Tagged: Gundam Zeta

Zeta Gundam Build Log FINAL

After about a month of construction, it’s finally done!

I have to admit, I was never one of those crazy-obsessed Zeta Gundam fans. Sure, it’s one of the best series but it’s far from perfect. I’ve never really been the big of a fan of the Zeta either, but I’ve always loved its variants like the White Unicorn Zeta, which I made several years ago (unfortunately before I started painting everything). Now, I was able to do a full Zeta Gundam with custom decals, and get the whole experience of the kit. Long story short, it’s pretty awesome.

The Zeta Gundam 2.0 Master Grade has a very lean, sleek frame, in an almost stark contrast to the first version from 1996. From what I’ve heard, that kit is a floppy mess and people didn’t like it when it was new. That just goes to show you how long it took for the Master Grade line to mature. This kit was the first Zeta Gundam that managed to do a proper transformation without any sense of floppiness or part swapping. I imagine the Real Grade improves on everything learned from this, but I don’t plan on making that for quite awhile.

And speaking of the transformation… it’s quite terrifying. I don’t think I’m afraid of death after this.

I’ve owned some monstrous Transformers in my day… the first that comes to mind is that stupid horse from Beast Wars Neo: Mach Kick. But as terrifying and complex as he was, nothing holds a candle to transforming a fully-painted Master Grade, especially when that suit is the Zeta. Wing and Epyon seriously had nothing on this. That said, it does everything it needs to, with parts sliding and locking into place like they should, and no part swapping is needed unless you’re attaching the beam rifle to the underside.

That said, I don’t think I’ll be transforming this again anytime soon.

For a weapon loadout, the Zeta has its rifle and shield as its main weapons. The beam rifle can be stored on the wrists when not in use, if you’re the type of person who likes to have as many weapons on your kit at once.

Two packs of grenades can also attach to either forearm, and can be used to display a pair of grenades on each arm via a sliding mechanism. When not in use, they can be stored underneath the stand.

The beam sabers store in the hip armor. Alternatively, you can stick a saber blade into the beam rifle to represent the long beam saber from the later episodes of the series.

But the best weapon is clearly the Hyper Mega Launcher. It’s huge and awesome, and probably stands taller than the Sazabi. It can fold up for storage, too, and you can do that “hey look how big my gun is!” pose everybody does with their Zeta kits.

For the decals, the only ones remaining were the custom “Z” for the shield, and Roux Louka/Zeta Gundam emblems for the knee and tailfin. I was supposed to have a big “NA-Nahel Argama” for the shield, but it wouldn’t fit. Ah well.

The stand is very cool as well, and it’s basically designed to be a launch catapult when not in full “stand” form. It actually lets you put the little in-scale figures to use!

The Zeta Gundam 2.0 is one damn fine kit, and I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for the suit in 1/100 scale. Really, they might as well discontinue the old 1.0 at this point, since it’s inferior in pretty much every way. While I’m sure the Real Grade schools the Master Grade, it’s the ideal choice for any 1/100 collector. If you want one, make sure to look for yours at FPNYC!

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MG Hyaku Shiki Build Log 2

With the Black Tri-Stars Zaku out of the way, I can finally work on a project that I’m totally dedicated to. I’m sure anybody who’s ever been some kind of artist would sympathize with the idea of needing to act on an idea the second you get it because otherwise, you’ll lose it or get distracted by other projects. That’s why it’s been eight years since I first read the Mobile Suit Gundam novels and I still haven’t made my G-3 Gundam and Char’s Rick Dom in MG form. That and bad timing. Regardless, the Titans Hyaku Shiki is here, and it’s happening.

I haven’t made much progress on the kit so far due to outside factors, but what I’ve done so far is the torso, head, and weapons. I’ve actually shelved the LED unit for the time being simply because I haven’t had much luck finding the actual battery the kit needs! I figured it would be something you could just find at a pharmacy or something, but, nope. I guess I have to check a hardware store or something. At least it’s not like some kind they only sell in Asia or something.

As I’ve said before, the Char color scheme I’m using is pretty basic. The yellow plastic underneath is INCREDIBLY glossy but doesn’t need much trimming because it just… breaks off. It’s actually kind of wonderful. The yellow is such a great color to have underneath the red, too. It works as a great base color and really makes things pop. I’m giving it a pearl coat like my Qubeley so it still retains some sense of shininess—it’s still the Hyaku Shiki, after all.

