Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

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Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:39 pm

Good afternoon everyone, I was looking at the Robot Spirits Zaku II F2 figure coming out in November and noticed something interesting. From the press release: "The Zaku Machine Gun can be changed to a new anti-aircraft magazine model".

Looking at the pictures the anti-aircraft model appears to be simply missing the standard drum fed magazine. I thought this was pretty interesting since I don't recall ever hearing about an anti-aircraft mode before. I'm curious if it's actually anti-aircraft or a mistranslation. By 0083 Corefighters and Coreboosters aren't really seen so I'm curious what would be the point of that. Perhaps it is meant to be more of a flak cannon ammunition where the round has an air-burst fuse meant to deal damage to fast moving targets.

I took a look in Gundam Battle Operation 2 (GBO2) which features the F2 and it also includes the anti-aircraft version of the machine gun. The AA mode has a higher damage rating but lower rate of fire and ammo capacity. In game the machine gun is pushing out around 200 damage per round while the AA version is doing around 700 per shot, in the same time it takes for the standard zaku machine gun to push out 5 rounds the AA version can put 3 rounds downrange. It's an interesting gimmick weapon usable only by the F2.

Anyone have any experience with where this weapon came from? My initial guess is that there was a piece of animation showing a Zaku Machinegun without a drum and Bandai decided to capitalize on that by creating another variation and throwing some in-universe explanation as to why it's missing a drum magazine. I'm curious if it's mentioned at all in the 0083 manga at all.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:26 am

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:39 pm
Good afternoon everyone, I was looking at the Robot Spirits Zaku II F2 figure coming out in November and noticed something interesting. From the press release: "The Zaku Machine Gun can be changed to a new anti-aircraft magazine model".

Looking at the pictures the anti-aircraft model appears to be simply missing the standard drum fed magazine. I thought this was pretty interesting since I don't recall ever hearing about an anti-aircraft mode before. I'm curious if it's actually anti-aircraft or a mistranslation. By 0083 Corefighters and Coreboosters aren't really seen so I'm curious what would be the point of that. Perhaps it is meant to be more of a flak cannon ammunition where the round has an air-burst fuse meant to deal damage to fast moving targets.

I took a look in Gundam Battle Operation 2 (GBO2) which features the F2 and it also includes the anti-aircraft version of the machine gun. The AA mode has a higher damage rating but lower rate of fire and ammo capacity. In game the machine gun is pushing out around 200 damage per round while the AA version is doing around 700 per shot, in the same time it takes for the standard zaku machine gun to push out 5 rounds the AA version can put 3 rounds downrange. It's an interesting gimmick weapon usable only by the F2.

Anyone have any experience with where this weapon came from? My initial guess is that there was a piece of animation showing a Zaku Machinegun without a drum and Bandai decided to capitalize on that by creating another variation and throwing some in-universe explanation as to why it's missing a drum magazine. I'm curious if it's mentioned at all in the 0083 manga at all.
It is not missing a magazine, it swaped the drum magazine into a box magazine. The box magazine gets in the way of the drum.

The magazine desgin is new, but the concept is from 0083, a quick check on the Japanese wikipedia says it is from ep. 4 of 0083, when Zaku F2 intercepted the Core Fighter II.
HGUC's MS-06F2 already have a box magazine where its manual says is a anti-air magazine, though much smaller than the Robot Spirits and GBO2 versions.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by JEFFPIATT » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:24 am

MythSearcher wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:26 am
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:39 pm
Good afternoon everyone, I was looking at the Robot Spirits Zaku II F2 figure coming out in November and noticed something interesting. From the press release: "The Zaku Machine Gun can be changed to a new anti-aircraft magazine model".

