Tuesday, August 01, 2006

PLAMO Review 11: HGUC Domtropen

It's been quite a while since the last time I did a review on my Gundam models. The first one to be up on my blog after returning from the trip to KL is this one: HGUC Domtropen.

Front and rear view of Domtropen

I kind of forgot when exactly I bought this model. It's another case of don't-know-who-he-is-but-looks-impressive-enough-to-have among all the models I have. Back then, I wasn't very sure about Stardust Memory, the anime it appears in as well. Not until recently, after watching that anime, I decided to write some reviews on he models from that series. The first few reviews are concentrated on the Gundams, and now it's the cameos' turn to appear.

Domtropen is a one of the many varieties of the original MS-09 Dom from the One Year War. Domtropen has been modified to suit the harsh climax of desert areas and swampy tropical forest. Although seemingly quite bulky in size, Domtropen shows incredible mobility and speed in combat, most of the time its performance is way better than Earth Federation's GMs. The secret of Domtropen's mobility is the special leg-mounted jet engines, which enable the MS to hover on different terrain while engaging in combat. The MS's legs are also equipped with a pair of special sand protection filtered intakes, so that the sand that runs into the legs can be expelled when the MS is moving around. This allows Domtropen to have more time on the battle ground and less time returning to base for maintenance.

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The special sand protection filtered intakes ounted on the legs of Domtropen

In terms of armaments, Domtropen is similar to its predecessor, Dom. It carries a powerful 880mm Raketen Bazooka, one of the deadliest middle to close range weapons after the One Year War. In the anime, two Domtropens whack havoc in the Earth Federation's Australian base while assisting Anavel Gato in hijacking Gundam GP02A. One is destroyed in the operation, but the casualties on the enemy's side are far worse. Apart from the bazooka, it also carries a heat saber, which works like a beam saber. The trademark scattering beam gun is also available, but I didn't see it being put into work in the anime, so I'm not quite sure how lethal it is. For a more detailed description about Domtropen's mecha design, please refer to MAHQ.net.

The model itself is quite impressive, as which all the models in HGUC series. The model came out during the hype over Stardust Memory. Not long after I bought this model, the gigantic MA Dendrobium was released, and I got to know more about that anime. Anyway, when I assembled the model, it gave me the impression of a slow but durable MS since it has thick bulky armors. Not until I watched the anime which made me realized how cunning these Zeon MS can be. However, too bad for the model, it can really have many action poses, since it's been limited by the armor on the body.

The armaments mentioned above are all included. The bazooka is quite fun, since the size of that thing is way bigger that any other weapons carried by models of the same scale. There are also three spare clips included in the kit, so that you can mount one of them on the front skirt armor, and another two at the back. The problem is that you have to clip them onto the mount latch with quite a lot of force to prevent them from falling down all the time. For those of you whose chose to paint the model, wish you luck that such action won't scratch off the paint. The heat saber is pretty cool as well; I felt that it looks more like a kendo stick than a saber :-) The white saber part is self painted, since the original part is in grey.

The armaments of Domtropen, this particular clip for the bazooka shown can be detached, but can't be mounted onto the front skirt armor

Domtropen with heat saber

Domtropen holding the MMP-80 90mm Machinegun, borrowed from HGUC Gelgoog Marine

The dark blue on purple version of Domtropen is the standard type featured in the first two episodes of Stardust Memory. There is another type, painted brown, which appears in the episode where the pursuit over Gato reached Africa, and the combat ground turns from Australia to the Safari. Bandai released the model as well, which is the basic Domtropen introduced here, plus tons of weapons. Not only the bazooka and the heat saber are included, you will get four Sturm Faust with mouth racks, one MMP-80 90 mm machinegun and two spare clips for that armament. Quite cool, and more impressively, all those weapons can be mounted onto the skirt armor of the model. You don't even get to see that in the anime :-) The price is of course a bit higher than the original model. The choice between a more standard one and another one with a lot of playability is up to the buyers of course.