Sunday, May 27, 2018

[Kit Insight] Bandai HGBF 1/144 SF-01 Super Fumina (Straight Build)

Model Number: SF-01 "Super Fumina"
Designation: Sakai Minato's Customised Gunpla 

As Bandai's first entry into the red-hot "mecha girls" sub-genre, the Super Fumina was quite literally the face that launched a thousand variants!

The SF-01 Super Fumina was Sakai Minato's entry for the Meijin Cup Open Course, specifically to go against Yuuma Kosaka's Lightning Zeta Gundam in a battle of artistic proficiency. Modelled after Hoshino Fumina's form, the customised Gunpla also took reference from her very first machine, the Powered GM Cardigan. Essentially, the Super Fumina is a reimagination of Fumina herself clad in an outfit modeled after the Powered GM Cardigan.

What most people forget is that the Super Fumina, despite its feminine features, is still very much a machine constructed and tuned for the rigours of serious Gunpla Battle.

The Super Fumina's primary weapon is the beam machine gun, wielded in either hand. While the damage of each individual shot is negligible, the high rate of fire allows the weapon to wear down enemy armour, with or without anti-beam coating. Sakai made use of the beam machine gun to suppress enemy machines, forcing them to keep their heads down while he maneuvered the Super Fumina into position in order to use the large rifles mounted on its back.

Arguably the Super Fumina's most powerful weapons, the large rifles mounted on the backpack boast both high damage and accuracy, allowing the Super Fumina to shell targets from long range. The rifles are able to alternate between solid and beam ammunition, according the Super Fumina some tactical versatility. While the large rifles are mounted on sub-arms and do not require the Super Fumina's own arms to operate the weapons, they can be used to steady them to get an even more accurate shot.

For defense, the Super Fumina was equipped with two small shields modelled after standard issue EFSF shield models. Also mounted on sub-arms connected to the backpack, this freed up the Super Fumina's own hands to operate other weapons and equipment. The AI-controlled defense system automatically calculated the estimated trajectory of enemy ordnance and moved the shields accordingly. Sakai also regularly used the shields to screen incoming fire while charging into enemy positions.

The shields were also able to generate high-output beam blades that could be used both defensively and offensively. As an extension of the shields, the beam blades functioned as a beam shield to nullify beam weaponry lower than its output. The beam blades can also be used as automated melee weapons that shred enemy Gunpla at close range. Lastly, the Super Fumina can launch the shield like a missile, the beam blade burning through multiple enemies before the shield's momentum is spent.

For ultra close range combat, the Super Fumina is equipped with a pair of beam sabers stored in the shoulder armour. Making use of its high mobility, the Super Fumina brought beam death to enemy Gunpla, sometimes in conjunction with the beam blades generated by its shields.

The Super Fumina is a large Gunpla at the HG 1/144 scale, towering over its counterparts. The huge profile made it a visible target but at the same time, its imposing visage struck primal fear into its enemies.

The Super Fumina represented Bandai's debut into the highly lucrative "mecha girls" model kit sub-genre. While the kit itself is pretty good, the back skirt armour notwithstanding, the face unit leaves much to be desired and the stickers provided do not help matters. Although many more Super Fumina variants have been released since the SF-01, the same facial issue persists. Here's hoping that new Super Fumina model kits make use of the molding technology seen in Figure-Rise Bust and Figure-Rise Labo kits!


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