Based on the Gaza construction mobile suit, the Gaza-C is a simple transformable mobile suit that can be mass produced rapidly. The Gaza-C made its combat debut during the Gryps War between the Titans and AEUG in UC 0087 under the flag of Axis, the exiled remnants of what remained of the Principality of Zeon's nobility and military might. The MSiA Gaza-C is available both in the standard production colors and custom colors of Haman Karn. Personally I don't really care that much for the pink & magenta color scheme of the production model, so I opted for the more distinctive Haman Karn variant. So how did the MSiA incarnation of AMX-003 Gaza-C stand up? Let's find out…
The Gaza-C head is a diminutive stump with a large crosshair-embedded eye. The detailing is pleasing with panel lines and cables, but the paint on the Gaza-C I purchased has run-offs in the paint on the forehead. Despite the fact the head can't really rotate since it's recessed into the torso, the ball-jointed neck does allow for a fairly free range of motion with 5°-10° of tilt.
Have you ever drawn a stick man in art class? Well, if memory serves, the upper torso and shoulders of a stick man greatly resembles the letter “T,” and the same is true for the Gaza-C. This profile gives the mobile suit a very distinctive appearance amongst the more unconventional of Zeta Gundam mecha designs that works well for the MSiA incarnation. The backpack is about as tall as the entire Gaza-C standing up with an oblong fuselage, two fixed beam guns, two ball-joint-mounted rocket motor nozzles with 5° articulation and a large vertical stabilizer (tail fin) mounted with two dome-like protrusions that can swivel close to 45°. The whole backpack is manufactured using plastic materials similar to nylon polymer in their overall strength and light weight, which I'm very happy to see since traditional PVC materials would prove too heavy for the Gaza-Cs frame to support.
The clip joint on the waist section connects to a small rod imbedded in one end of the pylon midsection. Although the torso cannot twist, the clip joint allots for 90° forward tilt and 30° backwards. The yellow cables on the midsection haven't gotten in the way either, not even during the transformation process, nor have they fallen out or been knocked out thanks to the large recessed ball-joints used to mount them.
In the back of my mind I wondering what approach Bandai's designers would take when it came to the shoulder binders since they're so large, but once again I'm taken by surprise. The binders are manufactured using the same materials used to construct the backpack, fact they decided to mount them both on the elbows using small L-brackets with mini ball-joints. This arrangement secures the binder onto the arm while allowing the binders to rotate 360° and tilt 5°, making it easier than I originally expected to pose the binders. The elbows have single hinge joints that move 90° forward and backward (OUCH!), while the hands attach to tiny ball-joints recessed at the end of the forearm. Hands are easy to attach and detach and can rotate 360° with 2° of articulation.
The skirt armor is divided into 6 sections: 2 front panels attached to miniature ball-joints with an average of 5° tilt and almost 360° rotation, two side segments attached with rods that swivel 70°, and two back panels also attached with miniature ball-joints with articulation equal to the front panels. The side panels are an absolute delight, but the back panels are cumbersome and make it difficult to pose the Gaza-C. From the hips the legs can move 50° outwards, 50° forward and 45° backward. The knees have double hinge joints that move 75° backwards with no forward movement. The ankles are comprised of double ball joints that give the feet 15° of side-to-side tilt and 30° of backward movement. Each “toe” is first connected onto the foot rod joint and then onto a hinge joint at the end of the toe that each move up to 90°.
“Knuckle buster” beam cannon- Just as I expected, the knuckle buster is an absolute pain. There's no handle on the gun for starters (which is accurate to the original mechanical design) that makes it almost impossible to hold the gun, and when you finally do get it to fit in the Gaza-Cs grip the gun's smooth curves and flowing lines makes the weapon easy to slip. On top of that there's a small cable with a tiny ball-joint in the stock that attaches to a cavity in the underside of the right arm that never seems to want to stay put. A peg protruding from the side is used to attach the weapon onto the Gaza-Cs fuselage when it's in mobile armor mode, but in my figure the hole wasn't properly machined, so the gun is crooked when its attached and bumps right into the beam gun barrels on the oblong backpack.
Beam sabers- The Gaza-C comes with two purple beam saber hilts with yellow beam blades. The beam blades attach into cylindrical holes in the hilts using matching pegs, a tried-and-true system that's been used for several years by Bandai. The blades are manufactured using translucent materials that are strong, lightweight and resistant to most cases of bending and warping. Each hilt fits into one of two storage holes on the inside of the arm binders.
Transformation- Rather than go into a long and detailed explanation of the transformation process, I'll just say that among other transforming MSiA action figures, this one is among simplest and easiest to perform and reverse. I found it particularly delightful that the Gaza-C has the ability to transform into three different modes: mobile suit, mobile armor and artillery mode.
So how did the MSiA incarnation of AMX-003 Gaza-C stand up? Better than I expected. The action figure was larger than what I had imagined, my concern over certain components I was afraid would be too heavy (the shoulder binders and backpack) were unnecessary, and the overall structural integrity was good. The transformation was quite simple and effective, the accessories supplied were adequate, and the paint job was on par for the course (meaning Bandai continues to uphold their high degree of quality). All-in-all, the Gaza-C would make a nice addition to any transformable MSiA or Zeta Gundam MSiA collection, whether in the traditional mass-produced magenta or the custom white and purple of Haman Karn.
High Points: Intelligent design and construction, good paint job overall, simple transformation into three modes.
Low Points: Severe backward elbow movement, cumbersome skirt armor back panels, knuckle buster was a total pain.