[RG] MS-06S Char's Zaku II build

· 5 min read
Real Grade MS-06S Zaku II box art After the Tallgeese III fiasco, I decided to stop by Colpar to see if they had anything interesting. To my surprise, they had a relatively new kit, the Real Grade MS-06S Char Aznable's Zaku II! This kit was released in November 2010 and is part of the new Real Grade line of Gunpla. The Real Grade line features super-detailed 1/144 scale models. It's what I would expect a Perfect Grade build to be, except for the part where the build difficulty is more akin to a Master Grade. The first thing you'll notice is the B runner that has most of the frame parts. RG MS-06S Zaku II B Runner The runner features pieces that have molded ball/socket joints. These joints are pretty small and I found them to be quite sturdy. The only problem was that every time I started bending the pieces, I was afraid I was doing it wrong and was going to break them. All said and done, I have not broken any of them yet.
Note: I always recommend going through the manual first before you start building, though that is a bit hard to do when you don't speak Japanese (like me). Be careful with the arm assembly; there's a piece that looked like it could have easily have been discarded that ended up being important to the arm assembly. Be careful!
The armor goes on these frame pieces, and it's very articulated. In fact, the RG ends up being different shades of salmon pink, while the MG Zaku II looks like a sad two-toned mobile suit in comparison. I panel-lined the kit with a Gundam Marker and I got a pretty good result. Even if you only do this to the kit you can have this kit on display and have it look good. The RG Zaku's panel lining details are amazing. In fact, the main failure of this piece is really the stickers. There were lots of stickers that were supposed to be foil and create the illusion of metal in certain areas of the kit and it really did not work. Even after placement of the stickers they kept separating from the piece and falling off. Like with the MG kits, Bandai did release a sheet of water decals and the metal areas can be remedied with some copper and silver metallic Gundam Markers. I plan on performing these upgrades in the coming weeks. If you're trying to decide between this one and the Master Grade, it just depends on what you really want out of your kit. Other than the size difference, the MG version of Char's Zaku II has a movable chest plate that reveals the cockpit. It also has a service cart with an extendable arm that you can raise in order to have Char 'enter' the mobile suit. The RG offers no such gimmicks; the chest is static and there are no extra items other than the weapons. Master Grade / Real Grade  Comparison Size The MG 1/100 towers over the RG 1/144. When you try and stand them up however, the 1/144 will give you more of a fight. The feet on the RG are articulated in three areas so getting the feet to stay can get a bit tricky. Master Grade / Real Grade  Comparison Chars Zaku Front Tthe Real Grade has various tones of red/pink and salmon, the Master Grade only has the two colors. The panel lines also pop out way more on the RG, not just because there are more of them, but because they're placed in otherwise empty and boring places. Master Grade / Real Grade  Comparison Chars Zaku Right Side The helmet looks way more sturdy with the panel lines and it also seems to me at least a bit less round around the back. It gives it a meaner look. The bigger change comes at the tubes, which come up from the front of the helmet, I think the RG one comes up too far. Not a big problem, just different. Master Grade / Real Grade  Comparison Chars Zaku Left Side The MG shield doesn't even have panel lines on it! The tubes on the back also end a bit lower on the MG, which I think looks better because it means there's more space in the backpack. Master Grade / Real Grade  Comparison Chars Zaku Back The thrusters on the MG are missing, but they move with the whole back area on the MG. The skirt does manage to stay set on the RG a bit more easily. Master Grade / Real Grade  Comparison Chars Zaku Knees The knees on the MG bend all the way back, but the knees on the RG do trigger a gimmick where the thighs separate from the top a bit, which I think is pretty interesting to look at. Master Grade / Real Grade Comparison Chars Zaku Feet The various tones and the articulation really shows the differences between the two sets clearly. Master Grade / Real Grade  Comparison Chars Zaku Arms I took the time to break the fingers between the MG kit's hands giving the hands great flexibility. The RG doesn't give you this option; it's hands are set as a closed fist. The RG has a gimmick on the arm that moves the back part of it when it folds, similar to the one it has on the thighs. I think that this comparison is the better way to really show of what you're getting with the RG kit. For the price this kit is really worth it. I don't think it should be the first kit you pick up, but if you've done a few HGs or maybe even a MG or two and want a nice 1/144 scale model that really shows off a great amount of detail without having to go out of your way really modifying the kit, this RG kit does that. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer, just leave a message in the comments!