GUNDAM WORK IN PROGRESS PT4 CONSTRUCTION & DECALS: PROTOTYPE GOUF [MOBILITY DEMONSTRATOR BLUE COLOR Ver.]

goufprototype

The Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Version). All constructed and decaled.

Here is the Prototyp Gouf YMS-07A-0 all put together and decaled. It took me about three hours to put together and put the decals on.

There’s still some clean up work to be done and of course panel lining.

I’ve got to say the armor in the picture came out pretty nice and shiny due to a number of factors. The biggest of course is the lighting of the picture where the lights are coming from behind, and the combination of Tamiya spray paints I used.

Usually I use the grey or white base Primer from Tamiya. This time around I used pure white Tamiya for a primer which gave the parts some gloss and really lightened up my Tamiya French Blue color.

The top coat I used was clear spray paint, again from Tamiya, and the first time I’ve used it.

Got to say it came out pretty well!

Some quick thoughts: love the design of this Gouf (my first Gouf and what a kit!), very articulate with the exception of the torso due to the cables, the stickers just adds so much to the kit.

Full review soon.

UPCOMING PRODUCT: HGUC MSZ-008 Z II

HGUC Z II (Source: gundamguy.blogspot.com)

HGUC Z II (Source: gundamguy.blogspot.com)

As much as I love the Zeta Gundam anime series and most of the excellent designed mobile suits, one of the designs I can’t stand is the Zeta Gundam itself. I can’t really describe it, but it just looks plain looking compared to the other mobile suits in the series, especially the strange but awesome mecha of the Titan antagonists.

Suffice to say, I’ve never purchased the Zeta Gundam, however one of its alternative forms (not shown in the TV series) is coming out this September. Dubbed the Z II, this variation of the Zeta Gundam mobile suit appeared in “side stories” either through the manga or video game medium.

I’ve seen this design before when Bandai produced it for its Gundam Fix Figuration Figures many years ago, and it looked terrific! I would’ve purchased it, but the GFF series was known to have loose parts and issues with poseability.

But now the Z II is being released soon for the High Grade series, and I am definitely on board. I love the colors of the kit and accentuated armor features and weapons. I am looking forward to getting this kit ASAP!

HGUC Z II (Source: gundamguy.blogspot.com)

HGUC Z II (Source: gundamguy.blogspot.com)

 

 

 

HGUC Messala Part 6: REVIEW

HGUC Messala completed with Bandai and third party water decals.

HGUC Messala completed with Bandai and third party water decals.

The HGUC Messala is a fun kit to build and pose. It’s design is so different than the mobile suits that I have. It’s an unusual, but interesting design that you would expect to come from a show like Zeta Gundam which is basically a show with a plethora of unique looking robots.

The transformable PMX-000 Messala comes from the aforementioned show and is piloted by the Titan, Paptimus Scirocco. The HGUC model of the Messala is fairly large for it’s size grade with the kit’s two large backpack thrusters making it even bigger.

I’ve seen a few reviews of the kit online unpainted, and to tell you the truth it still looks good without paint. Having said that, I did paint mine and used a few stickers the kit came with and purchased some third party decals as well.

HGUC Messala using a Master Grade stand.

HGUC Messala using a Master Grade stand.

HGUC PMX-000 Messala.

HGUC PMX-000 Messala.

Design wise, I’m all over this kit. I’ve been spending a lot of time posing it in different stances, but they’ve all been done either using an MG stand  or the stand the kit came with. The way the feet are designed, where you basically have one large toe in front and two toes in the back, it’s really a chore to get the Messala standing up.

Don’t get me wrong it’s possible to get it upright, but I’ve found more often than not, it falls over due to the size of the kit and the 2 giant thrusters in the back.

The poseability is fairly adequate given the size of the kit. Given the fact that there is no type of swivel on the torso and the straight peg connections of the joints, the Messala has a good range of movement in the arms and legs.

The stand it comes with does a great job in holding the kit.The stand holds everything! The 2 extra hands, the 2 claws , the 2 beam sabers and the connector pieces for the transormation; the stand has you covered. It’s one of the best stands I’ve come across for Gunpla, and it comes with the kit!

My only gripe is I wish the extension was a bit longer to prop the kit a bit higher, especially when you have it in Mobile Suit mode.

HGUC Messala armed with one of its giant beam sabers.

HGUC Messala armed with one of its giant beam sabers.

HGUC Messala with removable claws engaged.

