Shoulder Armor

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doghunter1
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Shoulder Armor

Post by doghunter1 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 1:51 pm

When it comes to protecting shoulders, do all four corners of the shoulders have to be protected, because unlike the GM and Scopedog from VOTOMS, Zaku Is only have their left shoulder protected, wherein the Zaku II only has the top and side of the right shoulder protected. To design shoulder protected like the Zakus, wouldn't that be risky?

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MythSearcher
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by MythSearcher » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:06 am

doghunter1 wrote:When it comes to protecting shoulders, do all four corners of the shoulders have to be protected, because unlike the GM and Scopedog from VOTOMS, Zaku Is only have their left shoulder protected, wherein the Zaku II only has the top and side of the right shoulder protected. To design shoulder protected like the Zakus, wouldn't that be risky?
The Zaku II has all sides protected "PLUS" a shoulder shield.
It just attach a shield there instead of holding one in its hand like the GM or Gundam does.

doghunter1
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by doghunter1 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:58 am

MythSearcher wrote:
doghunter1 wrote:When it comes to protecting shoulders, do all four corners of the shoulders have to be protected, because unlike the GM and Scopedog from VOTOMS, Zaku Is only have their left shoulder protected, wherein the Zaku II only has the top and side of the right shoulder protected. To design shoulder protected like the Zakus, wouldn't that be risky?
The Zaku II has all sides protected "PLUS" a shoulder shield.
It just attach a shield there instead of holding one in its hand like the GM or Gundam does.
I know that. But isn't said shoulder shield in the right arm, with it only protecting the top and right, leaving the front and rear of the right shoulder unprotected?

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Arsarcana
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by Arsarcana » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:47 pm

No, it's still got armor covering its intenal mechanisms, it just lacks the additional stylized pauldron covering the left shoulder in return for the flexible shield.

In general (and setting aside stylistic reasons) shoulder armor can be thought of as a compromise between various desirable factors. Protection, flexibility, storage space and mass. Look at the difference between the standard GM and the Light Armor variant for example and you'll see how the latter omits the pauldrons entirely but still has armor covering the shoulder joints. Obviously, it traded off protection for flexibility and mass.

As far as whether the shoulders needi full protection, aside from the balancing considerations it's also worth thinking about pilot skill as a factor. A really good pilot might be willing to trade off some protection for reduced mass and increased flexibility, relying on their skill to keep the exposed areas from getting hit.

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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by Rex » Tue Mar 01, 2016 5:25 pm

I believe the idea is that this heavy slab of armor can be rotated by the mobile suit to block attacks.

Sure you could cover all sides but that would massively limit the movement of the arm and what it could carry.

You could give it its own mechanism to flip around like they do with some later model mobile suits (I think the R-Jarja in particular?) but that's a really expensive extra toy for your mass produced mobile suit.

You could instead give them a shield, but that takes up a hand, and the Zaku often uses both hands to fire the rifle. Even though it appears to be able to absorb most of its recoil, the rifle may have an accuracy increase if further stabilized.

For every bonus there is to making the shoulder shield "more" there is also a con.

There's also weight. The Zaku is only so fast, and to improve its thruster output to compensate for more shield would increase propellant consumption and require the thrusters be more expensive. If you want to power them and maintain all functions as before, you need a more expensive power plant. Those nuclear power plants run awfully hot and that means you need more coolant. If Mark is right about the tubes being used for stuff like that, then you need more exposed tubing, or to increase their size. Or you reduce the Zaku's operation time. They already run very, very, very hot. You can't even touch them after a sortie. Adding that extra heat or propellant consumption for a little extra propulsion might drastically increase the cost while drastically reducing operation time.

There's also balance to consider. That shield is already heavy. Sure the other shoulder has a ton of armor but I don't see it weighing as much as that shield. Yes mobile suits are strong, but early models, despite their arm and leg strength, still occasionally suffered from balance issues from things like recoil. The added weight might have it sluggish to move that arm, or make it easy to knock over.

You can begin to see how one change can lead to a lot of problems for what was meant to be a cheap, general purpose machine. They did fix this problem with the Gouf. Both of its shoulders are heavily armored, and it can mount a shield on the arm, while keeping the hand free. It can, on paper, carry a shield on each arm if it needs to. This gives each arm potentially both the defensive and offensive traits of both of the Zaku shoulder designs, while also improving its chances to block as being mounted directly on the arm lets the zaku move it via the elbow and shoulder pivot joints instead of just the hips. Or it can drop the shield to increase its maneuverability. It's a direct evolution of what was learned with the Zaku II, I think. Zeon was learning.

