The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: LED

MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. Reflection

The Master Grade Nu Gundam Version Katoki was the most anticipated Gundam model of 2012, released in time for Christmas. I myself had picked up the model just five days after it was released at a local hobby shop downtown out of curiosity. When I first heard about the kit, the redesigned Nu Gundam and its psycoframe mechanism,  appealed to me. The Nu Gundam is an iconic mobile suit even by Gundam standards, made famous by its appearance and performance in the movie Char’s Counter-attack. While I have never seen the movie myself, the redesigned kit brought to mind the classic RX series design, while integrating elements from the newest models into its construction. I began to build the model on Christmas Day, and found myself impressed with construction, especially as I have not built any non-00 line Master Grades thus far.

  • The completed MG Nu looks glorious just standing there. The inclusion of the action base gives the feeling that one got precisely their money’s worth with the model. A bit of patience allows one to mount all the funnels out onto the back, but I prefer leaving three on and have three deployed.

  • Close up of the head and chest. The inner frame is nothing short of impressive, including the cool clear green cockpit. Once the model is complete, the inner frame will not get any more glory.

  • The kit possesses sufficiently good articulation to allow for several poses to be pulled off, including one where the rifle is held with two hands. This pose has the additional benefit of giving the rifle additional support.

  • The MG Nu does something the HGUC Unicorn Destroy mode does not: it includes the effect parts for the beam sabres and the hyper-bazooka. Then again, it is a master grade, so omitting those would probably cause riots.

When completed, the model towers over the 00 suits and feels more like a perfect grade that’s the size of a master grade. The Nu Gundam represents a novel departure from traditional MG kits, using a lighter plastic for its inner frame. This acts to reduce the overall weight of the model, but the frame decidedly feels less sturdy. The individual parts to the model feel more fragile compared to the 00 line, but when assembled, the unit is solid, especially with the sheer bulk of the legs, which are mounted on sturdy ball joints. Their construction was especially enjoyable: whereas the 00 line features simple legs, the Nu Gundam has a massive amount of detail, including the presence of verniers in the rear of the ankles. Despite the detail and complexity of all the suit’s components, transforming it from its original mode into its destroy mode (I have no idea what it’s called, since the transformation never happened in the original movie) is remarkably simple. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the completed Gundam looks glorious, appearing ready to take on the Red Comet himself and prevent Axis from impacting Earth.

  • There are two beam sabres included with the Nu: a conventional one mounted on the left wrist, and a large beam sabre that is mounted on the backpack.

  • The transformation is impressive and easy, sharply contrasting the process on the MG Unicorn Ver. Ka. line. The psycoframe is subtly present and is not overwhelming, meaning that the Nu Gundam still distinctly looks like the Nu Gundam following transformation. The glint of green is offset by the whites and navy blue: recalling my love of the clear green on models, I’m probably going to leave my Nu transformed forever to show off the psycoframe.

I believe the model to be similar to a Perfect Grade not because it’s perfect, but because of the inclusion of all the elements that make it bear resemblance to its larger cousins, such as the ridiculously awesome level of detail, independently articulate fingers on the manipulator and the light piping in the head for an LED. With the perfect quip still fresh in mind, there are several, pronounced limitations in the model, especially with respect to the overall stability of the frame. Parts of the model feel springy and as I’m more used to the solid construction of the 00 line, the model feels very loose, especially around the shoulders. The wrists are also very loose, being unable to hold onto weapons heavier than the standard beam sabre without falling over. The articulate fingers are fun, but the joints may break off while detaching them from the runner (as I found out). Care is required in handling them, but otherwise, they can make some fairly amusing poses, such as the v-sign or thumbs up. The fin funnels don’t mount that well onto the kit and in my case, fall off every time I try to mount all six of them onto the backpack. This factor less of a problem with the action stand, which gloriously allows for the funnels to be posed dynamically with the model.  Finally, the water slide decals, while nice, proved difficult to handle and are easily dislodged once they’re applied to the kit, making it harder to pose the model. With previous MGs, I had seals which adhered far better to the model.

