Time for a different kind of review.
I copied this from my post over at Mechatoys, a few weeks back. and I've been lacking in some updates so I thought this would be good for people.
|Click for a bigger image.|
Before anything else, I would just like to say that I think the box art of the kit is simply beautiful, there's so much about it to appreciate, in the fact that it emulates an animation sequence preserved in a painterly style and composed very cinematically. Boxart for HGUC has been getting subsequently better and better through the years, and this one ( I think is done by Morisihta Nachika) is definitely one of the best out there for HGUC.
Talking about the contents,there's the manual and the runners, which come in three main baggies, same format I came across when making HGAC Wing Gundam. All parts being extensively color separated now, I would say the color separation for the most recent kits is done well enough to merit zero painting, with a lot of parts (mostly the vents) being covered by stickers.
Here it is snapbuilt, and with some detailing applied with Gundam Markers.
The assembly was quite easy to follow along and very simple, which adds up to a very lightweight and solid looking model.
Proportions wise- the design is almost directly lifted from the MG Ver.Ka of the Victory gundam, with the long, lanky legs and small head. Not that I don't like it, it's actually quite nice to look at.
The molded detail on the kit is absolutely sharp, they even got the split down the middle of the face in there. for intermediate modelers they might have to rescribe some of the other lines to emphasize them but most snapbuilders won't need to.
Another thing to note is how near-seamless the assembly is, especially for the head. The parts separation is done well enough that splits between parts occur where there would be a panel line, for the most part.
One of the highlights about the detailing for me is they managed to separate the back thrusters into separate gray parts, which were a pain in the arse to mask off and paint in the old 1993 kit. good job, Bandai!
Articulation on this thing is pretty great. Double jointed neck, segmented torso, ball jointed shoulders, five (5) points of articulation on each arm, a swinging pelvis, and about seven (7) points of articulation on each leg.
All of those contribute to a wide range of motion, thanks to a combination of standardized ( All Gundam Project Styled) joints and polycaps.
It can't do an epic split but it can come close.
In the accessories department, it comes with parts to build a core fighter, beam saber hilts with three beam saber attachments, one beam shield and a beam rifle.
The Core fighter is amazing. it also has good parts separation which is a plus for non-painters, although my one gripe is that it lacks a clear canopy piece, or at least a sticker for the cockpit canopy.
Of course there's the beam rifle. Much meatier than the one that came with the old kit...
...And just as detailed. Since it lacks a trigger guard, it can easily be held by other MS as well.
The beam shield--and the beam parts in general-- all come in a hard clear pink plastic, which may be prone to breakage if you're ham handed enough to try and snap a piece in half, and pretty terrible when trying to clean nubs, as the plastic stresses much easier. I would have preferred softer plastic but perhaps this is a nod to the old beam effects of the 1993 kit.
The beam saber parts clip onto the saber hilt very securely.
And you have the choice of using a normal saber...
...or the one with a wider arc/ larger output.
coming out with a total of four beam effects, I'd say that's a pretty extensive set of options for a kit as basic as this.
And here it is with its 1993 counterpart. You can see that a lot of the proportions and detail is better though I would have liked it better if it came in the same height, or at least as tall as the Seraphim from Gundam 00. A difference of one centimeter means a lot when you're comparing scales (the old kit was around 10cm, and the HGUC is slightly over 11cm) but it's still one of the smallest Gundams in HGUC and that's what matters most.
So in summary, what makes the HGUC Gundam a great kit?
- You get very nice color separation, which requires minimal detailing.
- Almost seamless assembly
- Solid design, no hollowness that's instantly apparent.
- Well designed articulation
- Tight joints
- Very lightweight.
- Comes with 4 beam parts.
- Gundam/ Tamashii Stand compatible
Meanwhile, what could be the flaws?
- Not enough alternate hands (you just get one pair)
- The joints are molded in gray as opposed to white, which may mean a lot of paint rub for modelers who like to do painted builds.
- The standardized arm joints feature plastic to plastic friction points which may rub and loosen with excessive playing/posing.
- The way the V-fin assembles, it may be prone to breaking if you're not careful.
- The height is not completely accurate.
- No clear canopy piece for the core fighter.
- Considering how small the finished model is, the kit may be expensive, depending on where you buy it.
Overall though, it's an amazing kit, perfect for beginners. I'd recommend this as a starter kit to people you want to get into the world of gunpla. It's simple, well engineered, quite satisfying to build for beginners. Highly recommended!