Blackeagle (cdupchurch@hotmail.com)
Mon, 05 Jun 2000 16:27:44 MST


OK, here's some more GML FAQ questions, including a revised version of the
GW/ST question which integrates better with the following question on the
different universes.

I know I must have missed a lot on the abbreviations question, so please add
anything you can think of.

Q: I've seen Gundam Wing on Cartoon Network, but many of the things being
discussed on this list are confusing. What's going on?
A: While Gundam Wing has produced a tremendous fan response here in the
U.S., it is just a small part of the overall franchise. Furthermore, Gundam
Wing takes place in an different future history from the main Gundam
storyline. Seeing Gundam Wing gives you about the same view of the main
Gundam setting as watching a few episodes of Star Trek Voyager would give
you of the overall Star Trek universe.

Q: What are all the different Gundam shows and how do they fit together?
A: Most of the Gundam shows take place in the same future history. In order
they are:
Mobile Suit Gundam (TV Series)
Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team (OVA)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OVA)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (Movie)
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (TV Series)
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (TV Series)
Mobile Suit Gundam Char's Counterattack (Movie)
Mobile Suit Gundam F91 (Movie)
Mobile Suit V Gundam (TV Series)

Starting in the early '90s, Bandai used the Gundam name and concepts from
the original Gundam series to set up alternate future histories. There are
three different 'alternate' series which each take place in their own unique
future history. Of the three, only Gundam Wing was popular enough to merit
any sort of follow up.

Mobile Fighter G Gundam (TV Series)

New Mobile Chronicle Gundam Wing (TV Series)
New Mobile War Chronicle Gundam Wing Endless Waltz (OV_)

After War Gundam X (TV Series)

The Turn A Gundam TV series is the newest Gundam installment. It draws not
only from the main Gundam timeline, but from the alternate settings as well.
  Unfortunately, the series dashed fans expectations and ended without ever
resolving how the different settings were related to each other.

Finally, there is the as of yet unreleased live action Gundam movie,
G-Savior. While it was initially though to take place in the main Gundam
timeline, there are indications that this may not be the case. With
negative reports on G-Savior's story, acting and special effects leaking out
of crew and charity screenings, Gundam fans are eyeing G-Savior with ever
increasing dubiousness.

Q: What do UC and AC refer to?
A: UC is an abbreviation of Universal Century. It refers to the calendar
system used in the original Gundam setting. AC is an abbreviation of After
Colony, which refers to the calendar system used in the Gundam Wing setting.
  While they only explicitly refer to the calendar system, they are often
used as shorthand to describe which of these two different universes you're
referring to. For instance a reference to 'UC fan fiction' would refer to a
fan fiction taking place in the original Gundam universe.

Q: What do all these abbreviations mean?
A: Well, Gundam fans use a lot of abbreviations, so it could be almost
anything. However, it is most likely an abbreviation for the name of a
particular Gundam series. Since "New Mobile War Chronicle Gundam Wing:
Endless Waltz" is fairly laborious to type out and Gundam fans (like UNIX
programmers) tend to be fairly lazy typists, a wide variety of abbreviations
and shorthand have emerged. Here's a list of the different series common
abbreviations/shorthand.
Mobile Suit Gundam - MSG, 0079
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam - Z, Zeta, Z
Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ - ZZ
Mobile Suit Gundam Char's Counterattack - CCA
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket - 0080
Mobile Suit Gundam F91 - F91
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory - 0083
Mobile Suit V Gundam - V
Mobile Fighter G Gundam - G
New Mobile Chronicle Gundam Wing - W, Wing, GW
After War Gundam X - X
Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team - 08th MST
New Mobile War Chronicle Gundam Wing Endless Waltz - EW
Turn A Gundam - Turn A

There are also some other common abbreviations seen on the GML.
AC - After Colony (see "What do UC and AC refer to?")
FG - First Grade (see the Gundam Models section of this FAQ)
GML - Gundam Mailing List
HG - High Grade (see the Gundam Models section of this FAQ)
HGUC - High Grade Universal Century (see the Gundam Models section of this
FAQ)
MA - Mobile Armor
MG - Master Grade (see the Gundam Models section of this FAQ)
MS - Mobile Suit
MSiA - Mobile Suit in Action (see the Gundam Toys section of this FAQ)
MSiP - Mobile Suit in Pocket (see the Gundam Toys section of this FAQ)
OAV - Original Animation Video (same as OVA)
OVA - Original Video Animation (same as OAV)
OYW - One Year War
PG - Perfect Grade (see the Gundam Models section of this FAQ)
SD - Super Deformed
UC - Universal Colony (see "What do UC and AC refer to?")

