Wednesday, December 13, 2006

PLAMO Review 16: MG Sazabi

Reviewed by MG Strike Gundam

Hi! Everyone, I'm Strike Gundam from Gundam SEED. Today I'll be doing the review on MG Sazabi, and I hope that you'll like it as with all the other reviews.

Sazabi is a customized MS for Char Aznable, the commander of the Neo Zeon in Char's Counterattack. Char has the nickname of 'the Red Comet' since the One Year War, so his MSs are naturally colored in red. The special design about Sazabi is the design of the helmet is pretty close to the one worn by the pilot during the One Year War, although in the anime, Char no longer wear any disguise on his face.

Front, side and rear view of Sazabi. Gunpla models need a good neck design like mine to be able to see him clearly!

As compared to Nu Gundam, Sazabi featured many different equipments and weapons, even though both of them are being produced by the same company, Anaheim Electronics. Apart from the beam shotgun, shield, beam sabers, and funnel system, Sazabi is also armed with a powerful Mega Particle Cannon in the waist, the one similar to Full Armor ZZ Gundam. The two standard beam sabers are stored in the forearms of the MS for backup. Sazabi's choice of melee armament, or rather Char's, is a huge beam sword stored in the shield, which can generate a beam tomahawk, mimicking the famous Heat Hawk used by Zakus during the OYW. I'm sure Char would remember that weapon as well.

Char usually lead his team of MSs into combat himself, even though he is the most important person in his country. This, I'm sure, is the source of inspiration for his soldiers. Moreover, 'the Red Comet' is considered a legend in the Universal Century, and a humongous red MS coming into combat would definitely strike terror among the EFSF's fleets, even though they have their own triumph card, Amuro Ray.

Read more about Sazabi's mecha details on

Let's move on to the model itself. First of all, it's huge. You can see from the photos that I only stand up to his waist, one leg of his is equivalent to a few of mine. If you only start GUNPLA-ing recently, you would be interested to know that Sazabi is the first MG to reach 8,000 Yen, and the first one that requires two of my boxes for packaging. Imagine the commotion created when it was released. It's been on the list of my master since then as well, but he was always complaining that getting it in Kuching would cause him a few bombs, and the plan of getting it together with Nu Gundam would definitely nuclear-bombed his bank account. He finally made the purchase in Kuala Lumpur mid this year, which he made some noise in this blog of his as well.

8,000 Yen for this kind of details and size seems a real deal, at least my master think so

My master was quite excited when he assembled Sazabi. Apart from the size, red is his favorite color and he fancy Zeon designed MSs, not to mention that Char is also one of his idols. Hoverer, I couldn't help noticing how dull it has become half-way through the process. For instance, there are four thrusters for the each leg, and all of them are identical. Repeating eight thrusters weren't fun at all. I can't imagine how he managed to ink the panel lines for those parts in the first place. Not to forget another six thrusters for the waist armor, and another six for the shoulder armor. Must be quite dry, and there are those six funnels as well, which seems really boring to assemble for me.

Luckily I don't have any of those parts. :-)

The funnels take quite some time to assemble, but being able to switch between attack and retrieve mode without the need to swap parts is cool

Apart from those repetitions of parts, everything was quite simple and straight-forward. But it was fun anyway, because of the special Zeon design for Sazabi. For example, assembling the head was quite a joy because that's where the cockpit is situated as well. It was quite a cool design, because after it was done, not only the cockpit hatch can be opened, the mono-eye camera is still moveable. Assembling the rings for the waist's Mega Particle Cannon was another thing. Here you have the biggest MG model ever, and you still get tiny rings like the ones for the conductive pipes found on Zaku II and Gouf. It's like the combination of all elements you can find on a single model.

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The parts for the cockpit and the completed head. The mono-eye sensor is carefully painted actually, to get the effect of the green targeting sensor in the middle

There are no metal die-casts for Sazabi, even though its size is larger than Nu Gundam. There's no need for any of that since the completed model is quite balance. It doesn't have huge fin funnels burdening his back threatening his spine anyway. It has PG-size feet so standing firmly is no problem for him at all.

As for the weaponry, I must say that the shield is really cool. Rounded and curvy Zeon design plus the size: a whole plat of plastic big enough to cover my entire body as the base of the shield, very intimidating. The shield isn't complete with the Neo-Zeon marking on the top, so for those planning to get this kit, don't get that marking wrong, else you will cry your eyes out. The beam sword is another interesting thing. I'm sure it's the biggest in the collection as well. As a matter of fact, the length of the blade itself is the same as my height! As for the two back-ups beam sabers, my advise is not to put them back into the forearms after assembling them because it's so hard to get them out. My master face the same problem with MG Qubeley, where the beam sabers are also stored in the same place, and taking them out is equally hard. He was wondering when Bandai's going to improve on that.

Beam sword, beam tomahawk and the rifle. Powerful weapons but incapable of posing them :-(

Surprisingly, there are tiny locks on the handles of beam rifle and the beam sword, so Sazabi is able to hold them firmly. I use the word 'surprisingly' because such feature should have been inherited by MG Nu Gundam reviewed yesterday, since it's been released later than Sazabi. But Bandai decided to omit that anyway. Anyone know why? The manipulators of Sazabi are as big as the ones on Dom and Rick Dom, where each finger is movable. All these sound really great, right? But guess what, there's a major flaw that cuts a lot of marks off Sazabi: the hands do not have much room to move because of the chunks of armor around them. The piece of armor covering the top of the palms is especially troublesome. It's hard to even pose him with his beam rifle on.

As with Nu Gundam, Sazabi doesn't move well. Worse than his arch-rival, there's no way for Sazabi to turn his waist because of the Mega Particle Cannon in his belly. All these are understandable with all the armor on and the significant weight. It's possible nowadays with the technology and the reduction in size, as seen in the HCM Pro version. But for a 1-100 scale model, it isn't to be played like how I'm capable of. Let's not forget that I was born years after this big guy. There's no display stand as well, so you can't do much with the Dragoons, I mean funnels if you're thinking of reliving some of the magical moments from the anime, unlike the coming MG Strike Freedom Full Burst Mode, who is so lucky to get a display stand for both the model and all his funnels, I mean Dragoons this time.

Anyway, my master seems to be quite happy with just posing Sazabi standing straight side by side with Nu Gundam. A huge red model taller than anyone else around him is the center of the show, really. He's much better looking than I do, even though he can't move as much as me, at least he won't be tortured with the all the action poses my master made me do now and then.

You can view more images of MG Sazabi and MG Nu Gundam in their photo albums.