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!
Brand: Bandai HGUC 051
Media: Injection plastic
The RGM-79GS is a late production GM deployed in the One Year War. It is an upgraded variant of the original RGM-79 GM with improvements in performance and maneuverability. Two variants were subsequently developed: the RGM-79G GM Command and the RGM-79GS GM Space Command. The RGM-79GS has performance that is onpar with the Zeon MS-14A Gelgoog and as its name implies, is optimized for space combat so it differs from the GM Command by having a backpack designed for space use, a 10% increase in output, more apogee motors and greater propellant capacity for longer operational time.
Production numbers are low and these were mostly assigned to platoon commanders. Several were featured in the OVA ‘Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket’.
Info adapted from Gundam Wiki
This kit was originally released in 2004. As such, it still suffered from some of the problems of the early HGUC line: a somewhat squat appearance, overly large hands, a short neck and limited articulation. Bandai also didn’t try too hard to hide seamlines during this time. Options include:
Of note is the lack of a clear beam saber while a clear visor is included. Parts breakdown is logical and straightforward with generally accurate colors as per the lineart. A small sticker sheet is also included.
I’ve had this kit snapped together for quite a while and decided it’ll be a ‘quickish’ build. Overall, it didn’t take too much time and any delay was simply due to my malaise.
To fix the proportion problem, I extended the upper legs, lower legs, front skirts, and forearms between 1.5mm to 2mm. I wasn’t neat about it which came back to bite me in the finishing stages. I also extended the neck polycap by 1mm to give the kit a longer-necked look and the base of the torso was extended 2mm.
I then proceeded to lose the left ‘ear muff’ which I replaced with a scratchbuilt antenna array and the cockpit door which I replaced with one fashioned from 0.25mm plastic plate. I also added verniers into the vents on the legs for added details.
Colors & Finishing
I kept the color scheme similar to the original lineart with additional red flourishes on the forehead and lower legs. I originally wanted 2-tones for the red areas but it didn’t work out. Other that that hiccup, everything went on without a hitch.
Markings were as usual from various decal sheets. I then added chipping with a sponge. Once these have cured and given an overall gloss coat, the kit went through the usual rounds of panel wash, fitering, streaks and fading with Mig AMMO Panel Line Wash Deep Brown, Mig AMMO Oilbrusher Starship Filth (a dark gray) and white oil paint. Last on is a light mist of flat coat to knock down some of the overall sheen and tie everything together.
I was supposed to finish this kit at the end of 2018 but it rolled over to 2019. In any case, add one more to my RGM collection.
Before painting, the tedious task of fixing seamlines and sprue marks begin. I’ve been turning to using an old bottle of Tamiya IJN Gray as a primer coat to reveal the problem areas. Various fillers were used including AK Interactive putty, super glue and epoxy putty.
Painting can then begin! I decided to go with the default colors with a bit of variety by making the red areas 2 tone. As is usual by now, I primed all the parts in black. Then I added a marble coat using white paint. I hope that the main colors will be thin enough for this marble coat to show through and add some ‘texture’ to the paint job. The 2 tones are done with a base of darker red, masked with blutack, then straight red over.
However, the 2 shades are a tad too similar so the 2 tone effect is quite subtle. I think it looks OK though and since I managed to get the marble coat underneath to show through, I’m moving on.
The 2-tone reds are more obvious on the shield though not by much. Blink and you’ll probably miss it.
With the modifications, the kit is now taller and compares nicely with the Jegan. Pre-mods it’ll probably only reach the Jegan’s shoulders.
Painting is now done and finishing is next.
After a gloss coat, I added decals. Weathering begins with a going over with sponge chipping using dark brown, medium gray and white paint.
After a gloss coat, panel washing, streaks and fading are next to finish this kit.
Next up is yet another kit that I have finished snapfitting for a long time. It also continues my EFSF grunt mobile suit collection (what a mouthful).
This is one of the earlier HGUC releases so it suffers from the typical problem of its vintage: overly large hands, limited poseability and a somewhat squat stature. I decided to modify this kit slightly. I began by extending all the limbs: forearms, thighs, lower legs and the front skirts. These were extended between 1.5mm to 2mm by simply chopping them in half, inserting plastic card between the halves, then trimming them. The front skirts were also separated so they can move individually.
The overly squat chest also needed some modifications. To ease painting, I cut off the connections for the lower torso.
Doing it this way lets me paint the torsos separately and I can insert the lower to the upper torso later.
I also modified the neck by moving the polycap up 1mm and holding it in place with a wad of epoxy putty. The lower torso was also extended by about 1.5mm by stacking plastic card on the bottom.
I definitely prefer how it looks now.
The EFSF logo is embossed on the shield and like my previous GM Command build, I trimmed this off and will replace it with a decal.
Much to my ‘surprise’, I managed to lose the left ‘ear muff’ so I replaced it with a Kotobukiya round mold with 2 0.5mm brass rods inserted as antenna. After I was done, the missing part turned up. Oh well.
Another part I lost while this was in storage was the cockpit door. I fashioned a new one. It looks sufficiently different from the original but I like it this way so it differentiates the space from the ground versions.
Since this is the space variant, I added additional vernier and round molds to the legs.
I closed up the hole on the right forearm since it won’t be carrying anything there. I also closed up the hole for the antenna on the right shoulder.
Ready to move on to the next step!
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.