawks, upsized versions of the Zeonic melee weapon. With a lengthened cutting edge connected to a built-in heat exchanger, the giant heat hawks could cause considerable damage to enemy mobile suits, thanks to the mobility and agility of the Action Zaku accorded by magnetic coating technology applied to the joints.

Stored on the rear skirt armour, the Action Zaku was equipped with a pair of beam sabers that bear more than a passing resemblance to the heat saber used by the Dom unit. Significantly longer than Federation beam saber devices due to larger capacity batteries, the Action Zaku's beam saber could generate an extended beam blade that is able to last for extremely prolonged periods of time.

The Action Zaku's most potent weapon was a compact beam rifle that was able to switch between a standard firing mode and a rapid-fire one with slightly less power. The small profile of the weapon allowed it to be mounted on the side skirt armour while also enabling quick draw capabilities. Wielded alongside a giant heat hawk or beam saber, the Action Zaku was able to mount powerful offensives against enemy forces.

In a tumultuous time, the Action Zaku helped the renewed Principality of Zeon to turn revolutionary thoughts into effective, lethal action.

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