Friday, November 12, 2010

HGUC Sinanju Part 1

Very smart runner design

Jumping into assembling a brand new kit, 3x faster than my normal Gunpla work flow. XD

Seeing that this kit was released on October 23rd in Japan - less than a month ago, having it this fast and being able to build it immediately is going to be a really awesome experience. ^^ This is definitely a record in my book as well. ^^



Box art features Angelo Sauper's Customized Geara Zulu on the top left corner.




Box side images and introduction.


The completed model on the manual looks so much like the MG version, without all the markings ^^




Introduction of Full Frontal and some scenes from the OVA.


Box content


All runners.


Comparison with HGUC Sazabi's box.


HGUC Sazabi's box is a bit thicker, and there's a 200 Yen difference between the 2 kits.


Some comparison of the parts as well.
Being so much slimmer than its predecessor, Sinanju's parts are smaller, for example the leg armors ...


... and the shield.
Not shown here, but if the rear skirt armor comes into comparison, the significant difference would be even easier to spot.


Sinanju does have a lot of beam parts that are much bigger individually than Sazabi's.
"Half" of Sinanju's beam sword is already longer and bigger than the only "full" one used by Sazabi.


Runner A - Contains all the black, yellow and white parts of the kits.
The conductive pipes for the waist (top left) are made of relatively softer plastic, allowing some degree of bending.




All the great emblems of Sinanju ^^
Molded in black just like the MG version.


Runner B - Contains mostly parts for the legs, body and head.


Very thin gate holding the parts for the head, minimizing nub marks when the parts are removed. A very nice feature. ^^


Section of the leg holding the side thrusters is shaped after the polycap behind it. Never seen this sort of design for a part before. XD


One-piece parts for the beam saber.


Unlike the MG version, the shield is molded as a one-piece part, which is very impressive. ^^
The details behind the shield that is supposedly in mecha gray don't come as a separate part like the MG version though.


Runner C1 - Contains red parts for various
symmetrical components of the kit, and those for the waist.


Shoulder armor piece that is molded together with the spikes


Smaller vents on parts of the forearm and knee armor are very nicely molded. ^^


The smallest thrusters at the bottom of the shoulder armor don't come as separate yellow parts it seems.


Some runner separation hints there between the section containing the symmetrical parts and those for the waist.


Runner C2 - Contains just the parts for
symmetrical components that can be seen on C1.


The same runner separation hints as seen on C1, but no part for the waist.


The difference between C1 and C2 is much clearer to see now I believe. ^^
A very smart runner design feature there by Bandai.


Runner D - Contains gray parts mainly for the hand units, waist and weapons.


Very nice details of the neck area accurately molded.


Details on the mecha part of the rear skirt armor. The entire component is molded as a one-piece part.


One-piece parts for all the beam axes.


Runner E1 - Contains gray parts for various
symmetrical components of the kit, plus those for the backpack, body and head.


Details on the parts of the backpack and binders.


Very delicate details molded for the conductive pipe of the head unit.


Plenty of small thrusters for the legs, side skirt armors and shoulder armors.


Runner separation hints again separating the sections between the symmetrical parts and those for the backpack, head and others.


Runner E2 - Repeats the symmetrical parts from E1.


The same kind of runner separation as seen on C2, where all the "add-on" parts on E1 are omitted.


Stacking E1 and E2 makes the differences between the 2 runners much easier to spot. ^^


Runner F - 2 identical runners containing the various beam parts.


The exact same design for the shape of the beam parts as compared to the MG version. ^^


Polycaps set PC-132ABC.
This is one of the very few kits where there'll be no leftover polycap (from a generic set some more) after the build. ^^


A huge sheet of foil sticker.




All the details of the emblems are very nicely designed.
With so many separate pieces, I wonder if anyone at Bandai ever worried about running out of distinctive Katakana characters for the labels. XD


A comparison with the foil sticker sheet of the MG version.


Emblems for the chest and shield.


Emblems for the knee.


Emblems for the forearms.


Emblems for the front skirt armor.


Emblems for the collar.


Golden borders for the separate sections of the shield.
The arrangement is pretty much identical between the 2 sheets. ^^

Two very interesting points I found out about the content of this kits:

Smart runner separation

This is a bit different from reusing identical runners to produce variations of a kit. Many releases from the HG Gundam Double O series, including the recently reviewed HG 1/144 Tieren Space Commander Type and the other variations of Tieren, Gundam Throne Eins/Zwei/Drei, the various variations of Ahead, Gadessa/Garazzo/Gaddess, or HGUC ReZEL/ReZEL Commander Types and HGUC Geara Zulu/Angelo Sauper's Customized Geara Zulu have reused runners with different parts included/omitted to show the varying components between varying units. HGUC Sinanju however, is designed with variations on its own repeated runners, so that certain parts can be added onto one of the repeated runners, which would otherwise require another iron mold (a separate runner).