With the eyes, I got a little creative. I used some far-too-thing metallic black and gave it a smoky look by painting behind the “glass”. It manages to give it the “sunglasses” look without completely covering up the translucency. It’s damn near perfect.

My hatred of red paint reared its ugly head yet again today with this thing’s backpack. The color palette on this is basically ripped from Char’s Zaku, so it has that pointless red backpack that doesn’t match the rest of the body. I primed the hell out of this thing and the paint STILL came out splotchy. Ugh, whatever. Apparently Monty has the same problem I do, but with blue! Which is weird, because I never have issues with blue, and he never has issues with red. How about that…

The cockpit opens with the two parts moving to the side, and the door swinging open to reveal Cha-uh, Quattro inside.

The weapons are cool, but their construction seriously shows the kit’s age. They’re all basically two halves slapped together, meaning you get to engage in the wonderful act of sanding bazooka barrels. Bluh. However, the bazooka and rifle both have removable magazines, which is incredibly cool. Also, I like how the kit had the instructions for the weapons right after the head and torso. That way, I didn’t get lazy and never made them!

This build is proving to be pretty good so far, and I’m excited to finish it. Hopefully next time I’ll have some limbs to talk about. Remember, check FPNYC for all of your Gunpla needs!

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MG Black Tri Stars Zaku II Build Log Part 1

Ah yes, the Master Grade Zaku version 2.0… I remember how excited everyone was for this kit five years ago. Back then I couldn’t accept the idea of a new design for the Zaku because I became so attached to the 08th MS Team’s Zaku. At the time, though, I didn’t really care to get a new Zaku Master Grade since, well, I didn’t really need one. I hadn’t gotten into Master Grades again, and something as basic as a Zaku didn’t really interest me.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from getting the Black Tri-Stars Zaku for only $45 when I saw it at a convention the following summer. What can I say, I’m a sucker for MSVs. I’m sure you all know that by now.

When I bought this kit, I immediately had a bit of buyer’s remorse. Yeah, the High Mobility Zaku is awesome, but why did the lead with the Tri-Stars version?? They’re nowhere near as cool as Johnny and Shin!! But I’ll explain why they lead with the Tri-Stars at the end of this series. For now, let’s look at the 2.0 Zaku itself, since pretty much everything I’ve built is shared between the other 2.0s.

The head is really cool! You build the entire mechanism with a “glass” screen over the monoeye. The monoeye moves when you turn the head back and forth. It’s much more effective than the little switch used on 1/144s.

I remember there being much debate over the location of the Zaku’s actual cockpit many years ago. One side of the chest houses the generator, while the other has the cockpit. This wouldn’t matter normally, except this was kind of an important plot point in the first episode of the original TV series. The solution? Make a cockpit that switches sides using a slider mechanism. It works pretty well! Brilliant idea on Bandai’s part.

The arms are incredibly nice, too. Both the shield AND the shoulder armor are molded as solid pieces (save for the spikes), making for a nice, clean piece. Obviously you still need to sand the seam but it’s not as hard as sanding a glued seam. The spikes are all separate pieces, which can be a pain to sand, but there are some sites that make metal replacements which I’ll be looking into for when I do Johnny’s Zaku.

The arm joints themselves are incredibly fluid and sturdy, even with a nice, functional wrist joint in the hand. I’d dare say they’re better than some contemporary Master Grades. Of course, the individually jointed fingers are still a pain…

One point of irritation is the backpack: it needs a LOT of paint. I wouldn’t be so bothered by this, especially since most of the parts are divided out already, except so many of them are white or red, two of the most annoying colors to paint. Oh well, nothing a little primer can’t fix…

When I was painting this, I attempted to go for the “dark blue on black” look, but the dark blue came out so dark it’s almost indistinguishable from the black!! Oh well, it’s still cool either way.

Yeah, this has been a pretty fun project, and I apologize for how long it’s been taking me to get started on it. I’m still not used to being back in school yet, oops. Either way, next time, you’ll see the legs, the weapons, and why I hate the little tubes. Til then, you should look for this kit at FPNYC—it’s totally worth it!

