Tagged: HGUC

Banshee Destroy Mode Review

My favorite enemy giant robot type has always been the “evil version”. I’m not sure if I’ve spoken of this before, but it’s just so appealing to me. It’s basically like using the good guy’s technology against them. A few examples I can think of are Lazengan from Gurren Lagann, Epyon from Gundam Wing, the Turn X from Turn A Gundam, or the GN-Xes from Gundam 00. The idea just feels so… evil. Now, sure, the suit we have here isn’t really the “evil version”, rather, the much-more-sinister-looking evil twin, but still, it’s used that way in the show. Frankly, the Banshee is one awesome mobile suit.
Oh, and before you ask, this is the special edition kit I picked up at Otakon. Structurally, the two kits are the same; this one is just all clear and sparkly and stuff.
First thing’s first; this is pretty much the same kit as the Unicorn. In fact, it seems like Bandai wasn’t considering this suit when they first made the HGUC Unicorn Destroy Mode, because pretty much everything from the Unicorn is included here save for the V-Fin. Either that, or Bandai wasn’t expecting the Banshee to look different from its novel counterpart, but I’ll get to that later.
When the Unicorn and Banshee transform into destroy mode, they gain about two meters of height, which makes this thing pretty intimidating, especially in the darker colors. But honestly? As cool as this thing is, I always found its v-fin to be kind of… silly. I mean yeah, they tend to be, but this thing looks more like Moose Gundam than Unicorn Gundam. Maybe it’s just the thickness of the v-fin on the HGUC, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll sharpen it when I get a regular version.
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MG Destiny Gundam Build Log Part 2

I don’t know why, but I’m just on such a crazy Master Grade kick lately. Part of the reason I make HGUCs is because of the variety, and I’ll only do MGs of stuff that doesn’t look as good at that scale. But also, most of the Master Grades I do are from Alternate Universes… which tend to run on the shorter side, so a larger scale is a better option. Also, the 1/144s from those series just don’t look as good as the HGUCs do, which, these days, are near MG-levels of detail.

So for this article, I’m giving a bit of an update on my Destiny Gundam. It’s not 100% complete, since I’m still waiting on my decals, and I won’t be covering everything here, just the parts of the body I haven’t covered already. I have all the weapons finished, but I’ll be covering those in a later article, probably with all the “Extreme Blast” parts. Most of them needed paint touchups when I was taking these pictures…

Now, a kit with crazy wings like these is going to have a lot of balance problems. Many kits have different ways of dealing with this, but I found this kit’s way to be kind of interesting. I kept noticing my kit falling backwards, and I was wondering why it did that. Then, I realized this silly little red piece I on the waist that was the key to everything. Moving this thing up and down affects how well the kit stays stable.

In addition to that piece, there’s a little slot on the underside of the crotch that controls the legs. Moving it all the way back and locking it into place spreads the legs out, this makes for some great posing. I tried leaving it in the other position, but the legs just spread out anyway, so I left it clicked back. Besides, the “standing at attention” look on robots just… Continue reading

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HGUC Zaku Sniper (Yonem Kirks) Review

Okay, I think I’ve made it to the last of my Gundam Unicorn Episode 4 kits; for now, at least. Of all the new releases for the episode, this one kind of bugged me. It just felt redundant. The additional equipment is cool, yes, but because the color scheme is pretty much the same as the original version, the existence of this kit felt kind of pointless. The only additions to this design were minor. It felt more like something that would have gotten conversion parts packed with a magazine or something. Still, it’s another release of the Zaku I kit, and that’s one I just can’t get enough of.

I can’t remember if I actually reviewed the regular Zaku I kit or not, but I know I’ve talked about it, and I KNOW I’ve never reviewed the Zaku Sniper, so here we go. This is Yonem Kirks’ custom Zaku Sniper from Episode 4 of Gundam Unicorn. For the most part, it’s a Commander Type version of the Sniper with some additional equipment. Because of all the additional equipment and this kit being made several years after the original, this one has a lot of spare parts left over.

