Every now and again I’ll start a project with a good measure of enthusiasm, but somewhere along the way, the shine is lost on the project. It can be for different reasons- unexpected fit issues, fiddly parts, bad decals… you name it. This kit, however, is a first.
It’s just so darn goofy.
The kit itself is great. It’s what you’d expect from a new release RE/100 Gunpla from Bandai. No fit problems, good detail, no real fiddliness to speak of.
When I first saw that it was being released, I was excited about a new tooling RE/100 kit. I’d built the RE/100 Gerbera, and really enjoyed it. Thus my focus, my initial enthusiasm for this kit was based on the grade. All the size of an MG, but not the gazillion parts. And also better detail and articulation than the older HG 100th scale kits.
Of course, I did notice it’s rather… odd, shall we say… design. Especially that large, err… thing, that stands out the front. But that seemed a bit humorous to me. So I thought “this will be good fun to build”. And it was – no denying that. (More on the build later.)
Yet as the kit came together, the look of it did not grow on me. The wide, child bearing hips. That bulbous appendage that I can only imagine elicited sophomoric jokes in the animation office. (“Look at this, Bob – hehehehe…. let’s see if this makes it into the kit!”) The thick cankles, the Popeye arms, and that tiny little head.
Of course this mobile suit, in the anime, was not designed to be the “glamor boy”. It’s a fire support weapon, essentially. And in its brief few seconds on screen, the poor Guncannon Detectors are soundly and viciously trashed. (Even the GM suits looked at it and thought “daaaaaang, bro….” 🙂 ) “Hot knife through butter” best describes its fate. (With it playing the unfortunate role of “butter”.)
As far as the build goes, there is nothing difficult, or of great note either. Being an RE/100 kit, there isn’t a full inner frame. Frame parts are limited to what will show at the various joints, etc. The armor sections are reasonably well detailed, and color separation is decent, with minimal use of stickers- only a couple of foil ones for the eyes, and a camera port. (And I didn’t feel it needed those…)
The rear of the knee joint has the piping like other EFS mobile suits, but this one uses a very soft and flexible rubber-like material. I thought it worked rather well – much better than the “shoelace” material provided with the MG GM kit. The feet, though a bit oddly shaped, have very good articulation. The mobile suit is designed to kneel, so the feet fold at a 90 degree angle to allow for this. (And that position is when ol’ boy “drops his transmission”… my word, you’re a tripod… 🙂 )
The arms can extend, the lower portions being pulled down a bit. I’m not sure what this is for, because in their retracted state, they seem a bit T-Rex-ish. And due to the wide, rounded hip armor, he always has to stand with his arms out fairly wide.
The backpack features two large cannons on ball joints, and another smaller cannon is mounted on the right shoulder. A beam rifle is included, and appears to have something akin to a grenade launcher mounted beneath it. (For you old school Army bros… think M203.) A really, big, huge gun is also included, though I never did quite figure out how to pose it in a convincing style holding that.
I did not stick to canon color for this build, as I thought the lack of contrast in the blue colors was lacking. I decided instead to go for a more Sniper II type look. For the full story on the color choice, check out this previous blog entry. I am happy with how the colors turned out.
For weathering, I didn’t go very heavy. I added a bit of Games Workshop style edge highlighting, just to see how that would look, and then did some sponge chipping around the mobile suit to give it a more worn look. I added a few two tone scratches here and there, but given that the apparent amount of time these mobile suits could expect to be in combat before being rendered a hulk of smoldering wreckage, I kept things minimal. A bit of muddines was introduced around the feet and lower legs, making use of Citadel’s Typhous Corrosion, and a bit of airbrush fading. Some post fading and shading was also added, using Tamiya XF-55 deck tan for the former, and a mix of XF-69 NATO Black and XF-9 Hull Red for the latter.
In the end, I decided to just go ahead and finish it up without much fanfare. I could have added decals, more weathering, and some other touches, but I’d really just lost my “mojo” for this one.
It’s not a bad kit by any stretch. The “tripod” gimmick does not work great, and due to the overall shape of the mobile suit, it’s not the most dynamic of posers, but it is a very solid, fun, worthwhile build.
If you really like the look of it.
For anyone who is a Unicorn fan, or really likes all thing RE/100 – get this kit. You’ll enjoy it. And if you do really like the look of it, build away.
But if you’re primary motivation is laughing at that… thing… it appears the lure of sophomoric humor only goes so far. (At least for me!)