Looking at the pictures the anti-aircraft model appears to be simply missing the standard drum fed magazine. I thought this was pretty interesting since I don't recall ever hearing about an anti-aircraft mode before. I'm curious if it's actually anti-aircraft or a mistranslation. By 0083 Corefighters and Coreboosters aren't really seen so I'm curious what would be the point of that. Perhaps it is meant to be more of a flak cannon ammunition where the round has an air-burst fuse meant to deal damage to fast moving targets.

I took a look in Gundam Battle Operation 2 (GBO2) which features the F2 and it also includes the anti-aircraft version of the machine gun. The AA mode has a higher damage rating but lower rate of fire and ammo capacity. In game the machine gun is pushing out around 200 damage per round while the AA version is doing around 700 per shot, in the same time it takes for the standard zaku machine gun to push out 5 rounds the AA version can put 3 rounds downrange. It's an interesting gimmick weapon usable only by the F2.

Anyone have any experience with where this weapon came from? My initial guess is that there was a piece of animation showing a Zaku Machinegun without a drum and Bandai decided to capitalize on that by creating another variation and throwing some in-universe explanation as to why it's missing a drum magazine. I'm curious if it's mentioned at all in the 0083 manga at all.
It is not missing a magazine, it swaped the drum magazine into a box magazine. The box magazine gets in the way of the drum.

The magazine desgin is new, but the concept is from 0083, a quick check on the Japanese wikipedia says it is from ep. 4 of 0083, when Zaku F2 intercepted the Core Fighter II.
HGUC's MS-06F2 already have a box magazine where its manual says is a anti-air magazine, though much smaller than the Robot Spirits and GBO2 versions.
the anti air mag is shown on the line-art for the MMP-78 Machine Gun
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/gun ... 0331143455
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/gun ... 0409100748

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:35 am

Oh interesting, for some reason I was expecting this weapon show up in space so I never checked the land episodes. During EP4 one of the poorly maintained Zakus used by the Zeon remnants can be seen using the AA magazine to fire upon the Corefighter II that was being flown by the Anaheim defector.

Hmmm. That does make me wonder. I had assumed the corefighter would be more resilient than that since it is protecting the pilot. Although it appears the AA rounds burst behind the corefighter damaging the engines.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by MythSearcher » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:47 pm

JEFFPIATT wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:24 am

the anti air mag is shown on the line-art for the MMP-78 Machine Gun
Yes, but the current merchandise design of the magazine is new.(officially claim on that product page, from what I am seeing, it is a little bit bigger than the line art and a lot bigger than the HGUC)
Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:35 am
Hmmm. That does make me wonder. I had assumed the corefighter would be more resilient than that since it is protecting the pilot. Although it appears the AA rounds burst behind the corefighter damaging the engines.
The corefighter is an escape pod with flight capabilites. Considering this and most of the armour is on the MS, and you likely want to get out of the battlefield as fast as possible in an escape pod and thus you want the highest thrust to mass ratio, armour isn't the top priority.
Also, it is pretty hard to protect the engines, they are enduring high heat and it'd be too ideal to have a material that can both withstand immense heat and durable enough to take direct impact. Adding armour on top not only make it heavier, but also hardly to disperse the heat.

All that said, it is likely just your stereotypical "Anti air fire will take down air units" type of simple thinking because it makes sense on screen.
Think about it, the corefighter should have at least Mach 4-ish capabilities (the original FF-X7 is 4.5) while Zakus, design for space combat, should have the ability to aim and fire at relative velocities ranging in Mach 20~30, the shockwave produce in such flight in the atmosphere should make it pretty hard to correctly aim at the target and spraying small rounds around the area isn't your best option to get them pass the shock cone.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:36 pm

Absolutely agree, an escape vehicle cares more about speed than armor. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't part of the corefighter exposed after docking with the Gundam? I haven't been able to find a video of either the original RX 78-2 or the Zephyranthes docking but I could have sworn part of the core fighter was exposed in one of them. If it is exposed then it would need to carry the same material strength and toughness as the rest of the MS. That's why I was surprised by AA fire.