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Upcoming Master Grade releases for the 4th quarter

This time last year, if you told I was writing an article solely on upcoming Master Grades, I would’ve thought you were crazy…

Bandai’s Master Grade line has been interesting this year, to say the least. We started the year off finishing off Katoki’s Gundam Wing line after almost two years, and then Bandai went on their next big project: the initial SEED Gundams. While I would have preferred Bandai give us the rest of the Endless Waltz designs, it’s good to see them do something kind of special for the show’s 10th anniversary. Aside from the HD Remaster line, that is.

Out this month is the Buster Gundam! Buster isn’t my favorite of the SEED Gundams (that clearly goes to Blitz), but I like it all the same. What can I say, I’m a huge Yzak/Dearka fan (but hey, who isn’t?). There seem to be some liberties taken with the design here. It all seems more… dynamic, overall. I wouldn’t say it’s as extreme as the Duel, but still pretty cool nonetheless. I’m very curious to see how the gun’s mechanism works. Hopefully this version can hold it all properly. Buster should be on shelves some time next month.

After that, we’ll be seeing the Aegis Gundam get a release. I’m going to be brutally honest here… I kind of hate the Aegis Gundam. It’s just so ugly and busy, and clearly built around a transformation gimmick that doesn’t even look that cool. Heck, most of the time the damn thing doesn’t even have a torso. With the liberties Bandai has been taking, though, I might end up liking this one. I’d just like to see some color photographs before passing my final judgement. Aegis should be available in either October or November.

Hot on Aegis’s tail will be the AGE-2 Dark Hound from Gundam AGE. Again, I can’t comment too much on this design since I have yet to actually see AGE, but this thing is just too cool for words. It’s like the Zeta Gundam had a sexy baby with the Crossbone Gundam. How can you NOT love it? The color scheme even looks like the Trombe colors from Super Robot Wars. I’m a little worried about the transformation on this kit, but well, I’m always that way. I don’t think I’ll be jumping over this one until I see the series, though. Dark Hound should be out in either November or December.

And of course, the one we’re all waiting for will be out for Christmas, hopefully: Nu Gundam version Katoki. Yeah, who saw this coming? I’ve got to say, I’m glad I didn’t pick up the regular Master Grade at Otakon. Now I’ll have something much better to go with. We still haven’t seen pictures of the actual kit, so we’ll just have to hold off with some sketches until then. If only there was a modernized Double Zeta; then we could have the “big three” (Zeta, ZZ, and Nu) in shiny, up-to-date Master Grades.

I don’t know how Bandai did it, but they managed to complete the SEED lineup incredibly fast. It’d be cool to get Providence or Justice, but I won’t hold my breath just yet. The real prize here is Nu Gundam, of course. Anyway, once these puppies are out, make sure to check for them or ask FPNYC to get your own!

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MG Hyaku Shiki Build Log-PREGAME!

You know what makes this hobby absolutely toxic? When you get some kind of brilliant idea that you need to act on right away, otherwise you’re going to forget about it. Of course, I still have a backlog, but I don’t care! Chances are, if you give up on that idea it’ll get swept under the rug and you’ll forget about it. My current Master Grade addiction has proven to be toxic, but I’m gaining some pretty good skills out of it. Most of my projects lately have been strict out-of box affairs, but this one is going to be something a little different…

With my current Zeta Gundam kick, I felt it was wise to get a Hyaku Shiki. Problem is, there are three Master Grades of this thing. The first is the original release, with that SUPER gaudy chrome (not really my thing). The second version has no chrome; instead, a glossy yellow finish, and comes with the Ballute. The most recent release is the “High Definition” version, which has the same subdued finish as the HGUC with the Gryphios War set. Ideally, I’d like to get that version, but it’s impossible to find now. So, since I wanted to have a little painting project, I figured I’d grab the Ballute version, which also happens to be the cheapest. Go figure.

I was starting to realize the Mark II was going to have plenty of decals left over. Since the Titans don’t really have many Master Grades, I wanted to do something cool: Titans Hyaku Shiki. But I’m sure you’re saying, “But Sophie, those colors are so overdone!” Well yes, they are. Because of that, I’m doing the Titans colors from the Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam game.

…which are essentially Char colors.

