HGUC Gunderm Ver. G30th + EX Gundam Trailer (Gundam Expo Full Color Finish Version)

Continuing on with the Extra Finish Version love this week, and my second look at an HGUC Gundam Ver. G30th kit this month. Next up is the Gundam Expo only limited kit HGUC Gundam Ver. G30th + EX Gundam Trailer Full Color Finish version. Now that is a mouthful. First off, let me just say, this is probably the best looking Extra Finish kit I’ve seen to date. The colors on both the Gundam and the trailer all come off really nice and burnished, and being mainly darker colors all around, gate sprue damage doesn’t stand out as much as it does on say the Zaku II or the Hyaku-shiki. This gives it more of an “adult look” for lack of a better term, than your regular version does.

As for the build, it’s another G30 kit, my third to date, so there is nothing new there. The trailer is also a quick build, but a perfect fit for the Gundam, and again the extra finish looks really nice on it. There’s not much else to say about this particular version other than that it looks fantastic. I would definitely consider it in an MG size if they released one and minimized on gate sprue damage. Unfortunately a bit pricy of a kit, but if you can track one down it’s well worth it and highly recommended due to the coloring.

As always, pictures speak louder than words, so please enjoy the gallery.

HGUC Zaku II (Char’s Use Extra Finish Version)

The Extra Finish Version of Char’s Zaku II was one of the limited kits that was sold at the Gundam Expo held in August, along with it’s bigger brother the MG version.  Well, it was only 2,000 yen, so I figured what the heck.  Overall, it’s a Zaku, so you all know what you’re getting, but this was my first time building it in the HGUC scale.  Overall impressions are well… it’s a Zaku!  What more can you say? 

Actually, there’s a quite a bit you can say.  The Zaku in the HG line is one of the oldest kits out there, so it obviously doesn’t stand up to it’s MG kit, or even some of the later HGUC kits that have come out which feature better design in hiding seams and gate sprue damage.  The HGUC kit is also further limited by having basically no waist movement, so don’t expect it to twist around to shoot something behind it, over even to the left or right of it so much.   Also, I actually had a few pieces that simply didn’t fit well, most notably on the lower right leg armor, where it simply leaves a slight, but noticable gap.  Other than that, the proportions of the monoeye and visor(?) area feels a little off to me, the eye is much bigger than you see in MG kits, so in that sense I find it a little disconcerting. 

Colorwise, the extra finish is beautiful, and fits my image of Char’s Zaku much better than the closer to pink rather than red coloring it always gets.  The downside?  Unfortunately, the extra finish as we’ve learned from kits such as the Hyaku-Shiki, is a double edged sword, meaning you’re going to have nice gate damage that isn’t the same color as the finish.  While the Hyaku-Shiki’s runners and build itself was designed to hide such damage or at least keep it to a minimum, the Zaku II kit here doesn’t get the same luxury.   The good thing is it’s a smaller kit, so perhaps it’s not so noticable from a distance, or from the angle you take the photo.  Still, this is one area that I’d like to see Bandai step up to the plate on.  If they’re going to go through the trouble of charging twice or more for the regular kit just to have the extra finish, then I’d like to see them go the extra mile and either redesign the runners with sprue gate damage in mind, or better yet, go to an all undergate solution.  When snipping off pieces, sanding and design knifes just don’t cut it since you’ll end up taking the finish off around the sprue area.  Still, overall the damage doesn’t detract from the kit that bad.

Wrapping up, the build only took about an hour to do, again the good thing about simple HGUC kits, coupled with the fact that you can’t do much sprue gate cleaning due to losing surrounding finish.  Also, I refrained from panel lining as I’ve noticed in the past that Gundam Panel Line markers seemed to “rub” off the finish when doing another kit.  So is it a kit to get?  If you like coloring and the finish, and don’t min some detracting gate damage on the lages and shoulder areas, then yes, just realize that it is still “Just Another Zaku” so there’s nothing new in that area.

As for the pictures, again, it’s a Zaku, so I really didn’t take a lot, but you’ll see it again in an upcoming post again the good old RX-78-2.




Side again

Area where the damage stands out.

Still, the Zaku can juke with the best of them

What does he come across…?

To be continued…

GBE: Final thoughts

First off, I’d like to welcome new readers to my blog, the Gundam Big Expo coverage ramped up my hits by a whopping 840% it seems.  I’m usually one of the slower bloggers around, but sometimes, just sometimes I can bring a scoop home.  Anyways, welcome to the ramblings of an American Salaryman in Tokyo, everything from Gundam, Otaku, Photography, and random life.  Feel free to stop by whenever and comment if you’re up to it. 

Moving on to the main post, I really should have posted this afterwards, but having a few days of real life in between to let things simmer and collect my thoughts helped.  Overall, I’ve come to the conclusion that in general, this expo was definitely all about the First Gundam Series, and the latest Gundam UC.   Everything in-between was fairly glossed over, even Gundam 00 (outside of the PG kit), which finally had some movie news on Sunday it seems, was kind of moved aside compared to Gundam UC.  In retrospect, the Gundam 00 movie is supposed to be out in 3 months or some and there really isn’t any info at all!  The Macross Frontier movie at least has a trailer playing for it (saw it when I went to see Evangelion 2.0, which was bad ass, but I digress).  The panels though, at least on the first day were definitely aimed at the First Gundam generation crowd, but outside of Ikeda (Shar) and Furuya (Amuro) everyone else is just, I dunno, normal?  Hell, 30 years have passed since they did the voices so, I don’t know what people expect, now that these people are in their 50’s and 60’s but hey, it’s cool, right? 