HGUC Messala with removable claws engaged.

Both shoulders can open to reveal missles.

Both shoulders can open to reveal missles.

Close up shot of the Messala's beam saber.

Close up shot of the Messala’s beam saber.

The accessories for the Messala include a pair of open hands and a pair of closed hands which can hold the 2 beam sabers. It was a nice change of pace to spray paint white joints and hands after have been painting those pieces gunmetal gray for the last models I’ve done. The open hands look nice on the kit, but they are a bit fragile. They’re made up of two pieces and they’re fairly thin. They come apart pretty easily.

The claws that are attachable to the wrists are a nice addition for the model. What I really like are the 2 giant beam sabers you get with the kit. If I’m not mistaken they look very similar in color and style to the two beam sabers that come with Scirocco’s other mobile suit the Master Grade The-O. I’m fairly certain they’re exactly the same which would solve the problem of The-O’s 2 missing beam sabers (The-O kit comes with 4 beam holsters but only 2 beam sabers). Since I’m working on the kit as we speak, I’ll be sure to check it out and report what I find.

The Messala also has a cool gimmick where you can open the shoulders to reveal missiles. Another gimmick the kit has is it can transform into a Mobile Armor form.

The Messala in its Mobile Armor form.

The Messala in its Mobile Armor form.

The Messala in its Mobile Armor form.

The Messala in its Mobile Armor form.

One of the things I was expecting from the kit was some loose joints after experiencing that problem with transformable kits, namely the MG Gundam Unicorn. I’m happy to say that I didn’t experience that problem with this kit. The joints are tight in both forms.

The Mobile Armor form looks great especially with the two giant boosters prominently shown on either side of the kit. The transformation isn’t at all complex, it just basically consists of maneuvering a few pieces on the torso and legs, then some part swapping with the arms.

I think if you’re a Zeta Gundam fan, you’re definitely going to want to take a look at getting this kit. It’s Paptimus’ iconic Mobile Suit (at least from the first half of the series), and its got such a unique and interesting design.

With this kit’s video I decided to experiment with Final Cut Pro Motion a software that I started playing around with ages ago but have always wanted to learn more about.

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

Messala with its two giant beam sabers.

Messala with its two giant beam sabers.

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

HGUC PMX-000 Messala

+ Fantastic and unique design. Much different than the standard humanoid Mobile Suit.

+ Good amount of poseability given the size and amount of joints in the kit.

+ Great accessories including giant sabers and a stand that will hold everything the kit came with.

– A few loose parts on the kit including the open hands which tend to fall apart fairly easily.

– Standing the kit can be a problem since the feet are constructed unusually, but designed the way they are seen in the anime series.

MG PMX-003 The-O Part 2: Priming Parts and More Paint

Back skirt armor of The-0 primed with Tamiya gray primer.

Back skirt armor of The-0 primed with Tamiya gray primer.

I am definitely going to need more primer and paint for the Master Grade The-O kit. Today I primed the first group of yellow armor plates using 2 Tamiya gray primer 180 ml cans. I bought three cans of primer and was under the assumption that would be all I would need for the armor and weapons, but I’ve still got another group of yellow armor plates which include the shoulder armor and head and it doesn’t look like my 3rd can is going to make it.

I’ll also plan on purchasing a 4th can of Tamiya Chrome Yellow, given those cans carry less paint than the primer cans.

After all the armor and weapons are done, I’ll move to the inner frame which looks like at this point may not need as much primer as the armor.

Some back and front skirt armor primed and ready to get painted.

Some back and front skirt armor primed and ready to get painted.

MG PMX-003 The-O Part 1: Unboxing & Prep

First part cut from the runner of the Master Grade The-O. First step of many for this giant mobile suit.

First part cut from the runner of the Master Grade The-O. First step of many for this giant mobile suit.

I think at this point it’s a safe bet to say that my favorite Gundam series is Zeta Gundam. I love the unusual, but awesome designs of the mobile suits and it shows since my latest purchase and project are both from Zeta.

As I get ready to do a photo shoot this week of the High Grade Messala, I went ahead and started on my next project which is the Master Grade The-O. Both are Titans mobile suits piloted by Paptimus Scirocco in the series Zeta Gundam, and both are substantially bigger compared to other kits in their size grade.

Giant Perfect Grade-like box for the MG PMX-003 The O. It's a giant box for a giant kit.

Giant Perfect Grade-like box for the MG PMX-003 The O. It’s a giant box for a giant kit.