Of course any shot near the engine doesn't really matter armor wise as you pointed out.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:30 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 7:36 pm
Absolutely agree, an escape vehicle cares more about speed than armor. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't part of the corefighter exposed after docking with the Gundam? I haven't been able to find a video of either the original RX 78-2 or the Zephyranthes docking but I could have sworn part of the core fighter was exposed in one of them. If it is exposed then it would need to carry the same material strength and toughness as the rest of the MS. That's why I was surprised by AA fire.

Of course any shot near the engine doesn't really matter armor wise as you pointed out.
Yes and no.
Some of the in show docking shows RX-78-2 core fighter design seems to be it being the red part on the waist, thus almost everything is exposed.
(The blue cockpit part has the front hatch covering it somehow, does not really fit if you ask me)
But in most of the later designs the red waist is a thick piece of armour covering everything.

For the GP01 though, well, the lower half of the blue part of the chest, the air intake/exhaust(?) on the chest and the backpack are part of the core fighter II. So yes, more of it is exposed, but the main cockpit portion is covered. The exposed parts also really hard to cover(the GP01fb has covers for the chest intake/exhaust parts when not in use, and are thrusters instead because well, I guess space has no air so air intake would be useless)

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by Underrated GM Custom » Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:34 pm

Ah that's right! The red portion of the original RX78-2 was from the Core Fighter. In that case I suppose we can still chalk it up to Gundam having that super robot influence from transforming / combining shows like Combattler V. More of a rule of cool than anything practical.

I am surprised with the Zephyranthes that so much of the Core Fighter II is exposed. Like you mentioned speed would trump armor for an escape vehicle, but if so much of it is exposed in the core of the suit then you'd think it would have to be suitably thick considering how many center of mass shots a mobile suit is likely to take.

Somewhat related note. I recall that the origin of the Zaku Cannon was to be an anti-aircraft MS. Were aircraft a significant threat to the Zeon forces on the ground? I would have always assumed that they were more of a nuisance. Are these AA weaposn intended for small fighter craft or larger vehicles like the Medea?

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by MythSearcher » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:34 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:34 pm
Ah that's right! The red portion of the original RX78-2 was from the Core Fighter. In that case I suppose we can still chalk it up to Gundam having that super robot influence from transforming / combining shows like Combattler V. More of a rule of cool than anything practical.

I am surprised with the Zephyranthes that so much of the Core Fighter II is exposed. Like you mentioned speed would trump armor for an escape vehicle, but if so much of it is exposed in the core of the suit then you'd think it would have to be suitably thick considering how many center of mass shots a mobile suit is likely to take.

Somewhat related note. I recall that the origin of the Zaku Cannon was to be an anti-aircraft MS. Were aircraft a significant threat to the Zeon forces on the ground? I would have always assumed that they were more of a nuisance. Are these AA weaposn intended for small fighter craft or larger vehicles like the Medea?
At least RX-78's redesigns covered it with new armour.
https://middle-edge.jp/articles/uG08O
This article had a few scenes cut out, so it is not consistent in the anime, but I guess they already have the idea of armour covering the core fighter at the time. The words next to the picture claims that the lower left picture is the original settings, so at least the upper half is covered.
GP01 has no excuse because it should have all the time and experience of the RX-78 to improve on, but it didn't.
Kawamori surely did a good job in making the VF-1 transformation, but obviously didn't cared too much on the GP01's core fighting being protected or not.
You can kinda rationalize it as the parts aren't THAT exposed, there is this yellow parts covering the front as air intake and I guess isn't and can't have too much armour to begin with.(fB has them as thrusters, also not quite armourable) The blue parts are mostly covered by the arms on both sides, and the part you wanted to protect the most, the cockpit, is covered by a hatch in front, and the waist, let's assume the white parts are heavily armoured because I don't see them being of any other purpose other than maybe structural strength, are protecting the sides. The backpack was always vulnerable, even on regular MSs, so we can give it a bit of leeway. But still, I'd rather have some armour covering those blue parts so my main generators won't be damaged BEFORE I have my escape.
I guess that is why core fighter MSs aren't the norm but the exception.
Well, all of the core fighters are supposed to be only suited in experimental MS that required a learning computer, which is expensive even to the EF, other than the strange use of them with core booster and core interceptors(with the learning computer removed) so they aren't supposed to be fighting in the frontlines and there should be relatively little chance of them getting damaged. We just happen to see the exceptions, or the situations are pretty dire for the EFF.

