At the end of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Episode 5 "The Black Unicorn," a new mobile suit appears to aid our protagonists when faced with a truly hopeless situation. And, boy, was its 2-minute appearance something! The Rozen Zulu really stole the show for that last brief moment before bowing and exiting stage-left. What's a bit upsetting is getting this kit before it's true abilities are showcased, which won't be until Episode 6. But, this aside, Bandai still decided to pull a Banshee and release the kit prior toward it's true OVA appearance. With some rather controversial sleights. I acquired mine through GGInfinite, as payment for a commission for Gundam Guy, of which you can see as the banner to his blog! ^___^
I: Main Body
I just want to get this out of the way now, because I know this is such a huge bother to most people when this kit was revealed. I'm sure you noticed the difference just scrolling up to the manual cover and scrolling back down to my photo. The colors the kit is molded in are significantly darker than the painted prototype's colors, and sadly, it's not just lighting.
But, I have found a slight justification for this, and it lies in the original line art...
Concept art for the Rozen Zulu, used for the OVA.
As you can see, its colors are closer -though still not perfect- to those of the pre-molded ones.
But versus the Rozen Zulu's on-screen appearance...
From Gundam Unicorn Episode 5.
Somewhere along the way, the colors brightened, which lead us to the colors seen on the manual. Whatever the case may be, I'm fine with the colors it comes in, so there we go. XD
Head and Torso
The torso is a well-built piece to this kit, having a hidden joint that allows forward arching motion for the upper body. The large collar is crisply molded, with all the lines needing to be white raised, making painting times easier.
As per usual with my Sleeves MS kits, I painted all the crests with flat white and painted the field in gloss black (despite it's supposed to being the blue-ish black that the rest of the torso has). The mono-eye was done with a gloss black field, again, but used the red sticker for the eye. The non-lining "white" parts were painted with a mixture of light grey, tan and white, to separate them from the Sleeve markings.
The backpack only has the little bit of grey and off-white that needed painting for the back thrusters and exposed mechanical detailing. I should note that while I'm alright with the darker purple colors, all of the grey had to be painted. T__T A bit disappointing, but more of a nuisance than a flaw.
The propellent tanks needed the grey and dark purple (that was a difficult one to match ^__^;;). I panel-lined in the thruster hollows due to their size.
While the prototype only had the side skirts painted, I went ahead and did the little button designs on the front skirts. the four buttons were painted the off-white mixture with black panel-lining in the centers, while the lining was done in flat white.
The entire elbow joint needed painting to grey. The cuffs had the same white lines/black field as the rest of the Sleeves elements. Flat black was added to the "slits" of the detachable hand and inside the cannons, while the cannon barrels were also painted grey.
Painting was limited to the white stripes along them, those small apogee thrusters, and the side maneuvering thrusters, which required a bit more attention. They were painted grey for the thruster exterior, flat black for the inset the thrusters sat on, off-white for the thruster interiors and the inner walls of the thruster housing. The hollows were panel-lined.
The white lines are the most prominent parts needing painted, but the ankle thrusters needed their exteriors grey along with the knee joints, and the back thrusters had the off-white interiors. Black was added to all four of each thruster's hollows.
Some large-scaled painting is required for color accuracy, with a copious amount of grey for the exposed mechanical part on the bottom, backside and the outsides of the cannon barrels. Flat black was added to the inside cannons and the small purple "wrap" around the handle had to be mixed to finish the paintwork.
The only painting required for these are the three apogee motors around the relay INCOM discs, which I painted the off-white and panel-lined black.
The rose-like weapons haven't been shown on-screen yet, but my knowledge on them is that they block all Psycommu-utilized weapons, including funnels and even the Unicorn's own NT-D... Likely to be one helluva fight when it releases!
Painting to the storage units was mostly the large amount of grey from the exposed mechanics,but also included mixing the lighter purple-pink color for what is supposed to be another fixed jammer molded to the interior.
III: Action Poses
I didn't take a whole lot of action shots, but that shouldn't dilute what this kit's capable of.
"The path has been cleared, sir..."
The bow out at the end of the fifth episode, allowing Full Frontal to approach the General Revil with minimal problems before-- Cliffhanger ending!
IV: Final Verdict
FINAL RATING: 4 out of 5