Monday, July 30, 2007

PLAMO Review 21: HGUC Zudah

"A sad pedestrian in the One Year War"

That's my conclusion of EMS-10 Zudah. If you watched MS IgLoo, I'm sure Zudah is no stranger to you. It made its debut in Episode 3 of the 3D animation series, and became the only unique MS available in the whole anime, as the rest of the test Zeon mecha we get to see are Mobile Armors.

Zudah is not a newly developed MS for the war actually. Before One Year War, Zudah, initially assigned EMS-04, was developed by a company called Zimmad to compete with MS-05B Zaku I developed by Zeonic to be the mainstream MS of the Zeon army. Zudah was much more superior to Zaku I in both its generator output rate (1,150kw versus 899kw) and thruster propulsion performance (58,700kg versus 39,000kg). However, Zudah lost the competition because of its fatal design flaw: its inability to control its speed limit. As a result, the machine would break apart after surpassing its speed limit, which would kill the pilot as well. After that, its developer, Zimmad abandoned the concept of Zudah, and started developing MS-09 Dom as their next triumph card instead.

As the story turns out, the Zeon started losing their grip in their campaign on Earth, and the Earth Federation utilized the advantage and started developing their MS forces as well. At the turn of the tide, Zudah was resurrected with a newly designated model code EMS-10. The upgrades implemented on this "new" MS were very superficial, and as the testing from the 603rd Test Team found out, its major design flaw was never corrected. However, the Zeon propagated Zudah as their next generation MS to yield some desperate psychological effects on EFSF. Such efforts failed of course, as the war returned to space and the Zeon was forced to a defensive stance. Zudah remained as test machines on the carrier Jotunheim as backup MSs, and only saw limited action in rescuing Zeon escape pods as they retreated from Earth (which marked the end of Zeon’s Earth campaign), and securing an escape route after the Zeon lost their space fortress A Boa Qu (which marked the end of One Year War). Although Zudah was seemingly more superior to Zaku II, it was never involved in any combat that could make any impact towards the outcome of the UC history. That’s why I call it a pedestrian, and a sad one as well.

The four views of the model

Although Zudah has some similarities with the other Zeon mecha, most notably the mono eye camera and the shoulder shield, its design is much slimmer, with many nifty "built-in" features. For examples, its backpack and legs has a total of eight smaller thrusters for better movement control, the shield is mounted on the left instead of the right shoulder as seen on Zaku II, and can rotate in a 180-degree arc. Prior to MG Zaku II Ver. 2.0, I used to think that Zaku II's shoulder shield is just a piece of metal plate hanging from its right shoulder, but Zudah's design is definitely better than that. The shoulder shield of Zudah is also fitted with a double-spiked fork that comes in quite handy during melee combat. The design of the arm is also quite unique. It can be stretched for a short distance at the elbow, probably for a quick punch at the enemy whenever possible.

Sneaky :)

The HGUC version of Zudah depicts all the mecha designs of Zudah quite closely, which makes the finished model stand out a lot from its Zeon brethrens. While most other HGUC Zeon mecha tends to be more and more simplistic in their designs (HGUC Char’s Zaku II, Gelgoog, and Dom/Rick-Dom for example), Zudah has many details all over its body that require a lot of panel lining and painting to make the whole model look good. So, by my reckoning, this is not really a good choice to pick if you want to start Gunpla-ing.

As compared to HGUC Char’s Zaku II, Zudah stands a little taller, but a lot thinner

The model comes with a lot of clear stickers to be applied to the entire body. The work however, is a nightmare. Those stickers are just so small, and been in white, it's just plain hard to cut them out from their sheet. In the end, I just put on what's obvious, like the marking on the shield, the shoulders and the front skirt armor. Of all the stickers given, I think I only applied 20 percent of them.

You need a sharp knife and eyesight for this work :)

Remember the white panel lining I mentioned some time ago? Here's how I did it: the tools you need is a white Gundam marker, and a bit of Methanol. I suppose I don't have to tell you that Methanol is poisonous, and is flammable as well. So please handle it with care.

Just paint the lines with the white marker and the paint will flow into the little "drains" :)

After they dried up a bit, use a cotton swap coated with Methanol to rub off the extra paint. The paint dried up pretty quickly, and when it does, it's really painful to rub it off. So, I suggest paint-and-clean four parts at a time, not one-off.

The hardest part is the chest armor. I had to paint and clean it many times before finally getting it right.

All the parts that need white panel lining for Zudah. Using design knife to mark the lines help to keep the paint in them, quite helpful if you keep on rubbing off the intended white lines all the time for some of the parts.

Some paint job is needed as well. The paint job I did is as below:

Silver for the buttons and stripes on both shoulders, and a bit on the shield’s fork, black for the armpits, and silver plus yellow for the Heat Hawk. Since it’s yellow on black part for the Heat Hawk, several layer of painting is needed to hide the original color beneath it.

