31 January 2010

GN-X Variations

After Dalong uploaded his pictures of the runners of the MG GN-X (still waiting for mine), I checked the runners to see, how likely we're able to see some variations - well, first of all I made a little graphic, showcasing all* GN-X.

*excluding the GN-X IV, since there's no 100% official, final line art yet.

Linearts are from gundam00.net and MAHQ.net

Advanced GN-X right below the standart GN-X
GN-X Cannon and Sword under the GN-X II

I marked changes with a green circle - and by changes, I mean those parts the successor doesn't have with it's predecessor in common anymore.
Therefore, the GN-X III's shoulders aren't an difference from the GN-X I to me, since the GN-X II has the same shoulders aswell.

Well, starting with the A plate, which is called to be the most significant plate for a model, you can already spot 6 altering points,... or how they are called officially.
Anyways, 2 altering points are located around a bunch of clear pink parts - those parts seem to be for the sensor of the head as well as for the Long Barrel Beam Rifle.
Bandai can easily change the molding section for those parts, in order to make a GN-X II (+ variations), III and Superbia possible!
On the top right, bandai has altering points around the parts for the shield and forehead - advanced GN-X is starting to scream!

notice the parts on the right? GN-X I, II, III and Superbia utilize them - except the advanced GN-X - obvious!

Runner C has Altering Points around some parts for the shoulder (or how to call those, which are technically part of the torso).
Well,... I didn't spot any differences on the linearts in this case- maybe I'm getting old.

The D Plate has no 'Altering Points' because, it is GN-X I exclusive! All the parts are just used for the GN-X I - ok, for those binders, the advanced GN-X uses them aswell, but I guess Bandai will give us a new runner to include the shoulder mounted shield rods.

The J Runner features the Beam Rifle and GN-Drive base on the right, and the GN-Long Barrel Beam Rifle attachment on the left - what shall I say, besides that this is another hint. - Bandai can use another mold instead of the long barrel parts for the Advanced GN-X rifle.

The Frame for the 'X-Binders' has altering points - GN-X II and III are knocking on Bandai's door.
I dunno why the upper one is located a little bit offset - maybe I just made a mistake.

There are some other runners as well - but they didn't feature any hints for GN-X variations, therefore I suggest to head to dalong.net if you want to see those pics!

Well, I didn't spot that much opportunities for bandai to change the runners for a Superbia GN-X - I believe, if Bandai is going to release an MG Superbia GN-X, it will most likely feature almost entire new runners.
Well, what do you think?

GN-Archer 'Samus Gundam'

Metroid PRIME?
Yea, I know - stupid play on words

Today I primed my GN-Archer with Mr. Surfacer - now, one of my 2 bottles of mr. surfacer is empty - thanks to the export ban thingy, I want/need to ration my remaining mr. Surfacer bottle (which means I wasn't able to prime all parts), therefore one shoulder, leg and feet isn't primed.

Why do the priming? Well, to look fore some minor defects, which need to be fixed with putty etc., which are diffecult to spot with parts not being unichrome.

front and back - I marked a few locations on the Backpack and head, which I have to fix

At first, I wanted to have some Plaplates on the knee-cover and try to get an more clean design, similar to the original Varia Suit from Samus. However, I decided to leave this be and intend that there are thrusters/vents right beneath the knee cover.
(Unfortunate, I clued some PlaPlate onto the leg already, and removed them again - Now I need to fix the knee covers aswell v_v)

Action Posing - with not mut Action

The right one reminds me of something...

(Source: Wikipedia)

For the color scheme - I think I'll stick with the one from metroid prime - mainly because the 'prime color' has a green visor, like the GN-Archer has.

(Source: Wikipedia)
or at least, it looks to be green, but illuminated with blue

30 January 2010

Lightning Base Zaku

With my Unicorn Gundam Review, I covered on 2 items from my 'redpack' - the Unicorn Gundam and the Actionbase 2 - well, I think the Lightningbase is far more interesting, compared to the AB2.

The best setting for lightning base to shine is at night, obviously - well, I took a, more or less good photo, more less, of the LB on my Zeon shelf.

From left to right -
Gouf 2.0 (not in picture), Char Z'Gok, F-Type Zaku 2.0 'Minelayer', Zaku 2,0 'Cannon - Topp custom', Zaku I 1.0 'Topp custom' - F-type Zaku 2.0 'Ghosty Custom'

During day, the LB doesn't really get any attention - because sunlight beats the LED light.

