Monday, June 22, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGUC 1/144 MS-14C-2 Gelgoog Cannon Commander Type [A Baoa Qu Defense Ver.] (Customised Build)

Model Number: MS-14C-2 Gelgoog Cannon Commander Type
Designation: Limited Mass Production Long Range Defense Use Mobile Suit

The Gelgoog has always been one of my favourite monoeyes: the bulky frame, boar-ish head and general ferocity makes it one of the more memorable Zeon units that came out of the One Year War, itself spinning into multiple variants and models as the UC timeline progressed.

A customised version of the original Gelgoog Cannon, this particular variant is developed for a small group build between some of us older builders. With the theme GM vs Gelgoog, we set about to create and customise our corresponding models, and due to share them this weekend. Nevertheless, my entry (of sorts) is ready for rollout!

Essentially a mobile suit fitted for one last stand against impossible odds, the A Baoa Qu Defense Ver. of the Gelgoog Cannon is largely the same as its full mass production brethren, but has a number of enhancements and upgrades to improve its performance. Issued only to veterans who have survived most of the One Year War instead of the student pilots tasked to pilot the standard Gelgoogs (to ill effect), the Commander-customised machine featured integrated small group command and control systems to facilitate the transmission of orders and combat data to the whole platoon. Retrofitted for semi-zero-gravity combat on Zeon's final fortress, this Gelgoog Cannon variant is equipped with more powerful skirt and leg thrusters, in addition to two more high-torque verniers affixed to the back of the skirt armor below the beam naginta. This allows the Commander to move swiftly from point to point, issuing orders and supplementing the defense of that particular sector.

This Commander version of the Gelgoog Cannon features many more weapons over the regular rank and file. Retaining the right shoulder-mounted high-power beam cannon and the three-tube rocket launcher mounted on its left forearm, the Commander is also outfitted with a double-barreled beam cannon with an integrated mini-shield, a six-tube armor-piercing missile launcher mounted on the left shoulder as well as a handheld experimental mega bazooka designed to sink Salamis-class cruisers with a well-placed shot.

This version of the Gelgoog Cannon only saw action during the defense of A Baoa Qu, valiantly stemming the tide of RGM-79 GMs, RB-79 Balls and their Salamis-class cruiser motherships. Despite its heavy loadout and improve combat performance, the Zeon forces were still unable to overcome the overwhelming military might of the Federation and their White Devil.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[Kit Insight] Dragon Momoko 1/144 Little Bears (Straight Build)

When the Petit'gguy first appeared on an episode of Gundam Build Fighters Try, builders everywhere cooed after looking at how cute it is, but cringed a little when it delivered a Seiken-Zuki to surfer dude Turn A Gundam's southern extremities. Nonetheless, the community is since enamored with these cuties, with Bandai responding to this demand by releasing the HGBC 1/144 Petit'gguy on its own with a selling price of S$11.95 a pop.

Taiwanese model kit manufacturer Dragon Momoko, riding on the wave of success for their excellent MG /100 Launcher and Sword Strike Gundams, released their own versions of the Petit'gguy, called Little Bears due to copyright reasons. Each set contains three bears instead of one, coming in Pink, Beige and Cyan, which is enough to give Bandai Petit'gguys a run for their money.

The main difference between the DM Little Bears and the Bandai Petit'gguys is the presence of undergated parts. However, this is wholly unnecessary as it means additional steps to complete a Bear, exacerbated by the relatively softer plastic that the DM Bears are cast in. However, this is only a small issue and can easily be overlooked cos three in a set you guys!

By and large a Petit'gguy, the DM Little Bears build in exactly the same way and feature slightly larger eyes but smaller noses, and have better articulation than their Bandai cousins. Each also comes with its own chair, connector paw for the regular Beargguy III or Beargguy F as well as backpack ribbon. It doesn't come with the jigsaw puzzle piece stand like the original but who cares cos three in a set you guys!

You can get a bunch of these and create your own Bear army!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

[Kit Insight] HG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. SG50 (Painted Build)

As our only national Gundam, I cannot just do a straight build and call it a day! 

