Re: [gundam] Gundam VS GMs Questions

Mark Simmons (
Tue, 30 Mar 1999 16:22:14 -0800

Paul Fields writes,

>Hello All, just a little question, I've never had a RX-78-2,
>and GM in the same scale unfortunately, but am wondering
>if the RGM-79, and RX-78-2 Gundam both used the EXACT
>same shield, not just style, but same material and everything.

  It's not really clear. If the Gundam's shield is made of the same Luna
titanium as its body, then this material would surely be too expensive to
manufacture thousands of GM shields (after all, it's too expensive to be
used to armor the GMs themselves). In that event, the shield materials
would have to be different. Alternatively, the Gundam's shield could use
the same generic titanium that the GM is armored with...

>The Bazooka Beam Saber,
>and Vulcans are all the same, which again seems odd because
>the GMs beam saber has less of a power supply to depend on
>than that of the Gundam

  But the saber doesn't use _all_ the mobile suit's power, eh? Evidently,
even a GM has adequate power to use a regular beam saber, even if it can't
muster enough juice to wield a full-size beam rifle.

>, the Vulcan also has less shots, but I'll
>buy the excuse that the head is smaller.

  This seems specious; I've seen it claimed that the GM has either more or
less or exactly the same amount of ammo...

>And for anyone who
>knows are the parts of the GM, and Gundam interchangeable,
>ANY of them. The Arms look the same as do the hands, and the
>Torso, except for the hatch, but we know they aren't the same
>because the GM doesn't have a core block system.

  As noted above, the armor materials used are different. The chest and
arms are essentially identical, while the legs lack the extra widgetry of
the Gundam's knees (most likely cooling systems). The backpack is
identical, though it only has one saber socket. The most radically altered
parts are the pelvis, head, and core block.

  The pelvis has simpler, more streamlined skirt plates, and lacks the
central block of the Gundam. Most of the external boxes on the Gundam's
pelvis are part of its cooling system, and according to the MG GM kit
manual, most of these have been relocated to its core block rather than
eliminated entirely. The central block houses the cooling system that
enabled the Gundam to survive atmospheric re-entry, and may also
accommodate some extra generator gadgetry.

  The GM's head has a single camera eye, rather than the Gundam's two eyes,
and omits some cooling vents and communications gear. The extra cooling on
the Gundam's head may be related to its learning computer system, though
since this still works after the Gundam is decapitated, it seems clear that
the computer itself isn't located in the head. The omitted antennas and
whatnot are for short-range communications, probably radio and suchlike.

  According to the MG GM kit manual, the GM does in fact have a core block
- it's just that, unlike the Gundam's, it doesn't transform into an
aerospace fighter. The GM core block thus lacks the core fighter's missile
launchers, landing gear, jet engines, and probably its supplemental
reactors; instead, the space to either side of the cockpit is used for
cooling systems and propellant. This block could probably be swapped for a
core fighter if needed, though this might lead to major cooling problems...

  Now, on with the chart.

> RX-78 RGM-79
> Bazooka Standard Same?
> Shield Standard Inferior Material?
> Core Block Standard Not Avail
> 60 MM Vulcans Standard Same Gun, Less Ammo?
> Learning Comp Standard Avail?
> Beam Rifle Standard Cheaper, More Shots?
> Backpack Standard Inferior, or Interchangeable

  The bazooka, beam saber, and vulcans should be functionally identical to
those of the Gundam. The armor is inferior, and possibly the shield also.
The learning computer is definitely omitted - it's already served its
purpose, by gathering data to program the GM's computer. And, instead of a
beam rifle, the GM carries a beam spray gun that requires less power. As
per the MG GM kit manual, this weapon packs as much punch as a beam rifle,
but has a shorter range and less penetrating power (in other words, it
seems that the particles it fires have a lower velocity). Think of it as a
magnum pistol to the Gundam's rifle.

>I know many people don't buy into the GM as a mass produced
>Gundam, but I tend to think of the Gundam Mk II, and the RX-79
>Ground type from 08th MS as Mass Produced Gundams, and
>GMs to be VW Beetles compared to Porsche 911s, both from
>the same design scheme, aimed at two different levels of field
>performance, and cost.

Remember, the Gundam was always intended to be mass-produced, and its
designers didn't expect to have to make a lot of compromises in the design.
The cost-saving measures adopted for the GM were last-minute concessions to
the realities of budget, time, and resources, and anything that wouldn't
particularly affect the production costs (like the avionics and thruster
systems) would likely have been left unchanged.

  In the post-08th MS Team scheme of things, you can consider the RX-79[G]
and RGM-79[G] to be intermediate steps in the cost-cutting process. Each
sacrifices some of the Gundam's features, en route to the final
production-ready GM. And the Gundam Mk.II is strictly an experiment in
movable frame design; even if it had been intended for mass production,
this never took place.

-- Mark

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