Monday, May 11, 2015

[Kit Insight] MC Model HG 1/144 AMX-004-2 Quebeley MK-II (Light Build)

MC Model has always been an outstanding third party model kit manufacturer, all things considered. Not content with just ripping off Bandai by the runner and producing inferior copies of already-released model kits, MC Model has researched, created and produced reimaginations of popular mobile suits, most notably the Nu Gundam and Hi-Nu Gundam. These revised variants feature far greater detail, proportions and accessories than the original, and for only half the price. Therefore, if you have to buy a third party kit, let MC Model be your choice,

When MC Model released the AMX-004 Quebeley (Haman Karn Custom), the Gunpla community got really excited. Largely superior to the Bandai version in terms of proportions, size and visual aesthetics, the HG-scale was only constrained by weak mobility and poor articulation, especially within the near-static elbows. However, the action base with butterfly effect packaged with the kit made up for it somewhat, and the funnel display parts allowed the Quebeley's core weapons to be more than just inert Newtype devices.

So when MC Model announced the AMX-004-2 Quebeley MK-II, the community was once again thrilled. Showcasing revised joints that improved elbow articulation, the MK-II also came in a special hue of glossy purple, and builders had the option to create either the regular MK-II or the mass production version that comes with a different head unit, feet unit, 30 funnels and a pair of movable cannons mounted on armatures stemming from the back of the torso. Furthermore, for the price of Bandai's own HGUC Quebeley MK-II, this MC Model version was significantly more value for money.

Despite the hype, the MK-II is still sadly lacking. Although many flaws in the first Quebeley have been fixed (elbows, head tilt, etc.), many inherent problems still exist. Even if the kit looks great, the torso doesn't have sufficient mass and strength to hold up the entire kit. Promotional material for the MK-II almost always illustrates the kit in a flight pose or on a display stand, this is probably the reason.

As with third party kits, parts do not have the luxury of Bandai-grade engineering and quality control, with some tricky bits (the 30 funnels) requiring careful positioning and then some elbow grease and bruised fingertips to get in. Some parts just do not fit in at all: the ball part of the ankle joints CANNOT fit into the according socket. It is really frustrating.

The result is a Quebeley that can look better if it manages to stand up straight. Well, at least the hands are beautiful.


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