Anyways, just to pick my highlights of the Expo 

  • Gundam UC –Without a doubt, the Gundam UC rush is already starting to pick up speed.  From an very nicely animated trailer, to the upcoming Dengeki Hobby Magazine swag, to the various HGUC and SHCM kits coming out, we’re going to be seeing a lot of Unicorn in the six months 
  • PG 00 Raiser – While I say Gundam 00 in general was glossed over, it does win for having the most shocking release date of a kit, the 00 Raiser, scheduled to come out in less than 3 months.  Wow Bandai.  Starve us of PG’s for a few years, then release the flood?  This gives me hope in a way that we’ll see a PG Unicorn next year sometime. 
  • Dioramas – I’m a sucker for these things I guess.  It’s always nice to see a decked model kit that makes you go wow, but seeing the work put into some of these huge diorama’s is just amazing.  While the Odessa battle is one I think has been used at other shows, seeing it in person, plus the stunning Victory Gundam diorama, the mass production Zaku Factory, and so on, makes you realize that some people really love Gundam, probably way more than we’ll ever do.  But that won’t stop me from appreciating that love in the form of great diorama’s. 
  • 1/10 models – This probably fits up with dioramas, but the number of 1/10 Gundams on display were impressive.  Unicorn, hands down for the win.
  • Upcoming merchandise – While seeing pictures in one thing, it’s neat to actually be able to see the production and test models on display like this.  From Kshatriya to the new PG, to non gunplay items like helmets, pins, and more, it was pure merch overload.

 On the other hand, the low points of the expo:

  • Ring of Gundam – I dunno, I’m hearing it’s supposed to be a short “clip” of a longer film, but the documentation on hand indicated that it was simply a short film created for the Expo.  Thusly you get 4 minutes of hmmm, with no indication that it’s going to continue or not.  In all, it felt like a Gundam Evolve clip, except it had nothing to do with any of the current models, and only vaguely references Amuro and the Axis asteroid.  Mixed feelings on this, but the upside was that being only 4 minutes long, the turnover was fast and you only had to wait around 5 minutes to see it.
  • Not putting a limited gunplay sales booth inside the ticketed area – From a business perspective, putting the sales area outside the ticketed area means you get more sales, whether or not people pay to see the ticketed goods.  Unfortunately that also increases the wait.  I really don’t see why they couldn’t have created another booth inside the ticketed area as they had the space. 
  • Limited number of machines for the games area –  They brought in quite a few Gundam Vs. Gundam machines along with older Gundam arcade machines, plus Senjo no Kizuna which you could play for free, but  limited them to only about 8 machines of each.  They had plenty of room where they really could have put more.  Senjo no Kizuna was an hour+ long wait just to play one match. 
  • Lastly, the animation history area,  this is a mix of high yet low for me.  Having cool posters for each series and models and line art, just felt a little lacking.  Maybe I was going in expecting to see booth babes like TGS dressed in Gundam uniforms, but the lack of character profiles for the most part even seems lacking.  Of course, this is made up by having diorama’s and figures for all the mobile suits, but it really felt at times that they were pushing the mechanical merchandisable side more than the human drama of the shows. 

In the end, the show was worth going to, I ended up leaving around 4 rather than stay until closing at 6, but managed to get my fills worth, and it was nowhere near as crowded as something like TGS.

I don’t know if they’ll have another one next year, considering that they’ve pulled out all the stops for the G30 anniversary, but if they do it’ll be interesting to see what they bring to the table.

GBE: Last various pieces for today.

The last post of the night, and until Sunday or as I go from Gundam to Disney tomorrow.  Gotta keep the wife happy since I dropped a bit on the limited gunplas.  For the most part, all important news and upcoming releases have been posted, from Sunday it’ll be more of the panels and other parts of the show.    There’s always a chance that more news will come out tomorrow or Sunday, but I doubt it.

For new visitors please click on the Gundam Big Expo category link to see all the posts covering todays event. 

Last bits and pieces for today, in no particular order.

  • 1/35 Version Ka GFFIX (March 2010 release, heaven forbid what the price will be)
  • Jibun Damashi
  • Char’s mask and helmet
  • The Zabi family
  • Gundam Pen Set
  • Zeta Gundam Ship Set
  • Various Gundam 30th anniversary goods
  • Gundam stickers for your phone
  • and so on

GBE: Dioramas, etc part 2

Moving on to some smaller Zeta Gundam dioramas, followed by an excellent V Gundam diorama, I was amazed at this. Also Master and Devil face off, and a 1/2 scale Turn A Gundam head.

GBE: Dioramas (First Gundam)

Tons of diorama’s, including things like a Zaku II assembly line, Odessa, Shar and Amuro in the ruins of LA (if i remember my first gundam correctly), White Base, etc.   Take a look below.