Model Number: MS-008-A
Designation: Earth Federation Forces Limited Production Ground Attack Use Mobile Suit
A solid, handsome blend of Federation and Zeonic design cues.
With the cessation of hostilities between the Titans and the AEUG, the latter's land-based allies of Karaba were subsumed into the regular Earth Federation Force (EFF) as the vanguard of its ground attack divisions. The majority of Karaba pilots, battle-hardened veterans with years of actual combat experience honed from the Gryps Conflict, didn't take too kindly to their new designations but nevertheless elected to work for their new paymasters as the means to a greater end. The EFF top brass were aware of this potentially divisive rift in their newly-restored military and therefore placed ex-Karaba leadership in command of the new EFF crack attack force for land-based incursions, ironically codenamed the "Karaba Air Force". The machine of choice for the KAF was the production variant of the MSK-008 Dijeh developed during the preceding conflict, designated as the MS-008-A. Retaining most of the prototype model's features including the weapon rack proposed by Amuro Ray, the EFF version of the Dijeh was largely similar to Amuro's machine, save for a colour scheme adapted for night combat as well as the addition of a powerful searchlight-sensor attachment mounted on the left shoulder used for nocturnal search-and-destroy operations. Commander-Type Dijeh units also had the dual-optic sensor system installed in addition to the standard monoeye sensor for greater range and sensitivity.
The KAF had access to the EFF's vast arsenal, a far cry from the older days of Karaba when each pilot had to scrimp and save on weaponry and ammunition which were hard to come by due to economic sanctions imposed by the Titans. KAF Dijehs sortied with heavy optional loadouts in addition to their head-mounted vulcan cannons, including a new-model beam rifle that incorporated an e-pac system from modern beam rifle designs, a beam naginata as well as three 300mm clay bazookas mounted on the backpack and the weapon rack.
While the type of ammunition in the clay bazookas could be adjusted for specific mission parameters, most KAF pilots preferred to load one bazooka with adhesive rounds to immobilise targets for capture, one with pellet rounds for close-range devastation and the one mounted on the weapon rack loaded with high explosive rounds for quick attacks. This effectively gave each Dijeh 24 rounds (7 in magazine plus one in the chamber) of heavy ammunition to utilise with extreme prejudice.
The KAF was meant to be shock troops deployed to reduce enemy strength before the EFF main force moved in. The Dijehs suited the KAF's modus operandi well, being high speed, high maneuverability mobile suits that could both withstand and dish out substantial punishment. Indeed, the Dijeh outperformed most contemporary mass production mobile suits of its time, at times even exceeding the output levels of high-performance prototype units. In the hands of battle-hardened ex-Karaba pilots, the Dijeh (EFF Specification) was a force to be reckoned with, the sharpened tip of the EFF spear.
While Anaheim Electronics remained the main producer of the Dijeh mobile suit design, Luio & Co. won the tender to locally manufacture Dijeh units under licence for the EFF, albeit on a much smaller scale than Von Braun. In U.C. 0097, a squadron of these Dijeh units - with no affiliation markings - was deployed to interrupt the transportation of a high-profile Federation prisoner.
Congruent in build quality to the regular release HGUC 1/144 MSK-008 Dijeh, the P-Bandai Narrative Ver. of the mobile suit features changes in the weaponry and the addition of the searchlight and the corresponding shoulder armour. The P-Bandai version also comes with two colour options for the light blue parts, retaining the original red ones from the regular release.
In keeping with the stock colour scheme (as I am fond to do nowadays), I applied the following colours but kept the grey portions of the radiator fins stock:
- Tamiya Gun Metal
- Tamiya Semi-Gloss Bright Gun Metal
- Nippon Pylox Light Blue
- Nippon Pylox Deep Blue
- Nippon Pylox Deep Violet
- Nippon Pylox Deep Grey
- Red Wheel Matte Black
- Red Fox Flat Black
- Red Fox Bright Silver
- CT7 Gold
- CT7 Deep Grey
- Mr DIY Grey
- Mr DIY Sparkling Black
- Bosny Sparkling Gold