Tagged: Model kits

Kitbashing the GM II Semi-Striker

I’m sure you all know one fact about me by now: I love stupid, obscure crap, especially when something is designed specifically to BE stupid obscure crap to drive people like me nuts. Fortunately and unfortunately, I take the bait almost every time. It really helps me add to my ranks, even if I tend to make these in lieu of cooler, more recognizable suits. But hey, I guess me buying all this stupid stuff helps pay for new stuff coming out. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

For those who have yet to see it, episode 4 of Gundam Unicorn was a smorgasbord of obscure mobile suit designs and variations. I believe the official term for this is “mecha porn”. It seems as though Bandai’s using this opportunity to crap out as many kits as possible since they’re fresh in the public’s mind again, but there are some I won’t hold my breath on, like the one we have here: The GM II Semi-Striker.

I was never that big on the GM Striker as a design. It was interesting, but I always found the weapon kinda silly. For some reason, I don’t mind it as much here. Either way, my post-0083 Earth Federation needed more ranks, and I figured this would be as good of a suit as any to add to my forces. It had also been a few months since I’d done any kitbashing, and I figured this would be an easy way to get me back into the swing of things. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

A Unicorn-Y Build Log part 1

By Loran

Today I’m going to do something a bit different and go for a build log. Recently my reviews have featured a lot of poorly-assembled and poorly-painted kits from my youth. That’s mostly because I haven’t been all that into Gunpla lately. Thankfully, the release of Unicorn episode 2 has gotten me to finally sink my teeth into my backlog, and now I’m taking on my Unicorn kits-ReZel Command and Unicorn Destroy Mode. For the time being, I’m focusing mainly on the ReZel, but I there’s some special background work I’ve been doing on Unicorn to make it awesome.

As you can see, I don’t have too much done on the ReZel so far, but you can see what I’m doing with a custom color scheme. Initially I planned on going with the stock colors, but I thought that because it’s an officer’s unit, I could give it an “ace pilot” color scheme. My first plan was to paint it in green and black, going for a Green Lantern Corps look, but I decided against it when the plain green I was using didn’t want to behave. I removed all of that and looked for a color I rarely use on kits, and there it was-Intermediate Blue-at least I think it is, it might be the stuff I used on my Rick Dom II kit. Whatever it is, I made a great choice here and it looks great against the base black of the kit, giving it a very “stealth ops” look.

For the head, I used my typical technique when dealing with translucent visors, but I was able to change it a bit here. Because there’s actually solid plastic behind the visor, I was able to paint that silver instead of the back of the visor itself. This makes it look more realistic and makes the visor pop out more. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Review: HGUC Hizack

By Loran

As my last review pretty much stated, I love cannonfodder. But you know what I can’t stand? When a series doesn’t give nearly enough-I’m looking at you, Zeta Gundam. Really, there are so many different suits in the show and only three of the major cannonfodders got HGUC kits. Yeah, you could count the Rick Dias but it didn’t show up in cannonfodder capacity. It’s a shame, too, since they’re some great designs, and the only missing HGUC one that’s gotten a kit recent is the Nemo (Master Grade). Not only that, it’s been several years since these kits came out so they’re starting to show their age.

The Hizack has got to be one of my favorite designs Zeta Gundam, and probably one of my favorite Zaku-based units from a series. It’s like a Zaku built with Federation technology (which well, is sort of what it is). It isn’t as intimidating as most Zakus but it has a certain charm to it, and its name sounds like you’re calling for someone. It got two releases in the HGUC line-Titans Green and EFSF Blue. Mine is a actually a Green Hizack in Blue. Fancy that.

The design of the suit is basically an updated version of the Zaku to fit in with the rest of the suits from Zeta. It has all the crazy tubes of the typical Zaku II but some of them are in different places now. For one, the ones that would move from the thighs into the lower legs are now on the knees and on the upper arms instead. Normally you’d think removing the cables from the legs would make them more articulate, but that unfortunately isn’t the case-they’re actually less poseable than most Zakus at this scale. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Hi-NU Gundam Review

By Loran

Ah, the Hi-Nu Gundam. If you told any of us 5 years ago that Hi-Nu would have not one, but TWO plastic kits, we’d think you were crazy. Well, the Master Grade came out in 2007 to mixed reactions. The design was changed by Yutaka Izubuchi, the original designer, to streamline the design further. Some people loved it, others hated it. Personally, I really liked it. It captures the essence of the design while updating it to fit in with the rest of the Char’s Counterattack suits.

The HGUC kit came out two years later, using the same basic design. So does the kit measure up to what we all hoped and dreamed for it to be? Let’s take a look.

The boxart is very nice and striking, a lot more “dynamic” than its Master Grade counterpart. It really stands out and won’t go unnoticed on any store shelf.

Assembling this kit is surprisingly fun, thanks to the color ratio. It doesn’t have many “right half/left half” parts so seems go virtually unnoticed, making glue less necessary than you’d think. The kit comes equipped with the expected accessory loadout of bazooka, shield, beam rifle, and two beam sabers, with clear blades for one of them. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

HG30th Gundam versus HGUC Gundam review

By Loran

Over the years, the original RX-78 Gundam has seen a lot of changes, be it in animation, video game, toy, or model form. It’s a staple of anime and science fiction history, and should be a mainstay of almost any Gundam or general robot collector’s collection.

With Gundam’s 30th anniversary, Bandai released a new High Grade kit of the original Gundam (pictured right) in 1/144 form, with a design based on the 1/1 scale statue erected last summer. This marks the second RX-78 released in 1/144 scale in the past ten years-the last being the HGUC Gundam (pictured left). So, let’s see how these two kits stand up against each other.

