The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Category Archives: Gundam Models

HG 00 Raiser+GN Sword III Reflection

My original curiosity about constructing a model kit originated from a friend who was quite into Gundam, wherein I had asked how the flat plates and pieces in the box could be built into something. His response was simple: this lay in the magic of constructing a model, and the associated experience. With this in consideration, I decided that I would try my hand at building a model kit, and thus, settled on buying either Exia R2 or 00 Raiser.  Thus, on Christmas Eve, I entered the world of Gunpla when I acquired the HG 00 Raiser with the GN Sword III, and completed the model the next day.

  • As a standalone, neither 00 Gundam nor 0 Raiser are worth purchasing, but in a single package costing around 2000 yen (around 30 dollars at most Canadian model kit stores), this changes everything. The fact that this model comes with the GN Sword III only furthers its value: the previous 00 Raiser came with the GN Sword IIs only, and given those are included in this model, it rather painfully defeats the purpose of the previous model.

  • The 00 Raiser spoiled me with its included stand: I was surprised that most kits do not come with a stand, making aerial poses impossible. As shown by previous entries, I have built several other models since then.

This HG 00 Raiser is awesome, including (to the chargin of many collectors) the GN sword III. Following its completion, I noted the exceptional articulation on the model; this is the most posable kit I have (even beating out the MG 00 Qan[T] in terms of flexibility). Of course, it’s been just a little more than two years since I built it, so I don’t really have much to review about the kit’s various aspects, but this was the kit that has the coveted position of “first Gundam ever built”. Did I mention it has the superbly-awesome GN Sword III?

HG Unicorn Gundam Reflection

Having just completed watching “The Bottom of the Gravity Well”, I am compelled to look back on the nature of the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, and how fitting that it is named after the ‘beast of possibility’. Indeed, having seen what the Unicorn represents, I decided that it would be another unit I would be pleased to add to my existing collection. Contrasting the 00 Raiser and 00 Qan[T] (I’ll talk about the former in a later post), the Unicorn is a very clean, pure white Mobile Suit, compared to the blues and red found on more traditional lead Gundams. I made my purchase on the day of Otafest in May 2011; having decided against attending, the funds that I had initially accumulated were suddenly freed, and I found myself in the possesion of the HG Unicorn Destroy Mode with the 1/48 Head-display-base. However, as I was quite busy with my first simulation for my summer research, I did not actually build the kit itself until the last Sunday in July. The end result is one awesome Gundam with a display base that is supposedly sold only in Japan and America.

  • The Unicorn is reasonably articulated for a model of its design, while nowhere near as flexible as something like the 00 Raiser, the unit does allow for a moderate range of poses to be done. I was ultimately very impressed with its engineering, especially with respect to the omnipresence of the physco-frame, which is present on every region of the model. People have likened the unit’s colour scheme to a strawberry sundae.

  • It is actually somewhat of a challenge for me to tell the MG and HG Unicorn models just from an image, attesting to how well done the HG models are. While the Destroy Mode kit lacks the blades to the beam sabres and does not have the Hyper Bazooka, it nonetheless comes equipped with its signature weapon, the beam magnum. For good measure, a spare pack of E-caps were also included and ultimately gives the completed Unicorn a sense of preparedness for combat.

As an HG kit, the Unicorn Destroy Mode was completed over the course of an afternoon, and I assembled the base the next day. The HG Unicorn is essentially a 1/144 kit with the level of detail found in maybe a Master Grade 1/100 kit. This in itself is impressive, considering the smaller size of the Unicorn, and while it goes require some painting to get all of the details, it nonetheless looks highly impressive following a simple assembly. Whether it be the details in the model or the way the parts are engineered, it is apparent that effort went into designing the model.

MG 00 Qan[T] Reflection

Otafest 2011 Lite is occuring right now, and although I’m in a different building on the other side of campus debugging my computational models for the LINDSAY project, I cannot help but recall my own interests in anime and how they humbly began with Ah! My Goddess, and how I picked up Gundam 00 when it first aired in Fall 2007. It’s been four years since then, and the Gundam 00 Movie itself has come and gone; for me, the 00 Qan[T] was the highlight of the show; despite only making an appearance near the end of the movie, it is a machine that symbolises hope and mutual understanding. In January 2011, I had picked up the MG 00 Qan[T] at a local store in Chinatown. My heart was originally set on the HG 00 Qan[T], but as the vendours only had the MG, I decided to go with the MG on the spur of the moment.

  • The completed 00 Qan[T] is a sight to behold. The kit comes with a lot of decals and seals to boost the level of detail, and even though the kit is unpainted, it nonetheless looks very impressive. That said, the level of detail in how the arms and legs operate make the kit a lot studier and stiffer than the HG kits. I was particularly pleased with the mechanisms in the legs and the wrists on the arms, which rotate independently to give a greater degree of freedom with respect to movement. Here, it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the MG 00 Gundam.

  • Here’s another close-up of the MG 00 Qan[T]. It took me an eternity to get all the decals and seals in to the right places, but it was worth it. I may eventually go in with a fine-liner and ink all of the subtle points on the unit, but for now, the Gundam looks pretty good. I especially like the 3D effects of the chest piece: the etched words give a holographic effect when lit from the outside.

It took me two days to build the 00 Qan[T]: contrasting my experience with the HG 00 Raiser, the MG was far more intricate and far more challenging to build and pose. The mass of the shield means that posing it will result it leaning off to a side or even destablising the stand it came with, although since then, I’ve come to figure out how to balance the entire thing out by positioning the shield accordingly, although the model isn’t the most posable one in the world. Ultimately, the level of detail in the MG is impressive: if there is anything the 00 Qan[T] succeeds at, it is capturing the power of the Gundam from the movie and bringing those details to life.

  • The LED units take 2 SR41 batteries each to operate. The cost ended up being more than the LEDs themselves, and nearly half the cost of the MG 00 Qan[T]. They weren’t kidding when they said that anime hobbies tend to drain one’s resources really quickly. That said, I opted to go with the SAL shipping method to cut down on costs: despite it being more inexpensive, I was actually supremely impressed with how fast the SAL shipping method was. In the end, I ended up saving money and got the LEDs pretty quickly.

  • I remember that when I first built the kit, I was having trouble maintaining a pose that wouldn’t result in the 00 Qan[T] falling over. While awesome dynamic poses are possible, this pose is a sturdy one, suggesting the 00 Qan[T] landing to face an opponent. Of course, other awesome poses are also possible without causing the unit to tip over.

Despite its awesomeness, I had always felt to some extent that the 00 Qan[T] was incomplete; in response to this, pre-ordered the MG LEDs from HobbySearch during September when they were announced. They arrived a month later, and having installed the lights, I am now the proud owner of a kit that puts the “Master” in the Master Grade line of Gundam models.