In 1989, the launch of Gundam 0080 attempted to do something new with Gundam: Create all-new mecha designs to replace the ones from the original series-updates, if you will. A lot of the fiction from this time supported this idea, like the SD Gundam OVA episode where the SDs go into the “real” Gundam Universe, and the “MS Era” book, which took a look at the One Year War as if it were an actual war in history. Well, this cool retcon didn’t last long, as Bandai eventually decided to consider them just variants of the original suits as opposed to replacements. Still, they’re awesome designs, and represent one of the coolest design styles ever.
Like all of the other 0080 suits, the GM Command (Or Commando, depending on your preference) was designed by Yutaka Izubuchi of Patlabor fame, and boy it shows through here. It’s very sleek, very late-80’s, and it’s probably one of my favorite “major” GM revisions out there. There are two flavors of this kit-ground and space type. I have the ground type, and the space type is largely the same, just coming in a traditional GM color scheme with a different gun and backpack. The HGUC kit here added a bit of Hajime Katoki/BEE-Craft styling, giving it a more modern look and coming out as the best of both worlds.
The head of this suit is my favorite part-it’s so sleek and awesome. Yes, it has a translucent green visor just like the original kit from the 80’s. Unlike the original head, it’s mounted on a ball joint, adding for better stability.
The torso is much slimmed down and streamlined from the original artwork, looking more in-proportion. The antenna on the right shoulder was always a cool touch to me, but you might want to file off the excess plastic on it. It moves to each side with no obstruction from the skirt, which has a nice basic construction, although the front armor can’t be split. Two sabers are stored on the butt as opposed to the backpack, but I’ll get more into those when I discuss the weapons.
The arms seem simple enough at first, until you get the elbows. Instead of a standard “peg plus hole with armor covering it” you get this cool circle joint. It’s made out of ABS instead of the standard polycap plastic, so it doesn’t wear out as quickly. It also has sort of a selection of hands, but again, I’ll get to that when I discuss the weapons.
The legs are pretty disappointing compared to the arms, but there’s nothing wrong with them. The coolest part is probably the ankles, though-like the original kit, the feet aren’t connected at the top, and inside, at an angle. It’s a neat touch that captures the look really well.
Now, for the weapons… you get the standard EFSF machine gun-always nice; the 0080-style shield, which has a neat molded EFSF emblem, and it can actually be held in the left hand while still being attached the forearm. But now I should get to the part that I’m really glad Bandai quickly abolished…
Honestly, this killed so many kits for me back in the day, and you know, it wouldn’t have been such an issue if they actually INCLUDED a right fist. The salt on the open wound? The sabers have holes in the tops in order to be attached to the rear skirt armor, so there’s no excuse why they couldn’t have just included saber blades. Anyway… like the regular GM, it comes with that neat outstretched hand.
In the end, the HGUC GM Command is an awesome kit, despite that stupid flaw with the right hand. It’s a great design, and a great army builder. We have them in the store, too, and it’s a relatively inexpensive kit, so hey, go buy one, or ten, it’s all good. Now, if only Bandai would make an HGUC GM Sniper II…