What I didn’t paint is the dark blue of the model's "stomach" (the cockpit I believe). The overall paint scheme is for Unit 4, or the backup unit, since Unit 1, 2 and 3 are in camouflage color that is impossible to accomplish without airbrushing. However, I'm quite pleased that the orange parts for the backpack thruster and the head of the Sturm Faust are given, and the color seems sort of metallic as well, which is really cool~

Apart from the details, the articulation of the model is very well designed as well. The elbow has limited movement to compensate for the arm stretching function, but the shoulder joint is unbelievably good. Not only it can be turned to the front (for action like holding the machinegun with two hands), it can be flipped backward and upward as well. The knee also allows greater action than all other Zeon models I have. The mono eye camera can be moved to the left and right as well, and together with the different headpieces given to represent Unit 1 to 4, there’s plenty of fun for the head alone.

In terms of its armaments, the 120mm Zaku Machine Gun and the Heat Hawk are very much from Zaku II. Along with the Sturm Faust, these weapons can be mounted on the legs of Zudah. Another weapon used by Zudah, the 280mm Bazooka is not given, but it can be borrowed from HGUC Char's Zaku II, and it's perfectly compatible.

But the best stuff is the 135mm Anti-ship Rifle.

It's just plain wicked! I have to admit that one of the reasons I bought the model in the first place is this "monster-gun". Zudah can hold it with just one hand, but it's definitely better with both.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Of course it's compatible for other Zeon mecha as well

Something off topic: the rifle really reminds me of the one used by Eva Unit 1 in its anime. Unfortunately Zudah can't lie down to hold the rifle in the same cool sniper position.

I'm thinking something like this

You can view more of the photos taken in Zudah's Gallery.

As conclusion, apart from the complicated "make-ups", this model really rocks! A huge bargain for a 1400 Yen (around RM49) model.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

GFF Musha Gundam & Psycho Gundam

A bit of add-ons to yesterday's news on upcoming Gundam merchandises: GFF Musha Gundam (5,040 Yen, around RM177, to be released at the end of September) and the huge GFF Metal Composite 1/144 scale Psycho Gundam (10,500 Yen, around RM368, out end of August). I'm thinking of getting a HGUC Psycho Gundam, so that 10,000-Yen-fella is definitely out for me, but the Musha Gundam is awesome. Just look at the Samurai armor~

Images are from Amiami.

No image on his armaments yet, but I believe the list include a musket, a trident, and katana (not sure how many)

I can see much difference between this guy and the HGUC version, except for the price which is doubled!

Also, some exclusive photos of MG Turn A:

It seems like Bandai changed the back of the booklet to painting scheme, and a more stylish design for the front cover too


At least the decal is cool~

The 1/100 scale moo-moo ^^

Friday, July 27, 2007

Best Friend Combo

Best friends forever!

Yzak Jule's Gouf Ignited and Dearka Elsman's Zaku Phantom are among the upcoming Gunpla next month. Both in 1-144 scale and at the same price (1575 Yen, around RM55) as well. For two SEED Destiny mecha which seems to be out a bit late now, when everyone's talking about Gundam 00, how much attention will they get in the market I wonder? Especially when they are just recolored Heine Westenfluss's Gouf Ignited and Rey Za Barrel's Zaku Phantom respectively.

Yzak Jule's Gouf Ignited, from GA Graphic

Dearka Elsman's Zaku Phantom, from GA Graphic

Also, several limited edition Gunpla will be featured in next month's Chara Hobby Show, and I'm sure all of them are going to be eye-catching during the event. The prices of course, will widen you eyes as well :) The items include:
* PG RX-78-2 Gundam (Kunio Okawara illustration colors) - 15,000 yen
* MG Char Custom Z'Gok (extra finish version) - 5,500 yen
* HGUC Char Custom Rick Dom (coating version) - 3,500 yen
* 1/100 Live Concert Color Zaku Warrior (extra finish version) - 4,500 yen
* 1/35 Mechanic Collection Lancelot (color coating version) - 4,500 yen

Images of the limited Gunpla except for MG Char Custom Z'Gok (extra finish version), from Bandai Hobby Site

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Current Gunpla Work

The next Gunpla I'm planning to build is HGUC Zudah, one which I'm looking forward to for quite some time now. Since it's in 1-144 scale, many parts need painting to look closer to what is seen from MS IgLoo. There are also tons of clear stickers for you to play around with, but the hardest part is applying the white panel lines to many of the parts. That's really something I never tried before. I will definitely talk about that here when I come to that.

The good old trick comes in real handy for this kit

The next Gunpla in mind is MG Gundam Ver. OYW. Since the Real TV Color Ver. is out recently, this model is suddenly heated up again. I suppose many will be comparing which one's better or so. Anyway, the review on my Gundam Ver. OYW is definitely not coming soon :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

MG Destiny & HGUC Jadg Doga

Here we go, ladies and gentlemen: images of the prototype MG 101, ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam!