Given the numerous pieces and sizes of the pieces (some are enormous, especially the leg and arm armor plates), I’m going to take a little more time than usual to paint and build it.

What I’m planning to do is first prime and paint all the armor pieces first. Following that I’ll do the same with inner frame and weapons. Usually, I would prime and paint the whole bunch together. But the number of pieces would just take way too long to do it in one session since I’ve allotted myself a set time per day to work on the kit.

Base of the back skirt. I would say this is the biggest piece in the whole set.

Base of the back skirt. I would say this is the biggest piece in the whole set.

What I’ve done today is separated the yellow armor plates into two groups. I’ll prime the first group on Friday, then on Saturday prime the second group and paint the first group. I’m going to need a lot more paint than usual to cover this guy adequately.

First group of yellow armor pieces ready to be primed. The pieces include the largest pieces in the kit including the skirt and leg armor.

First group of yellow armor pieces ready to be primed. The pieces include the largest pieces in the kit including the skirt and leg armor.

Back of the MG The-O box. This guy looks amazing! I can't wait to put this guy together.

Back of the MG The-O box. This guy looks amazing! I can’t wait to put this guy together.

Contents of the MG PMX-003 The-O

Contents of the MG PMX-003 The-O

The first runner I'll be working on. These parts are enormous!

The first runner I’ll be working on. These parts are enormous!

Contents of the MG PMX-003 The-O

Contents of the MG PMX-003 The-O

Contents of the MG PMX-003 The-O

Contents of the MG PMX-003 The-O

HGUC Zee Zulu Part 4: REVIEW

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya gatling gun and heat sword from Bandai's System Weapons line.

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya gatling gun and heat sword from Bandai’s System Weapons line.

I’ve always wanted one of the Zulu mobile suits featured on the Gundam Unicorn OVAs but held off on getting one since there was always another mobile suit kit I was interested in. But I held off long enough and purchased the HGUC Zee Zulu.

The Zee Zulu is the amphibious version of the Geara Zulu mobile suit and was developed by Neo Zeon. The design, which includes underwater gear and its blue color tones, reflects its main purpose of an aquatic assault mecha.

The weapons the kit comes with are 2 heat claws attached to the wrists, 2 heat knvies and a beam rifle. For this review I added Kotobukiya’s gatling gun and a giant heat sword that came with Bandai’s Builder’s Parts System Weapon 004.

The kit also comes with flippers, an oxygen tank attached to the front of the waist, 2 power drives attached to the back and a container pack to store the beam rifle.

HGUC Zee Zulu with amphibious gear and heat claws & knives.

HGUC Zee Zulu with amphibious gear and heat claws & knives.

HGUC Zee Zulu with the 2 power drives attached to the back and the case containing the beam rifle.

HGUC Zee Zulu with the 2 power drives attached to the back and the case containing the beam rifle.

HGUC Zee Zulu with beam rifle.

HGUC Zee Zulu with beam rifle.

The kit was pretty much easy to put together, I think I may have put it all together in less than an hour after painting the kit. The few stickers that the kit came with really give the kit a much needed detail look. Specifically, where ever you see white and purple holes, those are stickers. I also applied a few waterslide decals from the HGUC Sinanju.

I’m also getting used to hand painting the insignias on the wrists, after having a bit of hard last time with the HGUC Kshatriya. The kit comes with two hands to hold the knives, one hand to hold the beam rifle and an open hand.

The poseability for the kit is about average for a High Grade. The hands and arms are great and can do a variety poses. The only thing that hinders the full movements of the arms are the shoulder armor plates. And the same can be said about the legs with some of its armor plating hindering some movements. For example you can’t do a kneeling pose with the Zee Zulu due to the armor plates in the back of the leg.

You can turn the waist left to right, and move the torso a bit up. The head is basically static,  although the peg allows you to raise the head a bit. There is also a mechanism at the bottom of the head where you can turn the mono eye left to right.

HGUC Zee Zulu with beam rifle and a heat sword from Bandai's System Weapons line.

HGUC Zee Zulu with beam rifle and a heat sword from Bandai’s System Weapons line.

HGUC Zee Zulu

HGUC Zee Zulu

HGUC Zee Zulu with aquatic gear.

HGUC Zee Zulu with aquatic gear.

Overall I like the design of the Zee Zulu. From the fins and oxygen tank, to the bluish toned colors of the mobile suit, it’s a really nice variation of the Geara Zulu for a specific environment in mind. I really like the beam claws and they look pretty good with the knives attached to the hands. The beam rifle is a must it seems for the Zulu variations, and it looks good with this kit.