Runners C1, C2, E1, and E2 demonstrate how well Bandai is doing so. Instead of putting out another mold to hold the non-repeated parts as seen on C1 and E1, the designer instead have "expansion" slots on the runners so that those parts can be added onto an existing mold. It's not an easy design, because which part goes where and how to fit everything onto a fixed number of runners takes a lot of consideration, and such engineering always fascinates me about Gunplas design at Bandai. Thinking about this is something I enjoy very much about Gunplas, along with the process of building them of course. ^^

I'm not in the company so I can't say how much that would mean in terms of cost-cutting, but I'm sure it does help since having a completely different mold would mean higher cost associated to this (a few million Yen per iron mold according to this previous posting), which would be translated into some sort of reduction in the final price, hopefully.

One particular Gunpla that was out not too long ago that uses the same runner separation concept as this HGUC Sinanju is MG The O. 3 sections of non-identical parts on repeated runners were cleverly omitted to avoid unused parts being included.



Manual images of MG The O from Dalong.

I remember for HGUC Nu Gundam, there were repeated parts for the Fin Funnels, but there was no runner separation design like Sinanju, so there were a few repeated but unnecessary parts included, which turns out to be an added bonus really, but that's a separate thing. ^^


Foil sticker

I must say, both versions of Sinanju's Gunpla - this HGUC and the previous MG Ver. Ka have got to be heavenly gifts to those who love foil stickers. XD All the emblems come as foil stickers, and as one can imagine from just how elaborate those emblems are on Sinanju, the amount of foil sticker to be pasted onto the kit is legendary. ^^

However, one thing that struck me about the stickers is how this HGUC version excluded all the black part that is on the MG version for the same piece emblem. Take the knee portion as an example: the design of how the stickers are split between the left and right sides of the knee emblem is the same, but the HGUC version only comes with the golden borders while the MG version has the black section between the borders included.

And for those who still remember, hey, this is exactly what Boss Dalong did for his MG Sinanju Ver. Ka, isn't it? ^^ Cutting out the golden stripes from the sticker so that they fit exactly onto the emblem, without the black part. ^^

I think this is a huge improvement over the MG version. I believe there are modelers who want the precise cutting of the stripes instead of having the black portion included. In terms of look, precision of the foil stickers in showing off the emblems means a lot. It's going to be a lot harder to work with the stickers since they are so small, but the end result would be a better in my opinion. Also, It really shows the craftsmanship of Bandai is in dealing with this kind of details. I mean, cutting out curvy golden stripes for all the emblems, for a 1/144 scale kit some more, that's not easy, but they did it. ^^ I really appreciate all these fine details that are inherited from the MG version and realized into this smaller HGUC kit.

All these details and engineering really make this kit an awesome bargain at 2,600 Yen (exclusive of tax) I think.

All the awesomeness before even assembling the kit. ^^



Building a good Gunpla of a really fierce MS that I like very much over weekend holidays. これは最高です!! ^^

7 comments:

bd77 said...

Wow... You too even bought both of them. XD

"a have got to be heavenly gifts to those who love foil stickers. XD"

^
Best. statement. Ever. XD

Zero said...

Oh nice, it's getting closer to see the complete model! =D

Gugu said...

Yes, i can believe it xD
But, you level of details is awesome and , in my opinion, more photos with a better background would realize the dream of fans like me =D
But, its just an idea, i'm happy to see your works and reviews ^^
And congratulations for the new products, damn, this Alteisen Chogokin...i hope you post your review as soon enough !
And, about the HG sinanju... well, i don't know how to say how awesome is this kit !

sl619 said...

u really have eagle eyes and very good memory to see and remember all those details from the runners of different kits. Kudos bro!

Dennis aka Katsuden said...

There's really a lot of depth in your review and I can't wait to see Sinanju and Sazabi standing side by side. It will be a phenomenon!

Martin said...

Having both versions of the kit I'm looking forward to seeing how a straight-build of the HGUC version goes. I was going to paint the details on the MG version and was seriously going to do the same thing with the HG version - so I'll be watching this with great interest, see what you think...

Ngee Khiong said...

>>bd77

Just one at the moment. If there's one limited set with the head display base like HGUC Unicorn Gundam, then I would get another one. ^^

>>Zero

Already done at this moment :D

>>Gugu

Thanks very much. Reviews on Super Robot Chogokin Alteisen won't be that fast really. As a matter of fact, I haven't had the time to even open the box till this day ^^;

HGUC Sinanju is indeed awesome. The review has already started. ^^

>>sl619

Thanks. Looking at and thinking about the engineering and maybe the design concept is something I like to do very much. Just call it appreciating the current release. ^^ It's way more fun than to speculate for the next release, because the current release would be a culmination of perhaps the best design idea the folks at Bandai could come up with for a particular kit.

>>Dennis

Thanks. But I haven't build Sazabi yet actually, sorry to disappoint you there. ^^; Will compare it with some other Gunpla kits I have. ^^

>>Martin

No problem. Will try to put in all my observation on all the parts and components as a record of my own experience building this kit. ^^