Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Fri, 14 Jul 2000 14:22:10 -0700


Hi gang,

  Couple of tidbits for y'all...

NEW KITS

First off, I haven't seen anyone else report on the June kit releases
yet, so I'll give it a stab. I just put together the MG Gundam ver. 1.5
and the HG-UG Rick Dias, which I picked up at Sun Entertainment in San
Francisco's Chinatown.

  The remodeled Gundam is pretty nice. I kinda wish they're bitten the
bullet and remade the whole thing, but by the simple expedient of
replacing the legs and head, and swapping in new shoulders, elbow joints,
front and side skirts, and upper chest, Bandai's turned this stinker into
a passable simulacrum of the PG Gundam. I still prefer the Perfect
Grade's larger head and bulkier forearms, but this is the third-best
rendition of the RX-78 to date. (The Kado Senshi toy, of course, being
number 1.)

  The improvements aren't just aesthetic. The all-new legs are vastly
more flexible that the immobile sticks that held up the original, and you
can actually pose this version in a manner befitting the Gundam. The
bonus Gundam hammer is boss, though the beam javelin needs a bit of work
(why is the tip cast in clear plastic rather than beam-saber pink?). Also
included: Two new gun-holding hands, which should hold up better than the
wear-prone articulated ones. Overall, I'd say it's worth trading up.

  Next, the HG-UC Rick Dias. This is pretty much what you'd expect from
the line - swivel waist, good joints with no naked polycaps, movable
skirts, et cetera. Bonus features include movable trigger finger, pop-up
vulcan phalanx, and lots of inner detail on the shoulder joints, leg
flares, and waist skirts. Nice colors, too. My only beef is that it
doesn't have much ankle flexibility, so you can't do really crazy poses.

RANDOM MODEL THOUGHTS

Two things that occur to me as I contemplate the HG-UC kits to date.
First, I love how most of them take pains to conceal the polycap joints.
The Gyan really sticks out in this regard - it's the only one with naked
polycaps, which look like crap. (I must also say that the exposed
polycaps and plain plastic of the MG Alex's ankles look worse with time,
especially considering the care lavished on the joints of the MG RX-79[G]
and the new MG Gundam.)

  Second, it's ironic that the designers took painstaking care to make
each HG-UC kit perfectly to scale - every one is exactly the height
listed in the specs, in perfect 1/144 miniature - but didn't realize that
the heights in question were supposed to be the _overall_ heights. As a
result, the Type 100, Gouf, and Gyan are all a meter-plus taller than
they're supposed to be, since their head height is scaled to the correct
overall height. The Type 100, which towers over the Rick Dias and
Qubeley, looks particularly out of place. Sigh.

X SELLS!

So I was looking over my site stats the other day, and I realized that
the page views in all my series-specific sections - Works, Story,
Characters, Mechanics - revealed a consistent order of popularity. No
shock that Gundam Wing is the top draw, followed by Endless Waltz and
original Gundam (Endless Waltz overtook "First Gundam" this month), but
who woulda guessed that Gundam X and Turn A would be the fourth and fifth
in the list? Even the legendary Z Gundam is mired in a multi-way dead
heat for sixth place with 0080, 0083, 08th MS Team, F91, G Gundam, et al.

  I've already been doing lots of Wing content, and I've got lots of
stuff on original Gundam already, but I think it's time I started delving
into the newer stuff. I was already going to dig into Endless Waltz, but
in the coming weeks you'll see a lot more Gundam X and Turn A coverage.
(Including series synopses, something I once swore I'd never do for Gundam X!)

  Anyway, here's the kickoff - my take on the Gundam X...

  <http://www.gundamproject.com/mecha/gundamx_gundamx.html>

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
Puny man-animals! Rats are for kids!

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