In the game, there’s an alternate timeline where the Zabis survive the One Year War and Char joins the Titans as Quattro to take them down. He gets a pretty slick Hyaku Shiki out of the deal, too. So, I wanted to make that one. Char custom Hyaku Shikis have been done before but I don’t really like most of them. They either look too red or too pink. I think this color palette gets it just right, by basically translating the Zaku II’s palette over.

The red I’m using for the base is a mix of two parts white, one part yellow, and one part red. Yeah, I made a LOT of this. The other red is going to be British Crimson, a great choice for dark reds on Gunpla. The rest of the color scheme is just your typical blacks, gold, red, etc. I’ll probably top coat this with pearl coat. On purpose, this time!

But I’m not ready to be down with just a cool color scheme and decals, no way. I went the extra mile and grabbed one of the old light-up heads! It hasn’t come in yet, sadly. The problem is, it’s made for the old chrome kit, so I’ll have to strip the chrome off. I hear 409 cleaner works…

This is kind of a pre-game for this project, as I won’t be able to start this until I at least finish my High Mobility Zaku, so you’ll just have to wait and see! In the meantime, start your own projects with kits from FPNYC!

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Upcoming HGUC Releases for the 4th Quarter

This has been quite the exciting year for new High Grade Universal Century releases! This is, of course, mostly due to Gundam Unicorn and its massive fanwank in episode 4, finally gaining us model kits of the GM II, GM III, the Nemo, and, for some reason, the Juaggu; and giving us some fantastic new designs like the Jesta, Anksha, and the Delta Gundam. It’s amazing that Bandai can put all of this great stuff out while simultaneously working on the AGE kit line AND HD Remaster SEED, in just this scale alone.

Some of the more recent releases in the High Grade Universal Century line have been pretty cool, and some you could have been predicted, in a way. Some things like the Base Jabber and maybe the Zaku Mariner took me by surprise (I don’t have to kitbash one anymore! Yay!!), but others I sort of saw coming, like the Hambrabi! The Hambrabi shares its weapons with the Unicorn Marasai, which was certainly a cleverly-placed hint on Bandai’s part. The Hambrabi is just hitting shelves for North American retailers now.

Speaking of hints, I just… can’t believe this actually happened. An honest-to-god GM Sniper II High Grade!! I had a feeling that we MIGHT be getting one of these after the Nemo came out, since the two share backpacks and leg thrusters, but I didn’t think it would actually HAPPEN. This is so exciting! Not only that, the kit even comes with a 1/144 Draken-E, so really, now you can’t say there’s a mobile suit from Gundam 0080 without a kit. Of course, the White Dingo version is a Bandai Hobby Web exclusive, meaning we probably won’t see that in America. Thankfully, my middleman has me covered. This one should be available on American shelves come next month… I already have mine on order!

The one suit that came out of nowhere in Unicorn Episode 4 is also getting an HGUC. Yep, you guessed it: The Byarlant Custom! It’s kind of odd that they’d give us this before the regular Byarlant, but I guess that’s the power of Unicorn for you. I’m quite anticipating this one, but not quite as much the Sniper II. I’ll be getting one eventually, though. Some pictures have shown it with a really big ugly EFF sticker on its shoulder. Yeesh. That makes me glad I use decals. Expect this one on shelves in November, most likely.

At last, we’re getting our first transforming Real Grade… the Zeta Gundam, of course! Now I’ll have to admit, I haven’t seen enough to completely sell me on this thing. I’ll definitely have to wait on the reviews for this, since fully-transforming 1/144s tend to have some issues. Also, the thighs on this kit look… oddly long to be? I’m not the only person who noticed this. The lineart doesn’t have this problem, so we’ll have to wait and see when the actual kit comes out. Still, it’s not a dealbreaker. Expect to see the Zeta launching in November or December.

Bandai sure knows how to keep us on our toes with new HGUC releases! Remember to always check and ask with FPNYC!

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Master Grade Titan Gundam Mark II Build Log Part 1

Ah, the Titans… you just want to hate them, but you can’t.

Clearly one of the few factions in the Gundam multiverse that could actually be considered “evil”, nobody can deny the fact that the Titans have some of the most stylish mobile suits and uniforms, with great color schemes to boot. It almost makes you want to forgive all of their war crimes and awful pilots. Regardless, the Titans kind of got the shaft in terms of Master Grades, with their only releases being both versions of the Mark II, the GM Quel, the Hizack, The-O, and now the Marasai. You’d think a faction with so many suits would get just a few more Master Grades…

For my first Titans Master Grade, I felt I’d satisfy an itch I had for the Master Grade Mark II. Naturally I went for the 2.0, since, well, it’s better without question.