Thankfully the greys still work well with the reddish-orange and white parts! 

The decals leave a little to be desired, some just wrap around details in the armor while others will likely come off with time, so it's best to topcoat this beauty once you are done with it. Weapons-wise, I can't understand Bandai's regression on the beam saber, but the metal chain for the Gundam Hammer is a nice touch. The stock bazooka was been replaced with a nicer-coloured third party version that is more in line with the overall colour scheme.

The SG50 Gundam is nice, meaningful way for us Singaporeans to celebrate the  nation's 50th year of independence, scalpers notwithstanding.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Really Singapore?

Within the span of less than five days, 6000 units (or so presumed) sets of the uniquely-Singapore HG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam Ver.SG50 have been snapped up, smashing every single sales record in the history of the Gundam Docks exhibition. 

That is the happy part. 

The sad part is that many of the model kits sold have been purchased by individuals or groups that only have vested financial interest in the hobby, thereby depriving true fans of the franchise their only chance of obtaining a truly Singapore model kit. 

This SG50 Gundam is a one-off happenstance that is unlikely to happen again in my lifetime, that is why it is so coveted by many builders, especially this year when it is the 50th year of our nation's independence. 

Anticipating the scalping that will undoubtedly occur as evidenced from past events (Hello Kitty, SNSD concert tickets), I was one of the first 50 people to line up for the kits on day one, when the limit per person was 10 units. On hindsight, the organisers could have limited that number to the current two right from the start, in order to deter the scalpers looking only to gain financially. I personally saw (and captured on photo) someone carting away five full cartons of the kits. I will let that sink in for a bit. 

Personally, I bought the maximum of 10 sets, but apart from keeping two for myself, the other eight sets were resold to true fans at cost price - I made no profit whatsoever from this exercise. All I want is for true fans to own a piece of Gunpla history. Too bad the others aren't so altruistic. 

It really saddens me to see the amount of scalpers turning my beloved hobby into a goddamned MapleStory free market.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

[NEWS] HG 1/144 RX-78-2 GUNDAM [VER.SG50]

Pretty neat of Bandai and the venerable Kunio Okawara to design and release this repaint of the Ver.GFT RX-78-2 for the 50th year of Singapore's independence!

This is really one exclusive that cannot be missed!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGBF 1/144 NK-13J Denial Gundam [Ver. GPN]

Not gonna lie, the Denial Gundam is my favourite MS design to come out from that mecha battle royale that is Gundam Build Fighters Try. The unconventional colour scheme, alternative front and side skirt armor along with the ferocity of Junya Inose made the Denial a force to be reckoned with, as the Try Burning Gundam painfully realised.

One of the gripes with the model kit release of the Denial is that the purple parts come in exactly zero shades of purple, resulting in a stock kit that is more "commander type" than "evil long lost friend-turned-enemy". Therefore, a complete recolour was done, the combination of the two hues of purple (Candy Purple and Violet Blue) working in harmony to bring out the evilness of the Denial. The main grey was also darkened to Honda Grey in order to accentuate the fearsomeness, while Candy Red served to bring out the splash of crimson like a pool of blood. The rest of the colours used include Gunship Grey 1 and 2 for the shin armor and the head, Silver Chrome for the V-Fin, chest vents and central armor pieces, Sparkling Black for the limb frames, Gun Metal for the fists as well as Metallic Black for, well, the black bits.

A pair of foot spikes was also added to the feet as I felt that they were too vanilla and not befitting of a powerful, evil mobile suit designed to pummel its enemies into the ground. 

But I have to say, I'm not really a fan of the thigh-based side skirt armor: it can be burdensome to manipulate at times and more often than not comes across as a hindrance. I will use the more conventional waist unit of the Try Burning for the next Denial custom to improve its stability and bring it back to its Cathedral Gundam roots.

Yes, I like the design so such that I intend to create a customised version of the Denial, not simply a Ver. GPN colour correction build (new class of project by the way!).

Gundam Abnegation (working name).