By Loran ignited
The Zaku, Gouf, and Dom are probably three of the Zeon’s most memorable mobile suits of the One Year War. They’ve seen tons of variants over the years, with the Zaku having enough to fight a war with variants of itself. Because of their immense popularity, many times the Zaku will outsell the Gundam. Of course, Bandai takes note of this, and what do they do? Why, make SEED-ified versions of them, of course! Yes, a brilliant scheme to milk the classic designs for all they’re worth and keep the designs “fresh” without actually making completely new designs. And no surprise, they sold pretty damn well.
The GOUF Ignited here (remember-all caps!) is… one I kind of like in terms of design. Well, I’m mixed on it. It’s neat but not a favorite in my eyes. I bought it because I wanted to explore the Destiny kits a bit (in fact it’s the only kit from Destiny I actually own). Next to the ZAKU and DOM, it kind of falls in the middle between “great tribute” and “annoying rehash”, but it has some charm to it.
This guy’s head is kind of a disappointment. It seems… really small. The monoeye doesn’t move at all-it’ll always be fixed wherever you place it. And of course, you have to sand off some extra plastic on the antenna to make it nice and sharp.
The torso is… actually a huge improvement over the One Year War Goufs at this scale (the ones currently available, anyway). Unlike those ones, this one ACTUALLY has a waist joint! Not only that, the skirt armor’s really well segmented (though it lacks a split in the front). In this dimension, it soars way above its UC counterparts, even going as far to add forward joints for the shoulders.
Its backpack is pretty cool. It’s removable, though there isn’t really anything to put in its place. The wings can be placed in “flying” and neutral positions. Interestingly enough, the wings are actually held in place by metal bars, and you have to use this little tool the kit includes to put them in. That’s different, especially for an HG kit.
The arms are mostly what to expect from an HG Zeon/ZAFT kit but there are a few nice touches thanks to the design. The shoulder armors have little indents in them that allow the arms to extend all the way out to both sides without any interference.
The forearm-mounted machine guns are very cool, but the best part is how the whips are placed in-above the fists are these little cylinders, which can be taken out to have the whip placed in. I lost one of mine (in the spare parts box somewhere…) but you can see how it works here. The whip hand holds it pretty well, but getting the whip into it is a pain.
Like the GINN, the legs have some pretty decent flexibility, with those crazy ankles that can extend out into all those wacky, unrealistic poses. The little thrusters are separate pieces, thankfully, making them much easier to paint. Other than that, no big surprises here.
The weapons are what you’d expect from a Gouf in any Universe-whips and swords. You get the typical two styles of whips (straight out and curvy), in neat translucent pink. I personally wish they’d make one of these whips with a wire inside so it could be posed more uniquely, but I understand wanting to keep costs down. There are also two swords, one “on” and the other “off”. The off one is for sliding into the shield, and the on one has two pink blades that look cool, but don’t like to stay in very well.
This kit also comes with its own stand, like many other Destiny and Stargazer kits. To put it in, remove one piece from under the waist and plug it into the polycap joint. There are a few configurations you can make with the stand, but I prefer this one the most.
The GOUF may be my least favorite of the three UC-based suits from SEED, but the kit certainly impresses. As I write this, the HGUC Gouf Custom has yet to be released, so as it stands, this kit is the best Gouf you can buy at 1/144 scale. That’s a good thing, too, because damn it sure got a lot of variants! Mass production colors, Yzak’s colors, Heine’s colors, and that… guy with the gold one. Yeah. But hey, there’s plenty to choose from, so keep checking our stock if you see one you like. I’d go for Yzak’s, personally, but that wasn’t out when I got this one…