For this project, I needed to mix a new batch of Titans Blue. My first attempt was… disastrous, to say the least. This is my second attempt, which came out EXTREMELY dark. I quite like it this way. It really brings home the whole “Black Gundam” thing from the first episode, I think.

I also grabbed the old decals for this kit, since it came with decals for both the Titans Mark II and the Super Gundam (two for one!!). Unfortunately, since they’re for the version 1, everything save for the numbers and faction signifiers is near useless. The old warning labels were just hideous, with the BEWARE OF BLAST labels and “Avoid Excessiv Use of Con-Trols” warnings. I’m glad the more contemporary labels are less… well, awful.

Compared to most of the Master Grades I’ve built over this past summer, this one classifies more as an “older kit”. It’s actually the first Ver 2.0 mold released, so it’s not even up to the standards of the other Ver 2.0s. However, that doesn’t make it a bad kit. There’s some mentality out there where people (usually the type who don’t paint) think that whenever better kits come out, the older ones automatically become bad. That’s not really true. A bad kit is a bad kit. A kit may be dated, but it’s still good, just not AS good as later counterparts. Most suits that got Ver 2.0s only got them because they were iconic and their original Master Grades really WERE terrible.

As for the kit itself, so far there isn’t much to talk about. The articulation is good, with limited flaws. The only thing that could be improved is the shoulder armor joints, but otherwise it’s pretty good. The elbows have sliding pieces that allow for a great appearance while retaining articulation, just like some Soul of Chogokin figures.

One irk I do have is with these stupid cable pieces. They’re made out of some kind of fabric and I’ve ALWAYS hated them. They fray incredibly easy and are hard to get at the right length. They may look nice, but in my opinion, they’re more trouble than they’re worth. I don’t think kits use them anymore, thankfully.

I love the way the beam sabers work on this kit. They have hinges, giving the suit just what it needs to grab them with no problem.

It’s hard to tell, but the kit properly simulates the whole 360 degree cockpit monitor. If I painted this to be displayed with its armor removed, I’d show it off, but alas…

So far, I’m enjoying this kit well enough. It seems like a sturdy enough Master Grade, but you never know. Remember to always keep on the lookout for Master Grades at FPNYC!

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Kitbash Time! Johnny Ridden’s Gelgoog

Ah yes, it’s time for one of those kitbashes I’ve wanted to do for years.

Back in 2008, I made a huge order from HobbyLinkJapan of old Gundam kits. I went for two Dodais, three Ball sets (this was before the HGUC), two Core Boosters, three Magella Attack tanks, the Full Armor Gundam, the GM Sniper Custom, the Zaku Minelayer, and Ridden’s Gelgoog. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to fill all of my orders, so I only ended up with the Zaku, the Gundam, the Core Boosters, the Magellas, and the Dodais. I got the Balls in HGUC form two years later, and I managed to get the GM Sniper a year later, but for whatever reason, the Gelgoog eluded me.

It’s strange, too. There really isn’t much to this kit. It’s the same base kit as the old Gelgoog Cannon and the ReGelg from the Gundam ZZ line, but this one tends to fly off shelves. The only notable differences between this kit and those two are the inclusion of the high mobility backpack and a few guns. I guess Johnny Ridden really is popular on both sides of the ocean.

This is what I would consider an entry-level kitbash. Little to no cutting or remolding is needed on this project. Pretty much the entire project is just building the backpack and sticking it on the base kit. Anything else you need to do is purely optional.

One thing I found very disappointing about the Ridden’s Gelgoog kit was the lack of decals. While it came with the 010 decals, it was completely lacking both the Special Forces emblem AND Johnny’s personal emblem! Thankfully, I had spares left over from one of my High Mobility Zakus.

