I decided to snap up one of my Lupus Rexes to test the articulation and some modification ideas, having acquired a second one in order to appropriate the tail-blade. I didn't expect much from the 8th (or it is 9th) iteration of the Gundam Barbatos, especially with the more beastial look, but snapping this up showed me that IBO kits still have lots to offer, even in the HG 1/144 format.
The Lupus Rex, simply put, is more beast than mobile suit, its most distinctive feature the oversized arms ended with golden claws. Reminding one of gorillas, the Lupus Rex invokes raw, primal power, preferring to get up close and personal to turn targets into dust. The Lupus Rex eschews ranged weapons (save for a pair of 200mm cannons built into its arms which it used exactly once) for a plethora of devastating melee armament, chief of which is the massive (and SUPER FUN) aptly-named Ultra Large Mace.
The newest mace-type weapon to make an appearance in the IBO series overshadows all its predecessors simply by being a monster. Taller than the Lupus Rex, the Ultra Large Mace features a telescopic handle even in the 1/144 format, but sadly still lacks the pile bunker in the tip (a feature present in the Full Mechanics 1/100 version). It can also be stored on the rear waist armor via a frame part, and looks surprisingly okay, if a little lopsided. Despite its size, the Lupus Rex is able to wield the mace with ease, effortlessly holding up the weapon without any external support. This can be attributed to the general tightness of the new arm joints, as well as the large hand parts. The gauntlets pop off the hands quite easily, so attention to that has to be paid.
The Lupus Rex has an odd charm to it, so much so that a WIP of a custom Lupus Rex is underway. Hopefully I can complete it before the series ends!