Saturday, July 01, 2006

Plamo Review 7: MG GP01

I’ve being doing quite some non-Gundam models posts recently, and talked very little about my own Gundam model collection. I finally got my lazy butts off the sofa watching World Cup to write some reviews about the models.

I watched UC0083 Stardust Memory recently and enjoyed it very much, although the story isn’t pretty at all: treachery, betrayal, political plots, and obsession of power, all the evil stuff you can name, the anime has got it all. I would do a review on the anime itself soon, but right now, let’s shift the limelight to one the Gundams appear in the anime: GP01.

GP01 with folded shield and beam saber

A bit background on the Gundam itself: you would probably know Gundam RX-78-2 from the UC0079, the Earth Federation MS which whacks havoc for the Zeon, and lead the Feddie to victory. After the war, the Earth Federation continues to develop new Gundams based on the original winning formula under a secret project, GP, which definitely doesn’t stand for Grand Prix :-) Two Gundams were produced, GP01 and GP02A. The later is capable of using a nuclear missile launcher. Both Gundams were sent to the Australian base for testing.

Things didn’t turn out as planned for the Feddie, as the news about the two Gundams reached Delaz Fleet, a remnant group of Zeon. Anavel Gato, an ace pilot of Zeon, nicknamed ‘the Nightmare of Solomon’ came to Earth and hijacked GP02A, along with its nuclear missile. Kou Uraki, one of the test pilots at the base boarded GP01 and started the pursuit over the stolen Gundam. In some earlier sorties, Kou managed to push GP01’s performance to the maximum, and hence being allowed to be the official pilot of the MS.

After Gato managed to reach space, the battle cruiser Albion continued the pursuit, but GP01 seriously requirs an upgrade. Its performance in space is worse than GMs. As Kou found out later, the hard way, GP01 can’t even move properly in space, and the unit was trashed by the cute ^_^ but absolutely bitchy Zeon commander Cima Gadahau in her Gelgoog FS. Fortunately for Kou, the armor of GP01 was powerful enough to withstand the attack, and he managed to survive the blow. The damaged GP01 was then sent to Anaheim Electronics’ base on the Moon, and received an upgrade to GP01 Full Vernien.

On the model: this model was produced some 7 years ago, so don’t expect it to be as good as the new ones. However, one of the main attractions is the details of the mechanical design. The MS is not designed to be elegant like Freedom Gundam or Wing Gundam Zero Custom. The beauty of this model is the practicality and realism. This can be seen from the design of the Core Fighter system.

GP01 uses the Core Fighter system similar to RX-78-2, but the design is far more superior to its predecessor. RX-78-2’s Core Fighter is like a cockpit forced to be a fighter jet, where it looks like a cockpit block more than a fighter jet. GP01’s Core Fighter however, is an excellent design, which looks similar to the F-16 fighter jets we see today. This makes the transformation process of the Core Fighter to be lot more complex as well, which doubles the fun.

Cockpit hatch

Core Fighter docking

Core Fighter system for GP01

The model also features one the best inner frame design for the legs among the MG models released during that time. There are plenty of details you can see when you remove the armors. There are also details of mechanical design in the docking component of the body when you remove the Core Fighter. All these stuff will look great if you spent some time inking all the lines of the parts.

GP01 Leg Unit

About the weapons, what you’ll get is a beam rifle, a shield which can be folded, similar to Gundam Mk II’s design, and two beam saber. Except for the folding shield, the arnament design follows that of RX-78-2 as well. The rifle features the E-pack system, where the magazine can be attached/detached. Extra magazines are located in the shield, another similar design to Gundam Mk II. However, I’m a bit disappointed than the Bull pulp Machinegun it uses in the anime was not included. You can find the machinegun in other MG kit, like GM Kai.

Folding shield

Here’s a bit extra information for you. Wondering why GP01 shares so many similarities with Gundam Mk II? Well, that’s because GP01 is the predecessor of Gundam Mk II. After the end of the Delaz Fleet incident, the Earth Federation decided than it can’t afford another nuclear crisis, and vow to cleanse both Earth and space of any Zeon remnants, thus forming the Titans, an elite group which works independently from the central government, with its own resources to build MS troops too. RX-178 Gundam Mk II is the first Gundam design from the Titans, which references to the strengths of the Gundams from GP. The similarities include the arnament design mentioned earlier on, as well as the 360 degree panoramic cockpit design found in GP03S.

The Titans were lead by a cruel dictator, Jamitov Hymen who made his cameo appearance in UC0083. The oppression done by the Titans give rise to the Anti-Earth United Government (AEUG) which fights against them in the Z timeline, some four years after UC0083. That’s another huge event, which I would not touch here.

This is the longest review so far, and half of it is about the story and not the model. Haha -_-++ I really hope that you enjoy this as much as I writing it. I will be doing some other reviews on the models from UC0083 soon, including MG GP02A, GP01Fb, GP03S, and HGUC Gelgoog Marine.