I did encounter a problem with Johnny’s emblem, however. The emblem is supposed to be placed on the right forearm, but a hole for the shield is in the way. I filled the hole and sanded it down to give adequate space for the decal, and it fit like a glove. Continue reading

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New Arrivals: Model kit and Video games edition

By Chris Troy

SHAMELESS PLUG OF THE WEEK: From January 5-8, 2012, my ass will be at the MAGfest X (Magfest.org, which stands for Music and Games Festival) down in Maryland, and I highly encourage you hit the festival up as well! Nobuo Uematsu, the genius behind many a awesome Final Fantasy soundtrack, will be there performing with his new band, Earthbound Papas, as well as many other talented folk (like John St. John, the voice behind Duke Nukem!) , and most importantly, an 8-player X-Men arcade cabinet. It’s a good way to start up 2012, so make sure you register online before the 16th!

So it’s now December, which means shelves everywhere are filled with toys. Forbidden Planet NYC is no exception, as we have a ton of new merchandise in stock, most likely relevant to your interests if you’re reading this website. And yes, after selling out a few times, we currently do have My Little Ponies in stock again.

First and foremost, new model kits, we got them in stock! We’ve restocked Gundam SEED, WING, Unicorn, and Zeta kits, and we finally got the first wave of Gundam Age kits in. In addition to all the new Gundam stuffs, we also have a few model kits based on the various ship from the Shonen Jump hit One Piece. These kits are more Gunplay-like in assembly than say actual model boats, and offer something different to build instead of more mecha (although there is nothing wrong with building mecha. Nothing at all). Kits start at $25 and go up from there, depending on the kit and scale.

Since my shameless plug of the week was video game related, it’s only fair that we discuss some new VIDEYA GAME toys that have been released. The first wave of Gears of War 3 figures in, consisting of main character Marcus Fenix, supporting character turned Gear Anya Stroud, and the 3rd brother of the ill-fated Carmines, Clayton. Each figure is about 7″ in height and has about 30 points of articulation  and comes with a small selection of weapons packaged with them.They’re good figures, but Anya’s face could use some work. That aside, they’re still pretty good figures for less than $20. The 2nd wave should be hitting shelves soon. Continue reading

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News from the Front

by Christopher Troy

Greetings readers! Welcome to “News from the Front”, our newest feature on the FPNYC Gundam Blog, with a title I clearly swiped from a Bad Religion song!  With this new  “monthly”/whenever I’m between kits feature, we’ll be exploring the latest news in the Gundam world, Gunpla related or not!

News from San Diego Comic Con:

Any self respecting nerd should be aware that the annual San Diego Comic Con is going down on the west coast as we speak, and that in the last decade or so, it’s focus has expanded to not just only comics, but movies, television, toys, video games and anime. At this years panel, the company revealed that the remainder of the Bandai Entertainment Gundam OO DVDs may face slight delays when it comes to US release (something is sadly common when it comes to Bandai products these last few years). In more positive news though, Bandai of America has announced that they’re FINALLY bringing over the 50 episode AU series Turn A Gundam. Continue reading

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Review:HGUC Rick Dom II

by Loran

Continuing my semi unexpected “break” from the review “weeks”, I’m gonna be covering another kit from the HGUC 0080 series. In addition to the few new kits made for the HGUC line, all of the kits from the original line were redone. The Rick Dom II here was the fourth 0080 HGUC, coming out right before the Mass Produced Guncannon. This kit came in two flavors-the well-known classic Rick Dom colors that the original 0080 kit came in, and was later released in the “colony attack colors” which it donned in its first appearance in the OVA. Aside from the colors, both kits are identical.

Being one of the classic Zeon suits, a Dom is a staple of any collection, and this design is one of my favorites. It’s also the only Mobile Suit designed for Gundam 0080 to appear in an anime outside of 0080, showing up a few times in Gundam 0083, and a very minor cameo in 08th MS Team. Continue reading

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Titans Week part 2: HGUC GM Quel

By Loran

Welcome to part two of two of Titans week! I’d like to make this “event” go on longer but I don’t have enough stuff to continue this much longer. For the second part I’m covering a suit that got very little exposure until just a few years ago-The GM Quel. Originally only appearing for about five seconds in the end of Gundam 0083, this suit got a lot of “screentime” in the Advance of Zeta concept and photonovel series, with a few cameo appearances in the Zeta Gundam movies. Until the HGUC was released, the only notable Bandai kit released of it was the Master Grade, which looks severely dated by today’s standards.