The Zaku I is my favorite HGUC mold, hands down. Even more than the GM frame. It’s just so functional and poseable. It just makes you wonder where it went wrong. This is the only Zeon suit with double-jointed elbows and they work incredibly well. Heck, this was the first modern 1/144 Zaku to have a working waist swivel! People still take this frame and combine it with the Zaku II to make a more functional kit. I personally can’t blame them.

Be careful with the waist, though. It still uses the old solid plastic ball joints, not the separate piece most modern kits use. If you aren’t careful, you might break it.

This kit uses clear plastic for both the monoeye and sight on the gun. They’re both in clear plastic, like a Master Grade, so you’ll need to paint them.

One of my favorite parts about this kit is the “base” Zaku used: the A-type Zaku. If you wanted, you could easily grab this kit and kitbash it with a regular Zaku I to make an A-Type or Ramba Ral’s unit! Continue reading

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HGUC EWAC Zack Review

By Loran

While the Schuzrum Dias may have been a bit of a pointless variation to begin with, Double Zeta Gundam thankfully has a few more interesting ones. I believe I covered a kitbash of the ReGelg, a Gelgoog variant, some time ago, which is one of my personal favorites. However, there was one story arc in the series that had some variants that just stroke my fancy: yeah, I’m talking about the Africa Arc. Ignoring that one strangely-colored Gelgoog (what was a Gelgoog in Char’s colors doing in Africa??), we got some really cool Desert Zakus out of it, along with one of my favorite “ace units:” The Blue Team.

The EWAC Zack (also known as the “Eye-Zack”) is one of the new suits that were introduced during this arc. In a sense, it’s the Hizack’s answer to the Zaku Recon or the Zaku Flipper, though where those two were designed for taking photographs; this was more made for jamming and listening. It’s the type of suit you don’t see too often in Gundam, or mecha in general. They’re quite common in Macross, but the closest thing I can think to one of these only showed up in mangas. There’s also Dragonar-3 from Metal Armor Dragonar, but that’s Gundam in pretty much everything but its title… Continue reading

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HGUC Schuzrum Dias review

By Loran

Towards the end of Double Zeta Gundam, I have to wonder if there was some sort of budget crisis with the model kits. In the series, you start seeing old suits and variations of them appearing in the latter half. Suits like Gelgoogs, Desert Zakus, and of course, the Gazu R/L. But there was one variant that appeared in one episode—quite prominently, if I may add, that was the simplest of variations and never got a kit until recently. I’m talking about the Schuzrum Dias. What could have been nothing more than a Rick Dias with two big binders thrown on its back just ended up getting ignored. I always wondered why.

Until I got one, that is. Taken at face value, the Schuzrum Dias isn’t anything exciting, really. In fact, it’s exactly what I said it was: a Rick Dias with two big binders thrown on its back. Heck, even the color scheme is pretty much the same as Quattro’s Rick Dias. Of course, Bandai still gave us our money’s worth with a few elements of the kit, but it’s really the kind of thing only completists would be interested in, or crazy people like me who dig crazy obscure mobile suits.

By and large, the kid has all the same features of the Rick Dias. It has the same articulation, same translucent green parts as the original. Of course, that means one thing: it’s horribly outdated. The articulation was great for 2000, but for 2009, it’s really crude.

There are a few small cosmetic changes Bandai made from the original that were probably done for the kitbashers. The first is the “hat”. This one has a more pronounced visor that extends out more. I like it a lot, and it still gives you the chance to use the original one.

The next is the new backside. Everything’s more angular and more pronounced. I like it. However, this came at a price: there’s no more mount for the beam saber.

Lastly, and more interestingly, are the new boosters in the legs. These just go on top of the existing boosters, though they don’t stay in that well. All of these elements combined would make for a great Quattro’s Rick Dias kitbash, since a lot of people were upset that the kit was a straight-up recolor with no new parts. I might actually grab a second one and a second Rick Dias to make a proper Quattro Custom unit… but I probably won’t.

The big binders are neat, but unfortunately they’re just two big halves with a polycap. I’m not looking forward to the amount of glue I’m going to need for these. Still, it has a lot of nice detail and doesn’t completely weigh the kit down.