The LB features an octacon base, like the AB1 has, with a little connector stored under the base itself, to connect to AB1 bases. This, however, proved to be somewhat diffecult - the LB doesn't seem to have the exact same size as the AB1 (We're speaking of an difference of about, dunno, a millimeter or half), making it diffecult to attach to 3 other AB1, attached like an L. It took me quiet some time (I think about 10 minutes) to get the LB connected to the other 3 AB1, so it eventually will be 4 Bases, connected roughly like this [].
Anyways - on to the LB again - the LB has 2 LEDs, positioned at 2 opposite endings of the base, to illuminate the later one. The LB requires 3 AAA-Batteries, which should quiet some time (after all, it's just 2 LED).
One case of an LED has the switch for the LB - simply slide the switch from one position to another in order to turn the LEDs on or off.
Anyways, the LED aren't directly illuminating the model put upon - instead, they illuminate the plate in the middle, which redirects the light to the model.
This plate can be turned to redirect the LED's light ray. (see HobbySearch Packshot on the right side).
I suggest turning the plate until you finde the best position to illuminate your model.

Will I get other LBs? Well, maybe in the future - but in the present: nope.
Maybe a green one for the (almost sure to come) 1/100 raphael Gundam from the upcoming Gundam 00 movie.

28 January 2010

HGUC Unicorn Gundam Review / ユニコーン・ガンダム

Finished to write the Review of the HGUC Unicorn Gundam (Destroy mode).
What I learned from this - now I know how much effort dalong puts into his work. (And why there's just one post a day - max!)

Well - I hope you enjoy the review - c&c is welcome.

yup - that's me!

I'll cover the weapons first - since I find weapons far more important for a model than the posing.

not that much included

What you'll get:
1 Beam Magnum
1 spare magazin for the Beam Magnum for the rear skirt armor
1 shield (can't transform, obviously)
2 different peg's to connect the shield with the backpack and arm
4 Beam Sabre handles (2 for the Backpack and 2 for the forearms)

The shield is just a handful of parts and it is assembled quickly, however, the back of the shield is all white - I decided to paint it gray using a gray Gundam Marker.

There's also a Polycap on the back for the pegs - sind the polycap is circular, you can rotate the shield, but you can't tilt it in any direction.

The BPP - BackPackPeg

Basically, one end is a cylinder, which goes into the shield's polycap, whereas the other end is a cuboid, which goes into a slit on the Backpack.

slit located...

shield connected

Mounting the shield on the back can be fun, if you want your Unicorn Gundam to be heavily armed, but usually, you'll want to pop the shield onto the arm.

Well, this isn't complicated - you just have to find the slit(s) on the arm, which are located near the beam sabre - since those have the same measures like the slit on the backpack, you can mount the shield on the back of the arm as well (using the 'BPP'), but I prefere the shield to be placed on the side of the arm.

(right next to the gray elbow joint)

(the peg plugged into the shield's polycap...)

(... or clipped onto the arm)

I love the clear pink and therefore
the pink shades on the Unicorn Gundam

Now that the Unicorn Gundam can defend himself - he still needs something to blast some Neo Zeon's - we all know that attack is the best form of defense.
Introducing - the Beam Magnum!
(I have to admit, I was tempted to do a stupid joke with a Magnum)

At the rear of the Beam Magnum - you can pull out a peg in order to attach the Beam Magnum onto the Backpack.



But you can attach it on the back of the arm aswell - but this peg can't be pushed in in order to disguise it.

(the peg and....

...the slit - the same as for the Shield)

et voila!

A standart for all new Mastergrade Kits is to have a peg on the palm to securely hold the weapons and such - I don't know when Bandai decided to introduce a similar system for HGUC Kits (I know that the Hi-v has this kind of peg aswell),... anyways.
While the MG kits have the peg itself on the hand, and the slits on the weapons, the HGUC hands have this swapped - here, the peg is on the weapon and the slit on the hand!



Well, at least it securely holds the Beam Magnum
- and it doesn't wiggle

just swap the regular hand with the trigger-finger+Beam-Magnum-hand and here you go: Unicorn Gundam finally armed!
What I dislike somewhat - which is an issue almost all HG kits have - you don't have a trigger-finger manipulator for the left arm - no going akimbo sadly.

