Sunday, March 26, 2017

[Custom] Bandai HGIBO 1/144 EB-06j Graze Ground Type (Urban Environment Use)

The Graze is an immensely versatile frame, having spawned so many variants over the short run of the IBO series. The Ground Type variant was just made available in the 1/144 format with the release of the IBO MS Option Set 9 which contained the flat ground-type feet, and this is great news for 1/144 collectors (me).
By and large a standard Graze, the Ground Type variant features revised feet optimized for terrestrial combat as well as a multi-rack backpack that holds the GR-H02 Battle Blade, a sword-type melee weapon designed for ground combat. The Ground Type also has thigh thrusters a la the Graze Ritter to circumvent Earth's gravity, allowing the Graze Ground Type to hover above ground and achieve superior ground mobility. 

Being a peacekeeping force, Gjallarhorn has no shortage of urban environments to guard/ oppress, and Grazes painted in Urban Environment Colours serve as better camouflage as compared to the standard green. Often deployed to quell militia uprisings and insurrections, the Graze Ground Type (Urban Environment Use) is equipped with a special thermal imaging sensor incorporated into the standard optical sensor in the head unit. This allows the Graze to map out human targets without activating the relatively fragile head sphere sensor, exposing a potentially exploitable weak spot. The thermal imaging sensor also gives the optical sensor a red hue, much like the head sphere sensor of the Graze Ein. This coincidence has had unexpected psychological impact on human targets.

This variant of the Graze can be armed with the standard GW-W01 120mm rifle - the mainstay of all Graze units in Gjallarhorn - or a mid-range flechette gun that fires off a cluster of shrapnel at opponents. More useful against human targets than nanolaminate armour, the flechette gun is visually indistinguishable from the standard 120mm rifle, apart from having a shortened barrel and using a drum magazine. This is intentional to reduce weapon training times since Graze pilots will be familiar with the workings of the standard 120mm rifle. This also allows for easy maintenance in the field as both weapons use the same parts. 

For anti-mobile suit work, the Graze Ground Type relies on the Battle Blade, a lightweight weapon that is easy to wield under gravity. The Graze's systems have been optimised to use the Battle Blade such that the maximum amount of destructive power can be achieved while placing as little burden as possible on the system. Regular Graze pilots usually go for the usual hack/slash/stab attacks to disable enemy mobile suits and/or mobile workers, although some commander types have been known to perform more elaborate attack maneuvers that can only be possible by switching the input control to manual mode. Simultaneously working the various thrusters on the Graze Ground Type, a kind of fancy swordplay has been observed, used to both defend the Graze as well as attack its enemies. However, these are few and far between as the urban environments the Graze are operating in do not allow for acrobatic and stylish attacks: a simple stab will get the job done.


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