I guess the AA idea came straight from the WWII reference, and they didn't really think it through as an overall idea. Which I might be wrong. After a quick check, here are the reasons why the EFAF could pose a great threat to the Zeon forces:
1) Zeon had poor aircrafts.
The Dopp isn't a great air superiority fighter. Zeon didn't have a place for testing fast jets before the war(poor excuse for not doing research, but I guess it would be hard to engineer something you cannot test), and they just assumed Minovsky particles rendering the radar useless will make close range air combat the norm. Thus they developed something more inline with helicoptors in modern days, a craft with a slow speed but high turn rate. The problem is, if they even do the slightest research from WWII era, they would have known that even without radar, speed is more important than turn rates.(If you cannot catch up with the enemy, it doesn't matter if your turning radius is 5m, your crafts are just sitting ducks to the faster enemy because they have the advantage of hit and run.) I guess this is mainly due to them using WWII Japan examples instead of German, British and USA as examples. The Dopp has excellent turn rate, excellent view from its canopy, but fast it ain't. Thus Zeon during the war had a hard time gaining air superiority.
2) EFAF had lots of fighter bombers
To make things worse, EFAF's light bombers had the advantage in aerocombats against Zeon's Dopp. The Fly Manta as an example, it is a fighter bomber, and still used heavily for fighting Dopps and don't have a problem with it. So they don't really need escorts, they can just mass bombers to where the MS are, shoot down the Dopps and bomb the heck out of the MSs out ranged, and leave.
3) EFAF had lots heavy bombers
If the Fly mantas didn't do their job well, the Depp(strangely similar name to the Dopp?) can do its job.

Yes, I always kinda assumed the 25mm vulcans don't work on MSs, but come to think of it, you don't need to get close to the MSs to damage them, all you need to do is bomb the area. This is pretty much what WWII and modern air to ground combat does. Yes, you get the P-47 and A-10 or maybe even the C-130 shooting bullets on tanks, this might be why we have the idea of aircrafts sweeping down and firing against the MS and thinks they are a nuisance than anything, but bombing works pretty well against slow moving ground targets.(I guess the only ground vehicles safer from bombing are hover crafts and hover MS like the MS-09)

So the MS will need AA for assisting their Dopps, like protecting one of the sides to prevent them being hit and run tactics and for their own protection. The MSs likely are very good at this because they were built for space combat, which can have really high relative velocities. (even in L points, an enemy using the opposite orbit can reach up to 2km/s or Mach 6 for hit and run engagements, if they are in LEO, they can easily get to 10~15km/s)
And their main targets will likely be the smaller crafts, but I guess the slow moving targets like Medea will also be pretty good to shoot at if they see one.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by Alomoes » Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:08 pm

In GB02 it's a giant flak cannon. Real hard to use, because it does not stun anywhere near the graphics of it's blast radius, otherwise, it would be good. Personally, it needs a buff to blast radius in the game.

You get 6 shots, pray they hit, and as it's still an MG, you need to get 2 or three to stun. Then reload. Damage is good. 6 shots, if they all hit can kill or almost kill. Good luck landing 6 shots.