The weapons are all the same from the Rick Dias, and they all store just as well. Save for the Beam Saber, that is. There’s no more mounting point for that.

My favorite inclusion is the sticker sheet. It comes with stickers for Zeon, the AEUG, Karaba, the Federation, Anaheim Electronics, and even Amuro’s personal emblem. I’ll probably use some of these at some point. It also comes with stickers for Quattro… unfortunately they use the bad spelling. I’ll just ignore those for now.

So overall, if you own a Rick Dias already and you just want a new kit to buy this one isn’t going to offer anything new or exciting. The stickers are cool, yes, but nothing special. I’d recommend it to completists or people who like weird designs. If you want one for your own, check out FPNYC!

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HGUC Gundam GP01fb Review

By Loran

I feel really weird building and reviewing the older HGUC Gundam kits these days. I remember when these things were the best kits you could buy at the scale. Back then, the only prerequisites for a “good model” were “doesn’t need glue” and “isn’t from the original 0083 line”. We had no double-jointed elbows, no ABS plastic for joints that wouldn’t work for polycaps, no Action Bases. Things were simpler then. But were they better? Hell no, we’ve gotten so much awesome crap that nobody needs those old kits anymore! When the HGUC series started revisiting the suits that got kits in the original 0083 line, things were changing. It was time for the kits to start getting better and better.

Ah, the GP01. For those who weren’t aware, this suit was designed by Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame. In a sense, this is his answer to the RX-78, in the same way that the Gundam NT-1 “Alex” was Yutaka Izubuchi’s answer to it. This is, of course, the GP01fb, or “Full Vernier” version of the Gundam Zephyranthes, which was essentially the space type version of the regular suit. Originally I had planned to get all of the “GP” series suits in order, but I figured I’d grab this guy to bolster my Federation Space Force.

From a construction standpoint, there isn’t anything too remarkable about this kit. However, it does manage to share several parts trees/runners from the regular GP01 and not end up with a single spare part. I can’t think of any other kit that does that off the top of my head. This kit was engineered during a time where Bandai, possibly to cut costs, produced kits that had identical parts; meaning, instead of building a left arm and a right arm, you build two completely identical arms. I personally found this process to make the building frustrating, like it felt like you were just backtracking through the instructions.

Articulation-wise, there isn’t much to write home about either, but I do have a few complaints. One, the backpack is fixed in its position—it can’t move up and down, which kind of limits dynamic poses. You can’t do a good “blasting off” pose. Second, it has unsplittable skirt armor (without modification). This is what I hate about old kits… Continue reading

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End of the Year Gunpla Releases

By Loran

With episode of four of Gundam Unicorn just around the corner and Gundam AGE having just premiered a few days ago, it’s time to look at some new upcoming kits! Let’s see what we’ve got this time around…

First off, we have colored pictures for the GM II. I’m a bit sad that they went with the Titans colors for the GM II first, since the AEUG colors are WAY cooler and they’re still kind of outnumbered in terms of HGUC kits. But hey, that’s what paint is for.

It looks like Gunpla Builders is going to be continuing in some form or another, though I haven’t heard anything about a new OVA. The first of two new kits is the Beginning D Gundam, which I really, really like. A lot of people didn’t like Beginning G, saying it looked too “kiddy”. I didn’t mind it that much myself, though it was far from perfect. I like this take on it because it has more of a hardened real-robot “Commando” look to it. I’m really not sure what the color scheme for this thing is, though. It’ll probably end up with the traditional Gundam pallet, but I think it deserves better. Continue reading

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HGUC Guards Type Geara Zulu Review

By Loran

Yes, yes, I’ve been sort of slacking with the Gunpla reviews. But don’t worry, I’ve got a good one this time! Yep, it’s the Geara Zulu, one of the kits I won at Otakon this year. Normally I don’t build kits like this. I much prefer to paint and stuff as I go, but I felt like doing a “rough build” this time around for the purpose of the review. I figured this makes it easier to tell what needs to be painted, especially when you consider that with a design like this… you’re going to need a LOT of paint.

