Tagged: Zeon

Master Grade Qubeley Review

By Loran

I don’t know why but I’ve had the urge to build Gundam Master Grades lately. Last week I got this bizarre urge to paint up the F91 I’ve had built for 5 years, and the other day, I decided hey, I should slap together the Qubeley my friend gave me years ago. This was brought on by seeing some beautiful customized MG Qubeley on tumblr, and I thought, “great, now I want to do mine.” I guess seeing pictures of beautifully-made Gunpla is a pretty good motivator. Too bad whatever I come up with in the end won’t be half as pretty…

Honestly, who doesn’t love the Qubeley? Even if you don’t like Haman, you can’t deny how damn pretty this suit is. Back in 2001, I had the HGUC of the Qubeley Mark II, but sadly, well, the years weren’t too good to it. It doesn’t help that I wasn’t the best painter back then, but I digress. The Master Grade Qubeley came out only two years after the HGUC, so there are a lot of similarities in design and aesthetic between the two, for better or for worse. Personally, I think they made it too early. They should have waited until the Zeta movies were out, but I guess that would’ve been quite a long wait…

I always forget how big this thing is. The shoulder binders make it a huge shelf space eater. See, and people wonder why I don’t normally do Master Grades. But, that only makes it all the more impressive. Being big only accentuates the beauty of the Qubeley.

There isn’t too much to the Qubeley’s articulation. It’s a case of “beauty has a price”; because of its design, it can’t really get many functional joints. It just has so much going on. The Gelgoog has a similar problem. It’s all looks, but no functionality. If the articulation were to be enhanced, the design would have to suffer…

One thing I really like about this kit is the cockpit. The “cover” is mounted on polycap joints, which is far superior to the HGUC’s fragile plastic-on-plastic, which I recall breaking…

The binders on this kit can actually lock together, though I can’t exactly remember what configuration closed binders were used for? Still, it’s a nice touch, even if they’re a bit finicky.

And speaking of finicky, my god, the Funnels on this kit are a huge pain. Each one is mounted on its own polycap joint, and the joints love to move around. I personally liked the plastic joints the HGUC had more, even if it made the funnels easier to lose. Continue reading

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HGUC Juaggu Review

My love of MSVs is quite well-documented. As such, I love it when true MSVs (or in this case, a rejected design from the original series) end up in the HGUC line, even though the only other one in it is Garma’s Zaku. That being said… why this suit? Why this thing before the GM Sniper II, the Gerbera Tetra, the Zetaplus, the Dijeh… seriously, why the Juaggu? I don’t hate the suit by any means, like I said, an MSV is an MSV, but I would’ve preferred some other stuff beforehand…

You may have also noticed over the years that I’ve only ever reviewed one amphibious mobile suit. That’s because when I started building up my Federation and Zeon armies, I didn’t want to get any amphibious Zeon suits because they didn’t really have anything to fight. If the rumors about an HGUC Aqua GM are true, I may just be adding an Acguy to my collection at long last.

Unlike amphibious suits, the Juaggu isn’t built for close combat: it’s more designed for artillery. There is a variant of this suit that comes equipped with an actual hand and a Gouf’s Heat Saber, but I believe that’s going to be an exclusive of some sort. Boo. Whatever. The Juaggu has its own little niche to fill in my collection… and it’ll stay in that provided it doesn’t take a beam javelin to the face.

This kit has a lot of strange little quirks. The… snout, I suppose, is built with a wire inside of it. While it gets a range of motion that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, but I worry how much stress it can take. Also, the components (namely the bottom one) tend to slide a bit, but they may be due to the current construction, which I’ll fix upon painting. Continue reading

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HGUC Marasi (Unicorn Version)

Before I started working on this kit, my friend and I were discussing some of the mobile suits from Zeta Gundam just aren’t cool. Sure, everyone likes the major mecha, but what about some of the less-known ones like the Dijeh, or the Barzam? I personally like the Dijeh for some reason, but I never cared for the Barzam. Both suits have some fantastic redesigns (I LOVE the Dijeh SE-R) so one has to wonder what happened in the initial design process. Chances are, there were some disagreements in the design departments, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve never even heard of the Barzam’s designer before.

Still, one thing we could both agree on was how awesome the Marasai was… and here we are.

The Marasai was introduced fairly early on in Zeta Gundam as a replacement for the Hizack. Like many of the other Titan suits, it has quite a few Zeon elements, so doing the suit in Zeon colors fits all too well, like it w as meant to be this way. The shades of green used are pretty cool. They feel very military, and when I’m painting I’m probably going to use an olive drab instead of a lighter green.

