For those who have been following the blog, Morgenroete has been on the high seas with a ship that occasionally stops in Japan. Because he ends up having limited access to the internet, I tried to keep him updated in various media trends like upcoming TV Shows/Anime, and upcoming Gunpla releases, specifically the items limited to the Japanese market (e.g. 7-Eleven Gunpla, and magazine bundles). On top of the updates, I asked him to help me start gathering the materials for the project following Space Mercenary: Specter GM - Second generation Diva mobile suit team from Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.
This project has been on my mind for some time. Much earlier in the year, when I was still on Wordpress, I had a wishlist page with a small amount of items. On the latter half I had a section called "Group Wishlist" which included groups of mobile suits that were a team in the corresponding anime. One of the teams happened to be the aforementioned Diva team.
Because this project was still on the back burner of my mind, I decided I did not want Morgenroete throwing money down on my project unless the kit was being sold at a dirt cheap price. He delivers with the first kit of the project: HGAG Genoace Custom for 800 JPY. With an MSRP of 1200 JPY, and the recent drop of Japanese currency, this 6.5 to 7 USD price was a steal, especially for American prices.
You done good, Morgenroete. You done good.
The Genoace Custom is a mobile suit modified by the Madorna Workshop and is piloted by the legendary White Wolf, Woolf Enneacle. Flit, the protagonist, starts off on the wrong foot with Woolf but eventually become trusted comrades and great friends through the trials of war.
This suit is quickly replaced by the G-Exes, after Woolf sees the Gundam AGE-1 in combat, but returns as the staple of the Earth Federation as the Genoace II along side the Adele.
Though I claim I like the mobile suit design of Gundam AGE, the only kit I built prior to the Genoace Custom was the G-Exes Jackedge. I was so disappointed with the Jackedge's build quality and lack of color separation, I did not even write a quick review for the kit. This discouraging experience lead me to stay away from AGE kits, at least until I could forget about the Jackedge.
To think this next kit was also going to be nearly monochrome, like the Jackedge, I was a little hesitant to start after thinking it was a possible repeat of the last experience - there might have been a reason this kit dropped to 800 JPY in Japan. Whatever the case may be, I decided to speed build the Genoace Custom, starting after work around 1900 Eastern, I assembled the white mobile suit without pause. Three and a half hours passed before I could claim the kit complete. For a speed run, I definitely slowed down to enjoy this build.
As stated before, this kit is relatively monochrome. Runners include two white, one dark gray, a Polycap runner that seems to be a Gundam AGE standard, a single clear green piece and a beam effect runner. Even so, there is just enough gray between the seams and joints to offset the white mobile suit. In addition, my eyes are drawn to the clear green face mask among all the white.
The build, like most, if not all HG AGE kits, is simple. The designers at Sunrise/Bandai definitely had the target market of children in mind when designing these kits. Comparing to some grunts of the HGUC line, there is a stark difference in complexity. Yet somehow, the Genoace Custom is able to maintain a level of complexity to keep the suit interesting. One problem I had with the Jackedge was the waist - the ball joint would not hold itself, causing the suit to split in half in almost every situation. I am glad the Genoace Custom does not have this problem.
In fact, contrary to the Jackedge, articulation on the White Wolf is amazing, especially for such a simple build. The torso is one large horizontally-fit ball joint that allows the suit to do some amazing side crunch action, the arms and legs have relatively standard articulation for modern High Grade kits, and the feet's side rolling join makes for some great wide stances not normally achievable with most kits.
Comparing to the other AGE kit I built, the Jackedge had similar articulation, but the back thrusters/beam saber holsters were awkward, and, as mentioned before, the torso articulation was hard to work with.
Play options for the Genoace Custom include two ranged weapons, two melee weapons, and a shield. The modified Beam Spray Gun can hold an oversized bayonet that can be used as a large knife. Inside the shield holds the other melee weapon, a heat stick which can double as a beam saber (does Woolf ever use a beam saber with the Genoace Custom? I am pretty sure he does not).
Also included is the Marker Shot (shown in the image above), a non-lethal ranged weapon used for practice. I am quite happy with the inclusion of the marker shot. The weapon is usually colored yellow and blue with various functions, but it is only found in two, maybe three episodes throughout the series.
One problem I have with the Genoace Custom that is also a problem on the Jackedge is the attachment of the head to the torso. Though these AGE kits use the same polycap connection as most HGUC kits, for some reason the heads are loose. There is an easy fix for this problem, but I never have this problem in any HGUC kits (or the two HG SEED kits I built), but for some reason it has been a problem for HG AGE kits. I hope the problem is not common among all HG AGE kits.
Overall I am happy with this kit. Though a simple build, there is much to praised about it. If there is a take away with my experience, it is this: "It is a bad idea to start with Bisidian mobile suits."
You might remember me talking about the next project on my list, Second generation Diva mobile suit team from Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, in the Preamble (I won't hold it against you if you don't read the Preamble). For those who watched AGE may ask "doesn't Woolf pilot the G-Bouncer" in the second generation? Or maybe you already know why the Genoace Custom is required for the Diva team. Either way, I'll explain.
On Diva's mobile suit team, the team includes a Genoace II, piloted by Obright, in the "Diva Colors." However, unlike the Adele, Bandai has not produced a Genoace II Diva Colors. Because of this, I will have to paint a Genoace II or Genoace Custom, which are essentially the same kit, other than the play options. At some point I'll need the DODS rifle from the Genoace II or Shaldoll. I'll find a way to obtain it at a later time.
|I guess I won't be needing these stickers...|