Tuesday, July 04, 2006

PLAMO Review 8: GP02A

Finally, the big guy.

I must admit that when I bought this kit, Master Grade GP02A back in 2000, I had no idea who he is, and which Gundam series he is in. The sole reason why I picked him off the shelves is the sheer size of the parts and equipments he has. The shield, shoulder thruster, legs, and the nuclear launcher are really cool. It was after I assembled the model that I went to research on this MS a bit.

GP02A front view and a closer look

I made a bit of intro about GP02A in my previous review on MG GP01. As mentioned, GP02A was developed together with GP01. While the later is a more conventional Gundam, one may say, with similar design and equipments with any other Gundams, GP02A was built for tactical purpose in which tactical means special mission; while GP01 is suitable for most sortie and combat mission, GP02A would only be initiated in exceptional cases. If not for the Operation Stardust orchestrated by the ZEON, and the hijacking of this MS by Anavel Gato, we would have never know that the ‘tactical purpose’ is actually referring to a nuclear strike.

GP02A armed with the nuclear launcher and shield

To protect the MS and the pilot from the nuclear explosion, the armor on GP02A is exceptionally thick, as compared to normal MS. Huge thrusters were packed into the shoulder armor to allow the unit to reach to designated target with haste and to escape quickly afterward. In addition to that, a huge shield was produced for extra protection. The shield is also used to mount the second half of the nuclear launcher (the first half is located at the back of its right shoulder). Cooling system is built into the shield itself, again for the protection towards the aftermath of the nuclear explosion. In terms of arnaments, other than the nuclear launcher, GP02A is only equipped with two beam sabers, most probably for defensive close combat.

Beam saber action

Gato did manage to fire the nuclear warhead. The target destroyed is the space naval review of the Earth Federation at Konpei Island, formerly known as the Solomon Island, the last stronghold of the Zeon before its defeat in the One Year War UC0080. The Earth Federation foolishly believes that showing its massive fleets in such naval review would scare off the Zeon, thus providing a golden opportunity for Gato. Perhaps it’s fate that Gato, who retreated at the last minute during the OYW to come back again three years later and destroyed his enemies and avenged the lost soldiers of Zeon. Later, Kou Uraki in his GP01fb would fight GP02A in an epic Gundam fight in space. Both units were finally destroyed, but the pilots unharmed.

About the model, I think I have run out of words to describe this kit. The armor and the size of this MS are just so damn cool. The design of the face demonstrated the menace behind this unit, and Gundam fans would probably guess right from the beginning that he will not stay with the Feddie, since there is this ‘evil expression’ on his face. In terms of playability, the kit is not as flexible as the MG kits you can find today. Plus, all the bulky equipments deter the model from moving freely.

Details of the leg mechanism, huge amount of details and lines consistent with the Master Grade line

The shoulder armor/thrusters are quite amazing. The joints not only allows you to pose them in flight mode, i.e. thrusters lifted up and the rocket nozzles retracted from the armor, but they are strong enough to hold them in that position as well. When you pose the big guy holding the beam saber, the shoulder thrusters can be adjusted backward so that the arms can move with more ease in front.

Arnaments of GP02A. The circled item is the notorious MK-82 nuclear warhead - doesn't really seem scary in its 1-100 scale model

The details of GP02A's shield

The arnaments, as explained earlier only consist of the shield, the nuclear launcher and two beam sabers. While the shield looks awesome (the biggest shield in my MG collection so far), the weight is a problem: there is no way that the fella can lift up the shield like the other models. So in the photo you see here, the shield is basically leaning on the left shoulder instead of him lifting it (secret review! :-) The beam sabers are pretty standard; the notable difference is the storage rack in its waist armor instead of the standard on-the-back type as in most other Gundams (big deals, Freedom and Justice are also the same :-) The sabers’ light is green, which is also quite special. So if you’re tired of pinkish beam saber, get this one for a change. The other MSs which has green light saber which I can recall are Rick Dias from Z Gundam and Sazabi of Char’s Counter Attack (Hey, Master Yoda also uses green light saber right? :-) The nuclear launcher is great; the assembled launcher is the same length with FAZZ’s Hyper Mega Launcher, just a bit smaller in the size.

What to do with your blog I have anyway? :-)

Overall, GP02A is a really awesome model, but there is this unexpected problem arose: the shoulder armor/thrusters made the model to have significant width, so much that it’s the most space-taking model in my closet! :-)