I wonder if the massive backpack will pull down the whole model?

There are quite a few hints we can get from the magazine scan actually. For example, the fun sliding leg armors can be seen, which is inherited from MG Strike and Strike Freedom, the articulation of the waist is also quite awesome, but most importantly, the action of the arms, will his hand movement be hampered by the mounted knuckle shield? And will he be able to accomplish mission impossible (as seen in its HG equivalent) of drawing the beam boomerang from his shoulders? Both at the same time? And how will he look like when the wings are expanded?

Apart from these features, I also hope for better blade design for the beam saber, boomerang and shield, with comparison made to the HG version. Of course, the spread palm for displaying the cannon must be improved as well. Plus, hopefully the two splits on the face will be molded instead of requiring painting.

Although not exactly according to actual scale, the new design features can be spotted easily

Overall, from the conceptual design for MG Destiny, the end model will look much sharper than the ones from the anime and the HG 1-100 scale interpretation. It makes this model more menacing and villainous. Although not much has being announced about this coming Gunpla except this magazine scan, plus the details are subject to changes, I do have a lot of expectations for this model. Destiny Gundam is definitely my type of Gundam from SEED Destiny (I just don’t like the pilot). With the price tagged at 5,000 Yen, I do expect Bandai not to disappoint all who are expecting this model ever since the end of SEED Destiny years ago.

Seven funnels? I thought he only has six.

On the other hand, as mentioned in the previous post, HGUC Char’s Counterattack starts off with Gyunei’s Customized Jadg Doga. I believe many will be looking forward for other CCA Gunpla after this one, namely Sazabi, Nu Gundam, or even ReGZ, Jadg Doga is quite a cool mecha nonetheless. The overall design is quite unique, and its armaments, especially the bayonet mounted beam saber is wicked. As compared with the previous release, which was a good 19 years back, the new Jadg Doga is sturdier, and much more pose-able definitely. Some nifty stuff like the storage of his beam saber in the hip armor and the funnels are going to be quite fun to play with. Personally, I would put this one down on my wish list, right after MG Destiny.

I would definitely like to see how Bandai redesigns the wrist 'imprisoned' within the huge forearm armor.

Including Jadg Doga, all mecha from CCA are huge as compared the other tmelines, so the size will definitely be a huge attraction for the coming HGUC models. Can’t wait till HGUC Sazabi and Nu Gundam :)

Images are from and Hobby Link Japan.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Enemy Mecha from Gundam 00

You have probably seen the description of the bad guys' mecha from Gunota Headlines, but have you seen their design?

SVMS-01 Union Flag - Nice name, but a mecha with legs that seem like toothpicks is seriously not my cup of tea. And what's with that vacuum cleaner on his hand?

AEU-09 AEU Enact (Demonstration colors) - Can't see much difference between this mecha with Union Flag, but the color scheme is pretty cool~

MSJ-06II-A Tieren - Is the name of this mecha derived from the 铁人 ('Iron/Steel man' in Mandarin)? It must be Made in China then :-D The designer must be a Zeon/Zaku fan like me to assign a model code so close to MS-06 Zaku II to this mecha, and to give him the same olive green color scheme, plus a very Zaku-like head as well ^^

Not sure about you, but for me, they are so damn UGLY ^^; I used to think that GOOhN from SEED is ugly, but now, I kind-of miss that egg-head :-D

I wonder just how Bandai's going to release model kits based on these designs.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

MG 101 is Destiny UPDATED

Thanks to Mike for this piece of information: according to Gunota Headlines, MG 101 will be Destiny Gundam.

Hell, it's about time!

Just playing around with the box art of the HG 1-100 version. Luckily I didn't get that one :-D

Updated 23 July: MG Destiny will be out in October at the price of 5040 Yen (around RM 180). However, like the previous MG Strike Freedom Gundam, it will feature a special edition which come with the Wings of Light. The price is 7,350 Yen (around RM 260). Does this means that the 'normal' version will have no beam wings?

Also, HGUC Char's Counterattack will kick start in October as well, with Gyunei's Jadg Doga at the price of 2,100 Yen (around RM 75). Watch out for HGUC Sazabi and Nu Gundam~

Saturday, July 21, 2007

MG Zaku II Ver. 2.0: Crazy Poses

I just can't seem to get enough of the newly completed model :-D

This is really nothing...

...when he can do something like this!

When Zaku II is not Zaku II, he is...

My favorite figurine, my favorite pose of her ^^

Mono-eye mecha group dance :-D

Taking a break after all the work~

I think you know who's going to win this round~

You know, it's really hard being a Gunpla of mine. Muahahaha~