Being a kit from 2005, this one isn’t as complex or intricate as the other suits I’m reviewing in this batch. However, I will say that it is still a decent enough kit, since 2004 is when Bandai really started ramping up the quality of their High Grades and stopped messing around (for reference, other kits released around this period were the Mass Production Type Guncannon, the Psyco Gundam, and the Hazel; the precursor to the modern GM frame).

As such, the construction of this kit is quite sturdy, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of gimmicks. It doesn’t have any double joints or special ports for stands/action bases. It’s just a decent standalone kit. That being said, it does have a few problems. For one, the head’s design is… awkward. It looks cool, yes, but it doesn’t do much in terms of articulation. It has no chance of ever looking up without being modified. Continue reading

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Summer Kitbash Projects 1

And as always, I keep buying MSV kits without even thinking about it…

Really, to me, buying an MSV is something like getting an accessory pack. Sure, you need to do a lot of work on them, but my whole goal with picking one up is to make sure I get it, since you never know when they’re going to get reissued again. Of course, when it comes to these kind of projects, most of the kitbashing involved isn’t actually putting it together, but rather, staring at all the parts trying to figure out how it’s all going to work.

First I have the Desert Zaku, Double Zeta version. Turns out that what I initially heard about the kit was wrong, that it includes all the parts from the MSV Zaku Desert Type. It shares some parts, yes, but the only spare part is the set of shoulder spikes. Either way, this kit still has a lot of parts with it and can still be made into some kind of customized Desert Zaku. It even has two types of command antennas, one of which is like that on the old Zaku Desert Type.

What I’m still not sure about is what kit I want to use as a base. I’ve seen some people make a Zaku Desert Type with the Zaku F2, like the Zeonography figure. That’s a pretty cool idea, but I’m not sure it would work all that well using the Desert Zaku. What I’ll probably do is use the Garma’s Custom Zaku as the base kit, since it has the head vulcans, then take the Desert Type shoulder spikes and use those on an F2, with some scrap plastic and Gouf Custom parts I have lying around. We shall see.

The other one I bought is Johnny Ridden’s Gelgoog, one I’ve been after for years and years. I’ve always been a Johnny Ridden fan. There’s something about his black and red Gelgoog that I’ve found just so stylish. You can’t not dig it. Plus, it’s an easy kitbash since all you really need from this kit are the weapons and the backpack. Continue reading

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Zeon Reinforcements! The Suits of Gundam Unicorn Episode 4!

by Loran

With the new episode of Gundam Unicorn less than a month away from being released, I thought I should take a look at the last episode. Simply put, that episode was about an hour’s worth of mecha porn. Sure, it was very light on the story (and overall, kind of a weak episode) but it had enough action to keep me entertained, and it delivered everything I’d hoped to see in a Gundam OVA episode. What made the episode so great for me was the wide variety of mobile suits we got to see, ranging from the original Gundam, to Zeta and ZZ, and even some new designs in the form of MSVs.

Naturally, Bandai seized this opportunity. We’ve got a slew of new kits that have been released within the past month or so, but we also got some reissues coming our way of suits that don’t exactly need new kits, or ones for the kitbashers. Frankly, they know their market.

On the front of HGUC reissues, we got a reissue of one of my favorite older HGUCs, the Dom Tropen. The first version of the kit doesn’t excite me much, but they took the wise route and reissued the Sand Brown version, which not only looks cooler, but comes with tons of extra weapons.

To accompany the Dom, both versions of the Desert Zaku got reissued. Sadly I still don’t have either version of this kit, but from what I’ve been told, the ZZ version is the superior release because it comes with parts for both units. One of these days I’ll actually make one of these.

Since the Zeons always had the edge in terms of naval combat, we’ll be seeing some reissues there, but only one of them is worth mentioning at all: The Kapool! Yeah, the lovable Kapool from ZZ and Turn A was actually made out to be kinda scary in Unicorn. Of course, if you want your Kapool to be accurate to the one in the episode, you’ll need to paint it. 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 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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Review: HGGS GOUF Ignited

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. Continue reading

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Weapons of the One Year War part 2-Zeon

By Loran

Now that the Federation weapons have all been covered, it’s time to dive into the Zeon weapons. Early on, the Zeon weapons were very abstract-looking, but as time went on, they gained the German influence that almost defines the Zeons as we know them today. The Zeon weapons are far more widespread than their Federation counterparts, most of them appearing on multiple suits depending on the media. Having an arsenal of Zeon weapons is a heck of a lot of fun. Once again, this article deals exclusively with the HGUC models.

Principality of Zeon Weapons and Armor:

Zaku Machine Gun (old style): The older model of the Zaku Machine Gun, used by the Zaku I. Not seen on too many suits other than the Zaku I, but it has a nice design that fits into the hands of plenty of kits, and can be held with both hands with little difficulty. Continue reading

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