Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mecha Month: Gundam, the Good

I really need to get the jump on these posts; 2 entries does not a Mecha Month make. 

Anyway, back in the heady days of the early to mid '90's, Gundam went through sort of a renaissance in Japan, and we got series like Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, Gundam F91, and Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. Battletech miniatures were also plentiful then, and I was doing a lot of converting,  which led to the creation of mecha like our friend there. At the time, I was also entering my airbrush period, which meant a lot of experimenting with tones and setting. In short, this is why the mini looks like butt, but it's an early work, and unlike some others, I haven't the heart (or time) to strip it and start anew. 

Basically, he's a an old Shadow Hawk mini with a Commando head and shoulder armor made from a set of Silent Death fighters. I can't remember why those pads seemed like a good idea instead of square ones, but oh well. Sharp eyes will notice some GW parts in there too, namely the older SM jump pack (a nod to to the GP01 Zephyranthes) and Reaver shoulder pads fused together to make the shield. I should've put the beam sabres on top of the backpack instead of the bottom, but I think at the time it made more sense for the machine to reach back and draw his sabre underhand, rather than rotating those enormous shoulders around. 

The Gundam Sentinel series was a book-only story (with model tie-ins by Bandai, of course)  set almost entirely in space, and the mobile suits featured therein were hideously over-armed, leading to the inspiration of our friend here, who's obviously not meant to walk anywhere. Being space-based comes with certain advantages, such as being able to carry unreasonably large rifles that have a range, presumably, of thousands of km. I suppose that, coupled with his psycho-frame system (which allows for control of little remote weapons called bits or funnels) makes him a bit of a sniper. 

Hmm, there are also some archive Dreadnought parts in there I could use. I wonder if I could strip those two cap pieces off of there without ruining the model? Ehhh, probably not. As you can tell, bases larger than the BT hex base were a little hard to come by back then, at least for me, and there were no online bits sellers, so getting them was more of a neat trick. 

Lastly, this GM (which stands for Gundam Mass-production). He owes more to Gundam F91's Heavy Gun than he does the standard GM, but either way, the GM's were cannon-fodder, and almost routinely got blown away in large numbers in the series. I'd like to think the heavier armor and over-the-shoulder cannon make him a bit more survivable, but in the Gundam universe something big an devastating almost always comes along to exterminate the rank and file in large numbers. If you're the love interest of the main character, that's usually a death sentence, too. 

Next time, villains. 


Tomsche said...

As a Gundam lover, I really, RELLY like the work you did there.

Mu skills are limited to repainting the 1/300 and 1/400 bandai sets :(

#2501 said...

Glad you enjoy it! These are old minis, but mecha will always be my first love.

SinSynn said...

Seeing this, I was suddenly struck by the realisation that the Tau might see a Codex this year...maybe...(one can hope), and I was thinking that some new Tau sculpts in the right hands might be wonderful.

Those hands being yours, of course...not so much mine (though I try!).

Oh, man....I would be so amped for that.
Pretty sure a lot of the community would, in fact!

iShop2go ToyShop said...


#2501 said...

@SinSynn: if I had a reliable source of income I wouldn't mind taking a whack at the new plastics. They're turning them out fast and furious nowadays, and the possibilities for conversions are endless.