Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Kit Insight: HGUC 1/144 RGM-89D Jegan D Type [Bandai Premium Webstore Exclusive] (Customised Build)
The Jegan has always been my favourite grunt from the Universal Century. Being a mass produced cannon fodder unit in the Gundam series, the Jegan is nevertheless well-designed, adequately armed for a variety of combat situations and are versatile enough to be used for the better part of three decades.There is also something about that blue compound sensor, that Gundam-esque head unit and overall shape of the Jegan that endears to me it.
So it was something of a rude shock when Bandai announced that it would be releasing the Jegan D Type - seen in the episodes of the Unicorn Gundam OVA - as a webstore exclusive. Now, why would you do that! It's only a grunt unit, not a protagonist unit or game-changing mobile suit. Heck, even the Neo Zeong is having a regular release!
Despite all that is said and done, I could not resist the urge to get a Jegan D Type myself. Although its pricey, it's a pretty decent kit with a unique colour scheme that cannot be easily replicated, at least for the lazy hobbyist that is me.
The Jegan D Type is an upgraded model of the original RGM-89 Jegan series of mass produced mobile suits, first seen in UC 0093 during the events of Char's Counterattack. The Jegan was the successor of the Federation's workhorse, the GM-series of grunt mobile suits. Accumulating all design features and technology from the GM line, the Jegan was made to be a hardy, easily maintained and versatile unit, which it did until the events of Gundam F91 when miniaturised mobile suits became all the rage.
One of the most important questions about the Jegan D Type would be the differences as compared with the regular Jegan. First and most apparent, the backpack has become more compact, albeit more plain, no longer the burden the original Jegan carries. The GM III-type movable thrusters have also become more flexible, able to fold down a full 90 degrees whereas the old Jegan's could only manage about 45 degrees before they threatened to break.
The second difference is in the shoulders, literally. The regular Jegan has oversized power shoulders that wouldn't look out of place if it was a human being living in the 1970s. The Jegan Type D has more compact, tactically-sound shoulders that feature the same number of verniers, but wider in size. The Type D shoulders also seem to have slots that are able to take GM III missile launchers, I will try it out and update if it is possible.
Apart from those two key cosmetic differences, the Jegan Type D is simply an upgrade of the regular Jegan with a duller, more tactical, colour scheme. It also gets a foil sticker sheet containing the red waist armor piece as well as two blue sensor pieces, something that is not included in the regular Jegan kit.
The Jegan Type D actually exists as a regular kit found in most toy stores, but it has a drab olive colour and a pink compound sensor. Yes, the Jegan [ECOAS Type] is actually a Jegan D Type, as referenced by its model number: RGM-89De. Therefore, the construction manual is that of a Jegan [ECOAS Type], with an extra sheet listing the different steps to take to build your non-spec ops Jegan D Type.
Construction is very similar to the very Jegan. Being a grunt unit, there is a lack of mechanical designing aimed for hyper-articulation or intricate detailing - it is plain soldier, no frills, no nonsense.
As this Jegan is an exclusive, I took the liberty to give it some added detail. The thrusters were painted titanium silver, the grey areas became gunmetal, its weapons were given a shade of gunship grey, the red parts were painted metallic red and the top half of the shield became metallic black. The compound sensor was a tad too transparent, I could see the round peg in the middle of the head. Thus, I sprayed the inner side of the sensor gloss aluminium, so that it could better catch light and give the impression of sensitive machinery.
It's a HGUC grunt unit, how much detail do you want it to have? That being said, recent HGUC kits have an incredible amount of detail, sometimes in places that will not be visible to viewers. I suppose this is the holistic Gunpla experience, where you really seem like you are building a robot from the ground up.
As the Jegan is rather plain, I gave it the RG treatment, spamming it with realistic decals and warning decals. Despite the lack of panel lines and markings, the decals managed to accentuate the Jegan's combat look.
Articulation for the Jegan D Type is surprisingly good - it is able to pull off most of the poses as advertised. The absence of front skirt armor allows the leg to go further up, giving for more dynamic poses. The range of motion is essentially congruent with the regular Jegan.
The Jegan D Type comes with the Jegan's Beam Rifle, one beam saber with two blades of different lengths to simulate the two different power outputs, a three-grenade rack as well as a bazooka from the Jegan [ECOAS Type]. The bazooka can be held one-handed or steadied with another hand through a side grip. Speaking of hands, it come with two saber hands and one trigger hand, pretty standard fare.
The D Type kit comes with a bunch of leftover parts from the [ECOAS Type] mold, stuff that you don't really need unless you are missing the head of your Jegan.
The Jegan D Type is a worthwhile, albeit pricey, addition to my grunt collection.