Written by 10:48 pm My Builds

Completed : Bandai 1/144 RGC-80 GM Cannon

Kit Info
Brand: Bandai
Scale: 1/144
Media: Styrene
Markings: Various

The Subject
The RGC-80 GM Cannon is a mass-produced medium range artillery variant of the RGM-79 GM. While originally designed with two magazine fed 240mm cannons on the shoulders, recoil issues would necessitate mounting only one cannon on the right shoulder and additional armor on the legs to help with balance. The GM Cannon still possesses 60% parts commonality with the base RGM-79 GM and could carry the same hand weapons and shields as its general-purpose sibling.

By the end of the One Year War, fifty eight GM Cannons would be produced and fielded by the Earth Federation. The GM Cannon continued to see active service even after the War and into the Gryps Conflict in UC 0087.

The RGC-80 is featured in the original design series Mobile Suit Variations and in the anime series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam.

Info from Gundam Wiki

The Kit
Released in 2018, this is a P-Bandai limited release of the space variant of the RGC-80 GM Cannon that appears in Mobile Suit Gundam Discovery aka MSD Origin. As is typical of P-Bandai releases, we get a monochrome boxart. The parts are the usual multi-colored sprues we get from Bandai. Unfortunately there isn’t much going options-wise: clear blue visor, a sticker sheet, no extra hands, a beam spray gun for weapon and no shield.

So pretty much a no-nonsense approach for this release. I must add though that there are more details and gribbles and they are more sharply molded than the usual HGUC fare. Articulation also looks to be very good, especially for 1/144 scale.

This is a P-Bandai limited release but is quite easily available from online retailers at a slight premium in price.

The Build
Originally released as a kit in 1983, there has never been a modern release of the RGC-80 GM Cannon except for the 2001 B-Club resin conversion kit for the HGUC RGM-79. This P-Bandai is close, but it’s of the RGC-80S Space Assault Type, which has a different leg design.

I’d rather have the standard GM Cannon so what’s a guy to do? Why just kitbash one up, that’s how! Looking around my stash, I thought the RGM-79 GM Thunderbolt offered the bulky leg parts that came close to the GM Cannon. It’s however, not a straight swap since the two kits technically come from different lines. Once I got going though, I also made other changes. From head to toe:

  • Adding a bill above the visor with plastic plate on the head.
  • Sanding the antenna into sharp points.
  • Added a Kotobukiya nozzle into the muzzle of the shoulder cannon.
  • Shield connecting points on the forearms were covered with Kotobukiya nozzles.
  • Replaced the left fist with a nicer one from the Builders Parts set. The cover for the back of the hand was modified from the kit part.
  • Trimmed off the connecting tab on the beam spray gun.
  • Beam spray gun mounting point on the back of the pelvis was also covered with a Wave vernier part.
  • Due to the slimmer profile, I chose to use the Space Type’s upper leg parts. To mate them to the Thunderbolt’s lower legs, I had to modify the Space Type’s internal skeleton by cutting it off at the knee. I then built my own knee joint using plastic plates and rods. The new knee friction fits into the lower legs but I used cement for a stronger fit. I also added Kotobukiya minus molds to detail up the sides of the leg joint.
  • The busy details on the upper legs were filled.
  • Trimmed off the added armored bits on the knee area of the lower legs.
  • Filled all the verniers on the lower legs.

Things went surprisingly smoothly with only the new knees taking up the most time.

Colors & Markings
I decided to go with a more ‘down to Earth’ color scheme of off-white and olive drab than the default white and red of the original RGC-80. Painting was straightforward with the only time consuming part being masking the splinter camouflage for the olive drab parts. Markings-wise, I mixed and matched from my various generic sci-fi and gunpla decal sheets. They all went down with no problem with Mark Setter and Mark Softer.

Panel wash was done with Mig AMMO Deep Brown. I then chipped using a sponge and acrylic paint. Over this I did fading, streaking and adding grime and dust using various Mig AMMO oilbrusher colors. I know that Bandai plastic has a reputation of breaking apart with enamel thinner but I’m happy to say I’ve managed to avoid them so far with all my builds.

In lieu of an official Bandai 1/144 RGC-80 GM Cannon, I think my interpretation does look the part. With more patience and skill I think I would have modified the lower legs some more but i’m happy with what I have now.

Build Log
Part 1 : Construction
Part 2 : Construction
Part 3 : Painting & Finishing

Number 06 of 2020

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