  • There are silver seals on the back of the clear green parts, making it far easier to see them, despite their placement in dark areas. This element added a lot of work to the model, but pays off in the end, as the psycoframe is accentuated far better than, say, on the Unicorn Banshee.

  • The design of the legs are so impressive that I cannot help but gush about all the details, such as the pistons on the knees, the rocket verniers on the ankles, yellow thrusters on the knees and, though not visible here, the rocket boosters on the foot.

  • That yellow circle adds additional detail to the arms. Paired with the expressive, independently articulate fingers, this Ver. Ka. Nu Gundam makes the previous Master Grade feel like a high grade.

  • The model retains for 7000 yen, and can reasonably be expected to sell for around 98 Canadian dollars. The story behind the day of its purchased may be read here 😉

Despite there being quite a few negatives, the model is able to effortlessly outweigh them on the virtue of appearance alone. Whether it is in the normal mode or ‘destroy’ mode, it simply looks spectacular. The included action stand allows one to display it in any pose imaginable with any weapon imaginable, as well as providing a solid anchor point for all of the funnels. The kit itself possesses reasonable articulation and can be set into almost any dynamic pose very easily. Moreover, it comes with an excellent loadout, including all of the Nu Gundam’s signature weapons (the beam sabres, Nu hyper-bazooka and beam rifle). Coupled with a smooth transformation mechanism that is also cool (especially for the chest and legs), the MG Nu perhaps rightfully occupies its throne as the top Gundam model of 2012. Thus, the MG Nu now joins the 00Q and 00SS/G on my shelf as yet another glorious MG Gundam, holding the distinction of being the only Master Grade I have as coming with an action base that can fully support the model. The fact that the kit comes with parts to accommodate dynamic poses with the fin funnels is icing on the cake, and I’ll probably leave the unit with three funnels deployed and three mounted on the backpack.

MG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G Another Angle

It has been about a quarter-year since I completed the Master Grade 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G, and the time seems appropriate to consider this Master Grade from an alternate viewpoint, so to speak. I had purchased and reviewed the kit back in August, taking into account all of the weapons and the overall appearance of the suit. However, on occasions, I would take the model and change up some of its poses and weapons, and in doing so, I have come to notice the detail present on the body of the Gundam itself where all the weapons are absent to an even greater extent than before: whereas I was primarily interested in the fully-loaded model, inspecting the Gundam from a different perspective has revealed hitherto unexplored, seemingly trivial elements about the Gundam.

  • As per the instruction manual, I always build the head of any Gundam model first. The 00’s head was remarkably fun to put together, and the proportions are aesthetically pleasing, with the yellow of the V-fin and red of the crown offset by the blue-greens of the side condensers and the bit of grey visible on the sides of the face.

  • It is enjoyable and satisfying to, on occasion, merely gaze at the sheer amount of details found on the MG 00 Gundam, whether it be the grey parts that are found under the main armour or the laser-etched symbols on the head crown and condenser pieces.

In my original discussion, articulation was not mentioned. With that in mind, the 00 Gundam itself is highly flexible and is capable of making numerous poses. The sheer number of moving parts makes achieving a specific pose more challenging, and of course, increased articulation comes at a price: the parts are not as stuff as they could otherwise be, so some poses may not be held for long periods before the laws of gravity kick in. The overall design of the 00 Gundam is immensely appealing in terms of composition and the presence of grey throughout every part of the model, placing grey plating underneath the external armour and exposed at certain points to really give the kit a Master Grade quality.