The GM Quel was released under the Advance of Zeta banner as opposed to the 0083 banner mainly due to the popularity of Advance of Zeta at the time. This kit was built of the body of the Gundam Hazel kits, sort of the opposite of how it worked in the story! As a result, this kit’s very nice and poseable and sturdy.

Continue reading

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Titans Week part 1: The HGUC Gundam Mark II

By Loran

Welcome to part one of two of Titans week! I’m going to start doing reviews with themes for the next few weeks, so you’ll see two reviews from me each week with something connecting the two together. This week I’m going to cover two mobile suits from everyone’s favorite fascist Federation police force with a really snazzy custom color scheme-the Titans!

The first suit for Titans week is the first one we saw in Zeta Gundam-the Gundam Mk. II, Titans colors, of course. I still remember how mad I was the when this got released-I’d just ordered the old High Grade Mk. II from… what, 1990? 1991? Needless to say, I was pretty upset, because that kit… ugh, it’s probably the worst kit in the line, looks-wise. But who cares about that! The HGUC here is one nice-looking kit.

This kit has actually gotten a total of four mass retail-releases: Once in Titans colors, once with the G-Defenser, once with the Flying Armor, and in the “Gyphios War” three-pack alongside the Zeta Gundam and a gold-plated Hyaku Shiki. My kit is actually the AEUG-colors one from the three-pack done up in Titans colors, and since there is only one minor difference between the two that I’ll cover later on, we’ll just treat this as the basic Titans colors Mk. II.

When taking a look at the finished product, this is one nice-looking kit. Probably the best-looking Gundam Mk. II model out there, with the Master Grade version 2.0 in a close second. It’s a major improvement over the old High Grade, which was really ugly and “stumpy” in a way-proportioned kinda like George Costanza from Seinfeld. Continue reading

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HGUC Rick Dias Review

by Loran

When the HGUC line first started back in the summer of 1999, it kept things rather simple. Instead of covering all the main character units, fancy new OVAs, and stuff outside of the Universal Century, it focused mainly on support mecha and enemy units-stuff that usually gets neglected in kit form. One of the first releases was the Rick Dias from Zeta Gundam, first coming out in the black color scheme used by Apolly and Roberto in the first few episodes. A red release, used by Quattro in the earlier episodes and well, pretty much everyone else later on, came a few years later. Both kits are identical save for the color scheme. Here I’ll be using my red kit to review.

As one of the first HGUCs, this kit, well… it hasn’t aged well, and putting out the Schuzrum Dias last summer didn’t help matters much either. The thing’s a downright brick as far as posability goes, when compared to today’s kits; but to be fair, it’s a pretty bulky suit to begin with, and works pretty well with what it is. However, it has some high points that were unseen for kits of the time, at in some cases kits today. For one, this was the first 1/144 kit in ten years (since the original 0080 line in 1989) to have a clear plastic monoeye. In fact, it’s one of the few HGUCs to have one at all. It was also the first in the line to have a clear, plastic beam saber-one of the few available in green. Continue reading

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Kitbashing the GM Sniper Custom

By Loran

Ever since Bandai started making new kits of some of their class mecha back in the nineties, builders have been looking for ways to add some of the MSV designs to the ranks. Bandai loves giving some of these designs the Master Grade treatment, but they go largely neglected on High Grades. So what do we do? Well, we kitbash, of course!

I always saw the GM Sniper Custom as one of the most popular designs from MSV, on the Feddie side, anyway, but it never seems to get any appreciation. The only poseable product it’s really gotten since the original kit was the GFF, and that thing’s kind of expensive. So, here’s a nicely-poseable GM Sniper Custom you can make for only about $20!

For this kitbash, you’ll need two things-the HGUC GM, and the MSV GM Sniper Custom. The GM is a pretty easy kit to get a hold of. The Sniper isn’t too hard, as it gets reissued every few years, but you won’t see it most places. There were two releases of the kit, one in MSV and one in Zeta. The only difference is the MSV kit was molded in white, and the Zeta kit molded in green. The Zeta kit also has different decals.

On the surface, this kitbash looked pretty tough when I first examined it, but once I got started it wasn’t so bad, really. It’s fairly straightforward and you don’t have to do too many heavy modifications, just a lot of cutting. I did all of this with my only tools being an exacto knife and my wire cutters. A dremel might make things easier, but it isn’t needed. Continue reading

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