Tuesday, February 21, 2012

1/100 Gundam Avalanche Exia Part 1

Gundam Exia upgraded

The next 1/100 scale kit from "Gundam Double O" that I'll be working on is this one:

1/100 Gundam Avalanche Exia from the side story ""Gundam 00V". ^^

I was pondering between 1/100 Gundam Astraea and this after completing the review of Gundam Virtue. It didn't really seem like it would matter for either one to be chosen at first, but realizing that another 1/100 Gundam Exia variation in my collection - the Roll Out Color Ver. is the exact same Gundam Exia as Gundam Avalanche Exia except for a few modified components, I thought it would be a good idea to go with the latter first, so that I won't end up with all of the same Gundam Exias later on. ^^; Mechanical design wise, Gundam Avalanche Exia feels like the "final upgraded" form of Gundam Exia - the grand finale-type MS that should come out last. ^^; There's a bit change of plan now for my Gunpla reviews. ^^

As mentioned before, I love Gundam Exia sleek design and fierce look (to me). Amazingly, this Avalanche form managed to retain that look and feel even with all the extra components. ^^ The original image of Gundam Exia, whether you share my sentiment about it being good looking or not is preserved very well in Avalanche form, and that is achieved through pretty smart arrangement of design elements. ^^ While the shoulder armors, arms and waist are redesigned with added components, the head, body and legs remain very much the same as the "plain" version of Gundam Exia, making it instantly recognizable as that MS. ^^ For me, Gundam Exia's most obvious features, which make it iconic, are all retained on this Avalanche form. At the same time, all the new components blend well with the existing ones on the Gundam, so it stands out pretty nicely as the "upgraded" form of Gundam Exia as I called it earlier on, instead of "just another" Gundam Exia. ^^

At the very least, all the new components still follow Gundam Exia's very conventional Gundam color scheme of blue-white-red-yellow. ^^ In my opinion, it's not likely for folks who like Gundam Exia to dislike this Avalanche form. ^^

Another point about Gundam Avalanche Exia's design: all the add-ons are arranged to not make Gundam Exia look excessively bulky from the front, and I think that's an important design to preserve that sleek look of the Gundam. The front view of the Gundam doesn't look bulky at all. Forget the rear view for a moment and it would seem like the upgraded components are just the shoulders and arms while everything else is still from the original Gundam Exia.

In terms of mechanical design, the Avalanche form is supposedly to enhance Gundam Exia's speed and combat abilities, which would still be true if tons of add-ons were to be given to the chest, waist and legs. However, upgrades in textual specs won't carry much spectacular meaning if the image of the MS is distorted. ^^; Lots of armors in front of the Gundam might give it extra protection and some special gimmicks, but if they are so excessive that they change Gundam Exia's image from being an unit that emphasizes more on offense and speed to defense and bulk, I don't think I would have the same impression about it as the original Gundam Exia. I will probably still buy it, but that would be for its extra parts to assemble and maybe some special gimmicks it has - purely Gunpla fun instead of liking its fierce look.

Come to think it, that really isn't necessary a bad thing if such design did existed. ^^; I don't really like the look of those heavy add-ons on Full Armor Unicorn Gundam, but the MG release seemed like a really fun kit to assemble. ^^

Introduction of the kit on the box sides.

The "Mechanical Detail" seal on the side of the box indicates that there are parts on the kits with exceptional mechanical details not commonly found in this 1/100 scale Gunpla series.
The other four kits with the same seal are Gundam Astraea, Overflag, Tieren Ground Type and Gundam Astraea Type-F.

Front and back covers of the manual.

Lineart of the Gundam's mechanical design done by Kanetake Ebikawa is shown in the manual.

Closeups on the various components are great reference to the paint work to be applied on this kit. ^^

Comparison with 1/100 Gundam Exia's box.

Given it's the exact same 1/100 Gundam Exia, that discrepancy of box thickness "represents" all the new runners that contain the Avalanche form's parts XD

Runners N, O and P are the completely new runners, while Runner H has two add-on parts just for this kit.
Tons of "X"s on many original runners of 1/100 Gundam Exia too. ^^;
Image is from Dalong.

A look at the different runners - since most of them are from the first 1/100 Gundam Exia, I'll just refer you to the introduction of that kit for Runners B to G, and just focus on a few significant ones (especially the newly molded ones for this kit) here:

Runner A - Multi-color runner that (used to) contains parts for various components ranging from the head, body, waist, weapons and others.
Many of the parts were removed and separately treated in the All Exia Project.

Section of clear parts with their rear sides painted using green highlighter.

"Extended" Runner H - Soft rubbery runner containing all the GN Stripes.

The two extra pieces meant for the rear skirt armor of this kit.

Runner N - The second multi-color runner in this kit that contains all the new leg parts, thrusters and others.

Large thrusters similar to those on Gundam Virtue's rear skirt armor.

White parts for the arm, front skirt armors and shoulder armors.

Shoulder armor and forearm parts that are molded with delicate mechanical details.

An option right spread palm is included, which will make a pair for this kit together with the left palm on Runner D (not shown in this posting).

Runner O - Contains all blue parts mainly for the new shoulder armors.

(Left) Modified shoulder armor parts.
(Right) A large one-piece rear skirt armor.

Runner P - An ABS runner that contains joints for the new parts and weapon rack.

Mechanical details can be seen on molded on some of parts.

A large foil sticker sheet and a clear sticker sheet.

All of the painted and panel lined parts from the All Exia Project.

As usual, the entire segment holding the clear parts are separated from the rest of the content. The sword is stored separately to prevent any scratches on its painted surface.

All the "leftover" parts. ^^;

All removed parts are organized and stored in individual paper containers.

There are quite a lot of parts that require paint work. ^^; I'm thinking of using a combination of foil stickers and paint work for some of them, which would help to reduce the total amount of work necessary, hopefully. ^^

Will start working on this kit soon. ^^

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