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.

The head for the kit, again, standard fare for High Grade kits; six piece assembly including helmet halves, V-fin parts, chin, and face. However, this design has one pretty awesome accessory-the Vulcan pod. It wraps around the head of the kit and clips into the indents on the sides of the head. It’s a nice-looking accessory that adds lots of character to the kit, and doesn’t scratch up the paint all that badly.

The torso also has standard assembly, with very good color distribution allowing for easy assembly and paint detailing. The shoulders have an extra polycap joint in them adding an additional “up-down” joint for each arm allowing for more realistic posing. However, achieving these poses can be difficult with the Vulcan pods equipped.

The backpack of this kit is kind of neat, with the beam sabers mounts on polycap joints, allowing them to move around. One minor variation with this backpack is featured on the kit packaged with the Flying Armor-in lieu of the plastic tubes, it comes with fabric tubes that allow the mounts to move all the way backwards.

Waist again, is nothing special, and ONCE AGAIN, you have to split the front skirt armor in two to make it look nice. However, there’s one cool thing on the butt of the kit. Like the RX-78, it had a mount for the bazooka there, but this time it’s not a separate piece-instead, the mount is on a hinge. It holds the bazooka very snugly and surprisingly doesn’t cause much damage to the paint, but it can be a hassle to take it out when it’s not holding the bazooka.

In addition to the extra shoulder joint, the arms all have your standard five joints, and only bend at a 90 degree angle.

The legs are, again, basic, with a double-joint capable of 90 degrees of movement. What really shines here, though, is the feet, which actually have a “toe” joint allowing for additional poseability and stability. A very nice little feature that can be attributed to the design.

One major contention I have with this kit is the hands-or should I say lack of. At the time this kit was released, Bandai was making hands with beam sabers molded into them. They looked incredibly nice and looked much better than any normal fist hand would holding a beam saber. There were two problems, however-the first being they were molded in one color, and as such, very hard to paint. The second? Well… they didn’t even bother to include standard fists with the kits, meaning you couldn’t keep your kit in a neutral pose.

Thankfully the beam saber hilts come with holes on the top so you can plug a regular saber blade into them, which the Gryphios War 3-pack actually included. However you’re stuck with the kit holding the saber with its trigger finger hanging out, which just looks silly. The hand itself is very well-made and holds all of its weapons very well, thanks to being constructed out of just two pieces. Sometimes simplicity works!

The rest of the accessories are your basic bazooka and beam rifle, both nicely-sculpted with no bells and whistles aside from the second handle on the rifle. Thanks to this, the kit can hold the rifle with both hands quite nicely thanks to the poseability of the arms. Speaking of, I love the design of this rifle-very 80’s sci-fi, and kinda reminds me of the phaser rifles from the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies.

Also included is a shield using the precursor to the new-style shield system, capable of being equipped to either arm.

Overall, yes, this is a very nice, solid kit aside from the gripe about the sword, but that’s a problem faced by many kits made in this time frame. Since it comes in four flavors, you can take your pick for whichever you like. Also, the Titans version of this kit comes with three sets of markings-01, 02, and 03-to make one of the three MK. IIs seen at the beginning of Zeta Gundam. The HGUC Mk. II is a really nice kit and makes a great centerpiece for any Titans collection.

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