Saturday, January 19, 2013

BB Senshi Sangokuden Asurao Moukaku Gundam, Syukuyuu Gundam, Kyoshin Elephant Set Part 1

The gathering of many elements

After more almost three weeks into the new year, I'm finally willing to get off my lazy butts to start working on a new Gunpla kit. ^^

The return of the BB Senshi Sangokuden Gunpla series on this blog after almost four months of absence, this is Asurao Moukaku Gundam, Syukuyuu Gundam and Kyoshin Elephant Set (阿修羅王 孟獲ガンダム・祝融ガンダム・巨神象セット). The name is quite a mouthful, since there are three separate kits included with this Gunpla set, each has its own unique gimmicks, but can interact with one another for even more special features as well. ^^

Released in August 2009, just a few weeks after Tenshouryu Koumei Nu Gundam, about two months after Kibutei Sousou Gundam, Joko Serpent and Sohi Gundam Set and four months before Gotaitei Sonken Gundam Korinpaku and Senjin Gasshin Shu Gundam. The BB Senshi Sangokuden line seemed to be on a streak of putting out set kits featuring characters with tons of form change and transformation gimmicks. ^^ And I absolutely love all of them. ^^ I have all the aforementioned kits, with this particular set and Senjin Gasshin Shu Gundam yet to be assembled and reviewed. ^^

A bundled kit of three characters puts Asurao Moukaku Gundam set on the same line as Kibutei Sousou Gundam, Joko Serpent, Sohi Gundam Set, but unlike that bundled set, Moukaku Gundam and Syukuyuu Gundam are only two humanoid characters for this set. As its name implies, Kyoshin Elephant (former name is Kongouyaka 金剛夜迦) is a support mecha designed based on an animal, in this case an elephant which has multiple modes to support the two Gundams. That design would relate it closely to Korinpaku (虎燐魄) from Gotaitei Sonken Gundam Korinpaku and Bakuousen (爆凰扇) from Tenshouryu Koumei Nu Gundam. ^^ Therefore, the concept of multiple kits with various form change and transformation gimmicks is certainly not new with Asurao Moukaku Gundam set, but the execution of all those elements is still very creative with the different characters in this set.

Oddly, I suddenly feels like I'm discussing the articulation design of the recently reviewed Play Arts Kai Cammy again. ^^

Released in the third and final story chapter of the Gunpla comic series called "Battle of the War Gods" (戦神激突編), the introduction of Asurao Moukaku Gundam, Syukuyuu Gundam and the Southern Kingdom as well as the battle against Houtou Jagd Doga (龐統ヤクトドーガ) are part of the buildup towards the grand finale of the entire story. However, that particular segment of the story can actually be read as a standalone "side story" which I would like to call "Koumei ReGZ's adventure". ^^ In this short chapter (very short indeed, it began in Tenshouryu Koumei Nu Gundam and ended in this set), Koumei ReGZ arrives in the Southern Kingdom to find it in chaos. Apparently its army has fallen under Houtou Jagd Doga's evil spell, causing them to turn against each other. Joined by the king of the Southern Kingdom, Moukaku Gundam, Koumei ReGZ breaks the spell and free all the enslaved soldiers, including Moukaku Gundam's wife, Syukuyuu Gundam. When Houtou Jagd Doga transforms into a huge monster because of his own dark magic, the awakened Koumei Nu Gundam joins the Southern army and defeated Houtou Jagd Doga.

Except the army, called Nanhou Kiba Tai (南方牙隊), all the characters in the Southern Kingdom chapter are designed based on Gundams from "Mobile Fighter G Gundam". Moukaku Gundam is God Gundam, Syukuyuu Gundam is Nobel Gundam while Kongouyaka is Mammoth Gundam. Even the huge monster that Houtou Jagd Doga turned into seems to be designed after Grand Master Gundam from the show. ^^ As a result of that, Moukaku Gundam is depicted to be using entirely melee fighting in combat, unless his gauntlets Ragouzou (羅喉爪) are considered as a handheld weapon. ^^