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Gelgoog Jager
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:09 pm

I just want to point out that Kirk's Zaku I Sniper seems to have an extra layer of armor on the right shoulder. Also, The Origin version of the Zaku I also seems to have an extra piece of armor painted in yellow, at least the version without a Zaku II shoulder shield.

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BrentD15
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by BrentD15 » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:05 am

Hey, my R-Jaja's shoulder armor is fine! :D
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Gelgoog Jager
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:34 am

Speaking of the R-Jarja, I recalled that some model kits actually show that the shoulder shield can be rotated backwards or to the from as needed, as well as to some other angles, which does make it seem to work somewhat like the R-Jarja shields, although the later seem to have some flexible areas and are complemented with missile launchers on the opposite side of the shoulder armor.

Anyway, I also wanted to point out that while the configuration with a right shoulder shield and left shoulder spike armor might be the most common among Zaku II types, there are also some examples of other configuration, such as Dozle's Zaku which us spike armor on both shoulders and Gaia's MS-06R-1A in The Origin, which has shoulder shields on both arms as a means to store more bazooka cartridges. This do would suggest that pilots allowed to customize their units could take such approaches depending on their combat style preference: 2 spike armors for melee fighters and 2 shoulder shields for pilots using firearms, specially ones with limited ammo capacity.

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Dark Duel
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by Dark Duel » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:56 pm

I dunno if there are any canonical examples, but in theory, you could also have someone reversing the configuration as well - with the shoulder shield on the left shoulder and the spiked armor on the left.
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MythSearcher
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by MythSearcher » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:15 am

Dark Duel wrote:I dunno if there are any canonical examples, but in theory, you could also have someone reversing the configuration as well - with the shoulder shield on the left shoulder and the spiked armor on the left.
Well, at least I recall the settings said you can do that.

And in MSG, theres at least a configuration that you can have both the spiked armour AND the shoulder shield on the same side.(the Zaku appeared in the background, kinda small but got spiked armour on both arms and a shoulder shield on one.)

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Gelgoog Jager
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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by Gelgoog Jager » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:03 pm

Regarding the use of shoulder shields, it's interesting seeing that while Zeon seems to change their stance about the Zaku shoulder shield with later OYW MS such as the Gouf and Gelgoog, other factions eventually make use of the concept again: Hizack series (Titans), Marasai (AEUG), Gaza series (Axis), Jesta (EF), Geara Zulu (Sleeves), Zoloat (Zanscare), etc.

In the particular cases of the Zaku II/Gouf and Zoloat/Zollidia, I'm thinking that shoulder shields are considered useful for units fighting in space, where a MS can quickly change its direction/orientation to receive an attack with the shield, if not outright evade it. Another possibility is that space use units are designed in such way to avoid conflict with AMBAC system, since the motion of moving the arm could affect their movement. As a minor note, the MS-06D that's partially based on the Gouf actually has a small optional buckler shield, which is where the 3-tube missile launcher is mounted on the arm. Some units are depicted with the shield but without the missile launcher, the later which I suppose may be electable once it runs out of projectiles.

Ground units can't turn around as fast, but at the same time they wouldn't face restrictions due to the AMBAC system, so an arm-mounted shield makes more sense for them. In the case of the Dom, it has been given additional armor to overcome the need for a shield. This leaves the Gelgoog which is also more heavily armored than a Zaku, but whose design already takes into consideration the existence of MS equipped with beam weapons. It's Zulu shield is supposedly the first one that uses anti-beam coating, but by U.C. 0079 it's not yet possible to block a direct hit from a beam weapon, so its round shape is for taking the hit at an angle. However, I'm inclined to think that this shield was mainly meant for ground and general use Gelgoogs, since high end space models such as the MS-14B and MS-14Jg more often than not are depicted without a shield in order to prioritize mobility and maneuverability.

There's also the case of the very last Zaku series units developed by the end of the war: the asteroid colony use MS-06FZ, which is also known as being the main MS of the Homeland Defense Corps, is equipped with a shoulder shield, while the high end MS-11 doesn't have one, although the unit used by Mallet Sanguine is sometimes seen using a small Zulu shield similar to the one given to the MS-17. Background on the MS-17 seems to indicate that the MS-17 was meant as a general use unit while the MS-17B (RMS-117) was meant as a pure space use unit, further indicating that the Zulu shields were probably meant for use on Earth mainly rather than specifically for space units, at least during the OYW.

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Re: Shoulder Armor

Post by ChaoticSheep1 » Sat May 07, 2016 2:12 am

Your Analyses never cease to amaze Jager.

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