Mark Simmons (
Thu, 2 Sep 1999 13:46:01 -0700

Okay, folks, time to go back to school on the GM thing. Dafydd writes,

>Just so. All of the Federation MS except the Ball were armored with lunar
>titanium, including the GM.

  Nope, not true.

  While everybody seems to have a different opinion about what materials
were used for the GM - some books say steel, some titanium, some
titanium-ceramic composite - it's universally agreed that the amor is
downgraded from the Gundam. The miracle alloy known as Luna titanium
proved to be just too expensive and difficult to manufacture in such volume.

  The only case of GMs being armored with Luna titanium is in the 08th MS
Team, where you could reasonably speculate that the early pre-production
models hadn't yet cut this particular corner. Then again, the model kit
manuals also claim that Luna titanium is used on the various Goufs from
this series, so maybe they just don't know what the hell they're talking

  For my money, the most likely material for the GM is plain titanium.
The titanium-ceramic composite used on the Gundam Mk.II is supposed to be
a cheap substitute for Luna titanium. We're told that the GM II, which is
armored with titanium-ceramic composite, uses different armor materials
from the original GM. The GM III is armored with a combination of plain
titanium and Gundarium alloy, the former presumably left over from the
original GM. And the Galbaldy Beta, the only One Year War-era mobile suit
seen in Z Gundam, also uses plain titanium.

Dafydd continues,

>The GM is a downgraded Gundam in that it lacks the Core Block System, has a
>less powerful generator, has a more streamlined sensor and communication
>system (as indicated by the "goggle" and lack of V antenna) and mounts only
>one beam saber.

  According to the MG kit manual, the GM's core block can be swapped out
for a Core Fighter... in this case, the only significant changes are the
lower power output, lighter armament, and weaker armor.

  As for the GM-versus-Zeon matchup, shame on all you Zeon-boosters who
equated the GM to a mere Zaku. Judging from the animation, the GM is
evenly matched against the Rick Dom, giving as good as it gets in
one-on-one skirmishes. Its ranged weaponry is inferior, but it's more
agile, and when it gets within beam saber range it's goodbye Rick Dom.

  The numerically inclined might like to consider generator and thruster
output as a rough indicator of mobile suit quality. The GM's 1250
kilowatts of power and 55,500 kilograms of thrust place it just a hair
above the original Rick Dom (1199 kW, 53,000 kg), roughly on a par with
the Rick Dom II, and a step behind the Gelgoog. Looking at Gundam as a
whole, power output in particular seems to be a reliable indicator of
general performance and technological advancement.

  True, there are few known GM aces (South Burning and Terry Sanders Jr.
being about the only ones I can think of). I'd blame the late appearance
of the GM, and the narrative focus on the White Base crew, for this omission.

-- Mark

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