Lim Jyue (lim_jyue@pacific.net.sg)
Sat, 09 Dec 2000 13:39:12 +0800


        I've recently bought the HGUC MS-14F Gelgoog Marine kit, and put it
together at slightly under 4 hours -- straight assembly, no painting, of
course. Here's a review of the kit:

        Kit: HUGC MS-14F 'Gelgoog Marine'
        Rating: B-
        Breakdown:
                Parts: C+
                Engineering & Assembly: B
                Posability: B

        Summary:

        This is a model kit which requires painting, and may be difficult to
build due to small parts.

        Full Review:

        The HGUC Gelgoog Marine was a kit that some on this list felt was
going to good due to the inclusion of a open-palm hand which is a departure
from standard 1/144 kits. Furthermore, the pictures that we have seen on
this kit suggest that it will be a well engineered kit.

        Unfortunately, the Gelgoog Marine had some serious flaws that made
it less than ideal as a beginner kit. Let's look at the individual areas:

        The parts of the kit is molded in colour, with 2 translucent beam
sabers. On most the parts are crisp and well molded, and the plastic is
pretty forgiving of mistake -- a quick pass with a needle file hid most of
the tree marks, and any errors can also be partially corrected by this method.

        Unfortunately, there exist some very small parts. For reasons
unknown, the designers decided to include seperate verniers. While this give
rise to interesting possibilities, verniers in 1/144 is so tiny that it's
difficult to work the parts in. Worse, most of the holders are "slotta-base"
type -- you HAVE to glue the parts in to be secure. Already, I've had one of
them fall out, barely a few hours after assembly.

        Other pitfalls include the attenna on the left torso -- it's in such
an arkward position, and I've already hit it a number of times playing with
the kit.

        Also, the colours the plastic comes in is slightly off. Not so bad
that it seriously need a repaint, but modeling scars means it's better off
painted. Furthermore, the monoeye is a sticker-on-sticker affair, which is
horrendous; I recommend painting your own monoeye in. Small details are not
coloured -- not System Injection, after all -- so you'll need to marker or
paint them in.

        Lastly, certain parts feel very flimsy. The MMP-80, for example, has
both sides that are slightly bendy. I feel a bit insecure playing with that.

        Engineering wise, this kit got a couple of surprises. Firstly,
Bandai is moving to a common sprue for legs; previously, you get seperate
tres for the left and right leg. Now, you have two similar sprue for both
legs, with parts to customize to left and right seperately available. An
interesting departure, and quite bright.

        Another interesting feature is that they have now marked the palms
and the back of the hand so that the parts cannot be confused. If you look
carefully, each palm has a number of small round depressions, which
correspond to the number of small dots on the back of the hand. It's an
smart thing to do, considering how often parts can get mixed up.

        Other than these, the engineering is pretty standard. A lot of
extranous parts that could have been molded into one piece -- for example,
the upper torso (sans backpack) is now 7 pieces, counting the 2 polycaps. It
could easily be 4 -- but Bandai gave us extra parts. Another example is the
forearm 110mm -- the 110mm casing is a seperate assembly consisting of 3
parts, when it could have been molded to the forearm to begin with.

        Assembly has its own pitfalls, but is generally okay; standard (and
very precise!) Bandai engineering. The way the basher shield can slip into
the forearm polycap, then swivel down straight into the hand is amazing.
But, the small parts involved (discussed previously) made assembly somewhat
difficult in areas.

        An interesting area is the back of the leg. You assemble everything
in the leg -- thrusters, leg joints, etc. -- then you are supposed to place
a cover over the back of the leg. There is no practical reason for this --
you can't swivel that cover, it's either on or off -- but it's cute.

        Two areas of potential problems. First, the back of the lower torso
is connected by small pins. I don't really feel really secure with that --
feels flimsy. This applies to the leg flaring too.

        Second, the thrusters in the legs and under the skirt are mobile --
not that you can really move it after you build the leg and skirt -- but the
sub-assembly is delicate. Since Bandai decided to include seperate verniers,
the verniers are attached by very short pegs, which means it can easily
detact. I've already had a thruster detachment already. You really need to
glue those down.

        Lastly, the shoulder pads are not hooked onto the shoulder joints,
but are slipped onto the rod coming out from the torso, like the old Kampfer
kit. This allows the arm to move while the shoulder pad stays still, but
poor engineering here meantthe shoulder pad could easily detach. No easy fix
here though.

        If I were to come out openly and say it, this kit reminds me of a
scale down of MG kits. Extraneous parts, openable panels for interior
details -- all these point to a scale down of a 1/100 to a 1/144.
Considering that many of the verniers I had problem with will be fine in
1/100, I had this feeling that this HGUC is a MG-reject, scaled down and
released as 1/144.

        Posing wise, it's pretty standard for 1/144. Starting from the feet
and working up, the ankles are fair designs, pretty good range of motion, as
they are ball-and-socket. The knees are two stage affairs, but they still
cannot bent to 90 degrees -- the upper joints are the restriction here. The
hips I had problems with, the ball and socket being difficult to assemble --
I recommend you assemble the legs into the lower torso as you build the
latter. The skirting restricts the hip joint, but not overally.

        The waist is pretty good, with a large rotational arc. The arms are
where it falls apart; the shoulders are restricted by the large pads, so the
Gelgoog can't even raise the arms level to the sides. The elbows are
restricted to 90 degrees of motion. The wrists are restricted too, but still
fairly okay.

        Overall, posability is pretty okay, but suffers from poor arm mobility.

        On the whole, the kit is slightly disappointing. The difficulties in
constructing this kit makes it less than enjoyable, and despite being HGUC,
large areas still requires painting.

-------------
Lim Jyue
ICQ: 24737555

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business.

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