Friday, June 20, 2014
Kit Insights: HGUC 1/144 RGM-79C GM Type C & RGM-79C Powered GM (Straight Builds)
I have this certain fondness for grunt units, perhaps it's because of their simple, rugged design, their visor-like compound sensors and their representation of foot soldiers in war that draws me to them. Many friends have queried the wisdom of my attachment to grunts, since the kits are plain, not terribly detailed and generally just look very normal. However, I feel that in any war, even mobile suit ones in the Gundam multiverse, it is the soldiers that form the backbone of any war effort. The protagonist might be the one evening the odds and levelling the playing field, but the grunts are the ones who fight tooth and nail for their cause, usually getting destroyed in scores or wiped out by the opposing hero-type mobile suit. Nonetheless, they still silently fulfil their missions, going against ostensibly superior opponents with a cold, hard look.
The GM Type C is a little different from its predecessor GM kits as well as from the kits that came after it. It possesses an amazing level of innate detail, far more than the classic HGUC RGM-79 GM kit as well as certain Gundam-style kits. This opens up the possibility of intricate customised works and variations of the Type C design.
Sometimes referred to as the GM Kai, the GM Type C was the result of the Federations upgrading and refinement of the original GM after the One Year War, realising that mobile suit warfare was here to stay. An all-round improvement to the original design, the Type C featured superior thrust and manoeuvrability, and was able to make use of all existing Federation weaponry including the beam saber.
The Powered GM is heavier-armoured test-use variation of the GM Type C. Appearing in the same Stardust Memory OVA as the GM Type C, the Powered GM was in the most literal sense powered up from the normal Type C, featuring a prototype backpack that carried a more powerful reactor and improved thrusters. As a result, the Powered GM's speed and mobility far surpassed its original counterpart, being able the leap higher than the Type C ever could. However, because of the stress to the knees when landing from such a height, the Powered GM was outfitted with shock absorbers that also functioned as additional armour.
Construction for both GM units were similar, since the share the same mold. The only notable difference was that the GM Type C had a specific runner (MP) that contained only hands: two closed fits and two open hands with gauntlets for each. Although the gauntlets are not molded in the Type C's colours, they still go well with the kit.
The Powered GM builds the same way, only the additional armour goes over the completed legs and the backpack requires more steps to finish construction.
For some reason, the GM Type C kits are supremely detailed. Armour etchings adorn the shoulder plates, front and rear skirt armours and the legs, as well as having more panel lines than the usual GM.
The Powered GM features even more detail than the regular Type C, although significant black-filling would have to be done in order to bring out the full potential of both kits.
Both GM kits are able to reach back and draw their beam sabers, and are able to do the one-knee pose unassisted, albeit a little wobbly.
However, their arms tend to come off when doing more intricate poses, as it is only held by a rod-type peg and not the more recent flat-type ones that give a tighter fit. The kits are also able to effectively wield most HG weapons, including the ones from the HG Customise Campaign.
Both GM kits come with a rather intriguing hand part, something I call the Grip Hand. It is essentially a flat hand that bends inwards to create the impression of grip, allowing the GMs to properly wield their weapons with two hands. The standard open hands can do this well enough, but these grip hands actually curve up the weapon, providing a more realistic weapon-gripping look.
It can also do interesting kungfu-style moves, just for shits and giggles.
If you want to get a GM kit, strongly consider the GM Type C or the Powered GM.