Well, instead of double firepower, you can have the double amount of ammo - or at least an spare ammo pack.

The Ammo Pack and mounted onto the rear skirt

If you want to change the mag of the Beam Magnum - forget it: the Beam Magnum is just 4 parts (2 for the barrel - and 2 for the entire 'body' of the Beam Magnum(just 2 halves snapped together))

What I found to be a nice gimmick - some Beam Sabres from other kits, like the Beam Sabre from the HG Seraphim Gundam (Gundam 00) fit into the barrel and work like an beam effect part for the magnum!


Speaking of Beam Sabres from other kits - if you have the Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode), or an other HG kit with the correct beam-sabre-effect-part-runner, you can attach this Beam Sabre effect part onto the Beam Sabres of the Unicorn Gundam (like I did with a Beam Sabre from the HGUC RX-79(G) Ground Gundam, which is, besides the color, exactly the same like the Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode) kit has included).

This Beam-Sabre doesn't have a joint - you can just remove the entire sabre+handle or tilt it like it has a joint - it fits nicely,... but for how long? (see my final notes).

well - just attach the Beam Sabre effect to the Beam Sabre and you're done!

Now with the weapons done - lets go into detail for the parts themself.

The Unicorn Gundam seperated

The shoulder has 2 axis which allows the peg to be moved up and down, and forward an back - plenty of articulation for a HGUC, which is far better than older MG kits, like the GM-C, but still far inferior to nowadays MG shoulder joints, like the GM 2.0.

The neck can move up and down - and the head can rotate 360 - thanks to the ball joint and that the head doesn't have any ridiculous chin and side-vents, like the v(nu)-Gundam has.

The arm - if you watched rrobberts184's review on the MG Unicorn Gundam, you might know that the elbow is just able to bend to a 90 degree angle - let's see how far the HGUC can bend.

More than 90 degree obviously - I'd say about 100 - and how far can it bend backwards?

not much - but who wants to bend his arm that way? This gotta be hurting!

The shoulder on the Arm part can bend... well, that far - but it now collides with the Beam sabre - It can bend a bit more with the Beam sabre removed, but not much - because the shoulder armor will block eventually.

where's my waist?

Skirt Armors - comparing how far the skirt armor can move.

Gimmick Alert!

The cover for the thrusters on the a*s rear skirt can be opened and closed.
However, the rear skirt itself can't move!

I forgot to take a photo to show the waist movability - it can turn 360 - something the new MG Unicorn (OVA ver.) claims to be able, compared to his ver. Ka counterpart.
The leg connects to the waist with a balljoint - this means you can split the legs a little bit, by far not as far as the Zaku 2.0.

Note: the top of the leg is painted gray - it is white by default

The legs are as well, in terms of posability, superior to their Master Grade brothers - the MG Unicorn (ver. Ka) can bend about 80 degree, the improved OVA ver. MG Unicorn can bend about 90 degree, and the HGUC can bend about 100!

Ankle Movement

What shall I say - again, the HGUC wins against his MG counterpart.

The leg's can go that much forward but just that much backwards - 'thanks' to the immobile rear skirt!

recreation of Box-Art
(which I find to be the best pose)

Mounted on my self-made Lightning Base Box with some blacklight illuminating the Unicorn Gundam - as you can see, the PsyCo Frame is fluorescent, which means, it 'glows' with he currect UV light (however - I tried to illuminate it using UV LED's - and it did NOT work - probably because the UV LED doesn't emit that specific wavelength of UV light required for the PsyCo Frame)

Last - but not least, I turned on my LED inside my Lightning Box.

Final thoughts:
It's a great kit, and for the price of 1800 yen, you will get alot of playability and a lot of time putting this together.
Since it can't transform, like the MG version, it has a much more solid feel while posing the Unicorn Gundam - rrobbert184 claimed that with the MG Unicorn Gundam, you don't really want to pose it in Destroy mode, because some parts might want to 'detransform', pop out etc.

Well, my only complaint is, that there's no ABS plastic
I somewhat have the feeling, that pulling the wrist mounted beam Sabres out and in too often will loosen the mounting location (or how to call this) eventually, for example.
I have the same problem with the neck of the 1/48 scale Unicorn Gundam Head - it got loose, and now, the posability is decreased, unless I'd clue it.