Brand: Bandai HGUC 013
The RX-78GP01 was a prototype general-purpose mobile suit developed under the Gundam Development Project, an initiative started by the Earth Federation after the One Year War. The RX-78GP01 was the second prototype completed under this program.
The RX-78GP01 also kept the core fighter concept of the original RX-78-2, using the FF-XII Core Fighter II as the cockpit. Designed to operate on Earth, the GP01 can operate in space once fitted with additional components. A major innovation in the RX-78GP01’s arsenal was the addition of a beam rifle that used a removable energy capacitor called e-pac. With e-pac, a beam rifle can be used as long as the pilot has a ready supply of replacement e-pacs.
The RX-78GP01 Zephyranthes, piloted by Ensign Kou Uraki, appears in the Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory OVA series.
Info adapted from Gundam Wiki
This kit was one of the earliest release (the 13th) by Bandai for the HGUC line. Interestingly, it’s the first ‘Gundam’ released in the line. Like all the releases during this time, it has a somewhat squat torso, overly large hands, a short neck and limited articulation. Thankfully though and perhaps due to its design, some of the seamlines fall on natural panel lines at least. Options are good when compared to the other releases during this time:
- beam Rifle
- beam Saber (though not a clear part)
- 90mm machine gun
- standalone non-transformable Core Fighter
‘It’s a Bandai kit’ so as per usual, everything snapfits without drama.
I’m a fan of this rendition of the GP01. The proportions for the most part look alright to me so I didn’t do much modifications:
- lengthened the body by 1.5mm
- replaced the fists with ones from Bandai Builder Parts
- covered the mounting hole for the shield on the right forearm
- changed the way the shield mounts to the arm using a length of sprue
- added additional pistons on the ankles
- sharpening the antenna and v-fin on the head
- the insert on the left torso went missing so I scratchbuilt a replacement with plastic bits
By and large, whatever seamlines that needed to be fixed were straightforward, except for the back of the lower legs where there was a recessed trapezoidal panel that took some effort to get right.
Colors & Finishing
I kept the GP01’s original color scheme with some very minor variations like leaving off some parts in white instead of gray.
Markings are from the Bandai 0083 decal sheet and a third party warning marking sheet. The Bandai sheet includes the ’01’ marking that is supposed to be placed inside the shoulder with the engraved ’01’ cutout. The decal however, was oversized so I didn’t use it. This is very odd considering the sheet is from Bandai. In any case, markings were used sparingly as usual.
Bandai plastic is notorious for becoming brittle when used with enamel/oil paint thinners but I’ve been lucky so far in all my previous builds. I decided not to push my luck since I now have the Flory Dark Dirt Wash which is a clay based solution that can be removed with water. Once dry it’s harder to remove than oil paint but like oils, the clay wash can be ‘reactivated’ at any time: just add water. It’s very forgiving in that regard.
In the OVA, the GP01 saw quite a bit of action so I went ahead and chipped all over the kit using a sponge dipped in acrylic paint. I used a a dark gray paint for chipping this time instead of the usual ‘almost’ black.
Over this I did minor filtering, streaking and fading using light gray and white oil paints. The feet and lower legs get slightly heavier chipping. Seeing as how the GP01 was shown to be operating in a desert environment, I added dusting on the feet with a mix of brown and black pigments. I then did an overall satin misting coat to tie everything together and then glossing the few visor and ‘glass’ elements with a drop of Future each. The final misting coat managed to reduce the effect of the pigments so I went back in with light brown, white and dark gray oil paints to add more grime on the feet.
So, a straightforward build then. Even though it’s already a 21-year old kit, the end result still looks good. I have a feeling Bandai will release a ‘Revive’ version soon so it’s just right that I have this one completed first.
On a personal note, this is actually my first ever completed v-finned Gundam since I re-started this hobby in 1999. Sure took my own sweet time eh?
Number 02 of 2021