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.
Originally I thought I’d just need to take the shoulders from the GM Striker, slap them onto the GM II’s arms, and be mostly done with it. But of course, Bandai hates us, so they decided to give the GM II and GM III a new joint system. I had to cut out the part surrounding the ball joint out and glue it onto the shoulder. It was a little annoying, but it worked.
Since I still had the forearms left over from the GM Wagtail project, I took the easy way out with the lower arms. I just built those over the GM Striker’s arm parts instead of transferring the joints from the GM II. It worked just as well.
But there was one part that made my life miserable, and that was the left arm shield. Thankfully, after my Full Armor Gundam project failed, I had plenty of parts lying around, so I didn’t have to buy a new one for this project. It didn’t fit over the forearm at all, so I had to get creative with cutting down the plastic, propping parts up, and using TONS of putty. It works, but I wish it came out a little better. Overall, it looks messy, and I’m probably going to revisit this project soon.
I’ve seen the color scheme interpreted a number of ways, usually going for the “ground division” colors of the GMs from Gundam 0083. I went a similar route, but I used a darker tan to make it more like a desert suit, since that’s where most of the battles in that episode took place.
Overall, it’s one of those kitbashes I can’t wholeheartily recommend to anyone because of the difficulty involved and the price (you’re buying three kits and less than 10% of two are being used). It’s a good “I have/need spare parts” kitbash, but not one I would consider a good investment. If you do want one, pick up a GM II and a GM Striker from FPNYC, and do yourself a favor and scratch-build the left forearm. You’ll save yourself a LOT of frustration.