Monday, October 2, 2017

[Kit Insight] Bandai HGBF 1/144 RGMGM-79C GM/GM Cannon (Customised Build)



Hands down, the best and most worthwhile HG 1/144 model kit by a mile, and it's not because of my inclination towards GM-type mobile suits!

Bandai never got around to releasing a RG 1/144 RGM-79 GM or even a HGUC 1/144 RGM-79 GM Revive, although you could easily make any of those with a simple kitbash (which I did). Even if Bandai dropped a few HG 1/144 kits of the Thunderbolt GMs, they didn't really encapsulate what the original GM design was gunning for: a minimalist, simple yet utilitarian model suit. 

Then came the GM's Counterattack OVA, a segue-sequel to the first (awesome) season of the Gundam Build Fighters franchise. A little more than a well-animated advertisement to sell rehashed versions of older model kits, GM's Counterattack tied up a few loose ends and introduced the community to the fabulous GM/GM.

Teased some time before the actual premiere of the OVA, I positively went ape-shit upon browsing through preview pictures of the HGBF 1/144 GM/GM. Although it was slated to be an antagonist MS operated by one member of the Gunpla Mafia, it was still, in every sense of the word, a beautiful GM variant. Based on the original RGM-79 GM design, the GM/GM essentially is a "Ver. Ka" version, eschewing the organic curves from before for sharp angles and straight lines. The proportions are also beefed up to contemporary standards: the GM/GM is not as short and stout as its 1995 HGUC predecessor, instead it stands tall among its 1/144 brethren. More than just a casual rehash a la most other HGBF model kits (looking at you, Amazing Z'Gok), the GM/GM is updated with modern model kit technology that includes a plastic part instead of a polycap for the neck joint, double-jointed elbows and knees as well as expanding chest parts that allow the arms to swing forward. Also, the kit has hardpoints on its arms, legs, side skirt armour and back skirt armour to mount additional equipment without further modification! Furthermore, the kit comes with two additional head units with corresponding clear parts (!!!), allowing you to create G-DOME units or GM Command units which is definitely a big plus point. All these make for what really can be considered the ultimate High Grade 1/144 GM model kit in existence.

The GM/GM pays homage to its HGUC roots with its relatively light equipment load-out that consists of an upgraded Beam Spray Gun, two Beam Sabers and an updated Federation Shield with a protruding tip. The RX-78-2 styled backpack is also modular, meaning that parts can be easily swapped to achieve the configuration desired. For example, you can equip a back-mounted cannon (foreshadowing) to the right side of the backpack with the left side holding a beam saber rack. Alternatively, if you have another GM/GM kit, you can have the backpack hold two beam saber racks. The possibilities are plentiful.

Gunplanerd Custom: GM/GM Cannon

Before the GM/GM kit was even released, I had so many ideas for GM/GM-based customs, 17 to be exact. However, I underestimated the sheer popularity of the kit and failed to secure sets from my local hobby store before they were sold out. As a result, I had to wait a couple of weeks before the GM/GM model kit sets came from Taobao. In the meantime, I decided on the first GM/GM custom that I was going to do.

This first GM/GM was actually meant as a test kit for the Federal Police Use GM custom that I'm planning to do. Having also developed a taste for masking over the last few customised model kits, this GM/GM was to be my canvas as well. The GM/GM's design was pretty much meant for masking, with straight clear lines demarcating sections of the armour, especially on the thighs, allowing me to do masking relatively easily. Of course, my execution still needs fine-tuning, but I'm just glad I brought myself to do it.

At first, I only wanted to change the ghastly off-white colour to pure white and also change the light orange to metallic red. As time went on, more and more colours were added and the final product bears a total of 15 different colours as listed below:
  1. Tamiya Metallic Red
  2. Tamiya Gun Metal
  3. Tamiya Metallic Black
  4. Fox Dark Blue
  5. Fox Bright Silver
  6. Fox Flat Black
  7. Anchor Sparkling Black
  8. Red Wheel White
  9. Red Wheel Matt Black
  10. CT7 Matt Gold
  11. Nippon Pylox Deep Grey
  12. Nippon Pylox Medium Grey
  13. Nippon Pylox Pewter
  14. Bosny Silver Chrome
  15. Bosny Copper Gold
I also had a spare back-mounted cannon leftover from the Suntoys SDMG RX-78-2 Gundam model kit (the set gave you plenty of extra weapons, including beam rifles). Through the use of a Kotobukiya universal peg, this cannon fits beautifully into the GM/GM's backpack, thus forming the GM/GM Cannon, a long-range assault use variant of the Gunpla Mafia's general-use GM/GM. 

Although the Beam Spray Gun is a classic GM weapon, I wanted to give the GM/GM Cannon a little more firepower to cause the protagonists a little more trouble. The HGBC 1/144 GM/GM Weapons is an underrated accessory expansion, giving you nicely molded weapons that can form into other weapons for a relatively low price. After some trial and error, I decided on a "battle rifle" configuration that fits the GM/GM Cannon's intended purpose and role. The modular parts of the GM/GM Weapons also makes it very easy to paint (for lazy asses like me).

As the icing on the cake, I slapped on some random leftover sticker decals onto the GM/GM Cannon, including that cute little bear insignia on the left front skirt armour. Yes I know that the GM/GM is operated by the Gunpla Mafia but the source of the GM is still from the Federation, hence the EFF markings and logos. 

In all, the GM/GM Cannon turned out better than I expected. The base kit is superb, simple and sturdy enough to take anything you can throw at it. In this case, less is really more, and the GM/GM delivers this in spades. This is a highly, HIGHLY recommended model kit to add to your collection.

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