The Zaku II (this one being the J type) is the literal first Mobile Suit shown in all of Gundam history, as an antagonist invading grunt. The word is based on 'zako' which means inferior fish - small fry.
This is the 2.0 redesign, meaning they upped the quality, inner frame, mechanics and details.
At this point Bandai has moved away from ball-in-socket hip joints and gone over to the two-pegged ball halves that rotate on three axis'.
While the pictures show a painted and desaturated grey-green, the actual kit is brighter. For reference, the RG Zaku II has the same green tones (in fact they're nearly the same kit, just different in scale).
The plastics are pale green, forest green and dark grey for the exterior, grey for the inner frame and navy blue for the backpack, along with transparent lenses for the guns and visor.
Not a lot of detail on the plastic and some of it is shallow and a little hard to panel line.
Very little of the kit is undergated (2007) however the gates are quite small and the plastic is forgiving, so you should largely be able to avoid ugly nub marks.
This particular Zaku II is a little more anime accurate and beefed up in proportions
The kit comes with a dry transfer sheer (good) and a sticker decal sheet (bad). You can see on the pictures why, as there are huge plastic squares around each sticker, but of course you're free to not use them and order separate water slides.
Full inner frame (beautifully detailed at that) which is as good as they make them today, with moving pistons or piston look-a-likes on most joints. Even the neck has four little juts that will just barely show themselves when you wobble the head around (though this is very hard to notice while it's on the body).
The posability is very good for what it is. You know that the ankles can't pivot much (the "toes" bend, or rather half the foot splits), but the skirts are made to get out of the way (including the back skirt - they ALL move and the side ones swing out) so they don't block the legs.
All fingers have two joints and while the bottom three are molded in one piece, you can cut them apart for full individual finger articulation. Only the thumb is one piece, all the others can bend at two points. Both hands are on a hinge+ball.
Both shoulder mounts move around on three points.
The inner eye turns along with the head thanks to two gear wheels inside, which the RG copied later. It looks effective and he can look over his shoulder for a menacing side stare.
1 set of hands with articulated fingers and tabs for holding weapons (shallow)
1 German style machinegun with a top drum mag (detachable, can place on a skirt)
1 bazooka, equippable on an open flap on the back skirt (friction lock, not very secure but okay)
1 heat hawk axe, mountable on a c-clip on a side or back skirt
2 calf missile launchers, require dissasembly to remove
Simple to assemble for an MG.
The only snag are the cable links/rings, where you snip the gates and then move them from their interior rubber mold over to the various cables and springs (2 springs included for the exterior leg cables). They sit so tightly that pulling them off, nevermind just sliding them over, takes significant strength (impossible for a kid), so you may have to cut each ring out or drill out the center of the rubber. Do note that they're NOT interchangable, follow the manual and direction!
Apart from the cable rings, it was an enjoyable build. It's a cheap kit that you get a lot out of and an iconic, classic model.
I should note that the little vents on the legs shown in one of the pictures are not on this model and it does not feature that option - those are only on the red Char version.
This is easily one of my favourite MG's. While a big Sazabi/Nu Gundam Ver Ka is impressive, this feels more "whole", more solid. Just a nice stable grunt kit that you can pose and mess around with on your desk. It's been 15 years, but it sure feels a lot younger. Definitely give it a go.