MG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G Reflection

My second Master Grade to date, the 00 Seven Sword/G was procured on a cold winter day, but was not constructed until an August Monday following a Sunday brunch at the Chinook Restaurant inside the Banff Park Lodge. I typically make it a point to have an omelette and roast beef from the carving station regardless of what brunch I go to, but there are two elements that separate the Banff Park Lodge from other establishments: they offer snow crab legs and have a chocolate fountain. Granted, I could probably write an entire passage on how awesome the Chinook Sunday brunch is, but that merely sets the stage around the building of the Gundam: previously my Gundams have been built around special occasions, and the latest Master Grade is no exception. The MG 00 Seven Sword/G captivated me since it was originally released in September 2011 with its design: I had long wished to build a master grade 00 Gundam without the O Raiser, given that I’d already built the high grade version a few years ago, and the seven sword variant was distinct enough from the 00 Raiser for me to justify the purchase. At roughly 70 Canadian dollars (5500 yen) thanks to a strong Canadian dollar, the seven sword is slightly less costly than the 00 Raiser and appears more as a true upgrade to the 00 Gundam. In fact, it appears to be the intermediate between the 00 Gundam and the 00 Qan[T] when it is fully completed.

  • The original 00 Seven Swords/G is typical Gundam colours. It is represented in its Inspection colours here, another variant in the side-story that gave the 00 Gundam additional operational capacity in Trans-Am mode.

  • The first thing I’ve noticed when standing the 00 Gundam next to the 00 Qan[T] is the sheer bulk of the former compared to the latter, with its loadout. I plan on getting an action base for this soon: the joints on the model itself are solid and six of the eight weapons are light, making it easy to pose. Even without an action base, the unit looks fantastic on the ground with the massive GN Blaster II.

Having completed the model just yesterday, details of the construction process are still fresh in my mind (contrasting the previous gunpla discussions I’ve had), and the first thing that comes to mind is the awesome amount of detail and engineering in the 00’s inner frame. While it is very similar to that of the 00 Qan[T], the 00 distinctly feels more sturdy than the 00 Qan[T]. This probably has to do with the fact that there is no massive shield bound to the unit’s left side, and that the leg condensers do not pop out. Thus, the completed model, including the exterior armour plating and weapons, is capable of standing without the leaning found in the 00 Qan[T] and, at least for now, can hold poses exceedingly well. My personal favourite element on the MG has to be the clear blue-green elements that permeate virtually every region of the suit, whether it be the GN Drives, head elements, condensers on the arms and legs or the many weapons the Gundam carries. Contrasting the 00 Qan[T], the 00 Seven Sword/G is given a far wider range of weapons and on initial glance, appears to be more than a match for the latter, which is only equipped with one sword.

  • Some people find that the 00 Gundam series is essentially a rehashed 00 Qan[T]: these individuals are referring to the inner frame. From my end, that means a slightly faster construction time. I’m more interested the external armour and the number of weapons available on this unit: the sheer number of possible poses and weapons arrangement is quite staggering, and of course, building the weapons themselves was an enjoyable experience.

  • The MG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G requires 4 LEDs for all of the orifices, compared to 5 for the MG 00 Raiser and 2 for the 00 Qan[T]. The 00 Qan[T] has a slight advantage in the brightness department with the LEDs, but seeing the shoulder drives on the Seven Sword lit up is another experience entirely. I especially like the fact that the GN drives are mounted in a sturdy manner, but remain easy enough to remove, contrasting the 00 Qan[T], which requires the removal of the entire backpack unit, and then the flipping down of a small peg, to access the GN drive.

Ultimately, the 00 Seven Sword proved to be a master grade I truly enjoyed building from the top to bottom (well, from the inner frame to the weapons), contrasting the more rushed experience I had with the 00 Qan[T]. I’ve since displayed the two master grades side-by-side, and the differences are immediately apparent: the Qan[T] appears more sleek, minimal and attests to the shift in technology in-universe towards a non-combative purpose, while the seven sword 00 Gundam is bulkier, more angular and gives the impression of being ready to wage war in a conventional sense as opposed to projecting a quantum field for communications. While the 00 Qan[T] is more advanced than the 00 Gundam, an objective observer might be inclined to say that the 00 Gundam, with its seven swords, is the true war machine, appropriately reflecting on how the 00 Qan[T] was not intended to be solely a combat utility.

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.