Sunday, December 16, 2018
[CUSTOM] Bandai HGTO 1/144 RGM-79KC/Pr GM Interceptor Custom with "Predator" Assault Booster (Customised Build)
Model Number: RGM-79KC/Pr
Designation: EFSF Mass Production Mobile Suit Customised for High Speed Interdiction
High speed, low drag.
The RGM-79KC GM Interceptor Custom was a variant of the versatile mass produced mobile suit intended for high-speed interdiction and pursuit missions. As such, the main frame has been lightened to reduce drag and a focusing visor attached to the head unit helps the compound sensor lock on targets during speedy chases.
The "Predator" Assault Booster was developed as a countermeasure against Zeon Dopp fighter planes and other mobile weapons. While suitable for both space and atmospheric use, the Predators were used in greater numbers on earth as air superiority was a critical concern during the dying days of the One Year War as an increasingly desperate Zeon was throwing everything they had at the Federation. Attached to GM units modified as Interceptor Customs, the Predator transformed the humble GM into a lethal aerial combatant that was only seconds behind the fastest terrestrial Zeon machine.
The Predator Assault Booster features two modes: the default Interception Mode and the slower Cruising Mode. The compact form factor of Interception Mode allows the GM to accelerate to remarkable velocity in a very short time, making it very useful for chasing down speedy Dopp fighters and the occasional Zanzibar-class freight ship. While useful, the burst of speed and its associated G-forces prevents proper usage of the GM's handheld weaponry, with beam rifle shots wildly missing targets.
To circumvent this, the Predator is armed with twin 120mm anti-aircraft cannons mounted on each wing and are fire-linked to the GM's targeting systems. These guns were extremely deadly against aircraft, with a single three-round burst from either cannon more than sufficient to reduce enemies into flaming aerial debris. The rounds were also effective against ground-based armour, leading many pilots to use their GMs as makeshift assault gunships for attack operations.
When speed is not of the essence, the Predator Assault Booster can be shifted into Cruising Mode, which extends its wing span and increases the entire mobile suit's stability. Cruising Mode also allows the GM to stay in combat for longer periods of time, useful for patrolling heavily-contested airspace or to provide overwatch for ground troops. The lower velocities achieved in Cruising Mode allows the GM to use its handheld weaponry alongside the 120mm anti-aircraft cannons, although the pilot would have to manually position the entire mobile suit in order to turn the cannons onto ground targets.
The GM Interceptor Custom with Predator Assault Booster gave EFSF commanders on Earth a decent tactical option to achieve air superiority in key combat theaters.
Very clearly, this is a kitbash of the HGTO 1/144 GM Interceptor Custom with the backpack of the HGRC 1/144 Catsith, along with the beam rifle of a HGTO 1/144 Heavy Gundam and the mini shield of the HGBF 1/144 Super Fumina. The strangest thing about the GM Interceptor Custom kit was the absence of the Fellow Booster, the distinctive support craft that made GMs into Interceptor Customs. The Catsith's backpack with folding wings seem to be a good fit for the GM Interceptor Custom, their marriage made easy with their compatible hardpoints.
I chose to replace the GM Interceptor Custom's brilliant colours with a more muted colour scheme that is somewhat reminiscent of modern day fighter jets: if they can't see you, they can't hit you.