Thursday, August 03, 2006

PLAMO Review 13: HGM 1-550 Neul Ziel

After watching UC0083: Stardust Memory, two of the most memorable parts for me are the Gundam fight between GP01Fb and GP02A, as well as the fight between two Mobile Armors, Dendrobium and Neul Ziel. Although it's clearly the script writer's idea to have this epic fight, but the intense storyline and the great quality in which the animation was produced makes the duel truly exciting. So, the spotlight for today's PLAMO review will be on Neul Ziel.

Neul Ziel - front & rear View

A closer view on the model

According to, Neul Ziel was designed by the Zeons before the end of One Year War. After losing, many Zeons scientists and mechanics fled to their allies, together with some designs which were still on the drawing board. Neul Ziel was one of such cases, where the designer brought it to Axis. Three years after the end of One Year War, when Delaz Fleet started Operation Stardust, Axis presented the fully constructed Neul Ziel to ace pilot Anavel Gato, who would use this MA to its full potential and demonstrated his worth as the Nightmare of Solomon.

Neul Ziel in high flying mode, the claw arm are retracted into the shoulder armor. For the model, the forearms are detached

Being a MA, Neul Ziel dwarfs other MSs, not just in terms of size, but speed and weaponry as well. Neul Ziel's powerful generator output allows it to have particle cannons all over its body. Its main armament seems to be the two claw arms, each mouthed a mega particle cannons. The arms are wire-guided and can be launched to attack enemies from distance. For me, I think the I-field generator is another powerful weapon worth mentioning, although it's strictly for defensive purpose. The I-field generator creates a beam barrier for the entire body of Neul Ziel, protecting it from beam attack. The pilot, Anavel Gato's strong will to resurrect Zeon, combined with the sheer power of Neul Ziel proves to be the toughest foul for the Earth Federation.

This model, High Grade Mechanic 1-550 scale Neul Ziel is one of three models of that series. The first one being its arch-rival Dendrobium and the third one, the last one so far is Val-Varo. All these are MAs from Stardust Memory. When Bandai launched the HGM series, many speculated that many MAs from other Gundam series will be model-lized as well. However, the production seems to have halted after Val-Varo. Sometimes later, Bandai started the 1-400 Gundam Collection series, featuring bigger (but still quite small compared to conventional models) capsule-toy-sized MSs. Then models on the scale of 1-400 was released as well, for example the Alpha Azieru coming up pretty soon. These models are much bigger than the HGM series, when you're comparing between MAs. So, my lucky guess is that the HGM series is pretty much over, after just three releases.

Anyway, one of the attractions of the HGM series is the price, which is the same as an average HGUC model, say like HGUC Gelgoog Marine introduced yesterday. Both are priced at 1200 Yen. The size of the model is similar to the HGUC line as well, if you exclude the display stand. In terms of construction, you can expect the same simplicity as you get in other Bandai models. Neul Ziel is the only HGM model I have at the moment, so I'm not sure whether the parts designs are similar. Neul Ziel's model doesn't have any polycap parts. All articulation points are using snap-fit parts, but that shouldn't be a problem to worry about, since the model doesn't have as many action poses as other MS-sized models! Haha. Remember that this fella is a MA, so I think the coolest pose this guy can have is just sitting quietly on its display stand. Just my opinion that is.

One of the armaments or equipments included is the wire for the claw arm. I suggest you get string with the same diameter and painted them black to replace the wire if you truly want the model to pose launching its arms, since the weight of the arms keep pulling the wire down. Four hidden sub arms are in as well, as seen in the anime. Each of these arms is capable of generating a beam saber, but there is only one provided in the kit. As a matter of fact, the claw arms can do so as well, but with a bigger beam saber. So, for the fun of modification, maybe you would like to have another five beam sabers for this guy?

The wire-guided claw arm

Four sub arms can be attached to the shoulder armor, only one carries the beam saber (can be mounted onto either one of the sub arms

The display base is quite awesome, with a Zeon seal on it. The seal is definitely the center of focus for the base, so I took good care to paint it in gold. Apart form all these, two 1-550 scale models are included: GP03S and Zaku II F2. I managed to ink and paint GP03S, but chickened out when I saw that I have paint Zaku II F2 in green. The original parts for the two models, as well as the beam saber are in white, which proves to be quite a nuisance. Both the model comes with their own little display stands as well, so that you can pose them together with Niel Ziel.

The display base with the Zeon seal

The 1-550 models included in the kit: GP03S on the left, and the unassembled Zaku II F2 on the right