Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: HGUC 1/144 AMS-129M Geara "Zee" Zulu

I'd been wanting to get one of these kits into my collection for a long time, and from the looks of how much stuff it's got, I heartily agree that this is one superior amphibious attack mecha. Based on the Geara Zulu frame (from Gundam Unicorn), the Zee Zulu is a sleeker aquatic version that can also function as a light infantry unit on land.

As you can see with the first photo, you're not lacking in equipment, though whether that equipment looks like it's really needed.... but more on that later.

This action pose, while it shows most of its weapons, is actually a bad idea - the machine gun is kept in an airtight aquatic case, which probably tells us that you'd never see this setup in an actual battle. Still, it looks cool.

This is how it probably looks like when it's already at the combat theater, but just waiting to jump from the water. Interesting use of comabt knives, such that the hand held knives become the thumbs for the claw hands, as created by the three claws that spring out from arm mounts.

When in transit, this is probably how it looks like, all weapons folded. again, very sleek, but I doubt it will win any points for stealth.

Now, about how those blades are stored - AWESOME. The dual-blade back sheathes are so retro and "ancient warrior"-like that it's a shame that most people won't see it once you've finished the kit. It can probably fit as an emergency set of weapons for the offidcer/Sauper type, too, if you can make the blade sheathes fit under the ammo belt and back pack.

This is how it looks like once it's discarded all the aquatic gear and is about to sortie. Personally, I think that if i were to get an actual kit for myself of this one, I'd ditch the flippers - they're a bit too ridiculous. Also, check out the shoulder details, very nice!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Review: HGUC 1/144 MS-06R1A Zaku II (Black Tri-stars)

I'll be honest, I wasn't all that hot about this particular Gundam kit - I'm not really a fan of the Black Tri-Stars in general (oh, for the days when their name was translated as the Black Trinary). However, upon assembling this kit, I was pleasantly surprised at the simple but well thought-out construction.

I admit, one issue for me was the lack of weaponry - Zaku kits are usually loaded for bear!

First off, the posability is topnotch for the upper body - a joint at the midsection and standard HGUC armo joints make sure of that. However, the legs are a bit more problematic. This isn't just a historical issue, but also one where the new lower legs are really by nature more limited in standing poses. The best solution would be to keep on some sort of stand, since it's meant to be a space unit anyway.

This is me trying to imitate a classic illustration/MSV pose.

The backpack is very detailed, but be warned, all white parts and the red hexagon are stickers. This unit will definitely teach you to get better at basic masking.

Just like the MG kits, it comes with two antenna types - the modern "wing" type, and the old spatula version.

This is the old spatula version, both antennae have nubs you have to cut off, as you can see.

The big interesting thing: the shoulder weapons mount. Here it is with all weapons mounted. I think I forgot to mount the circular clips for the machine gun. There are two clips, and both can be mounted at waist slots. You can also choose to use the RG System Weapons version.

This is a variant on how you can mount the bazooka. Apparently, you can mount the bazooka either through the claw clamp, or through a peg/slot.

I'm not sure if it's possible, but I think you can mount two bazookas into the weapons mount, barring any fit issues with the sensors and handgrips, when they're folded down.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: HGAGE G-Exes Jackedge

I have to say that the head/face design for this mecha is one of my absolute favorites in the AGE series. That being said, the G-Exes frame being an ace version of the Shaldoll (and thus the Jackedge being an ace variant for the Rogue) makes it very posable. Although the rifle/knife combination is a bit of an overkill for me, I like the idea of using the shield with it. More to follow in this entry.

 There's no denying the fact that it's an ace unit. The head design alone assures that.

 The double ball joint in the torso serves to give the kit some subtle poses that are similar to the Revoltech figures (though not as exaggerated).
 This is probably how it is presented in the manga.
 My favorite detail: the face mask.
And here it is, finally, with the knife removed from the rifle. It's nice, but I'd rather have the mecha holding a shield...

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: HGAGE Shaldoll Rogue

I actually had this with me when I received the Perfect Strike, but I only had time to build the two Rogue kits this past weekend. Here are some photos and observations about the Shaldoll Rogue.

The Rogue is basically a recolor of the Shaldoll normal unit variant, the only difference being the colors, the faceplate, the battleaxe, and the gun hand. But even with these "minor" changes, it's become a much cooler unit already. As you can see in the first pic, you have an option to use four weapons: the cannon hand, the axe (impleid for left hand, as there are gaps that suggest it), the shield and the one saber from the backpack.

One thing that impressed me was how poseable was, thanks to the leg joints. However, There is construction issue with the waist ball joint - the cylinder where the polycap ball goes into is quite deep, and the ball itself may slip from the post. If it does, the polycap ball could get stuck deep in the cylinder. It sounds minor, but it really does play havoc with posability, One should fill up the empty space with wadding or a similar filler substance.

You can see the "empty space" at the axe hilt in this photo. You'd need putty to fill it in, but otherwise, the arm looks pretty good slinging the axe on the shoulder. To attach the gun hand, you have to remove the wrist collar. Since the connection is just set by friction, it's a good idea to use sticky-tac or Elmer's glue to keep the gun hand in place.

Funny moment: Remember, there are two different-colored pieces for the front collar. Use the grey-ish one!

The shoulder armor tends to lie flat to the shoulder mount, so it's relatively easy to keep the shoulder armor stable. Also: The shoulder armor design somehow reminds me of Front Mission 3.

Close up of the faceplate.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review: Perfect Strike - Final Entry

This is my final entry on teh HGGS 1/144 Perfect Strike Gundam. I'll have some observations after the photos. As it is, enjoy!

I attempted to pose it as if it were charging into an enemy.

Tried to imitate the manual's action pose.

Close up

Using the sword as the primary weapon.

Using the claw system and the beam boomerang

Strike Noir can use the backpack, but nothing else in the system. Actually looks like a Destiny protoype.

The Dagger mecha barely works with the backpack. On the other hand, it can use the Launcher shoulder weapon.

The Akatsuki has trouble with the shoulders.


1) The Strike itself is a Recolored variant, with a surface shine similar to the GFT types. The grey has been replaced with a metallic grey color.

2) It's actually difficult to maneuver the cannon into a good pose - and you'll have to remove the grip to do it, then just reattach the gun grip with the hand in place. As for the shield - you can't open the claw of the shield and keep it attached to the main body - it always has to be launched, with the line attached.

3) The original beam boomerang had a swivel-open handle, this new does not. That means you have to really open the top part of the first to fit the weapon in.

Final Word
It's a great kit to get, if only for the visual impact. However, do remember that it is by nature an older kit with a new weapons system. Also, if you wish for it to be more posable, I would suggest that you find the Grand Slam Sword Custom Kit Set, so you can upgrade the base Strike kit.

Update: Click on the following links for the other parts of this multi-part review:

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

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