The Geara Zulu is the primary grunt of Gundam Unicorn. This variant is called the “Guards Type”, which I believe is used by Neo Zeon officers. The kit itself is mostly made up of parts from both the standard Geara Zulu and Angelo Sauper’s custom unit. As a result, it has a bunch of spare parts, namely the sleeves, collar, and even the legs. I’m thinking of using some of them to construct a custom suit, maybe perhaps some blue and silver.

Also, I’m not one to complain about Katoki’s designs, but is it just me or do the legs seem REALLY long here?

There’s nothing too impressive as far as poseability is concerned. Bandai kinda peaked with their standard-issue HGUC poseability a few years ago. I do have some complaints, though. The skirt armor is a fused piece, which I’ve come to expect but it’s especially annoying here… it has to be cut down the whole seam. This could get messy.

Like all of the other Zeonic suits in Unicorn, the Geara Zulu has all sorts of little lines on it. Obviously this can’t be represented in plastic without any sort of paint applications, so this kit comes with TONS of stickers. I’m not going to bother with them of course, so I’m going to get myself a really, really thick paintbrush. I’m thinking of doing these details in silver instead of white, to better align the suit with the Sinanju. I might do those ugly yellowish details in gold, too. Continue reading

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New High Grade Model kits for August-October

By Loran

It’s that time again! Yep, I’m going to be looking at some of the upcoming Gunpla releases for the coming months, namely the stuff I’m interested in. That means one thing: It’s mostly gonna be HGUC stuff. If you prefer Master Grades, well, I struggle to wonder why you even read my reviews since I’ve only done… what, one or two of them? Yeah, they’re nicer kits, but they don’t really interest me… though I do plan on getting myself all five of the Gundams from Wing (Version Katoki, of course) plus Epyon once they’re all out. That’ll be a fun project.

With the release of the HGUC GM III and GM Cannon II earlier this summer, I’m actually really surprised Bandai is giving us another GM so quickly, and it’s none other than the GM II, one of the suits I thought we’d never see. So far the only pictures we’ve seen are uncolored resin hardcopies, so it’s difficult to tell if they’ll be giving us the Federation or AEUG colors first. Personally, I’d prefer the AEUG one myself. This leaves us with only two anime-original GMs that need HGUCs right now: The GM Sniper II and the GM Ground Type. Get on it, Bandai! The GM II launches in October.

Here’s one I’m excited for—the Jesta from Gundam Unicorn. I can’t quite explain it but I LOVE this design. It’s basically the sexy baby of the ReZel and the Jegan. It has this feel that reminds me of one of the GINN variants form SEED that punches for its melee weapon in the game. When I look at this suit I don’t see it shooting stuff or using its sword, I just see it running around punching other suits. And that’s awesome. The Jesta will start punching stuff in September. Continue reading

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HGUC Gouf Custom Review

By Loran

Man, was 2001 really ten years ago? I remember back then, the 08th MS Team Gundam kits were showing up on American toy shelves. I got the Gouf Custom in the fall that year, and boy did I love it. I remember back then we still considered kits from the 0080 line–released twelve years ago at that point—to be good kits. I guess we never expected to see them outdone. Technology started improving drastically, and kits were getting better and better. The time to replace your old 0080 and 08th Team kits with their shiny new HGUC counterparts had come. And personally? I wasn’t willing to reject it.

The Gouf Custom is technically the second 08th MS Team suit to get an HGUC update, since I don’t think two versions of the Ground Gundam should be counted as two. It was a bit of a surprise to see this one before we got an Ez8, since that one would just reuse parts from the Gundam. Besides, what’s the fun in having a Gouf Custom with no Ez8 for it to beat up? I guess my old 08th Team one will have to play the role of punching bag for the time being. Continue reading

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HGUC Zaku F2 Review

By Loran

I really don’t understand the logic Bandai takes in their MG and HGUC releases.