I wish there was a bit more poseability in regards to the legs and arms, but what’s there should be sufficient enough for most, I guess what I really want is a Master Grade of this kit and the ability to do a kneeling pose.

There’s more than enough variation on the kit from the original Geara Zulu to enjoy, especially if you’re into aquatic robots. I went a step further with this kit and purchased additional weapons, namely Kotobukiya’s gatling gun and Bandai’s System Weapon 004, which comes with three beam swords and a beam sniper rifle (which I’ll probably review some time down the line).

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya's gatling gun.

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya’s gatling gun.

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya's gatling gun.

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya’s gatling gun.

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya's gatling gun.

HGUC Zee Zulu with Kotobukiya’s gatling gun.

Kotobukiya’s gatling gun is enormous! Especially when you pair it up with a High Grade model. I’ve seen some pics and videos that have the weapon with a Master Grade. But with a High Grade like the Zee Zulu, it looks like a giant deadly weapon.

I did have to file down the trigger handle in order for the kit’s hand to fit. As expected for something this size, it does weigh the hands and the kit itself down. But with a little work, you can get the kit to properly handle the gatling gun and make it look good.

I know Kotobukiya’s made other weapons that can be used for Gundam models and I’ll look into getting a few. There is a special feature on the gun where you can wind up a little mechanism which allows the gun to rotate. I skipped that piece, but for anyone interested in that feature, it’s a nice one to have.

HGUC Zee Zulu with giant beam sword from Bandai's System Weapon 004.

HGUC Zee Zulu with giant beam sword from Bandai’s System Weapon 004.

HGUC Zee Zulu with giant beam sword from Bandai's System Weapon 004.

HGUC Zee Zulu with giant beam sword from Bandai’s System Weapon 004.

HGUC Zee Zulu with giant beam sword from Bandai's System Weapon 004.

HGUC Zee Zulu with giant beam sword from Bandai’s System Weapon 004.

The giant beam sword from Bandai’s System Weapon 004 line is one of three blades that comes with the pack. I didn’t even realize that Bandai’s System Weapons line existed until I started searching online for third-party customized weapons for Gundams and came across weapons from Bandai made specifically for High Grade models.

It helps A LOT that the pack comes with hands (and armor plates that you can paint) that can hold the weapon well. There is still going to be some tilting of the hands, depending on how you pose the sword, but it’s not to the point where it’s a major problem where you can’t get a decent pose out of the weapon.

I hope Bandai continues with these weapons as the packs that are out look pretty superb.

HGUC Messala Part 2: Painting

First coat of paint using Tamiya's blue violet spray paint.

First coat of paint using Tamiya’s blue violet spray paint.

It took me about 2 1/2 cans of Tamiya grey primer to cover all the parts I intend to paint on the HGUC Messala. As you can see above I’ve already done a first coat paint on all the parts. The pictures that you see are done with my iPhone using cam apps, since I find it easier and more practical than lugging my DSLR out.

One thing that I will have to do on this model is some masking to spray paint a few parts, specifically the yellow markings on the kit. I’ve seen some reviews online and YouTube where the yellow stickers, especially the one on the head, look bad. I’ve had a few bad experiences before with some stickers, so this is a must for me.

I’ll also do some masking on the six small thrusters which are supposed to be dark blue/purple outside and red inside (like you see on the box, posters and anime).

Normally the last thing I would do is top coat everything AFTER placing decals on the kit. Because of the transformation, I’m a little concerned that paint on certain pieces may scratch off. So what I’m going to do is top coat every piece of the kit (some added protection), put it together, place the decals on the kit and then put another coat of top coat.

I also finished watching Zeta Gundam. Great show and may put up a review on it. Oh yeah, definitely getting Scirocco’s ‘The O” either in MG or HGUC form.

One of the few pieces I'll be masking. The little piece protruding on the top on the right is what I'll be painting yellow.

One of the few pieces I’ll be masking. The little piece protruding on the top on the right is what I’ll be painting yellow.

Some inner frame action that's not covered up when the Messala is in Mobile Suit form. You can actually see this piece in certain angles. It's the inner back skirt mechanics.

Some inner frame action that’s not covered up when the Messala is in Mobile Suit form. You can actually see this piece in certain angles. It’s the inner back skirt mechanics.