How do you compare the incomparable? I guess we’ll find out right here. But really, even though the 1/144 HGUC NZ-999 Neo Zeong is technically an HG kit it is in a class of its own based on sheer size. But does bigger mean better?
First off, I’d like to say how crazy this was to assemble. Not only because it was so big (it was), but also because we tried to do it on a live stream for Gunpla TV. If you want to see the build and get an idea about the kit yourself here is the video. Just give yourself 2 and a 1/2 hours. Yes, I built this in about 160 minutes. That’s a Michael Bay movie.
Overall Look: 8/10
Being huge definitely makes it eye-catching, but if this were a smaller size would it really capture our attention the way it has. It definitely looks like something designed to cause a whole lot of destruction. I like the look of the spikes on the sides and that back end. The fuel tanks on the bottom, due to them touching the ground, look almost like legs. Big, clumsy, unattractive legs. Those extra arms on the back give it a bit of a confused look.
It is definitely unique, that’s for sure. Extra points for the beautiful Sinanju that is included in this massive box.
Red, red, and more red. Actually, due to its size it seems like too much red. In a smaller scale, this colour scheme would probably look better. There is white to break it up but that comes down to four pieces out of the entire package plus small foil markings. Lots of gold on the Sinanju though.
The actual Neo Zeong doesn’t come with any weapons at all unless you count the giant barrels on the end of each arm. The majority of weapons in this box come with the HG Sinanju and interestingly you don’t get everything. With the normal HG Sinanju release you got the shield, the rifle, beam sabre handles, and heat axes. With this Sinanju you get two bazookas! That is a big deal. The MG Sinanju, when it released originally, didn’t come with a bazooka. That was a only able to be obtained by purchasing an edition of the Gundam UC manga at a later time. Then they rereleased the MG Sinanju in the OVA colours and included the bazooka. Bandai did the same here.
They go together as you would expect.
They even come with extra barrels but we’ll talk more of that later. The Sinanju in the Neo Zeong, sadly, does not come with any of the beam effect parts so prevalent in the first HG release. That is kind of disappointing.
We’re going to leave the HG Sinanju out of the articulation discussion (it got a 6 in its review back in 2010) and just talk about how the Neo Zeong moves. Well, to be honest, it doesn’t move much. I guess due to its size we can’t really expect it to. It can pivot in the middle though I don’t think anyone will bother with that. The giant spikes on the side don’t do anything. Well, they do open.
The front skirts are able to move but if you do move them they will push up against a centre piece and just push it right off.
I was concerned about this at first until I realised there is nothing to move below the skirt.
About the only thing you can expect to move are the six arms but even so the four on the back can’t really do too much.
The two on the front maybe work better, but they are not without problems. You will often see them looking like this.
I’ll explain more in the next segment.
Build Design: 7/10
There is the biggest issue with the Neo Zeong. It’s just so heavy. No poly-cap would support the weight of these arms and so Bandai had to rely on tight-fitting peg connections. That doesn’t really solve the problem. This is most noticeable on the two arms on the front of the Neo Zeong. They are held on by a peg.
We are just relying on friction really to hold this in place. It doesn’t work well. They will stay when the kit is untouched but even trying to move the big beast causes it to sway on the stand and the arm will start to slide off.
The build is interesting and progresses pretty smoothly. You’re not left with a bunch of huge sections littering your table until their number is called and they are put on. Instead you first build the torso and then the skirt and once that’s done the stand to mount them. Then you start adding the arms, etc.
Bandai did do us a favour and design it so it can be disassembled into sections.
And it is likely the Neo Zeong will be in this state most of the time. When you want to show off this bad boy you grab your stand.
Grab that tortoise shell-like skirt section…
Plug in the fuel tanks…
Then you can mount it on the stand.
You are now free to add the torso.
Probably the coolest thing about the Neo Zeong (aside from its size) is how it is made to take the HG Sinanju at the controls. Ready, red fellow?
First you have to take off two pieces from the bottom of the torso.
Then the parts off the front of both shoulders.
The curved part is a little tricky to take off but Bandai did include a little tab to pull with your finger.
You will need to pull both ends evenly to get it off and once you do you may be reluctant to push it all the way back on given the effort it takes. But for now it’s done.
Removing the armour allows us to look at these great details (/partial sarcasm).
When it comes to put Sinanju in his seat you notice the difference between this version of the Sinanju’s assembly and that of the previous kits. For instance the front skirt. During assembly the manual directs you to cut the front skirt piece.
You need to do this to pull the skirts away from the center block.
And when you’re first assembling the Sinanju the manual stops at this step.
That’s right, you don’t need the fuel tanks.
Put these aside. Good thing I have a big box to put them in.
Bend Sinaju’s legs and spread them slightly and wiggly him into place.
The skirt center block has a place to rest.
Once he’s in place you can close the hatch.
Then put all that armour on again.
The fit of the Neo Zeong around the armour contours of the Sinanju’s shoulders is quite precise. Though it does look like Sinanju isn’t sitting comfortably.
But he is the king of his domain now, for sure.
The shield then plugs onto the back.
If you prefer you can have those large curved hatches open. This process just needs a little adaptor which Bandai supplies.
With these open you can mount the bazooka barrels.
But I think everyone will prefer to have Sinanju holding his own bazookas.
(Though the inclusion of the extra bazooka barrels means you can do both.)
When doing this you can pull off the smaller front armour parts and use the second connection found on the underside.
This fits into a hold on the part underneath it.
Fun Factor: 8/10
Let’s face facts here. Building something this simple in a small scale might lean towards being a little boring. But this thing is huge and the fun is found in just trying dig through the mountain of runners to find the correct part and then man-handling the huge assembles. It’s an experience you’ve likely never had before and I don’t know if we will see again. In fact, the construction and the sense of pride you’ll have when done is the best part of the Neo Zeong. Things can get a little frustrating later on when the buzz has worn off and you’re trying to actually do something with it.
I’ve mentioned the adaptors that allow you to open the hatches.
You’re also getting a second pole for the stand, this one much smaller.
This you can use to mount the Neo Zeong if you wish to remove those huge tanks from the bottom. I never once felt like I wanted to do that.
You also get some foils (though kind of a small amount when you consider just how big this guy is).
You even get a waterslide for the big emblem if you wish to go with that.
Maybe the coolest ‘extra’ is the coloured box, complete with logos, Bandai provides you so you can store or transport this bad boy. Lugging this thing around just got easier.
And somehow I ended up with an extra one of these.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with something that big. Maybe make it into a candle or pen holder.
If you’re the kind of person who absolutely must have something this massive and don’t mind the price then you’re not going to be very disappointed and conversely those who have no interest in this kit due to limited space or funds may not really feel like they’re missing out. For those on the fence you’ll have to decide on your own. But the bragging rights are pretty awesome!