Even God Gundam has Vulcans and beam swords. XD

Syukuyuu Gundam is a major attraction of this bundled set as well, since she's the second female character from the story to be realized in the Gunpla series. The first was everyone's favorite Sonshoko Gerbera. ^^; One of her finishing move, called Bishamon Mandala (毘沙門曼陀羅) is going to be quite a sight to observe. ^^ The gimmick is clearly designed after Nobel Gundam's Berserker Mode, which allows the face expression to be changed to a really evil-looking one with fangs. ^^

I'm looking forward to the gimmicks of Kongouyaka as well. ^^ Moukaku Gundam and Syukuyuu Gundam can ride on its back at the same time, so its size must be pretty impressive. Its three-mode transformation seems very interesting as well. Apart from the elephant form, it can transform into a tank (called Kongou Tank 金剛戦車) and a giant armor suit (called Kongou Ashura Armor 金剛阿修羅鎧). The latter is pretty versatile, as it can be worn by either Moukaku Gundam and Syukuyuu Gundam. ^^

Introduction of the kit on the box sides.


Just like the manuals of Gotaitei Sonken Gundam Korinpaku and Tenshouryu Koumei Nu Gundam, it's 16 pages of assembly sequences and comic all folded into one thick booklet for this bundled set. ^^

(Left) As shown in the manual, Syukuyuu Gundam has her own version of Kongouyaka that is in blue.
(Right) Armor-clad Syukuyuu Gundam in Bishamon Mandala mode.

(Left) Syukuyuu Gundam's customized Kongouyaka in Kongou Tank mode.
(Right) Some of the Nanhou Kiba Tai units can be seen riding on Kongouyaka in the battle against Houtou Jagd Doga as well.

The way Moukaku Gundam summons his Kongouyaka by snapping his fingers is a direct reference to Domon Kasshu summoned his Gundams in "Mobile Fighter G Gundam". ^^

Houtou Jagd Doga's "Grand Master Gundam" form. ^^

Six runners plus another six polycap sets included for this kit.

A look at the different runners in this kit:

Runner A - Multicolor runner containing parts mainly for the two Gundams' head ornaments, Moukaku Gundam's body parts and Kongou Ashura Armor's attack effect parts.

(Left) Super large V-fin of Moukaku Gundam.
(Right) A rather uncommon asymmetrical design for Syukuyuu Gundam's V-fin.

It's kind-of funny that I just finished the review on Play Arts Kai Cammy, which has an attack effect part for her boots. Now I'm seeing effect parts for a Gunpla kit. XD

Runner B - Contains all white parts mainly for Moukaku Gundam's head, body and limbs.

Moukaku Gundam's head and helmet parts.

Very nice molded details can be seen on the two skirt armor parts belonging to Moukaku Gundam.

Runner C - Contains all dark gray parts mainly for Kongouyaka's body.

All those curvy and elevated details require some serious paint work to realize. ^^

Large body parts with very nice molded line details. ^^

Apart from the hand units for the two Gundams, there are four larger ones meant for Kongou Ashura Armor.

Runner D - Contains all light gray parts mainly for Kongouyaka's limbs.

Leg parts with very nicely molded caterpillar track details. ^^

Runner E - Contains all red parts mainly for the two Gundams' feet, Moukaku Gundam's headgear and shoulder armors.

Moukaku Gundam's name is molded in full on each of his heels, but Syukuyuu Gundam's name is separated between her two heels due to the small size of the parts. ^^

Moukaku Gundam's wing parts are designed with obvious South Asian motif to emphasize his character origin. ^^

Runner F - Contains all white parts mainly for Syukuyuu Gundam.

(Left) Evil-looking face part for Syukuyuu Gundam's Bishamon Mandala form.
(Right) Those curvy details on Rasatsuhishourin (羅刹飛翔輪) will need to be painted as well. ^^;

Kongouyaka's tusk can double as additional blades for the two Gundams.

Six polycap sets in total: two PC-300s for the Gundams and four PC-7s for Kongouyaka.

Foil sticker sheet.

Three characters, four pairs of eyes. ^^

As usual, all removed parts are organized and stored in individual paper containers.

All 44 pieces from the six polycap sets are needed for the entire model. ^^

There'll be plenty of paint work for this bundled set to keep me busy for a while. ^^

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