Starting to work on another Gunpla, Master Grade Gunpla after assembling BB Senshi Sangokuden Shin Koshin Gyan and the earlier work on HG 1/144 Gundam Barbatos. ^^
While the catchphrase above is referring to the huge size difference between this Master Grade Ver. Ka kit and the last one I did - Sinanju, other suitable ones may include "Finally, a new Master Grade kit on this blog", or "Surprise! An MG kit", or "The same old long wait, on an MG kit this time". ^^; '
Master Grade V Gundam Ver. Ka
Production company: Bandai Hobby Division
Release date: December 2009
Price: 3,800 Yen (exclusive of tax).
Having a 99 percent complete transformation despite its small size is the biggest selling point of this Master Grade kit, instead of its Ver. Ka label. I was very excited about this kit when it was first announced in October 2009, at the 49th All Japan Plamodel Radicon Show. Personally, I'm not a fan of Victory Gundam's design because of its small size, and seemingly lack of details in Gundam mode, but I love the Master Grade kit design. It's not perfect, but it served well as a measurement to how far Bandai has progressed in their Gunpla engineering after three decades in the business. The contrast between highly complicated transformation design and reduced size as compared to normal average model kit in 1/100 scale, coupled with the regular requirements of proportion design, details, articulation, and color separation made Victory Gundam seemed like an extremely interesting challenge for Bandai to attempt. ^^
As mentioned above, it's not the best Gunpla released by Bandai, as most reviews I read mentioned issues with the hips' stability in MA mode, and weak posability of the model kit. While flaws are flaws regardless of having to incorporate and to tolerate a complex transformation system, the special design for the parts and their interesting assembly are good enough factors for me to decide on getting this kit even before it was released, which was many years ago. For that matter, its 99 percent complete transformation, with the 1 percent incompleteness stems from the need to swap out the hands in MA mode doesn't bother me at all. ^^
Being of the first batch production, the inclusion of an extra, free clear runner as part of Bandai’s special MG Clear Part Campaign is the interesting feature of this version that I got. Since the runner contains all the blue parts to be used on V Gundam, I've seen build examples in hobby magazines whereby the clear runner was painted clear blue using spray can. The work involved was very simple, but the sapphire-like effect of the clear parts on the completed model was very striking. ^^
Even though having the bonus is most certainly a good thing, I don't think I want to attempt any swapping between the default blue parts and their equivalences from the free runner since I'm not a fan of taking my model kits apart after building them. On the other hand, I also like to build everything according to its default, intended settings, so while the clear blue paint work using just a spray can mentioned earlier on sounds simple – all I need would be to get a spray can of that color, I don 't think I would like to attempt that "modification". ^^
The special hard paper sleeve band that is a unique addition to this kit in the MG Clear Part Campaign.
(Left) A preview of how this MG kit looks like with some of the clear parts being used on it.
(Right) A lineup featuring Victory Gundam and another 21 MGs selected for the special campaign.
A brief introduction of Club MG and how to obtain points for it on the back of the sleeve band.
The front cover of the box with the sleeve band removed.
V Gundam shown in plain standing pose on the box art is adhering to the standard design arrangement for a Ver. Ka MG kit. ^^
Bottom Fighter docked with V Gundam's Core Fighter, and Top Fighter with V Gundam Hexa's Core Fighter are shown in the background.
Introduction of the kit on the box sides.
A very elaborate bottom cover design which contains pretty much the same information as shown on the sleeve band. ^^
The 21 MGs besides Victory Gundam selected for the special campaign are listed very clearly on the bottom cover.
Small images showing the application of the clear parts on Victory Gundam.
(Left) The special sleeve band for Victory Gundam is explicitly mentioned and highlighted. ^^
(Right) A brief introduction of Club MG
All runners of this kit.
Runner B molded in blue and its MG Clear Part Campaign equivalence.
While the "tradition" of having elaborate markings on the model kit is inherited by Victory Gundam as a Ver. Ka MG, its marking sheets are somewhat smaller in size as compared to those in other releases from the same series, most probably due to the small size of V Gundam itself. ^^
Front cover of the instruction manual.
The usual front spread that contains detailed introduction of the kit's features and gimmicks.
Interview with Hajime Katoki on his design, coupled with a very nice colored illustration of Victory Gundam itself is a typical arrangement for the instruction manual of a Ver. Ka kit. ^^
Indication of the various markings' position on the kit.
Rear cover of the instruction manual.
As usual, a look at all the runners designed for this kit:
Runner A - Multicolor runner containing parts mainly for the feet and Core Fighters.
Since there are two Core Fighters included, all of their parts are repeated on this runner.
For duplicated components, most other Gunplas would feature repeated runners instead of repeating the same parts on a single runner, so this could be counted as a special design feature of this MG kit I suppose. ^^
Runner B - Contains all blue parts for torso and Core Fighters.
Another runner with repeated parts for the Core Fighters. ^^
Runner B (MG Clear Part Campaign extra piece).
Besides the color, the clear nature of this special runner gives the parts a much more brittle feel as well.
Runner C - Contains white parts mainly for the legs.
(Left) Repeated helmet parts for V Gundam and V Gundam Hexa.
(Right) A tiny standing figure of Uso Evin with Haro.
"Half" pilot figures of Uso and Marbet Fingerhat.
Tiny one-piece parts for the beam sabers/beam fan.
Large one-piece parts for the front leg armors.
The overall rounded design and hollow slots meant for the knee armors give these two parts a unique look.
Runner D (two pieces) - Contains white parts mainly for the shoulder armors and Core Fighters.
The wing and rear fin parts for the Core Fighters feature some delicate molded details.
Runner E (two pieces) - ABS runner that contains inner frame parts mainly for the legs.
Rather simple molded details for the main inner frame parts for the legs.
Runner F - ABS runner that contains inner frame parts mainly for the arms, and swap-on finger parts.
Tons of odd-looking one-piece joint parts that are going to work together to facilitate V Gundam's crazy transformation. ^^
Plenty of small swap-on finger parts. ^^
Runner G - Contains dark gray parts mainly for the beam rifle.
Very nice one-piece part design for the different components of the beam rifle.
Runner H - Contains clear pink parts for the beam sabers and beam fan.
Runner I - Contains a V-fin molded in soft plastic for those who are worried of breaking the usual one included on Runner A. ^^
Polycap set PC-7.
A pre-cut beam shield part.
Lovely lightning effect on the beam shield. ^^
Clear sticker sheet, dry transfer decal sheet, foil sticker sheet, and Club MG point coupon.
Beautiful but tiny markings on the two marking sheets. ^^
Given that there are two Gundam heads for the two Core Fighters, a pair of eye pieces and four sensor pieces are included on the foil sticker sheet. ^^
All removed parts are organized and stored in individual paper containers.
As mentioned earlier on, since I have no plan to use any of the extra clear part, the additional Runner B is left completely untouched. ^^
Still start working on this kit in the next posting. ^^