11.14.2014

Quick Review: Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode)

Preamble
I was able to try out LED bulbs!
Over the summer, Morgenroete planned a Gundam Planet group purchase among our friends. While looking at the catalog to fill this order, we found the HGUC Limited Unicorn Gundam (Unicorn Mode) + 1/48 Head Display. Recently we were looking at GoodGuyDan's custom Unicorn Head Display and were inspired to try our hand at sprucing up a Unicorn Head. Unfortunately, before Morgenroete had time to work on the kit, he headed for the sea.
Remember that scene in episode 1 of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann where Kamina says "I can't steal from my blood brother" after Simon offers the cockpit seat of his newfound Ganmen? Yeah, I definitely did not show this kind of "older brother" mentality.

As Morgenroete left for his next assignment...


Thanks, Morgenroete, for the Unicorn Gundam.
Disclaimer: The 3-panel above might be an exaggeration of the truth (seriously, reality would not have such crooked border lines): Morgenroete may or may not be on a tall ship, and I may or may not have been there as the ship departed port.

Background
The RX-0 Unicorn Gundam is the lead protagonist suit of a recent novel/OVA series, Mobile Suit Gundam: Unicorn. It takes place in 0096, three years after the events in Char's Counter Attack, focusing on a boy thrown in the midst of an intergalactic treasure hunt for the sought after Laplace Box. Needless to say, the Unicorn Gundam becomes the center of attention due to this treasure hunt.

I'd talk more about Unicorn Gundam, the role it plays in the anime, the weapons and utilities, but you, the reader, already know about this mobile suit (in great detail), or you need to watch the seven episode series. Seriously, go watch it (I think its all available in America via PSN/XBL), if not for the story, for the action. Six episodes and a conclusion movie? It's even shorter than Firefly!

Quick Review
This marks my second lead protagonist suit (not counting SD kits). The first was MG G Gundam (my second Gunpla kit). Though I am not against lead suits, I have no taste for a shelf full of white, blue, red, and yellow. I am glad Unicorn Gundam does not share the full lead-suit color scheme.


Unicorn Gundam's primary color is white. There is a little gray in the core and joints, and navy blue on the back and feet, but the rest of the mobile suit is white. To make up for this monochrome mobile suit, a lot of detail is put in each piece. It certainly boasts lead suit in this regard.


The build of this kit is just as complex as the detail in each piece. This is due to the fact that this kit is based on the previous HGUC kit,  Unicorn Gundam Destroy Mode - with the exposed psycho-frame, the pieces would fit onto clear pink pieces, but in Unicorn Mode, the pieces just fit with each other, making for a seemingly necessarily complex build. I welcome the complexity, but some of the builds feel sort of flimsy.
On the subject of flimsy, a major problem I have with the suit is the elbow joints. The way the polycap and the two joint halves are put together makes for a joint that is prone to fall apart. I am not happy with the design decision, but at least it has not fallen apart while standing.


Play options are limited to a single shield and a Hyper Bazooka. In order to get the awesome looking Beam Magnum, one would have to get the  Unicorn Destroy Mode. Like the rest of the kit, the shield is mainly white with a hint of gray in the center. The detail in the plastic make up for the mostly monochromatic piece.


The Hyper Bazooka is quite impressive. It has a segment in the middle that can be removed to emulate the Bazooka's ability to deploy/contract in and out of use, the back ammo pack can be replaced with the end cap, and an extra ammo pack is included that can be stored on the mobile suit;s rear skirt armor. With a little color separation via paint, and the Hyper Bazooka will catch anyone's eye. One problem I have with the Hyper Bazooka is the structural integrity. Because the barrel is extendable with multiple segments, the piece tends to be flimsy. It should not be too much of a problem, but a build out of box, I was not too happy with it.
Both the Hyper Bazooka and Shield have the option of back mounting. For the bazooka, a tab flips out and for the shield, an adapter is plugged into the polycap. Either item looks good on the back.


Mobile suit standards like hands and beam sabers exist - grip and open hands with one trigger finger and four beam sabers included (only two effect parts included). Nothing too impressive here, though I believe the hands are the same as the Nemo hands - closed fist play option possibly available!


Overall I am happy with the Unicorn Mode version of Unicorn Gundam. Its simple yet complex look without all the flashy colors definitely makes for a shelf worth Gunpla kit right out of the box. Though I am personally not a fan of the Hyper Bazooka paired with this mobile suit, I do like the play options the weapon has alone. I definitely do not regret stealing this kit from Morgenroete, and it may open the doors to a variant or two in the future (I am definitely all for an Awakened Banshee Norn).