Friday, July 27, 2012

1/48 Unicorn Gundam Head Display Base Part 1

Not the real kind of limited limited

Going for another model kit set after the partially-completed review of Lego Technic No. 9392 Quad Bike, and finally it's something related to Gundam after the completion of MG Zeta Plus earlier this month. ^^

This is 1/48 scale Unicorn Gundam Head Display Base, a special prize item included with Dengeki Hobby January 2010 issue (released in November 2009).

Before the head display base's "re-release" which was bundled with Asian market-limited HGUC Unicorn Gundam in both Unicorn and Destroy Modes, this announcement of this prize item was quite a sensational news. The sheer size of the finished model seems too good for it to be a prize item, especially when it's transformable and comes with clear red parts for the Psycho Frame. I really like this model kit, and after missing out on the Beam Gatling Gun set included for "Gundam Unicorn" novel Vol. 4 released in April 2008, I wasn't going to wait until this head display base came out and went out of stock to start looking for it. ^^; So I pre-ordered the magazine from a local toy store and got it, safely. ^^ Since it was a bundled item with Dengeki Hobby January 2010 issue, it was a bit pricey, but the price was within the range of the magazine's (Japanese ver.) market price in Malaysia, so I was quite happy about it.

Then again, since it was a limited item, I didn't want to go ahead and assemble it. It's the mentality of wanting to preserve something just because it's limited, even though that idea doesn't seem to make any sense at all. XD I was actually very glad when the Asian market limited HGUC Gundam Unicorns arrived in Malaysia. I didn't have any of those two kits at that moment, so getting the models, meaning getting two head display bases at the same time seemed like a huge bargain to me, especially when the prices of the two kits were just a little bit higher than the regular releases'. ^^

As the content is just the same, the original Dengeki Hobby prize item instantly lost its limited value. ^^; I know many people weren't happy about that at all, since many of them got it at a much higher price from people who tried to make a load of profit off the head display base's supposedly limited attribute. ^^; I was actually fine with that, since I only bought one issue of the magazine (^^;), and the magazine is actually pretty good on its own.

Anyway, the only thing limited about the original Dengeki Hobby 's head display base model now seems to be just its box. XD

Line images of the head display base on the front cover of the box.

Very simple box side design.

The back of the box.

Apart from the repetition of the head display base's line images, linearts of Unicorn Gundam in Unicorn and Destroy Modes are also shown on the rear cover.

This original prize item set remained sealed. ^^

I just used my Newtype ability to shift the package of runner out from the sealed box. XD

Just kidding, this the set from the limited HGUC Unicorn Gundams (Destroy Mode).

The assembly guide is from the limited HGUC set as well.

For the magazine set, the assembly guide is inserted inside the magazine.

A look at the two runners:

Runner A

A huge base featuring the entire neck area of Unicorn Gundam in 1/48 scale, together with a portion of the chest and shoulder areas.

Not sure what those slides beneath the base are supposed to be in terms of design, but it's not much of a concern anyway.
The cut of the chest area according to Unicorn Gundam's split armor design is very nice. ^^

(Left) Large protruding one-piece parts for the Unicorn Mode's mask and top cover of the helmet.
(Right) The cheek parts are basically enlarged version of the same parts from the Master Grade Ver. Ka kit. ^^

(Left) Nicely done mask part of the Destroy Mode. This is the largest Gundam face part that I've seen so far. ^^
(Right) The two Vulcan parts are odd contrasts to the rest of the runner when it comes to size. XD

While I like the more obvious elevated design on the V-Fin parts' exterior, made possible thanks to the overall scale, the inner side that require tons of yellow paint seems a bit stressful because the V-Fin as part of Unicorn Gundam's (or any Gundam) most iconic image must be done correctly. ^^;

Large one-piece parts that form the display stand's two segments.

Runner B

(Left) With no sticker given, the eyes must be painted.
(Right) Just like the eye part, the bright clear red molded color makes the lines on the face part hard to see.

With all parts removed from the two runners.

The parts in proper arrangement.
There are just 24 parts in total as you can see. ^^

A very loose straight assembly to see how the model is assembled, which will also indicate how the paint work and detailing should be applied to certain parts:

The V-fin set. Due to the elevated design of the two fin parts, it's impossible to give them a tight close in Unicorn Mode. ^^;

Quite a few joint parts to keep the V-fin in place. The little button-like part between the two fins' joint can move on its own so it must be adjusted to be in line with the joints in either modes, which is quite an annoying thing to do. ^^;

The V-Fin set snaps onto the forehead block via two dedicated slots, which will lock the parts securing the V-fin and all the joint parts around it.

Simple expansion of the parts to transform the V-fin.

As mentioned earlier on, the little button part between the V-fin's joints that must be aligned independently is quite an annoying feature. ^^

A special Philip-head pin and slot connects between the clear red parts eye and face parts.

(Left) Combined the forehead block and the Destroy Mode's face.
(Right) Added the core block and Unicorn Mode's mask.

With the two cheek parts added, the head model in Unicorn Mode is completed.

In Unicorn Mode, the horn sure is long. ^^

Given the low part count of the entire model, the requirement of part swapping for transformation is anticipated and unavoidable. ^^;

The transformation sequence is very similar to that of the MG Ver. Ka kit.

In Destroy Mode, the V-fin sure is huge. ^^

Since I didn't apply tight connection to the parts, the deformed look is not really the model's fault.

The purpose of this loose straight assembly is really just to get an idea of how the parts would look like on the actual model, and the plain white overall appearance is just too boring I think. For the MG Ver. Ka kit, I didn't apply any panel lining to the any of the white parts, and that works well for the overall look in my opinion because there are many other features to look at and play with on that kit. Also, the split armor parts for its transformation form most of the "important" lines on that kit, so additional panel lines would look like they are competing for attention against those natural lines. By the term "important" I mean the most obvious splits to be seen in both modes. So, against my own practice of panel lining almost everything to be seen (and most of the unseen ones as well XD) on my model kits, none of the white parts were panel lined for the MG Ver. Ka kit, except the vents on the mask - they were too tiny to be seen without panel lines.

For this head display base however, since the parts are a lot bigger, no panel line really exposes the blandness of the overall model. The molded lines are cool, yes, but you know they were left unattended since you can see them very clearly on such a big model kit. ^^; Also, there's very little playability with the model itself, especially in Unicorn Mode. ^^; So extra details must be added to compensate that missing feature. So, unlike the Master Grade kit, panel lines will be given to all the necessary parts, but instead of black lines, I'll be using a different color for the white parts' panel line. Black line on white parts is just too outstanding. ^^; It works well for smaller models that depend on those lines to show off their designed details, but on a model where the whiteness is one of its iconic image, the message that it has line details on those white parts is the key, not how obvious those lines can be exposed on the overall model. ^^

Paint work for the V-fin, neck area, eyes and some other parts is obviously needed so I won't discuss too much about that here. ^^

The first round of detailing on the parts coming up next. ^^

1 comment:

Rhinomilo said...

HI there and just wondering is the size of this head same as the PG unicorn and are the fins compatible with PG unicorn head? thanks