Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mechanic Collection Mazinger Z with God Scrander Part 1

The last of its kind

The second model kit project this month after completing the work on High Grade 1/144 Tieren Taozi two days ago. ^^

A very special plamo kit this is: it's from a rather long running model kit series with infrequent releases, produced by Bandai Hobby Division no less, but it has nothing to do with Gundam. ^^

Released in August 2009, this is Mazinger Z with God Scrander from the Mechanic Collection series. It was one of the many merchandises released during the airing of "Shin Mazinger Shogeki! Z Hen" (真マジンガー 衝撃! Z編) anime series in Japan, and it was obviously aiming for fans of the show who like to assemble model kits. The action figure version aimed for collectors, Soul of Chogokin GX-49 was released by Tamashii Nations about a month after this model kit hit the market. This mecha was also released in the Super Robot Chogokin series in late May last year, even though its format (more gimmicks for Mazinger Z itself and no transformation gimmick for God Scrander) is very different from this Mechanic Collection plamo kit version and the Soul of Chogokin action figure.

On a related note, as suggested earlier on, the Mechanic Collection series was definitely not a new series created just for this kit. ^^ Arguably, the first kit from this plamo kit line was Mazinger Z, released in June 2001. Technically though, there was another mecha that preceded it. ^^ A year before Mazinger Z, Bandai released a model kit version of the Big O in a new series at that time entitled "Mecha Collection". The Big O became the only kit released from that line it seemed, as the series's name was changed to Mechanic Collection instead.

Since the series can be classified as model kit line for classic Super Robot-type mecha, why not just use the same name then? The answer to that seemed to lie in model kit design and gimmick. The Big O was still a fairly straight-forward model kit, with standard joint and part design. Mazinger Z on the other hand, was seemingly the testbed for Master Grade God Gundam's Action Frame design. Much like that MG Gunpla kit, Mazinger Z featured ABS "frame" with parts secured using screws and nuts, as well as soft rubber parts for hand units and its soles. Action poses were the main emphasis, even though the mecha's iconic attack gimmicks were also included. The same design formula was carried forward onto Getter 1 (September 2001 release), Great Mazinger (December 2001 release) and Raideen (June 2002 release) before the entire series seemed to have ended with the Double Mazinger bundled set released in August 2002. ^^; In that same month, the Master Grade Fighting Action series was wrapped up with Gundam Spiegel being the last new release from that sub-series. A review of the frame design used for this type of model kits, or perhaps poor market response was the factor behind the "termination" of this series.

Five years later in 2007, it was "I'm back" moment (XD) for the Mechanic Collection series when it was designated for model kit releases from "Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion". The model kits were more typical in design, judging from the their assembly method and articulation capabilities. The entire series seemed to be embracing its predecessor series's (Mecha Collection) simple idea of being a model kit line meant for non-Gundam mecha. Unfortunately, model kits weren't the merchandising focus for "Code Geass" it seemed, as there were just nine kits released from this renewed Mechanic Collection series (inclusive of re-released kits with special coating: four Lancelots, three Vincents and two Guren Type-02s) despite two full seasons for the TV anime. ^^; Even more "unfortunate" for this model kit line is the fact that all the new kits released for "Code Geass: Akito the Exiled" OVA series are no longer grouped under that series, despite having the same scale, similar box art design and even price range as the nine kits from "Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion". ^^; Released in August 2009, Mazinger Z with God Scrander is the swan song release from the the Mechanic Collection series I suppose. ^^;

On the other hand, I do feel that the need to formally name and categorize the different kits based on their anime or origin story to be unnecessary. ^^; As discussed earlier on, the Mechanic Collection series went through quite a bit of changes in its selected mecha and overall kit design despite having limited releases. Because of that, it's hard, and almost meaningless to associate the series name to some of the kits. How is Mazinger Z with God Scrander related to 1/35 scale Lancelot besides having the same model kit line name? ^^ In a way, it would be totally fine if Bandai created a new series just for Mazinger Z with God Scrander, which would eventually turned out to be the only kit from that series. XD Since Mazinger Z was part the Mechanic Collection series back in the old days, I guess it makes sense having Mazinger Z with God Scrander in it as well.

I bought this kit almost immediately after it was released back in 2009, so it's a three to four years old kit by today's standards (I can't remember the exact month when I got it ^^;). The really crazy transformation design of Mazinger Z from a robot with flight pack into a huge punching fist called the Big Bang Punch, which can be realized through model kit assembly was the immediate reason behind my purchase decision. ^^ There are other features which make this kit interesting, including glossy finishing for the black armor parts, large size (the kit is close to a standard 1/100 scale Gunpla if not mistaken), simple assembly and affordable price (2,940 Yen inclusive of tax). Still, the ability to realize a huge Rocket Punch through transformation that doesn't involve any part swapping is a must-have for me. ^^ One of my favorite model kits in terms of gimmick design, I kept it in my closet and continued delaying the work on it - the "save the best for last" mentality. ^^; Finally, I convinced myself to end the delay this month. ^^

Zeus (the super robot ^^), Aphrodite A and Garada K7 can be seen on the box art.

Introduction of the kit on the sides of box.


The instruction manual.

All runners.
Despite the number, certain runners are actually repeated, while several of them are very small containing less than 10 parts each. ^^

A look at the runners' design:

Runner A - A multi-color runner that contains parts mainly for the head, waist and connectors for God Scrander.

(Left) One-piece part for the helmet with some nice molded mechanical details on the platform where Hover Pileder lands.
(Right) Mazinger Z's iconic face mask. ^^

(Left) Nicely molded clear blue part for Hover Pileder's canopy.
(Right One-piece part design for the waist is very reminiscent of the first Mazinger Z from this model kit line. ^^

Pointy tips on the yellow spike parts on Mazinger Z's head and God Scrander. They are so "dangerous" that there are some warnings about them in the instruction manual. ^^

Runner B - Contains all red parts for this kits, mainly the interior of the wings and Mazinger Z's chest plates.

Very huge parts with relatively little details for the wings ...

... versus very tiny parts with tons of molded details for Hover Pileder placed on the same runner. ^^

Runner C1 - Contains black parts mainly for Mazinger Z's body.

Very nice glossy finishing on all the parts. ^^

Runner C2 - Contains black parts for the backpack and wing units.

As the wings' exterior and body of Big Bang Punch, these two black parts are bigger than the two red ones on Runner B. ^^

Runner D (two pieces) - Contain white parts for the upper arms, thruster arms and thighs.

One-piece part design for the upper arms and thruster arms.

Runner E (two pieces) - Contains black parts mainly for the arms and legs.

(Left) Large rounded design for the leg and feet parts.
(Right) Consistent with the overall simplistic detail treatment of the mecha, the level of details on the soles is minimal. The six thruster nozzles can be seen very clearly though.

Runner F - ABS runner that contains mainly joint parts for the shoulders and hips.

One-piece part for the waist joint.

Runner G (two pieces) - ABS runners that contain mainly joint parts for the shoulders and legs.

Polycap sets PC-132B and PC-7, and the small foil sticker sheet

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

Despite being a Super Robot, all the parts seem very typical of a model kit released by Bandai Hobby Division. ^^

Will start working on detailing certain parts in the next posting. ^^


Dyne46 said...

Nice! I have a word of warning for you though. The joints for the arms are quite sensitive as they spin around thanks to my constant desire to make different hand positions. I look forward to seeing your work on this one.

Unknown said...

Hi, I wonder if you know where I can find the instructions in english??