Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kit Insight: SD BB Senshi NZ-999 Neo Zeong (Painted Build)

The NZ-999 Neo Zeong is a beast of a mobile suit/mobile armor. 

When it first appeared in the final episode of the Unicorn Gundam OVA, it messed shit up right from the get-go, taking control of ECOAS Jegans and turning them on each other. And that was when the full machine was still concealed. Suffice to say, the Neo Zeong was a badass machine, and the HGUC version is the largest HGUC kit ever, with the box itself larger than the packaging of any known Perfect Grade Gunpla.

While I save up for my own HGUC Neo Zeong, I decided to take a trip down memory lane with the construction of a SD-scale Gundam, the scale that triggered the entire hobby. Even as a SD, the Neo Zeong is still a goddamn beast.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kit Insight: HGTB 1/144 RGM-79 GM (Thunderbolt Sector) (Light Build)

By now, you should already know that I have a thing for grunt units. The past few Kit Insights have been on grunt kits and my latest customised project is the Ultra GM, the epitome of an awesome grunt unit. The RGM-79 GM is the predecessor to all grunt units bearing a compound sensor, that is, the visor that is fixated on the head unit in place of two individual Gundam-type optical sensors. Therefore, when the souped-up, Thunderbolt-style version appeared, I knew I had to get it. It just looked too right to pass up.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Gunpla Gallery: HGUC 1/144 RGM-79SP-X[U1] 'Ultra GM' (Customised Build)

Where's your Zeong now!
As far as grunts are concerned, most people usually dismiss them as cannon fodder or common rank-and-file, expendable unnamed tertiary characters that often die as quickly as they appear. However, if you delve beneath the protagonistic lore, you will find that many grunt units also have stories of their own to tell and to share. Granted, the lowly foot soldiers will probably have nothing much to say since they blow up after about five seconds of screen time, but it may be the sergeants, the lesser officers of the warring sides that might have their own takes on the conflict they have somehow been thrust into.

The Ultra GM project had been on my mind for months now, existing only as mental images and detailed plans of grandiose greatness. However, it was a monumental task, for many components were only made available very recently and finding a suitable GM platform to become the Ultra GM was really driving me up the wall.

Nonetheless, the Ultra GM is completed, and this is its story.

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.

Kit Insight: HGAC 1/144 XXXG-00W0 Wing Gundam Zero (Painted Build)

I'm not a great big fan of the Mobile Suit Gundam Wing series, although the anime formed the backbone of my childhood television sessions. Although the mobile suit designs were unique, well thought-out and decently-grounded, some of the action sequences veered into Super Robot territory. Come on, what mobile suit can spin into the air like a gymnast and still hit the ground in one piece?

That being said, the titular Wing Gundam has become one of the most popular Gundam designs ever, with innumerable modifications, variations and re-imaginations of its entire lineage. Therefore, when the HGAC version of the Wing Gundams appeared on the market, I hesitantly grabbed one to have a look, just to invoke that sense of nostalgia, if nothing else.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kit Insight: HGBF 1/144 侍ノ弐 Sengoku Astray Gundam Full Blade (Customised Build)

When the Sengoku Astray Gundam first appeared in Gundam Build Fighters, everyone sat up in their seats and took notice. The Astray is a wildly popular Mobile Suit design, spawning dozens of variants, custom works and modifications despite it existing only as a one-off animated short as well as in the immobile pages of manga volumes.

Therefore, it was joy to see an officially-sanctioned Astray modification released as a model kit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kit Insight: HGUC 1/144 RGM-89D Jegan Type-D [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.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Gallery: RG 1/144 MBF-02 Strike Rouge [Expo Limited] (Painted Build)

The RG Strike Rouge is essentially a recolour of the RG Aile Strike Gundam, whose Kit Insight can be found here. It is available only as an Expo Limited, but the P-Bandai Webstore retails a premium version of the RG Strike Rouge with a recoloured IWSP strike platform. 

The RG Strike Rouge builds the same way as its Earth Alliance Twin, possessing the same key parts, the same decal set and weaponry but also has one additional runner of parts with an extra decal sheet containing Cagalli's own personal markings. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Gundam Model Kit Contest 2014 - Singapore

All I can say is, it is truly an honour and privilege to be standing in the midst of giants and titans. 

But it is also immensely humbling as well, seeing the amount of effort, sweat and time that undoubtedly poured into the fruits of their labour.

Do head down to Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Basement Two to view the works of Singapore's Gunpla modelers. The exhibition is on from 11 June 2014 to 29 June 2014, with the results of the final judging being announced then.

A toy fair with decent discounts is also onsite (20% off retail).

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kit Insight: RG 1/144 GAT-X105 Aile Strike Gundam (Painted Build)

As a preference, I don't usually do RG kits, although I won't deny their superior quality and the lower effort required to make them look great on a shelf. Nonetheless, I embrace kits from all grades in order to give a more holistic take on this hobby.

The Aile Strike Gundam has always been a favourite from the Gundam SEED Series, with its striking design, traditional Gundam colours and the ability to use interchangeable Striker Packs. It is also a protagonist unit, making it the hero of sorts and boosting its popularity further. 

Much Gratitude

As of 2 June 2014, this blog's pageview count has exceeded 3000.

Although the number is still minuscule, it gives the blog creator - which is me - immense motivation to continue populating the blog with new content. It is easy for me to simply build my kits and store them away, but I'd rather spend the time to snap shots of the final product and think up words to go along with those shots.

Such is the mandate of a Gunplanerd.

I've been really busy with Life and a severe bout of flu the past week, hence the lack of updates on this blog. Nonetheless, I've bounced back and will do my best to build, shoot and post.

Thank you all for your support, I will endeavour to keep the posts coming.

Domo arigato, Mr Roboto.