"No weapon in the arsenal of the Reich or the Helios traitors equal the Zoids in the battlefield, and a Legion of such vast war machines can bring any nations to its knees. In truth, a Zoid only has three enemies: folly, hubris, and another of its own kind."
- Field Marshal Geideman, Legio V Africanus.
A (mis) interpretation:
Unit type: Tactical assault.
Model type: EZ-015MK3ZRO Gorilla type.
Designation: Iron Kong.
Manufacturer: Lautern Heavy Industries.
Affiliation: Zenebas Stahl Reich.
Powerplant: Ultracompact plasma generator.
Armour type: Super-hardened plasteel ceramic composite alloy.
Armour thickness: 400mm / reinforcement plate: 300mm.
Weight: 187 tonnes.
Height: 92 feet.
Length: 75 feet.
Max. speed: 150km/h.
No. of pilot: 2.
Std. armaments: Demolisher knuckle x 2; grind cutter x 6; shoulder cannon x 2; auspex system; mind impulse unit; void shield.
The Independance War is global conflict which occurred between M19.014 to M19.045 on Hephaistos. Approximately 20 billion military personnel, including 10 billion civilians, were mobilised. Over 9 billion combatants and 7 billion civilians died as a result of the war, including the victims of a large number of genocides, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, primarily due to the deployment of war engines which were developed based on the ancient STC (Standard Template Construct) scattered around the world. The STC datastacks, believed to be more than 30,000 years old, contained all informations to build a Zoid, powerful weapons of war which were based on fauna long extinct on the planet. The war was the deadliest conflict in Hephaistos history and paved way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.
The war drew in all of the world's economic great powers, assembled in two opposing faction, the Helios Anti-Lebensraum Group and the Zenebas Stahl Reich, together with its respective Reichkommisariate colonies. The trigger for the war is the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the throne of Stahl Reich by Gustav Schaeffer of the Spring Movement, a youth splinter group of the Nacht un Nebel Liberation Front.
The Iron Kong Zoids were first introduced to the Western Front in M19.039 after a series of defeats and failures suffered by the Zenebas Imperial Army at the hands of the Helios Alliance. The Imperial Army primary heavy class Zoid, EZ-004 Red Horn had proven ineffective against the Alliance EZ-001 Gojulas. The Iron Kong, manufactured by the Lautern Heavy Industries whom held the exclusive military contract under the Imperial decree, was based on the design of an STC found within the tropical jungles near the equator of the Central Continent. The Iron Kong primary function were tactical and close assault, spearheading each attack at their enemies across the frontline. A herd of Iron Kong would brutally punch through any Alliance front line and wreak havoc at their defences. The Iron Kong proves more than capable of overwhelming and destroying the legendary Gojulas. After the initial victory of the Alliance in M19.018, the Reich would turn the tide of war from M19.039 onwards, first repelling the Helios army from the Reichland borders and regained back lost territories, then pushed forward to conquer majority of the Northern and Western Continents in M19.040 under a series of blitzkrieg campaigns. It wasn't until the Helios Zoids manufacturer, Rostock Corporation introduced the super heavy class Zoid, EZ-037 Ultrasaurus which were reinforced by the Gojulas units, that the domination of the Iron Kong Zoids on the global battlefield was truly contested.
A Zoid Iron Kong was powered by an ultra compact plasma generator and armoured with super-hardened plasteel ceramic alloy with reinforced structural integrity based on a gorilla physiology. The Iron Kong could knuckle walk or adopt a bipedal stance. The Zoid was more dextrous and had higher land speed in comparison against most of its heavy class contemporaries. Its armour could take a lot of heavy firepower from projectile based weaponries. It had a built in void shield with EMP hardened electronics to protect it against energy weapons. The Mind Impulse Unit was retained for the Princeps to neural synchronise with the task intelligence system of the war engine. The Princep has to be a mentally strong individual or would be overwhelmed, resulting in total psychological breakdown.
