The same day I purchased the Zaku II High Mobility Type in Okinawa, I also decided to get the Gouf R35. As we were sailing, I was so busy with the Japanese version of Monster Hunter 4 that I continued to procrastinate on actually finishing the kit, taking photos and writing a review till the last couple weeks of this past voyage. In a rush, I finished the review on the Powered GM Cardigan, and finally started writing this review in the final week before we were to land in Sasebo, Japan.
The Gouf R35 is the mobile suit of Mr. Ral from Gundam Build Fighters and Build Fighters Try; a spin off character of Rambal Ral from the Universal Century who also pilots a version of the Gouf. Mr. Ral represents the old school Universal Century fans, and has a following of Zaku Otakus in an underground bar that he regularly visits. For some unknown reason, he also revered as a legend among the elite pilots of the Build Fighters universe. However, he still is able to be defeated by kids for some reason; has he lost his touch?
At first, I thought that the R35 was a modified version of the Gouf Custom, but found out later that this was an original build. Looking at the instructions, there is supposed to be a difference in certain blue plates, but the hue is so insignificant, that it might as well be one shade of blue. Although the sticker sheet is small, there are some large stickers that are supposed to be placed on the hand shaped cannons. They are supposed to make the bracer section look like the grey machinery, but stickers are too shiny for that.
I have been shying away from this suit due to one piece of this puzzle; the clear orange core. There are two "windows" front and center in the Gouf R35s abdominal area, and I am not a big fan of it. However, I got over it really quickly as I started building.
The Gouf, as with most standard Zeonic mobile suits, have an upper body made up of two shells, and some sort of chest plate. In this case, it is a very plain and very round chest plate. Around on the back side is a small almost Japanese grade school looking backpack housing two thrusters. Shoved on top of that is a booster pack that is similar to the personnel boosters used for space walking. The way this is built however, tends to fall apart.
The skirt is the strangest build I have seen so far. The front skirt is not attached in the center, but instead is attached to the side skirts. This is due to some pipe fittings that end up in the area that a normal front skirt would be attached. Around on the back side, another grade school booster back pack is attached to the back skirt.
Unlike a normal Zeonic grunt suit, the Gouf does not have a blank stare. Instead, the upper visor comes to a point giving the Gouf a more menacing look. The last time I had seen this look is with a Kampfer; a kit I have built, but have yet to write a review.
Standard Zeonic shoulders with sticks that come out to hold the standard Zeonic shoulder shells. In all honesty, the most interesting part of the arms, which apparently to me is not really interesting at all, is the Spiderman whip actuator which is instructed to be placed on the right forearm; it can be interchanged to the left though.
Very similar to the High Mobility legs of the Zaku II, the Gouf R35 has those same square calves that house ankle and heel boosters. There are some minor changes in details, but for the most part, the same concept.
The knee joint is a big problem to me however. Not only is the build of the knee cap weak, the double joint, if retracted all the way, will reveal a giant empty cavity. This cavity can be seen in too many positions.
Armaments and Accessories
Casted as two pieces, these shields are nothing special.
Twin Vulcan Pods
The fact that they are shaped like hands really bother me, but I guess you can rotate or remove the pinky and thumb to make it look like a simple triple cannon. In any case, I find it useless that they can not ball up into Hulk fists
Twin Heat Sabers
Being the effect part blade can be removed, and the hilts placed in either the calf holsters or behind each shield, I guess they are beam weapons. I kind of wish Mr. Ral stuck with the Heat blades
As I mentioned in the Arm section, this is a righty whip according to the instructions. No where in the technical manual does it state that left handed people can use this whip. It is discrimination I tell you!
At first I was excited for the twin heat blade, but those turned out to be something else. Then I was excited for the booster pack, but that crumbled in my hands; literally. Then I was excited for the hand cannons, but that was short lived. Why did I pick up the Gouf R35 then; I really do not care for the character, and I just listed a bunch of things that were uninteresting or disappointing. Whatever, I guess it does not matter. I bought it, I had fun, and the Navy personnel are all asking me if it is a Zoid.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading my terrible writing as much as I enjoyed building this little guy. If you just browsed the photos, then that is cool too. I will be back in the states soon, but more on that later; Munitions, out.