Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HGM 1/550 Dendrobium Part 1

All the whiteness

Got this kit for quite a while already, but only started working on it recently.

This is High Grade Mechanics 1/550 Dendrobium from "UC0083: Stardust Memory". As mentioned in a review a long time ago, "UC0083" is an anime where a lot of crazy events take place. Hijacking a Gundam, Gundam versus Gundam, GM versus Gundam, Gundam fighting alongside Zaku, Zaku versus other Zeon units, hijacking a colony, colony drop and nuking an entire space fleet. Boy, every episode in the anime sounds like a blockbuster XD And of course, giant MA versus giant MA in the case of Dendrobium versus Neue Ziel is also part of the entire exciting deal. ^^

It's rather uncommon to have all these extravagant elements in a Universal Century series, but there's no awkward feeling that something has fallen out of place about the story.

This is one of those many kits I really wanted when I first knew of it many years ago. Unfortunately for me, the selection of Gunplas here at my place was rather poor back then. It was only not long ago that I managed to get this from an online dealer. Not sure what strange luck I have, I got Neue Ziel of the same series much earlier - at a time when I don't even know how to use Gundam Markers yet. With Dendrobium obtained, the rivalry is complete. ^^

The HGM 1/550 series is in a "stagnant" now - even though there's no new releases from the series after the 3rd item, Val Walo was out in 2002, I dared not say "discontinued" because Bandai never made such announcement before. A a matter of fact, Bandai only announces the addition of new product lines, never the closing of any. They are saving the chances to possibilities in the future, that's a good thing.

In my opinion, the HGM series was being replaced by the larger 1/400 Gundam Collection series, which started off as a Gundam gashapon series. While all the MS figures are painted, we did have a couple of bigger releases that require assembly. For example, battleship class kits like Pegasus White Base and Musai, other mobile armors like Meteor Unit, Quin-Mantha, Alpha-Azieru and others. Dendrobium came out in this series as well, bundled with Neue Ziel as a duel set not too long ago. All 3 HCM 1/550 releases came with 2 MS figures each, but require assembly (with glue) and painting. I suppose the idea of pre-painted MS figures (larger in scale) some more, bundled with even larger MA kits would attract more fans than the HGM series. That's probably the rationale of Bandai to push for the Gundam Collection series more than the earlier.

Sadly, even the Gundam Collection series seem to be a bit quiet now. The last set to be released was DX9, back in February this year, and we haven't heard about any large releases that require assembly since Ptolemaios from "Gundam Double O" back in 2007.

Another 2 product lines from Bandai Hobby Division that focus on vehicles and supporting mecha, the EX model series and 1/35 UCHG line are very quiet right now as well.

Not too easy being a fan of these "not-so-Gundam" stuff from with Gundam series. ^^;

Anyway, back to the kit itself. ^^ The most exciting part about it is the unconventional design. With a normal MS, however different the design, you are still going to get the arms, body, limbs, weapons and all. For an MA however, none of that robot anatomy applies. It'll be very exciting to be how all the parts in the box form up to become Dendrobium. ^^

Manual - just 3 pages for the actual assembly, pretty much like most HG kits.

Runner A - Large box like parts for the weapon containers.

Runner B - very large parts for the body and cannon.

From Runner B - the length of the cannon part is 22cm.

From Runner B again - the length of the body part is 15cm.

2 Runner Cs containing parts mainly for the claw arm.

2 beam sabers from Runner C - 15cm long each.

Runner D contains mainly parts for the main body.

Runner E is the only gray runners in the kit, with parts mainly for the expanded claw arm, main thrusters and display base.

Runner F - parts are mainly for the covers of the weapon containers and I-Field Generator.

Runner G - soft plastic parts for 1/550 GP03S Stamen and Gerbera Tetra.

With just a single gray runner included, all the whiteness of the kit really worries me about the amount of painting required. The surface of the weapon container and the back of its covers look like quite a lot of work needed. ^^;

Will start in the next posting.


redmage20386 said...

nice loot you have there! ^^

all those whiteness..... pretty intimidating.

Matt said...

I managed to grab the 1/144 scale Dendrobium a couple of years ago. Slightly more gray parts, PolyCaps (of course), and about the same amount of White. Still lots of white! Though it is a very white Machine... ^^;

Anon said...

Not sure when this was made but no clear parts for the beam saber? :( Looks interesting though, I may get this kit when I have the chance.

sl619 said...

looks like lots of work on the tiny gundam gp03 ahead. XD

Anonymous said...

Oh please, PLEASE have Cima's Gebera Tetra impaled on the main beam cannon! It was such a tough-guy way for Kou to get rid of her. (plus I don't like her character at all).

Have fun buddy, should be a great build!

MARTIN said...

I got and build the 1/144 Dendrobium in my early days of building kits... spray painted the entirity of the white shell and installed a GP03 kit (though you get exactly the same one with the kit) that I built earlier.

It still has a big pride of place back 'home' but I'm really interested in seeing what detail work you do with the smaller version... Admittedly I'd love (now I'm a better builder?) to get a 'Deep Striker' kit but my Fix Figuration has gone nowhere in five years and given the dodgy work I put into Dendrobium... Ah well. Will be watching this will big interest my friend!

Archi said...

I always want this thing!
but unfortunately, in my country (next to yours, ngee khiong sensei ^^), it's hard for me to search for a rare and old gunpla... and to add more frustration, sites like HLJ and 1999 can't deliver anything to my country T_T