Bandai Real Grade Zaku 2 at 1/144 scale is a marvel of Bandai innovative manufacturing process to mould moveable joints and hinges together as a single plastic piece.
I had so much hope and so excited when I bought this as my first RG kit from eBay. But boy, this is no ordinary Zaku 2 when compared to the standard HG kit. This is much more complex and has many small parts, which is actually very good in terms of parts separations. However, I did not enjoyed one bit of this build. I struggled to understand the instrucitons even though I read basic japanese and I review technical/construction drawings for a living.
Some of the parts are so small that I am not able to use either clips or double sided tape to hold it down for painting. Espeically the hose armours, they are just small loose rings that i have to individually string it up and spray them one by one. Also the internal frame has build in joints and hinges that if you painted them over, they will pracitcally fused together and stopped moving.
Super glue and cement are your friend when putting this together. Some of the external armour is just a push fit onto the inner frame, and these are to allow movement to simulate “Real” world movement of the joints, and these are so loose and keeps popping out.
I have used a sinper rifle and bazooka magazines from my other HG Zaku kits. The parts are not really interchangeable so I have to modify and glue them on.
Proportion wise, it looks good when compared to the HG Zaku 2. But the head sculpt just look slightly weird, it is although the hose pipe on the RG head is slightly higher and makes it look dis-jointed from the chest.
My RG Zaku 2 side-by-side with HG Rx-78 Origin. I painted my RG Zaku 2 based on the colour scheme I saw in Stardust Memories. There is a scene where GP01 is tasked to find GP02 and a remants of Zeon troops with Zakus mashed up from old parts.
I am not sayng not to buy a Real Grade kit, but I have to honestly say I am not keen on getting another unless it is on special offer (I heard the Sazabi is the best RG though). What I am trying to say is that if you are just starting off and like a quick build this is not the kit for you. You will probably have more fun buying a cheaper HG and experiement with painting scheme. But if you like a challenge like I did, buy a RG but know what you are getting yourself into. You have been forewarned, this is no ordinary Zaku!