Friday, June 15, 2012

1/100 Gundam Astraea Part 8

A more conventional look with unconventional design elements

More images of the just completed 1/100 Gundam Astraea. ^^

Closeups on the details:

I think I mentioned before that one of Gundam Astraea's most fascinating feature to me is having various unconventional design elements coupled with a more conventional Gundam look for what is clearly a unit from Gundam Exia's lineage. ^^ The conventional Gundam look refers to having a beam rifle, a shield and two beam sabers in "standard" mode, an image which harkens back to the original Gundam RX-78-2 as well as many other protagonist Gundams from other series. The designer even got rid of the top and bottom spikes on Gundam Astraea's shield to make it more polygonal-looking, a characteristic of many older shields wielded by other Gundams.

Apart from the weapons, eliminating all the GN Condensers from the limbs, having bigger front and rear skirt armor pieces but smaller shoulder armors and taking off the GN Stripes from the upper arms helps to reinforce that simple look as well, which fits the Gundam's role well as Gundam Exia's predecessor, but not too old-looking as O Gundam in my opinion.

Still, there are quite a few unconventional features that stand out on Gundam Astraea which definitely give it a unique feel:

(1) The "main" V-Fin on the forehead is smaller and shorter as compared to the "rabbit ears" on either side of its helmet, as well as the secondary pair on top of the Gundam's chest. It's a rare design feature even when compared to all the Gundams from Season 1 and 2 of the anime series. ^^
(2) The three thrusters behind its back is a unique design.
(3) GN Launcher's mounting arm which connects to the top of the chest is an uncommon design.
(4) Horizontal positioning of the beam sabers/daggers on the rear skirt armor, which got rid of the same weapons' "spiky" feel on Gundam Exia is a rare feature.

I like all of Gundam Astraea new features, especially the large pointy "rabbit ears". ^^ Behind the overall simple look are special features not commonly found on many other Gundams from "Gundam Double O", which is really cool. On top of that, its connection to Gundam Exia is unmistakable as well. Gundam Astraea's design is able to tie in old and new Gundam features while take cares of the linkage to its successor unit. ^^ It's a very awesome design. ^^

Round 1 of action poses from this kit coming up next. ^^

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