(Note: The HGUC Gundam pictured here is the one from the three-pack that comes with the HGUC Guntank and Guncannon, hence the different colors and stickers. The single release does not include these stickers. The 30th Gundam shown here is fully-painted.)

In many realms, these two kits are pretty similar-their elbows, ankles, and knees are all more or less the same, with typical 1/144 scale articulation. I’m a little disappointed by the 30th’s lack of double-jointed knees and elbows, like the GM Quel and Hazels, but that could be due to budgetary reasons.

Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Assembling the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode) part 1

by Christopher Troy

Sorry for the delay folks, had some server issues and Final Fantasy 13 dropped, so I was busy the last 2 weeks. But as promised, here’s the first installment of assembling Unicorn kit I previewed in my first entry.

Those are my tools of trade, something I picked up about a year ago. Forbidden Planet should have these in stock relatively soonish, and they contain pretty much everything you need to get you started on building Gunpla. Those of you new to the hobby may be saying to yourself, “Chris. these are import kits, aren’t the instructions all in Japanese?” Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Retrospect: 10 years of Gundam Wing

By Loran

Today (3/6) is a very special day. It’s not the birthday of Gundam’s creator, Yoshiyuki Tomino, the day the first Gundam kit was released, or the day the first episode of Gundam aired. In fact, this day is mostly significant to those of us living in the United States.

It’s the day Gundam Wing first aired on Toonami.

While yes, it was not the first Gundam fiction, (that distinction goes to the novelization of the original series), or even the first piece of Gundam animation available in English, it was the first time any Gundam series had been shown in the West since the infamous Italian broadcast during the early 80’s, but that’s another story.

I was unfortunately not there from the first episode-I caught it after a friend told me about it on the playground. He mentioned two shows to me called “Dragonball Z” and “Gundam Wing”. I’d seen advertisements for the toys on TV, but had no idea what either of them was about. Wing was my first encounter with human-piloted robots, aside from Power Rangers and that horrendous CGI Voltron cartoon from the 90’s. My ten-year-old mind was astounded by these themes of war, character drama, romance-things I’d never seen before-well, with giant robots anyway. It was like… the storytelling I’d grown up with in movies like Star Trek and Star Wars that shaped my childhood became combined with the robots I’d come to love from Transformers. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

Unicorn HGUC review

by madgophermm5

So I should probably start this review by saying that I am not normally a snapper, which means I don’t normally just build a kit as is right out of the box. I usually prefer to take my time and paint my kits up very nice, however Bandai has come along way from the old Gundam Wing high grades that came out back when I was in high school and first getting in to the hobby. So after seeing some pics online of this kit built right out of the box, I decided it might make a fun little build, to pass the time.

There are so many good things to say about this kit I really don’t know where to start. The first thing I noticed was how few stickers came with the kit, which means almost everything is molded in the color it needs to be. The only stickers it comes with are the usual eyes, metallic green for the gun sight and the crest of the head, and it came with two white stickers for a piece atop the shoulders. The pink energy frame was very impressive and “gives it a really striking look” as my wife would say. This thing looks like a mini mg kit almost. All in all with no painting it looks almost exactly as it does in the box art. Continue reading

Post to Twitter

The Tools of The Trade

by Loran

Hey there! My name is Sophie/Loran, whichever you prefer. I’ve been a Gundam fan since Gundam Wing first aired on Toonami, and have been building Gunpla since September 2000. I’ve effectively been a fan for half my life now. My favorite series is Turn A Gundam (obviously!), and I primarily build 1/144 scale kits from the Universal Century.

It takes a lot of tools to build a Gundam model. Sure, you can just slap it together right out of the package, but what if you want to make it look like it actually does on the package, or like those crazy professionally-built kits in those magazines? Well, here are the basic tools that can get you on the road to being a pro!

Continue reading

Post to Twitter

What’s Your Level of Commitment?

by Christopher Troy

So I guess introducing myself would be the best way to start this thing huh? Very well then, my name is Chris and this is the first entry on the Forbidden Planet Gundam-focus model kit (or Gunpla if you’re that hardcore) blog. Over the next couple of weeks, myself and my team of Gunpla fanatics (Loran and Monty, who you’ll be introduced to shortly), will be building kits. sharing our progress with the readers of this site, and hopefully drum up some interest in FP’s revamped Gundam section, which we all worked on to improve and meet the fan’s needs and desires. Some of you may already know Monty and Loran from 2009′s New York Anime Festival’s Model Kit panel, and I’m thrilled to have them sharing their kit building expertise. I can honestly say I’m definitely not as good as either of them in this hobby, but I’m good enough to help any potential newbies out there curious to start building kits of their own. Aside from our online tutorials, you can (hopefully, lol) expect some video, general Gundam news and product reviews, submissions of kits done by the model kit community (feel free to submit your kit pics and descriptions to nygunplayblog@gmail.com) and hell, maybe we’ll toss some Gundam related-cosplay pics up here as well every so often.

I suppose I should talk about which kit I’ll be tackling first. With the upcoming release of the first volume of Gundam Unicorn on Blu Ray this March, I figured I’d go with the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode) which is on the 1/144th HG scale.

Pretty cool looking huh? The all white color scheme gives it a Stormtrooper-esque look to it, and you can clearly see why it’s called Unicorn what with the big freakin’ horn in the middle of the helmet. Really excited to start assembling this kit, and I should have some photos of the unblocking, initial assembling next week. And if there’s a certain kit you want to see us tackle, order or discuss, feel free to drop us a comment!

-Christopher Troy used to blog about video games. Now he gets to talk about building giant robots. He appreciates his life, and often wonders how he managed to snag a hot nerd wife.

Post to Twitter