Wednesday, May 9, 2012

1/100 Gundam Astraea Part 1

The white Gundam Exia

As many deadlines at work are now behind me, and things are looking good at this point, however contemporary that might be, ^^; I'm happy to be able to spend a little bit more time on my hobby (again) as compared to the two week or so. ^^ For that, I'm starting on another Gunpla kit.

1/100 GNY-001 Gundam Astraea from "Gundam 00P", one of the many side stories of "Gundam Double O". Looking at its designation code of "GNY", this Gundam is the prototype design of Gundam Exia - "Y" is usually assigned to prototype units, and "001" is the code for Gundam Exia. Then again, even without looking at that piece of technical information, various design elements that can be seen on Gundam Astraea support that connection very well.

On the other hand, the absence of GN Condenser on the sides of its legs, forearms and sideburns as well as its somewhat more simplistic weapon system gave Gundam Astraea its own unique subtle look. The implementation of lesser sharp, pointy design features that are obvious on Gundam Exia and an overall "whiter" color scheme also supports that image of it being more simple-looking than Gundam Exia. ^^ With that said, I think Gundam Astraea is an attempt by the designer, Kanetake Ebikawa to associate more conventional Gundam designs into Gundam Exia. The GN Condensers, beam saber/dagger "poking" out behind the body, the GN Drive's cone on the back, flexible GN Stripes that run from the shoulder armors to the upper arms, the beam rifle/large solid sword combo of GN Sword are all unconventional features of Gundam Exia that separate it from protagonist Gundams from other series. For Gundam Astraea however, all those said features have been replaced by much simpler designs. No more GN Condensers, just two beam sabers/daggers given which are collapsed onto the rear skirt armor, the GN Drive's cone is replaced by a "button", the shoulder GN Stripes are no more, and GN Sword's combined roles are separated into two different weapons for Gundam Astraea. The sharp-looking shoulder and front skirt armors on Gundam Exia are replaced by more simple-looking and polygonal ones on Gundam Astraea as well.

Even the pointy tips on both ends of GN Shield are no more for Gundam Astraea. ^^

I really like those redesigned elements on Gundam Astraea. ^^ It doesn't matter to me who comes first in the "family" of Gundam Exia. I think Gundam Astraea is a very fine-looking Gundam on its own, as with Gundam Exia, its Avalanche form, 00 Gundam and 00 Qan[T]. Its simplicity is its beauty I would say. Still, as before before, beneath all the said changes, the connection to Gundam Exia is still very obvious. The same vent-less face design, GN Drive in the chest, GN Stripes inside the thighs, GN Vulcan can be seen on Gundam Exia as well. ^^

On the other hand, Gundam Astraea manages to show off some of its own sharp-looking designs as well. The long "rabbit ears" are very cool, as with the longer and sharper secondary V-Fins mounted on top of its chest. The long "rabbit ears" design is especially unique, because not until you see the relatively smaller and super short actual V-Fins on Gundam Astraea's forehead, those long fins on the sideburns poking to the back of the head might be mistaken as the Gundam's V-Fins instead. ^^

Same as Gundam Avalanche Exia, the previous 1/100 scale "Gundam Double O" kit reviewed in this blog, Gundam Astraea has the "Mechanical Detail" label. Special parts that demonstrate extensive mecha details in this kit are the interior of the shoulder armors, sideburns and "inner frame" inside GN Beam Rifle and GN Launcher. Another special feature, which is meant more as a marketing gimmick to promote this kit I suppose, is the inclusion of a special first batch release prize item - a "Gundam War" collection card:

First batch release of this kit was back in April 2008, and that pretty much gives you a rough estimate of how long it has been in my closet before this posting. ^^;

Introduction of the kit on the box sides.

Box content

All runners of this kit, including parts completed from the All Exia Project. ^^

Front and back covers of the manual.

Lineart of the Gundam's mechanical design done by Kanetake Ebikawa and explanation on its design are 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.

Gundam Astraea's box is a little bit taller than Gundam Exia's.

A look at the different runners. Just a note: Runner A, C, E, F, H, SB-8 as well as the polycap set PC-116 are reused runners from 1/100 Gundam Exia, so no detailed mentioning of their parts will be given. I'll just refer you to the introduction of that kit for that.

Runner A

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

Runner C

Runner E

Runner F

Runner H

Runner SB-8

And the new runners designed for Gundam Astraea:

Runner I - Contains parts mainly for the body and head.

(Left) Clear parts for the beam rifle's and launcher's targeting sensors.
(Right) The "rabbit ears". ^^

Simple but nice molded line details on both sides of the front skirt armor parts.

Runner J - Contains all white parts mainly for shoulders and arms.

Almost exactly the same arm and beam saber/dagger parts inherited from 1/100 Gundam Exia but rearranged to fit onto this new runner. ^^

(Left) Molded details on the shoulder armors that are part of the kit's "Mechanical Detail" features.
(Right) One-piece parts for the top shoulder armor covers.

Runner K - Contains mainly parts for the beam rifle and shield.

(Left) The details behind the "new" shield are the same as that on Gundam Exia's shield. The "shaven" tips required completely new parts to be molded. ^^
(right) The exact same shield mount rack and waist parts inherited from 1/100 Gundam Exia.

Runner L - Contains mainly parts for the shield and Proto GN Sword

Molded details behind the Proto GN Sword's body parts.

Runner M - Contains mainly parts for GN Beam Rifle and GN Launcher.

(Left) The "inner frame" components of the two beam weapons as mentioned very earlier on. ^^
(Right) Just like Gundam Avalanche Exia, two spread palms are included for this kit.

Foil sticker sheet.

The special first batch release prize item of "Gundam War" collection card.
The card illustration is not too impressive to me since the image is just combined from box arts of various "Gundam Double O" Season 1 kits (1/60 scale Gundam Exia in the middle). The little envelop used to conceal the card is pretty neat though. ^^

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

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

Will start with the weapon parts' paint work in the next posting. ^^

1 comment:

cameron said...

i built the type-f version of this recently, great kit so much possibility and detail for a NG