As for weapons theory, no kidding they need an AA version of their gun. Most federation equipment was air at the beginning of the one year war. It'd also be effective against MS and tanks. I'm sure they tried using standard weapons to kill airplanes, and when that didn't work too well, they made this. It'd work okay, but not great. Char does shoot down missiles with his MG, and missiles are harder than planes. Not everyone is Char though. IDK if there's any other AA guns, but it'd make a ton of sense. Either that or they probably use emplacements, but I don't see that being plausible the only ground to air defense.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:23 am

Alomoes wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 3:08 pm
As for weapons theory, no kidding they need an AA version of their gun. Most federation equipment was air at the beginning of the one year war. It'd also be effective against MS and tanks. I'm sure they tried using standard weapons to kill airplanes, and when that didn't work too well, they made this. It'd work okay, but not great. Char does shoot down missiles with his MG, and missiles are harder than planes. Not everyone is Char though. IDK if there's any other AA guns, but it'd make a ton of sense. Either that or they probably use emplacements, but I don't see that being plausible the only ground to air defense.
Actually, come to think of it, there is this poorly written settings that will create bug in everything we are talking about here. The MMP-78 Zaku machine gun has a muzzle velocity in the 200m/s class range. Let's give it some leeway and say it is 299m/s and round it up to 300m/s. It is still impossibly slow to hit air targets, not because the bullets are slow themselves(a well placed AA fire have the aircraft fly into the flak/debris itself), but because at such speeds, the projectile cannot reach any reasonable heights, about 4.7km shooting straight up, neglecting air resistance, it the plane you are shooting is at the same time bombing you, the bomb just reached your location at the very moment your bullet reaches that height.(considering the blast radius of the bomb, it likely already exploded a bit earlier)

When reading this, I thought, no way its weapons didn't work well against aircrafts, because they were using the same thing in space for the FF-S3 and FF-S4, and the relative velocities likely are even higher.
Then I thought of the height problem, which is the only big difference for space and Earth(air resistance is just a modifier, gravity is the important thing that majorly changes the behaviour of the projectile), and I finally remembered this setting.

So yes, before this they have the really high capacity magazine the supposed to have 300+ rounds with really short bullets in space for spreading a lot of bullets, likely for space combat's AA.(it is hard to find a term for this) But with the short bullets, you likely get exactly that kind of stupidly low muzzle speeds. So, the only thing to rationalize the AA rounds, is that they are specially made to shoot faster, much faster, so they can reach much higher heights even when shot at something like a 45 degree angle.

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Re: Zaku II F2 Anti-Air Weapon

Post by JEFFPIATT » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:21 pm

Underrated GM Custom wrote:
Sun Nov 01, 2020 1:34 pm
Ah that's right! The red portion of the original RX78-2 was from the Core Fighter. In that case I suppose we can still chalk it up to Gundam having that super robot influence from transforming / combining shows like Combattler V. More of a rule of cool than anything practical.

I am surprised with the Zephyranthes that so much of the Core Fighter II is exposed. Like you mentioned speed would trump armor for an escape vehicle, but if so much of it is exposed in the core of the suit then you'd think it would have to be suitably thick considering how many center of mass shots a mobile suit is likely to take.

Somewhat related note. I recall that the origin of the Zaku Cannon was to be an anti-aircraft MS. Were aircraft a significant threat to the Zeon forces on the ground? I would have always assumed that they were more of a nuisance. Are these AA weaposn intended for small fighter craft or larger vehicles like the Medea?
the GP01 was intended to be able to change between space and earth based environments just by swapping out the Core fighter MK II bthe space model was the FB version. the gundam getting wrecked is why the FB goes from a backpack swap to the unnit being rebuilt with a hi mobility frame like the planned GP04 was intended to fill. but also due to how it transforms from block to fighter mode all the Luna titanium armor from the outside is facing topside the under side is mostly exposed tech parts compared top the one used in project V that was basically a flying brick.
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/gun ... 1114200755
the way it sat docked is like the core lander from G gundam it flys in and folds in to the back. the engine section is the MS backpack while the cockpit becomes the MS one while adding the chest vent parts and the cockpit armor.

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