Zeta Gundam was broadcast on Japanese TV during '84/85, following up the original series with a whole new set of characters and machines. Not surprisingly, the robot of the same name was the main piece of hardware in the show. This new show also introduced the "transformation" concept to Gundam, and the Zeta does an impressive one, switching from robot mode to "Wave Rider" mode in the wink of an eye. Perhaps more impressive is the fact the this new Master Grade kit can also make this transformation without a single piece having to be removed or replaced on it (not counting the shield/nose piece, but that's true to the show).
The new 1/100 MG Zeta Gundam is probably the most highly-engineered model Bandai has ever produced. Eight full-size runners with hundreds of multi-colored parts make this kit a serious assembly project, but it goes together very smoothly. Besides the transformation capability, the kit includes all kinds of other goodies. As usual, everything moves. Even those yellow antenna on its forehead fold up. Three sets of hands are included -- fists, open palm, and posable. A watch battery can be installed to light up the cockpit of the Wave Rider (bulb included). And the kit also comes with the "Hyper Mega Launcher" (not shown in these photos and yes, that's really what it's called) -- a huge super-cannon that the Zeta uses to blast enemies from the sky in one shot (the cannon is about 30cm or 12" long when completed!). Also includes the usual "beam saber" sword, and little grenades that fit into operable hatches on the ends of its forearms. The Zeta in "Wave Rider" mode, seen from the top and bottom. This transformation takes place without any parts needing to be removed from the kit!
All of Bandai's MG (as well as HG) kits are completely snap-together, and parts are molded in color, so no painting is necessary. Of course, the use of cement and paints will improve the appearance of a finished model. Many of the surface markings are printed right onto the plastic parts to begin with, but the kit includes replacement transfers for those people who wish to paint their work.