Tag: Gundam Unicorn

Completed : Bandai HGUC 1/144 RGM-89 Jegan

Kit Info
Brand: Bandai HGUC 097
Scale: 1/144
Media: Injection Plastic
Markings: Various aftermarket

The Subject
Adopted in UC 0089, the RGM-89 Jegan is the Earth Federation’s general purpose mobile suit. Designed by Anaheim Electronics, the Jegan traces its lineage to the original RGM-79 GM and like the original, it’s only lightly armed with one beam saber, a beam rifle and a vulcan pod. For added firepower, it has three grenades and a shield with twin missile launchers. While lighter armed than the previous general purpose mobile suit RGM-86R GM III, its performance is significantly higher.

Due to its versatility, the RGM-89 and its many variants would go on to serve the EFSF for the next 30 years.

Info adapted from Gundam Wikia

The Kit
First issued in 2009, this is a modern re-imagining of the Jegan (the original kit appeared in 1988) as it appeared in the anime movie Char’s Counterattack. Since this is a modern HGUC kit, it features modern color molding, snapfit assembly, good poseability and better proportions than the original. As a newer kit in the HGUC line, it doesn’t suffer from the stumpy look and overly large hands that plagued older HGUC kits. Parts breakdown are also nicely designed for it to be easily painted separately. As usual, stickers are provided which I pretty much ignore.

The Build
Building a Bandai kit nowadays feels like building a LEGO set: everything just fits. I added some minor details on the thighs, legs and inside the shield with plastic card and photoetch parts. I originally had more done but changed my mind and swapped out the modified parts and put back the original. I drilled 0.3mm or so holes all over the kit as a test to see how these added details look. I find that it’s a simple and quite effective way of adding details. I also added small nozzles from Kotobukiya onto the verniers.

Proportions-wise, I only lengthened the waist by about 1.5mm with plastic card. I also pretty much kept the kit uncemented the whole time as all the joint lines double as natural panel lines. I really like this attention to detail by Bandai with the newer kits. However, there are some obvious ones on the backpack binders and (as always) beam rifle. These were treated with filler and sanded down.

Colors & Markings
I decided to go with the standard color scheme this time round although I did go with a more subdued shade of all the colors. For example, I used a lighter green color than what’s on the lineart (which I affectionately call ‘puke green’). As I was able to paint this kit in its component parts I didn’t have to do much masking. I did have to handpaint the shield missiles and the grenades on the hip though.

The markings come from various sheets from Bandai and OEM stuff I bought throughout the years. The scorpion marking on the shield is from a HiQParts sheet. I think I used the wrong size for this. Oh well.

Weathering was kept light with a panel wash of dark brown followed by sponge chipping with dark brown paint and then various fading, filters and streaks with white and black oil paints. In hind sight, I should have added some exhaust stains but I’m moving on.

Once cured, everything was knocked down with a misting of AK ultra matt varnish.

Number 9 of 2018

Upcoming : P-Bandai HGUC EWAC Jegan

P-Bandai is a double-edged sword. For one thing, it gives Bandai a chance to issue obscure subjects. On the other hand, these are sometimes the more interesting subjects but are hard to get your hands on. This is one of them.

This is coming in February 2018 @ 3,240JPY. More pictures at Gundam Kits Collection.

A quick look at a Daban 1/144 Jegan ECOAS and Base Jabber Type 89

I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at some bootleg kits from Daban. They go for a fraction of the price of the originals so are they worth the savings? None withstanding the ethics of getting bootlegs, it’s a mixed bag.

They look OK from a distance but up close, flaws do appear particularly the Jegan ECOAS.

  • Clear parts aren’t really clear like the originals. They aren’t as shiny either.
  • Parts generally have a a light oily feel
  • Polycaps are harder and not as maleable which makes it difficult to pose the kit
  • Molding/detail of the parts are not as sharp in general
  • Instructions come in Chinese although there are still Japanese here and there. They are also folded without a proper crease
  • Sprues come in 1 big bag and most of the parts are scratched
  • The plastic feels more brittle
  • Some inconsistent fitting issues. I ended up trimming off many of the male connectors to ease fitting

The fitting issues are more prominent on the Jegan with major gaps even after trimming the connectors. The neck also flops around.

The Base Jabber on the other hand, fits very well and is pretty much trouble-free.

Obviously, 2 kits aren’t big enough of a sample size to draw any concrete conclusions. But the Jegan will definitely require some elbow grease to fix the issues so I don’t think it’s worth the savings. On the other hand the Base Jabber is quite problem-free. I’m not planning to buy another Jegan kit just to see if the fit issues are different but it’s probably safe to say that problems depend on the kits you buy. Bootlegs are definitely an affordable option to use as parts for a diorama/vignette and perhaps for kitbashing though. So, YMMV.

Upcoming : P-Bandai HGUC Zeta Plus C1

Coming soon from P-Bandai (i.e. exclusive) is the next variant of the Zeta Plus. This time it’s the C1 with the propellant tanks on the back and the handheld giant beam gun.

I had the original HG kit in the 1990s which I snapfitted and threw onto my shelf. This is coming in @ 2,529 JPY in November 2016

Completed : Bandai HGUC 1/144 MSA-003 Nemo

The Kit
Brand: Bandai
Scale: 1/144
Media: Injection Plastic

The Subject
The MSA-003 Nemo is a mass production mobile suit developed by Anaheim Electronics. It is an upgrade of the RMS-179 GM II with improved power, armor, acceleration and maneuverability. The Nemo was first fielded in UC 0086 by the AEUG and Karaba during the Gryps Conflict and FIrst Neo Zeon War.

The MSA-003 would remain as a frontline unit well into UC 0096, where they saw action during the Zeon attacks on Dakar and Torrington Base.

Info adapted from Gundam Wiki

The Build
The Nemo first appears in the series Gundam Zeta however the first HGUC of this MS is the variant that appears in Gundam Unicorn. Besides the different color scheme, this Nemo is armed with the same bullpup-styled rifle as the GM Custom and not a puny beam pistol. Otherwise, everything is the same.

Like most recent HGUC kits, this one is a marvel in engineering with nearly no seamlines. The breakdown of parts also cater to painting in sub-assemblies. While it’s still not perfect, I can safely say it’s on par with the older MG kits for sure. Bandai however, still has a habit of molding the weapons in two long halves which means there’s a seamline running down the whole thing.

As usual, snapfitting the thing is no issue at all. And prep work was thankfully minimal (the vents on the shoulders are particularly hard to fix so I didn’t) even though Bandai likes to have a lot of sprue connections on each part for some reason. The visor was given a coat of Future and set aside. As is my standard practice now, this will be an OOB build.

I used the following colors for this kit:

  • Model Master Acryl Blue Angel Blue
  • Model Master Acryl Insignia Red
  • Model Master Acryl Prussian Blue
  • Vallejo Air Metal Silver
  • Vallejo Model Air Black Gray
  • Vallejo Model Air US Gray
  • Vallejo Model Color Dark Seagreen
  • Vallejo Model Color Deep Yellow
  • Vallejo Model Color Foundation White
  • Vallejo Model Color Gunmetal Gray
  • Vallejo Model Color Pastel Green
  • Vallejo Model Color Sky Blue
  • Vallejo Model Color Transparent Green

I decided to go with the default color scheme with a slight deviation. So it’s Pastel Green for the primary color, Blue Angel Blue and Prussian Blue for the blue parts in a splinter pattern and US Gray for all the exposed internal frame. For the red and yellow parts, I added a layer of white color first before the actual colors so they will be bright. For the transparent green parts, I used silver as a base. To break up the monotony of an all gray rifle, I decided to paint the handguard Pastel Green. The rifle now looks even more like the real-life L85A1.

Most of the parts are airbrushed over a very thin layer of Vallejo White Primer with details/mistakes picked out/fixed with hand brushing. To add a bit of detail I masked and handpainted a yellow band on the right skirt which I didn’t do properly. I also handpainted the cockpit hatch Insignia Red. For the record, Model Master Acryl just doesn’t compare with Vallejo when it comes to brush painting.

After a coat of Future, I added a minimal number of decals from Bandai and third party sheets. As per my usual practice, I decorated the shield with some art: this one in particular is of a kangaroo with boxing gloves. Apt since the Nemo can be found in Torrington Base which is in Australia. The decal itself is from Hi-Q Parts. After the decals have cured I wiped them down with a wet tissue to remove any remaining residue then brush painted more Future over them. It was at this point that I realized I should have used the EFF markings instead EFSF ones. Oh well.

After that has cured, I then panel lined with Vallejo Model Wash Grey which is lighter than the Dark Grey version I used on the Guncannon. The end result is that the panel lines on the Nemo are very subtle. Not sure which one I prefer yet though. For the blue parts, gray for the panel lines will be useless, so I went with a very thinned wash of sky blue. I think it may be a bit too bright but I’ll live with it. No other finishing techniques were used so as to keep the Nemo looking clean and new (-ish).

To finish the kit off, I sprayed Vallejo Polyurethane Matt Varnish which required a few passes to be really flat. I ended up with only 2 passes to maintain a slight sheen on everything. The visor was inserted last right before final assembly.

One of the ankle guards broke during final assembly and now there is a gap at the joint that I decided not to fix. Throughout the process of finishing this kit, I noticed that paint was chipping off in various joints due to the tolerances of the fit. In the end, I decided I shall keep this kit in a static pose for the final gallery photos. I will also need to figure out how not to get too much paint onto the joints themselves as it causes the fit to be too tight in some areas (the feet are particularly bad on this one).

And I’m done.

Number 1 for 2016

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