Welcome to my short review of the 1/35 scale Zeta Gundam bust from BSC. This is the third kit from BSC I've built and reviewed, starting with the 1/35 Unicorn Bust and the 1/35 Sinanju. The latter being one of the best third party kits out there and easily the best bust kit available.
In comparison, the Zeta Gundam bust is disappointing. But before I become a Negative Nancy, let's start with the good. FIrst off, it's a fantastic design and looks great. It's a smart take on the Zeta with just enough colour separation and a lot of external and internal detail. More so than the previous busts - this one is a detailers dream. There are are a few panels that open up to reveal detail or make the kit look like it's being worked on. Would've been nice to have had some 1/35 scale figures and wires to hold them up over some of the other gimmicks. In addition the cockpit opens up to reveal the pilot. BSC, if you're reading this, maybe have an optional head piece without the helmet so we can detail paint up Kamille's face for display. The wings and the rear nose piece also fold up, though there are no lights on the extended wings which would've been nice.
One thing that sets this bust apart is the tons of LEDs. Many pieces have an internal core of clear plastic with LED strings running through them that help illuminate large parts of the kit. There's a great pink on the core stand, blues on the back, and a cool mix of green/blue on the head and torso. Putting them in was pretty straight forward and the instructions fairly easy to follow. Instead of independent LEDs like the Sinanju most on this kit are thin strings of lights in serial. They get wrapped through pieces which is a lot easier than it actually looks when you pull out the big LED bundle from the box. I did encounter a few issues but I'll get to that in a bit. Zeta's lights are powered by a pair of batteries, or the prefered micro USB connection. There's a remote that came with that I haven't even bothered with. It's much easier to plug it in when I want the lights on, and unplug when I don't (I have the Sinanju wired to turn on with all the other display lights in my Gunpla room).
The base is the same one that came with the Sinanju, but with more detailing bits like computer stations (again, could've used some mini figures) and spotlights (each are individually powered and switched, separate from the rest of the LEDs). I didn't use the spotlights in most of my photos because it messed with the exposure and white balance. They work pretty well I suppose, though I hate the concept. I think they started with one of the Bandai Formania and it's one of those gimmicks I find totally rubbish. You can easily display without the big base if you want a more subdued look, though there is a peg piece on the bottom to hold it in place you'll have to remove.
Alright, now for some of the negatives. The biggest issue is that Zeta is a step back from the Sinanju when it comes to how things fit together. It feels like a third party kit with pieces not quite fitting together as they should. It's that thing where you put a couple pieces together and they just slightly pull away from each other. There are also several armor pieces that just sort of sit on top of the frame and don't fit as snugly and stay in place as was originally intended. I'm not sure if this is due to rough molds or poor treatment afterward. The one large piece at the bottom of the rear nose backpack thing came pretty warped and a couple of the internal slats were broken. I didn't have to carve up anything to get them in place at least.
For the most part the LEDs work better than on the Sinanju (one of my thruster lights is out which is annoying the fuck out of me right now). There is some instability in the main control board where the USB plugs in. I'm not sure if it's a disconnect at the port, or somewhere else on the board, but I kept having to jiggle it to make it start working, worried during the entire build that I was going to get to the end and not have the thing light up. The shoulder connections work by holding the power connections in place so you can just slot them in, however one of my shoulders the piece that was supposed to hold the connector did a poor job, such that every time I put on the shoulder it just pushed the connection piece into the torso. I ended up having to glue a bit of scrap plastic behind the connector to keep it in place.
To me these little issues really quashed my excitement for this kit. As fans of BSC's prior work I've grown high expectations. In retrospect, maybe that's an issue on my part. When graded against all other third party kits, the Zeta Gundam bust is still a top tier kit. I highly recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the mobile suit. Though, BSC's Sinanju remains their best kit by far.
Alongside a MG Zeta and the BSC Sinanju (I was too lazy to pull my PG Zeta off the display)...