Review: HG EMS-10 Zudah
Release Date: June 2006
List Price: 1512JPY/ 14.10USD
A relatively minor Mobile Suit that appeared in the OVA series MS IGLOO, the EMS-10 Zudah has been around since 2006. I got this kit in 2017. For a confessed Zeon suit aficionado like myself, I was surprised that for its age, the Zudah can hold its own against newer and better engineered HG kits. With that in mind, I invite you to join me as we take a closer look at this unique kit and see if it has what it takes to earn a place on your shelf.
Building Process 8/10
Right out of the box you get: 5 runners for the suit and weapons, a foil sticker set for the mono-eye and a good amount of standard marking stickers. One nice touch I noticed in the manual is the inclusion of a colored page as a guide for sticker/marking placement, something rare these days for HG kits.
There are very few un-used parts for this kit and all of them can be found in the polycap runner.
Being an older HG, you can expect some seam lines on this kit; the most significant of which can be seen on the front of the legs. You can also see some visible seams on the arms and the thighs after a quick snap-build.
The design is very straightforward and you can most likely finish building this in a small amount of time. Although the parts are not under-gated, there are no "excessive" amounts of nubs to be cleaned.
This is definitely a good and hassle free kit to build as a form of stress relief.
There is a decent amount of movement and gimmicks available to the HG Zudah. The mono-eye, for example, is not just a sticker but an actual piece that has the ability to swivel from one side to another. The only downside to this is that you need to remove the top cover for the head in order to re-position the eye piece. Still, it’s better than having a two dimensional spot that you just stick to the face… which is reminiscent to what we have in current HG Zaku’s (even in HG Origin kits).
The upper arms and the forearms are joined by a peg and polycap socket at the elbow which enables a decent 90 degree bend for the forearms and some amount of rotation. There is a fair amount of movement available for the shoulder joint as well. A slight forward and backward shoulder movement is achievable along with an almost 90 degree swivel of the arms from the side of the body.
The legs are securely attached using a ball socket at the waist and the articulation at the knees provide movement to achieve bends of a little over 90 degrees which helps when doing those “kneeling” action poses. The feet are also attached using ball joints and polycaps enabling a slight sideways and front to back movement. The feet, although not that big, are wide enough to have your kit standing stable on most surfaces.
The front skirts on the torso are molded in one piece and may require a little modification for those of you who want to match its movement to the legs when you do a variety of poses that require the thighs to be raised.
The main thruster bell on the backpack is also connected via ball joint and has moderate movement for recreating flying poses.
Again, all in all… not bad for a kit whose design is more than 10 years old!
The Zudah comes equipped with several weapons, namely: a Machine Gun (with a spare ammo plate), a Heat Hawk, a shoulder mounted Shield, a Sturm Faust, and the jewel of them all... a big-ass Anti-Ship Rifle!
The machine gun and the heat hawk are more or less standard Zeon issue accessories and have not really changed all that much from this particular kit to the current HG standard. This can also be said for the Sturm Faust as it is a slight variation of this particular weapon from other kits in the Zeon line. The machine gun has an extra ammo plate that can be mounted to either side of the waist. The Sturm Faust can be mounted on the underside of the shield or held in either hand.
The anti-ship rifle however, is a great addition for a kit at this price range. It comes with barrel supports for that sweet sniping action along with detachable ammo magazines, one of which is mounted on the side of the rifle as a spare for easy access when reloading.
The shield is mounted on the left shoulder of the kit and can run along a groove on the shoulder armor which enables it to be moved from the front to the back of the kit. It also has a handle which can be comfortably gripped by the hand of the Zudah. In addition, foldable spikes are also included as a gimmick on the shield to reinforce ‘close-combat’ capabilities of the mobile suit.
The Zudah also comes with 2 variant head covers but has enough parts to modify the headpiece into 3 different configurations, one of which incorporates a commander fin and all of which you can interchange without re-assembling the whole head.
For a kit with a SRP of less approximately 1400 JPY, you definitely get a bargain based on the weapons and accessories alone.
Overall Look 8/10
The Zudah comes with a good amount of surface detail and panel lining the finished model will only help in highlighting them and give this kit that extra "oomph". I personally like the detailing of the armor and especially the slender design of the legs. Mono-eye suits have traditionally bulky legs and in contrast to that, the Zudah shows off more "toned" appendages than your typical Zeon grunt.
The arms and torso especially come alive with all the intricate grooves and panel lines that look good with or without paint. The action base connection point can also be hidden using a separate grooved cover plate that matches the design of the torso when the kit is not being mounted on standard action bases.
Crisp details on the underside of the shield are a nice touch, as well as to the soles of the feet. If only for a little improvement on articulation, this could be part of the HG Origin line if this kit was re-imagined today.
The HG Zudah is also fairly accurate to the source material in terms of color separation, requiring only a few minor touch ups to the details in order to match the version shown in the OVA.
Fun Factor 8/10
I seldom play with my kits after I paint them and take final photos, but the HG Zudah is definitely one kit that I can see myself changing display poses, if only to highlight the various weapons it comes with.
I also mentioned earlier that I consider building this kit as a form of stress-relief since I had no issues with the basic construction of the model. That in itself constitutes a high "Fun Factor" in my book since this hobby is supposed to be both "fun" and challenging at the same time.
Final Verdict. 8/10 (Buy it!!!)
I have admitted earlier that I am a Zeon fan and I must confess that I might have more "antagonist" kits in my collection rather than actual "protagonist" ones! But if you are a mono-eye enthusiast like me, I personally think that this kit will be a nice addition to your collection.
I honestly believe that the HG Zudah is an under-rated mono-eye suit and often eclipsed by the more popular Zaku. However… with its details, accessories, and all-in-all general unique aesthetic; the Zudah can definitely go toe to toe with the kits released more than a decade after it.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get yourself one, build it, and see for yourself!