Bandai likes to release suits based on the series they appear in, like, for a period of time, they do a bunch of suits from say, Zeta, mixed in with suits from Char’s Counterattack or 0080. But the suits that get releases always come in some weird order, like don’t you think that a GM Kai would’ve come out about six months after the Powered GM? Most of the parts were all there! I mean the Ball came out how many years after they finished the original series? Geez. Continue reading

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Zaku Flipper Kitbash

By Loran

Kitbashes, kitbashes… I have way too much fun doing these. If you think about it, if you have a backlog as big as I do, kitbashes are the best way to clear it out! It can help take out two kits at once! Of course, that doesn’t really help when said kits are ones that you keep ADDING to your backlog. Ah well.

From my last little “update” on my works in progress, I showed three Zakus: A tank, a High Mobility Type, and a Flipper. So far, I’ve only had the parts to finish the Flipper, and thus, I got him completed a little over a week ago.

Curiously, when I was working on my GM Cannon last year, I shelved the project because for some reason, the color scheme just wasn’t doing it for me. Something about the two-tone gray just bored me. Yet here, the two-tone gray made me finish the project with total ease! How about that. Maybe it’s because the kitbash was easier. Or the fact that I get to do some copper detailing again. Or maybe I’m just biased towards Zakus. Continue reading

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Even more upcoming Gunpla!

By Loran

Boy, I sure have the worst timing, don’t I?

Shortly after I wrote the article on the HGUC kits Bandai has coming out this summer, bam, they announce a few more! And knowing my luck, they’re going to announce like two or three more a week after this article gets published. But hey, that’s just how it goes, and it’s always good to see new product coming out, especially when it’s something that seems to have taken them a bit long to put out. Since only two new Universal Century 1/144 scale kits have been announced so far, I’m gonna take a look back at some of the kits I showcased last time

July’s HGUC release is going to be one that a friend of mine and I were discussing about a week before the announcement-the GM III! This poor guy got little to no exposure when it was first introduced, only appearing a handful of times in Double Zeta and in the climax of Char’s Counterattack. It didn’t even get an old no-grade kit during the 80’s! Stupid Bandai and their GM hate. Much like the Dreissen, appearing in Unicorn seems to be this guy’s second wind, and I have a strong feeling it’ll be released under the Unicorn banner. Saldy, it seems like it won’t use the “universal GM joint system” that all GMs released since the Powered GM have used. Still, it looks to be a great kit, and I’m glad we’re finally getting some more post-Zeta grunts that aren’t Jegans! Now, Bandai… give us the GM II! Continue reading

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Summer HGUC Releases.

By Loran

Summer’s almost here, folks, and that means one thing-a lot more time to work on Gunpla! Yeah, screw going outside and being social, it’s time to build some PLASTIC ROBOTS! Bandai seems to release kits at a rate of about one a month when it comes to their biggest “cash cow” lines; that is, the High Grade and Master Grade lines. While I know this model would NEVER work in the United States, it’s very collector oriented, if you think about it. No need to search high and low for all of the new stuff released in the wave, or having to resort to buying an entire shipping case. Plus, stuff never seems to get outright canceled because of retailers not ordering enough. Man, Bandai really has their collector market figured out…

Starting with this month, there are a few nice HGUC releases coming out, one of which I’ve been waiting for years for.

This month’s release is the ECOAS type Jegan from Gundam Unicorn. Initially, I ignored this one. Jegans are awesome, yeah, but at first glance, this one didn’t really appeal to me. That was, of course, before I watched episode 3 of Gundam Unicorn. We didn’t get to see them in much action, but I really liked what I saw! I don’t own any HGUC Jegans, but I’ve heard good things about the kit. It’s an awesome suit, how can you go wrong? Plus, the assortment of weapons is very neat, especially that bazooka, and there’s something about that head I really like. I might get myself one of these after all. Continue reading

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Kitbashing the GM Cannon!

By Loran

Holy crap I actually finished it!

Yes, after lying for about six months, I finally got around to finishing my GM Cannon kitbash. As you can see, I decided to take a bit of a different approach with the color scheme for the finished project. Originally, I was going to paint the suit in the White Dingo colors from the “Rise from the Ashes” game, but for some reason, I just couldn’t get excited about painting a two-tone gray kit. Searching for the decal sheet and going for something I haven’t done on a Federation kit in the past few years was just the inspiration I needed to get this cannon-toting SOB finished at long last. Continue reading

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