Thursday, May 17, 2012

MS-06F2000/GS-A Zaku Custom F2000 (Ghost Squad-Assault Type)


I now officially introduce to all the second addition to the CelPrev Skunkworks Exclusives, as featured in the Mech Arts Community Zaku Group Build. Do bear with me on some of the details; some were last-minute rush fixes that I unfortunately overlooked. '^^

Anyways, a brief (fictional) history on the suit...

At the middle of the One Year War, the Zeonic company released updated versions of the Zaku II, designated as the F2. These newer variants of the tried-and-tested Zaku frames were issued to the Principality in order to cope up with the forces' advanced models such as the Doms and Gelgoogs; a majority of these F2's ended up with the Delaz Fleet, who used them extensively during Operation Stardust.

By the time the said operation ceased, all Zaku II's, particularly the F2's used by the Delaz fleet and briefly by the Earth Federation, were retired from service. Unknown to even the top brass at Zeonic, a few of these examples ended up with Anaheim Electronics, who later saw them as test beds for advanced armor and weaponry. Thus, the birth of the tightly-lipped "Ghost Squad" project - a side-program for updating, retrofitting, and in some cases field-testing, derelict mobile suits as an engineering exercise.

One of the subjects of this project was upgrading an ordinary Zaku II F2 into a full-armor counterpart for the FA-73-1 Gundam Full-Armor Type, without the weight and mobility issues; furthermore, it was intended by the blokes at Anaheim that the suit be a more versatile assault unit than its EFSF counterpart. This called for scrapping plans for a back-mounted cannon in favor of a tried-and-tested handheld advanced bazooka capable of feeding on Minovsky Particles for power. Also included in the upgrade package would be an a lighter, yet more compact Chobham Armor, developed from the battle data accumulated from the Gundam NT-1 Alex and the GM Cannon II.

Another issue would be lack of close-to-mid-range weaponry, thus calling for a slightly less powerful, yet economically feasible version of the hyper beam rifle from the Hi-Nu Gundam; the downside though was, although considered more powerful than the rifles on the mass-produced Jegans, it can only hold up to two advanced, and unit-specific, E-cap magazines, which later became a precursor to the magazines seen on Unciorn Gundam's Beam Magnum.

Bullet-based weaponry was surprisingly retained in this unit as, aside from the trademark MMP-78 120mm Machine gun, this unit can be equipped with the Voltec ZR2 dual-barrel machine gun. This though uses the 90mm bullets from the MMP-80 instead of the 120mm, due to the reduced barrel size.

But it was in the melee combat category where AE's lab-coat boffins really gave the Zaku II the kick in the nuts it needed. To cope up with the continuously-evolving beam saber technology, they have developed a one-of-a-kind large beam heat hawk-sword hybrid (codenamed 'Durandal Noir II') which is heavily resistant to beam attacks, and can even redirect them to unfortunate enemies, all thanks to a special beam-resistant coating on the sword end's blades.That, and a plethora of beefier Vernier thrusters and an upgraded Minovsky fusion reactor, gives it twice the mobility AND five times the firepower of a regular Zaku II.

So far, this suit was only used once in an undocumented mission in the remains of the fortress-colony A Baoa Qu; there, it managed to eliminate hostile forces piloting 5 Balls, 3 first-generation GM's and an old GM Custom before they managed to seize some important equipment and documents left by the Titans. After that, the suit was temporarily mothballed until it was transferred into Anaheim's in-house museum as a showpiece of AE's engineering capabilities.

NOW, on to the pics...

Base Unit
Bandai really did a number to the design of the original Zaku II F2, from which the Super Custom F2000 (the base for the GS-A variant) was based. One thing I disliked on the Zaku F2000 though was the excessive amount of spikes, so off they go from the project, save from the distinctive ones on the left shoulder.

Dimensional Views

To keep in line with the "Ghost Squad" theme of things, I opted for the Matte Black look with some dark blue accents. Thank heavens I had some extra Tivoli Blue from the Impending [Gun]Doom project.

Do note that one of the closed fists had an uneven smudge; tried to add some superglue on the ball joint to keep it snug on the socket, but accidentally poured too much. Not to worry though, I let them dry before the test fit... ^^

More Views

Rounding up the mods:

- Sealed the missile pods
- Filled the gap left by the chest spikes
- Fused the trademark Zaku II Shoulder pad with the F2000's missile pack shoulder mount with some old cell cards and superglue
- Swapped the spiked kneecaps with those from the normal Zaku II F2

Armaments and Accessories
Not quite a plethora of weapons as expected, but nonetheless functional. 6 pairs of hands, including an open left and a trigger right.

Dual Machine Gun Action
Not much to mention, aside from the arm-mounted machine gun getting two barrels instead of the supposed one. Barrels derived from the Gaplant TR-5 Hrairoo

Better not mess with these pythons...

'Mass-production Beam Magnum' test rifle
Kitbashed the 90mm machine gun with the Graham Flag's beam rifle and some skirt parts from the HG Virtue. The shape does remind me of a M4A1 long-barrel rifle with a dual-drum magazine, though...

Advanced Minovsky Bazooka
This piece here is a showcase of my "McGuyver bashing": parts from Exia, Kyrios, Virtue, and the handle of the Graham Flag's linear rifle, all superglued/epoxied into a ball pen casing. End result: a massive weapon as long as the suit's height.

"Durandal Noir II" Beam Heat Hawk/Sword Hybrid
When I previously saw the 'Dead End G' Beam Heat Hawk, I personally thought that I could still be improved. So, I grafted the GN Sword blade on the other end with the old cell-card-superglue-epoxy-clay trick. And the results speak for itself...

It can even hurl it as a freaking javelin! How's that for versatility...

*No need for pros and cons on this one...


Compared to the work I've poured on the Hi-Nu NT-ZERO, this one is quite at par at the paint department, but really edges out on the weapons. Frankly, in my opinion, I would not want this Zaku any other way, even though it's bulk poses occasional problems in the articulation department, and so. Quite a good staging point if ever you want to go into customizing, there being more places to color (IMO, that is...)



1 comment: