Tag: Gundam Unicorn

A visit to the 1/1 Unicorn Gundam at Odaiba, Tokyo

Every gunpla nerd is required to make a pilgrimage to the 1/1 scale Unicorn Gundam statue in Odaiba, Tokyo. It was finally my turn this time. I went in the afternoon and the Unicorn remained in Unicorn mode the whole time. I do believe it only activates Destroy mode every 2 hours starting from 11am with a lightshow in the evening.

Standing at around 18 meters, it is seriously imposing and I love all the little details that were replicated right down to the small warning markings which are now life-sized of course.

I really should have come when it was the more iconic RX-78-2 on display but this is 1 more of my to-do list checked off. On to the next one!

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.

Finishing
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

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