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Zaku Cannon
Bandai's Latest
Master Grade Masterpiece In Review

By Neal "Sci-Fi" Izumi

Kit Data:
Scale: 1/100
Stock No.: 0155521
Materials: Polystyrene, ABS, Polyethylene, Coiled Springs, Stickers, Dry Transfers
MSRP: 4,500 Yen

Bandai MS-06K Zaku Cannon in 1/100scale

Bandai's latest Master Grade kit is the classic Mobile Suit Variation (MSV) MS-06K Zaku Cannon. The kit is based on their recently released MS-06F Zaku II Version 2.0, and continues the concept of developing variants based on a standard design. Bandai has already released kits of the land combat, minelayer, and high performance types, with the Johnny Ridden custom high performance type due anytime soon!

The first thing you will notice about this kit is the attractive box art, which emulates the style and drama of the old MSV kits from the 1980s. Once the lid of the huge box is lifted, you are greeted by 377 pieces of plastic molded in no less than eight colors! The kit is designed so that very little painting will be required by the builder, although this also helps in eliminating masking for those who wish to paint. Most of the parts are broken down at natural join lines, so filler work is minimized as well. Slide-molded parts are provided to simplify components without sacrificing detail. And you thought DML pioneered this stuff!

Bandai MS-06K Zaku Cannon in 1/100scale

Slide molds are used in abundance to form complex single-piece components.

The kit is rounded out with a nice color instruction sheet (mostly in Japanese), a pair of coiled spring hoses, and a sheet each of stickers and dry transfers. The last two items are a continuing sore point to me, as both are not particularly convenient to use. Bandai sells aftermarket waterslide decals for their kits, so it escapes me as to why they don't just concede that the stickers were a stupid idea and replace them with proper decals.

Bandai MS-06K Zaku Cannon in 1/100scale

The full color instruction sheet is filled with photos of the completed model.

Options include alternate "rabbit ear" antennas for the head, a machine gun, bazooka, and "Heat Hawk" hatchet. Personally, the shoulder cannon and "Big Gun" waist mounted gun pods appear to be plenty of firepower for the Zaku, but the extra armament is a nice touch.

A really neat feature common to all Zaku 2.0 series kits is the "mono eye," which is mechanically linked to turn with the head. I noticed that the front AND rear head mounted sub-camera lenses are provided as clear parts, an improvement over previous kits which had the rear camera lens molded solid as part of the head.

Bandai MS-06K Zaku Cannon in 1/100scale

The painting guide is minimal, but adequate. (If you can read Japanese!)

Although the finished kit pictured in the instructions is in pristine condition, the box art provides a strong incentive to go crazy with the weathering. Being that the Zaku Cannon is an Earth-based terrestrial combat unit (not a space type), fading paint, dust, dirt, and rain effects would be almost mandatory.

Bandai's MS-06K Zaku Cannon is indeed worthy of the "Master Grade" label, and is highly recommended to all Gundam fans.

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