When they HGUC line got started in the summer of 1999, it began with stuff people didn’t really expect. The 08th MS Team line gave fans a chance to get designs from the Universal Century in nice decent quality at 1/144 scale, but they were mostly new designs. Now, the High Grade Universal Century came out, bringing new takes on classic mobile suits, but instead of leading with classics like the Gundam and Zaku, they started out with more secondary mecha, and the first out the gate is one of the genre’s most memorable “sidekick” or support units-the Guncannon.
As the first kit in the HGUC line, the Guncannon actually holds up pretty decently when compared to some of the later releases, especially some of the releases that came shortly after it. It uses the same polycap system that the Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz and later 08th MS Team models introduced. The model comes with a set of stickers that allow you to make it into either Kai’s unit from the third movie (108) or Hayato’s unit from the third movie (109). I have two kits that I did up as each unit, and I need to get around to painting them someday…
The head on this kit is very simple-two halves, two antennae, and the red crest piece. The visor is a sticker, which was par for the course those days. The design of the head plus the joint on the neck actually allows the kit to look up, allowing for many of the Guncannon’s classic poses.
The torso is very boxy, with no extra shoulder joint giving the arms extra planes of movement. The cannons on the shoulders are attached via pegs and are easily removable. There’s a polycap joint at the waist that actually allows it have a few extra planes of movement. The waist is disappointing, though-no way to split the front skirt armor. The backpack/ventilation system attaches to the back with a polycap joint as well.
The arms this kit has are very simple, but they added something that kits didn’t have at this point-covers for the elbow joints. The polycaps aren’t exposed, which makes the kit look a LOT nicer, and more mechanical, unlike the kits released prior. The selection of hands is odd, though, without any fists. You get trigger finger for the right hand, an open left hand, and hands that allow it to “sit” on its stomach-the classic “Cow” pose, as it’s been called. Shame it can’t have any neutral poses, or appear how it did before it got the beam rifle. They do allow for some really weird poses that can look kinda cool, if done right.
The legs also have the joint covers, and have decent movement at the knee. He can even kneel! How often do you see that happen? The big, wide feet keep the kit well-grounded and it can stand on one leg no problem.
Weapons are a pleasant surprise. You get the big beam rifle from the mid-series upgrade with an adjustable sight, and two sets of cannons. You have the classic 240mm cannons, and the seldom-seen spray missile launchers, which I don’t think ever appeared in the anime proper.
The Guncannon’s a sturdy little kit with decent poseability for a kit that bulky. It paved the road for the rest of the HGUC line and set up for a slew of newer kits with even more innovations. It’s a classic design that looks awesome with your HG Gundam, and of course, you might wanna get a Guntank, too…
Don’t ask why, but I had too much fun filming this review…