Sunday, April 09, 2006

The story of the Hazel

In the year 0079, during the One Year War, the Earth Federation Space Force (EFSF) deployed a mobile suit based on the form and function of the RX-78-2 Gundam, though modified to make it more economically feasable. This was the Gundam Mass-produced, the GM. The GM used technology that was inferior to the Gundam's, it's armor was regular titanium, instead of the lunar-titanium alloy used in the RX-78, and it's beam spray gun, though not as powerful as the Gundam's beam rifle, was still effective. It mounted only one beam saber instead of two, had a Core Block instead of a Core Fighter, and so on... However, where it lacked quality, it made up for in quantity. Despite it's flaws, the GM was still superior to the Zeon's Zaku-II, and the Federation won the war.

After the One Year War ended at the beginning of UC0080, the EFSF began rebuilding its military forces, and one part of that was the upgrade of it's mass-produced GM mobile suits on a widespread scale. The improved model was the RGM-79C GM Kai, and although it was similar to the original GM, it did feature an improved generator and manuverability. (not to mention a cool exterior designed by Hajime Katoki!!)

During the military reconstruction, the EFSF also decided to produce a high performance version of the GM. The new RGM-79N GM Custom, partly based off the GM Kai and the RX-78NT-1 "Alex" featured a high number of verniers that allowed for very good manuverability.

After Zeon's Operation Stardust in UC0083, the EFSF announced the formation of the Titans, an elite counter-insurgency force whose sole purpose was to hunt down renegade citizens who either supported the Zeon or spoke out against the EFSF. The Titans Test Team was a R&D subdivision, focused on the development of new MS technologies. The first MS they produced was the RGM-97Q, the GM Quell. Almost identical to the GM Custom, the biggest differences were the Titans distinctive blue and black colors and the fact that it was built for colony use, since most mobile suits were made for Earth or space use.

The RX-121 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel] is a functional test machine assigned to the Murphy Team. Although it's a testbed, the Hazel is intended for actual combat. The Hazel is equipped with a Gundam-type head to test it's psychological effectiveness against Zeon Forces. It is also equipped with prototype versions of munitions expected to be used in future MS designs. The Hazel's most distinctive equipment used is the shield booster, which contains propellent tanks and a single thruster with an output of 22,000 kg. Unlike the sturm boosters on previous mobile suits, the shield booster is retained after the fuel is expended and used for defensive purposes. The Hazel also has grips that hold the arms in proper position for it's high mobility mode, where it mounts three shield boosters, one on each arm, and one on it's movable booster pod. The Hazel is basically a GM Quell with test equipment bolted onto it. In fact, there is a Hazel Reserve Unit which is identical to the GM Quell aside from it's Gundam-type head like the Hazel's. This is also a functional machine, and moves out of the shadow of the Hazel when the Hazel becomes badly damaged in a battle with the Zeon and is no longer fully compatible with the Quell.

While being repaired, many upgrade and test parts on the Hazel are fully integrated into it's systems, making it a more unified and powerful MS. Upon completion of it's repair and refit, the MS is rechristened the RX-121-1 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel Custom]. It's operating system and equipment are also upgraded, so the machine's operation is also enhanced. It's shield boosters were lost in it's fateful battle, and so it is equipped with a standard shield like that used on a GM. The loss of the shield boosters regrettably reduce it's mobility, but it's overall performance increase helps make up for this. The Hazel Custom is off-white because there wasn't enough time to repaint it, so the armor is still in the color it was forged in. Additions to the Hazel Custom are a multi-weapon lock on the waist, and another multipurpose latch above the cockpit. A main hardware used in the multi-weapon lock is a subarm unit, a set of optional arms used to hold and wield additional weaponry. These latches are also used in the deployment and attachment of the FF-X29A G-Parts [HRDUDU] support unit. The HRDUDU is a separate unit, independant of other units. However, before the launch of the Hazel, the HRDUDU can be attached to the Hazel to increase it's mobility and attack power. Two of these units can be combined together either on the Hazel or to each other to make a more powerful unit. This is due to the extreme modularity of it's construction. When two HRDUDU units are connected, they show attributes similar to that of a Mobile Armor.
One other configuration of the Hazel is it's combination with the Icarus unit. The Hazel is unable to transform into a flight mode like the Assimar or the Gaplant. So, in solution to this, the Titans Test Team members made the Hazel fly through brute force rather than aerodynamics. The Icarus unit is equipped with multiple generators and high output thrusters to achive lift.

Remember the Hazel Reserve Unit? After the Hazel was rebuilt into the Hazel Custom, it was no longer necessary to keep the Reserve Unit around for parts. As a result, it was lightly upgraded with a backpack unit similar to the Hazel and rechristened the RX-121-2 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel II]. While it keeps the head, shoulders and backpack modules of the Hazel, where the the Hazel has a movable booster pod, the Hazel II has a Tri-Booster unit consisting of one sturm booster and two universal boosters. The two universal boosters are mounted on articulated frames, allowing them to be pointed in many directions, further enhancing it's mobility. Also, due to the mobility and mass of the three boosters, they can be used for AMBAC (Active Mass Balance AutoControl) Manuvering. Remanants of this technology is seen in the tail stabilizers of future units.

Later the Hazel II is refitted with leg enhancements and a multi-weapon latch to meet the specifications of the Hazel Custom. The new unit is named the RX-121-2 TR-1 [Advanced Hazel]. Main differences from the Hazel Custom include a high performance optical sensor like that used on the RGM-79SR GM Sniper III, and additional booster units attached to the soles of the feet. The other main difference is that instead of a movable booster pod, it has a multi-shield pod that can equip two booster shields. Also included is an upgraded booster shield that has ten diffuse beam guns mounted on it's surface, which increases the Advanced Hazel's defensive capabilities, but cuts into the size of the propellent tank on the new booster shield.

The Advanced Hazel incorporates all the test results of the previous units, and is considered the current 'completed form' of the Hazel.


Sarah Mitt said...

Wow, you did put a lot of work in this!

Very good with the history and the pictures were very helpful. I especially liked that had some in the blog and others outside the blog. Makes it less confusing, showing the evolution of Hazel but showing the other Gundams outside.

sandrum said...

Great outline and I like how you went thru the Hazel's evolution from the start of the GM. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to say, as a HUGE fan of MS Gundam (UC specifically), thanks for this outline. It helps fill in a lot of the blanks I had.

Great job.