Many variants were manufactured throughout the war, each fitted with different weaponries and specifications in accordance to the military objectives and mode of operations. One particular variant, the MK3ZRO, was designed to be deployed as deep striker, dropped into the enemy main lines for close assault in order to neutralise any defence line before the primary units moved in. The MK3ZRO had Auspex system which allows the Princeps to scan the entire electromagnetic spectrum to flush out hidden enemies and 360 degree visual, with encrypted comm-links with others in a herd formation and self targeting sensors. It had three pairs of grind cutter on each arm. The hardened adamantium blades whirled at four times the speed of sound, powered by super vibration actuators. The deadly melee weapon could cut through even the thickest Zoid armour like knife upon a soft butter. It was standard fitted with Demolisher knuckle on each hand, allowing it to punch, smash and tear through even the toughest ferrocrete fortifications with ease. On each shoulder, there was a particle accelerator cannon which fired at the range of up to 10km. A single blast would obliterate any medium class Zoid. However the cannon lacked long range capability as well as inability to precisely lock on its target while on the move. The MK3ZRO required two Princeps to pilot due to its advance MIU. A single pilot Princep would be overwhelmed, resulting in catatonic state or even death. A rare but dangerous occurrence would be the emergence of Berserker Syndrome, which arose when the Princeps neural link was tainted by the Iron Kong basic primal instinct contained within its task intelligence system drawn down from the STC based on the ancient creature which once roamed Hephaistos. Both the Iron Kong and its pilots would digress into a nigh unstoppable rampaging war engines, blindly lashed out at anything or anyone within its reach until it was taken out by the enemies or one of its own. MK3ZRO was issued for deployment under senior and battle hardened veterans of the Imperial Army. Notable heroes of the war whom received the Medal of the Knight Iron Cross while piloting the Iron Kong include Col. Karl Liechtenstein and Maj. Erwin Schwartz.
Threezero and its owner Kim Fung Wong is a pioneer in the so-called New Vinyl Movement in the toys collectible industry. He is highly associated with artists the likes of Michael Lau (whom designed the "threezero / three holes" gasmask logo), for whom Kim is highly credited for translating their art works into tangible products. This also leads to collaboration with Ashley Wood in the creation of ThreeA. Kim re-launched the Threezero brand back in '13, and has released a number of licensed products, including this one right here, the Takara Tomy Zoids 1/72th scale Iron Kong. Now Zoids and Transformers (G1) are part of my childhood memories, credit to my mom whom would pamper me with these toys of which admittedly are much more affordable in those days. I remembered excitingly going up and down each gondola in the toys department at Super Kinta (a supermarket in Ipoh, which I believe no longer exist) ogling at Zoids and Transformers. These two formed the twin pillars of my toys collection during those carefree years. If I were to recall correctly, it was my neighbour in Ipoh, who introduced me to Zoids. His Zoid is a upright smaller one, looking like a small cousin of Gojulas, called Godos. My first Zoids is a stegosaurus, called "The Great Gorgon", followed by a scorpion (l forgotten their names), a caterpillar, crocodile and finally, during a birthday, me mom bought me a "Zoidzilla" (Gojulas for JDM). I need to assemble it but no glue required. Once done, I would stick the decals. Some larger ones come with metal counterweight for balancing. The sound of the smaller Zoids mechanical dinosaurs moving as I wound up the mechanism suddenly came to me mind. Jump to the present and Zoids have succeed in re-emerging back into the popular market. So much so that Threezero released two readily built models with staggering weathering effect - the Liger and Iron Kong. Now, I am not into Liger but Iron Kong? Man, that's like one of my all time favourites (beside Red Horn, Gojulas, Mad Thunder and of course, Deathsaurer). Maybe because I like ape-like toys. I find their built and silhouette attractive and brutal. Standing at approximately 10 inches plus in height and width, this is not a large toy by a long shot but neither it is small. I am not sure about the HMM (Highend Master Model) series but I feel that the HMM Iron Kong could be slightly bigger. This version produced and distributed by Threezero is based on the Zoid Concept Art. While lacking the commonly seen shoulder mounted hyper bazooka or gatling cannon, with rocket launcher and rocket propeller on the back, this version comes with my personal favourite - buzzsaw, six of 'em. There are two slightly articulative cannons, one on each shoulder. The cockpit opens and reveals two non-removable super tiny pilots as homage to the original line which comes with either gold (Helic) or silver pilot (Zenebas). There is a light up features of course which looks nice. The overall construction is quite different from the Iron Kong I grew up with. It retains the basic structure as well as colour scheme, yet different. Now, no assembly required, except for the six pesky hoses and six cylinders of which I am not sure what it is. The middle hose could not be slotted into the connecting hole so I used a knife and trim slightly one end of the hose. But it keeps coming undone so I am forced to resort to using glue. Also during the checking of the toys at the hobby shop, one of the cylinder holder fell off. I am not sure whether it is broken and looking at the other cylinder holder, it is not suppose to come off. While it could be attached back, it would instantly fall off again once I put on the cylinders. Once again the glue come to the rescue. Finally the left hand had popped out from its ball joint during unboxing. I had to hairdryer it first before able to slot it back in. Like all Threezero products, the price range is on the higher end, reflecting the price upward creep in toydom. Again, this is my own write-up as usual and got nothing to do with the actual canonical storyline. Ideas taken from WW1 and WH40k as usual with names like Lautern and Rostock taken from Mamoru Oshii 2008 anime movie, The Sky Crawlers.