Bandai goes on a rampage coming up with variations of the same model. Accompanying the Force Impulse Gundam in the SEED DESTINY model lineup is the ZAKU Warrior. Following the Gunner ZAKU Warrior (Lunamaria Hawke Custom) is the Gunner ZAKU Warrior, and then the ZAKU Warrior (Live Convert Version). In this review I will cover the ZAKU Warrior, the Gunner Wizard as well as the Live Concert Version.
The head comes in 4 parts. The mono-eye is a sticker pasted on a black round piece which is movable to about 30 degrees leftwards and rightwards. The sticker is pink for the standard and Lunamaria Hawke Custom ZAKU Warrior and blue for the Live Concert Version. Like the Force Impulse Gundam the ball joint for the head moves forward and backward on the torso allowing for some slight vertical articulation of the head, though not by much. The back of the helmet is rather large, reducing horizontal articulation to less than 15 degrees. The tubes connecting to the mouth are molded in the right colors. Sadly, head articulation is horrible. When the ZAKU Phantom models are out, they would have an antenna on the forehead much like those seen in the
The torso has improved shoulder joints over previous models now that Bandai has implemented ball-shaped polycaps into these ZAKU Warrior models. The shoulder joint is a peg with a round polycap in one end which goes into the side of the torso while the other end is connected to the arm. This allows for slight swiveling in any direction up to 15 degrees. Not much, but it helps make poses slightly less stiff-looking. The Live Concert Version has a "LOVE!" decal over the chest. The collar is really big it impedes head articulation. At least unlike the Zakus from the Universal Century, these Cosmic Era guys can do some torso twisting.
Technically this review could even cover the basic ZAKU Phantom since the only difference it has compared to the ZAKU Warrior is its double shoulder shields and an antenna on its head. The ZAKU Warrior has a spiked shield on its left shoulder and a round right shoulder with a curved spike. The shield has 3 spikes that are rounded to be child-safe. It looks so weak-looking with round spikes many people remove them and add their own sharp spikes to make the shield look stronger. Even the HGUC Zaku II had sharp spikes on its left shoulder! The back of the shield allows for 2 spare machine gun ammunition drums to be mounted. The joint connecting the shield to the shoulder is a cool L shape with the ball-shaped polycaps on both ends. The hole in the shield allows the L-shaped piece to reside almost completely inside the shield leaving part it to stick out like a peg to connect to the shoulder. Imagine a double ball joint that is L-shaped. This gives it great poseability as the shield can be articulated in any direction. The left shoulder is a bit blocky and has the hole for the ball joint from the shield to connect to. The right shoulder is rounded with the curved spike. The elbows are single-jointed and bend 90 degrees. There are hand parts for the closed fist, trigger-happy right hand and an open left hand. The Live Concert Version has a Haro decal on the left shoulder and a heart-shaped decal on the right shoulder. The shield has a "Lacus Clyne Alive!!" decal and some yellow stickers to make the spiked section of the shield yellow.
The legs are nice and fat and have double joints allowing them to bend 135
degrees. The double joints are unlike those of the Impulse which cannot be removed. The power pipe running outside the legs is loosely inserted into the legs so they hardly disturb knee articulation. The front armor flaps
move as a pair but can be split so that each front armor piece moves
individually when one leg is raised. The side armor pieces are snapped onto the waist unlike previous models which use polycaps. Each side armor piece can mount two hand grenades. The back armor piece is not moveable but it has a hidden hardpoint which can be revealed by sliding a middle piece downwards. This small hole can mount the machinegun on the ZAKU Warrior. The feet have ball joints and the front part of the lower legs can be movable to allow for wider poses. The vernier at the back of the legs are slightly movable as well.
Machine gun- The machine gun has a removable ammunition drum that can also bend to the side to allow the gun to be mounted on the back of the ZAKU Warrior. It also has an articulated secondary handle for the ZAKU Warrior to hold the gun with both hands. There is a peg sticking out of the right side of the gun which goes to the back of the ZAKU Warrior.
Beam tomahawk- This is similar to the heat hawk seen in the Universal
Century. The beam axe is just a single piece of plastic. The axe cannot be
stored inside the shield as seen in the anime.
Hand grenades- They can only be mounted on the waist. There are no hand parts which can hold the grenades.
Gunner Wizard- The Gunner Wizard is molded in two colors and the details are done either using the stickers provided or by painting. What distinguishes this Gunner Wizard from the 1/144 Collection Series is not only the presence of more colors and joints but also a red cable that runs from the back to the gun. The big gun is connected to the backpack by a crank-like part which has a simple double joint in the middle and ball-shaped polycaps at both ends to improve articulation of the gun over the 1/144 Collection Series version. The gun has a stock behind and can be folded into the gun when not in use. This applies for the front half of the barrel as well, and the 1/144 Collection Series version does not have these features, but instead the parts are removed and re-attached. This shortens the length of the gun enough for it to be hung vertically behind the ZAKU Warrior's back. After some time fiddling with the joints on the ZAKU Warrior's arms, the gun can be held under the right hand for some cool poses with the fearsome gun.
The Live Concert Version has a 1/144 scale picture of Meer Campbell on the box and in the instruction manual. If you are really good at cutting tiny
objects, maybe you can have a paper statue of her standing on your ZAKU Warrior Live Concert Version.
Wow. A review can cover so many models. Bandai's probably trying too hard to earn money. Unless you're: 1. a die-hard fan, 2. rich beyond anyone's imagination, or 3. so patient you won't go crazy building ZAKU Warrior models so many times, don't bother getting all the ZAKU Warrior models. Or perhaps you can get the ZAKU Warrior and the Gunner ZAKU Warrior (Lunamaria Hawke Custom) to get the best out of your money. And if you really want to, grab a Live Concert Version. And be prepared for the invasion of the ZAKU-like models.