Preview : Bandai HGUC 1/144 RGM-79D Cold Climate GM

Kit Info
Manufacturer: Bandai
Scale: 1/144 HGUC
Media: Injection
Parts: 92
Price: S$12.00 (est. US$7.00)

The Subject
The introduction of the MS-09 Dom by the Zeon forces proved to the Federation that while the RGM-79 GM was a capable MS, it needed to field a more maneuverable and better-performing MS to match up with the Dom. Late in the War, the RGM-79D was introduced. The RGM-79D has increased power and maneuverability and is modified for extreme weather conditions with a specialization on cold climate.

The Kit
I am a GM phreak so ANY release of a GM variant is something I look forward to. The OAV series Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (0080) just happens to have some of the best designed GM variants. The original 0080 model kit line saw the release of the RGM-79G and RGM-19GS, a slight variation of the RGM-79D. The RGM-79D and the RGM-79SC GM Sniper II were only available as resin kits or resin conversion sets then. When Bandai announced the RGM-79D as part of their HGUC line, it was welcome news for me because this means the GM Sniper II is now a distinct possibility for a release in injection form. Anyway, here’s a look at the RGM-79D.

The kit comes in three trees of colored parts, as per Bandai’s practice. Parts breakdown for the HGUC series so far have been excellent. They allow the modelers to pretty much finish the kit in subassemblies, paint them and then do final assembly. Considering they are just 1/144 kits, the HGUC line’s poseability has also generally been good. I also like the fact that the visor is a transparent green piece, saving me the time of having to paint it.

One thing I’ve noticed is that this kit will probably build up into a much bulkier version than the original anime version. That’s not necessarily bad, but purists might have a problem with it. I don’t. I think the proportions look tight, without the roundness of the HGUC RGM-79 and the huge waist of the original 0080 RGM-79G/GS model kits.

As with most HGUC kits, accessories are bare: a Sten-looking machine gun (which can be held with both hands… COOL), shield and a beam saber with the hand molded in. There are pros and cons to this: It does look better than the regular fist, but it’s a pain to paint and choices of poseability with the beam saber is pretty much limited. Plus, you can only use the beam saber for the right hand (the beam saber hilt is on the left shoulder). However, this is easily remedied, as most Gundam modelers would have beam sabers lying around in the spares box anyway.

Bandai still refuses to include waterslide decals with their kits. This one comes with a sticker sheet, which naturally is too thick for any use if you do serious modeling. But, since the core audience for these kits is kids, a sticker sheet does make sense.

All in all, this looks to be a excellent kit and as mentioned above, this kit has since spawned a couple more variants from the 0080 world: namely the RGM-79G and RGM-79GS twins. Personally, I think that we can never have to many GMs. Bring them all on Bandai!

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