Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Fri, 28 Jan 2000 15:42:09 -0800

>What are they and are they any good?

Before Gundam Weapons turned into cheap MG kit advertisement
full of recycled material from past issues of Hobby Japan,
they were true collectables that contained pages and pages
of gorgeous content.

>When were they in print? Will they ever be back in print?

I think they were started in the early '90s and don't recall
ever seeing any of them being reprinted. In the back pages of
Hobby Japan you will see a page of past issues, they often stick
soon-to-be out of print MG speicals there too.

>1. Gundam Weapons: ???

Don't have Gundam Weapons 1 in my collection... anyone has one for sale?

>2. Gundam Weapons: ???

Gundam Weapons 2 came out in 1992 and is a 3-parter:

Part I Gundam Era U.C. 0079 - U.C. 0123 (from original
                  series to F91 - covers the full spectrum of plastic
                injection conversions, garage kits, scratchbuilds, and
                even a 1/40 scale Alex and the lusted-after 1/100 Wave
                kit of Sazabi!)

Part II U.C. 0083 Stardust Memory - mostly scratchbuilt models
                of all the 0083 mechas including the ships and HLV, also
                plastic injection and B-Club resin kits. At the end there
                is a reproduction of the Bandai 1992 catalog, complete with
                the three realtype musha Gundam kits.

Part III Gundam Works - guest illustrations from Kunio Okawara,
                  Makoto Kobayashi, Mika "MS Girls" Akitaka, Hiroyuki Hataike
                and Kazuhisa Kondo - I haven't seen these reprinted in any
                other collection. Also an Kondo original sidestory manga
                titled "0083 Jupiter [Zeus] in Operation Titan". The designs
                are a mix of old-school, 0080 and Zeta-era suits, with Kondo's
                own detailing. No signs of 0083 style anywhere. What really
                sticks out like a sore thumb was the appearance of a Gundam
                Mk-II in 0083 when it supposedly didn't even exist.

The August 1992 issue of Hobby Japan is dubbed "Gundam Weapons 2 & 1/2" and
shows up occassionally on eBay.

>3. Gundam Weapons: ???

Gundam Weapons 3 is devoted to 0083 and is much sought after. I have only
seen it once on eBay and luckily won it (after paying an arm and a leg for

>4. Gundam Weapons: ???

I consider Gundam Weapons 4 to be the best in the series. It is called the
"Mobile Suit Competition Special Edition" and contains virtually every
suit from the One Year War and Zeta Gundam. This one came out in 1994 IIRC,
and was before any MG kits were released. However, the quality of work
presented was mindblowing, some entries, made with FG-quality kits, came out
looking way better than MG kits! Those who think the Gog was ugly should
check out how cool it is here. Kondo contributed a "10 minute War"
manga which I believe was included in one of his MS Senki compilations.

>5. Gundam Weapons: ???

Gundam Weapons 5: MG Gundam special edition was a sign of things to come.
While this one was good in that most of Gundam's MSV and other variations
were explored using the MG Gundam (yes, they even made MG GMs out of the MG
Gundam kit, gradually the GW staff got lazy and did nothing more than just
compiling coverage from past issues and throw in a few previously unpublished
ones, maybe thrown in a one pager on the next MG release. This was the
beginning of the end...


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