Q: Could you tell me about the different lines of Gundam models?
A: Bandai has been releasing Gundam kits in various scales since the early
'80s. Going over all their different releases for different Gundam shows
would be far too large a proposition for this FAQ. Instead, I will try and
give a good idea of what's widely available today. For more on past model
releases, please consult the excellent pages on this topic at the Newtype
Asylum and the Gundam Project (see the Gundam Web Pages section of this
FAQ).

Gundam kits have been released in almost every scale imaginable. However,
only three scales have enough items available to merit consideration in this
FAQ. 1/144 scale is the standard Gundam scale. A 1/144 MS is about 12 cm
tall. 1/100 is the standard for MG models (see MG description below). A
1/100 MS is around 18 cm tall. 1/60 MS models are massive, standing an
average of 30 cm. 1/60 scale is standard for PG models (see PG description
below).

Bandai has several 'grades' which broadly describe the quality and
complexity of each kit. In ascending order:

FG - First Grade
These 1/144 scale kits are throwbacks to the original Gundam kits released
in the early '80s. They have no polycaps for the joints, so they are
difficult to pose. FG kits require glue to assemble and they're molded in a
single color, making painting mandatory. The advantage is they're dirt
cheap (around 300 yen). Currently, there are only 3 FG kits available
(RX-78-2 Gundam, Char's Zaku and Standard Zaku).

HG - High Grade
High Grade has become the standard in Gundam model releases. Made in 1/144
scale, these are the same size as the FG kits, but far higher quality.
These kits are generally snap-fit and don't require glue. All major body
sections are molded in something close to their proper color and stickers
are usually provided for small detail areas. All joints are have polycaps,
making the kits easy to pose. Note that reissues of some older kits, like
the excellent 0080 line, do not carry the HG designation, even though they
match modern HG kits in quality and would certainly be designated HG if they
were released today. HG kits tend to average around 800-100 yen.

HGUC - High Grade Universal Century
High Grade Universal Century is not really a grade designation in and of
itself. Instead it is a series of High Grade kits which covers MS from some
of the older series. Currently the line is limited to a few MS from 0079
and Zeta, but there are rumors that MS from more recent shows, like 0083,
will join this line of kits soon.

MG - Master Grade
The Master Grade line is real meat for dedicated Gundam modelers. They are
molded in the proper colors, making painting unnecessary. MG kits are
totally snap fit so glue is truly optional. Large numbers of polycaps make
these kits exceedingly poseable. Some MG kits, like the Zaku II come with a
large assortment of weapons. Finally, all of these kits have one or more
neat extras such as removable armor, opening hatches, etc. MG kits can take
more than five time as long to assemble as an HG kit. There cost is
substantial too, averaging about 3000 yen.

PG - Perfect Grade
The holy grail of Gundam modelers, Perfect Grade kits are the ultimate.
While these kits are truly impressive, their assemble time can be in the
days and the average price is over 10000 yen.

Gundam Wing Model Kits:
Ever wanting to be different, the Gundam Wing kits use a slightly different
set of terms. The standard Wing kits are 1/144 scale and are slightly below
HGUC kits in terms of quality. They sold for about $8 at Toys R Us. When
talking about Wing kits, HG refers to a 1/100 scale kit which is generally a
somewhat lower quality than the MG line. They sold for around $20 each.

Q: How can I find out if a specific model kit sucks?
A: Besides asking the GML, you can see if it's featured on the Newtype
Asylum's review page (see the Gundam Web Pages section of this FAQ).

Q: Where can I get Gundam videos?
A: Anime Village (www.animevillage.com) is the official U.S. distributor for
Gundam animation. Gundam tapes are also available in video stores
nationwide.

Q: Where can I get Gundam model kits?
A: Some Toys R Us stores stocked Gundam Wing kits as part of a test
marketing campaign. Unfortunately, the test was so successful that it's
almost impossible to find a store which has them in stock. For non-Wing
kits, some comic book and hobby shops stock imported SF models. There are
also many good websites which distribute Gundam merchandise. The Gundam
Project has a good listing (see the Gundam Web Pages section of this FAQ).

________________________________
Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle
cdupchurch@hotmail.com

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