Saturday, March 31, 2012

BB Senshi Sangokuden Rikuson Z Plus Part 5

A little white guy in red skirt

Assembling another pretty small (boxed) Gunpla after AG 1/144 Gundam AGE-1 Normal: BB Senshi Sangokuden Rikuson Z Plus. ^^

Just like that AG kit, the "standby" period between completing all its paint and panel line work and the final roll-out now is pretty short as compared to many other Gunplas in my collection. ^^;

A few one-piece parts for the weapons.

Three tabs on the clear blue jewel must match their corresponding slots on one side of the staff in order to fit the part into the ring.

The completed staff 寶旋霞 and shield/nose/beak.

The staff's headpiece was painted in Part 2.

The total length of the staff is 13cm - a very long weapon for an BB Senshi kit, but in the world of Sangokuden, over sized weapon with crazy design is quite the standard with most characters. ^^

Two tabs near the shaft's end allow the shield/nose/beak to be mounted, extending the entire staff with a two-pronged "claw", and adding some more weight to the entire weapon too. ^^;

A huge combo-weapon for Rikuson Z Plus. ^^

With the extended component, the staff's total length is about 17.5cm.

Parts of Rikuson Z Plus's main body.

Foil sticker is used for the eyes.

The ability of the foot's front portion to bend downward might seem all too simple, but it's actually quite uncommon among most BB Senshi Sangokuden kits. ^^

All major separable components.

Rikuson Z Plus in plain form is completed. ^^

Closeups on the details:

Some simple action poses with 寶旋霞:

Due to its size, wielding his giant staff is quite challenging for Rikuson Z Plus. I imagine it would be even more difficult when the armor parts come on in the next posting. ^^;

AG 1/144 Gundam AGE-1 Normal Part 7 [Final]

Just for display

More images of the just completed AG 1/144 Gundam AGE-1 Normal. ^^

Closeups on the details:

As you can see (since Part 2 actually ^^), the kit is fixed in its standing pose and is meant for display only. While there's a ball-type joint for the neck, and the arms can be flipped to the front and back, I consider them more as special features to the kit rather than real articulation points.

Even though articulation is just one or two points above zero, ^^; it's good that there are a few weapons included to give the kit different display forms. I think it's great that the default weapons of a shield and beam rifle are given so that you can realize the basic roll-out image of Gundam AGE-1 Normal. Compare that to First Grade 1/144 Gundam Exia's weapons and you might find "generous" to be a good word to describe this AG kit's armament list. ^^

Equipped with one of the beam daggers.

DODS Rifle can be mounted to the rear skirt armor after some work on the weapon shown in Part 3 and 4. ^^

Equipped with two beam daggers.

Equipped with DODS Rifle on the left hand and beam dagger on the opposite hand.

No conflict between the rifle and the shield when the latter is mounted. ^^

Comparison with First Grade 1/144 Gundam Exia, another Gunpla designed with simplicity in part, assembly and low cost. ^^

Between the two, I still like Gundam Exia more for its fierce look. However, between the kits shown above, AG 1/144 Gundam AGE-1 Normal is way better in terms of color separation and its close resemblance to the actual Gundam design without any paint work (see Part 2 for that). To achieve that, all of the kit's articulation is sacrificed to give way to more runners of different colors to be included. The "Gage-ing" chip part would have to a factor to be considered as well, especially when the price must be kept low for this Gunpla series.

Is the trade-off between colors and articulation acceptable for Gunpla fans? Like I said in Part 1, the entire series is meant to introduce Gunpla-ing to the younger generation of fans - Japanese fans to be exact, so it's hard to really know if the strategy is working. ^^; Maybe the continuous release of AG kits all this while can be taken as a hint to that question? As compared to the really short-lived FG Gundam Double O series. ^^;

Size comparison with HG 1/144 Gafran:

The enemy's grunt unit is clearly much larger and taller than the protagonist Gundam, which is why I really love this enemy MS. ^^

Since the design is an obvious homage to the original Gundam, here's a comparison with HGUC Gundam RX-78-2 (from Operation V Set). ^^

Illuminated by Lightning Base Plate Type Green Ver. ^^

The collection card can be used as a nice compliment to the kit's display. ^^

Personally, I really like this kit. ^^ It's extremely enjoyable to assemble - the most important point of attraction to me. The work to panel line and paint the various parts was not too difficult as well (as compared to FG 1/144 Gundam Exia). It really is quite refreshing among other regular series like MG, HG and BB Senshi. ^^

All reviews on AG 1/144 Gundam AGE-1 Normal:
Part 1: A Gunpla design with combo of many elements
Part 2: So few parts, so many colors
Part 3: Not so fast, Gundam Marker!
Part 4: Deception everywhere
Part 5: The power of fluorescent green
Part 6: Counterattack of decals and clear stickers
Part 7 [Final]: Just for display

View full gallery:
AG 1/144 Gundam AGE-1 Normal