I knew it did me no good, going to the hobby shop and the toy stores in Sasebo every evening; I knew there was absolutely nothing new. I would have had the same luck checking every week. But still, I persisted after work every day for three weeks, walking down the pier, past the security gates, bypassing the navy base and into town.
Wait, hold on, what is this? A Powered GM from Build Fighters Try? Is this friend or foe? It cannot be a main character; it's a Powered GM! Maybe I should have paid more attention to my brother's emails. Whatever the case, it just came out, and I must get it. So I proceeded to purchase the Grimoire and the Powered GM Cardigan.
As you can see above, I was totally wrong, since the Powered GM Cardigan is the first suit that the first protagonist, Fumina Hoshino, pilots. Despite that, I was pleased that it is not her main suit since she replaces it very early on. Not that I do not enjoy building lead suits, I just feel the reviews for the lead suits are oversaturated. In any case, I am glad Fumina, the club president, was using a grunt suit, and eventually an SD.
The very first look at the box was kind of explained in the preface, so I will not get into too much detail about the box art, since it is a pretty standard build fighters cover. I was surprised to see Hoshino in the instructions being that I had not even started watching Build Fighters Try at the time. This was because the already bulky, heavily armed Powered GM was being piloted by a female. Not that females are not allowed to pilot bulky mobile suits, but I did not expect the writers to go in that direction.
Yellow, White and Grey were the general colors I pulled out of the box. The yellow is in the shade of a slightly saturated pastel. After seeing how the shields are placed on the suit, it reminded me of a more normal looking Thunderbolt GM; two back mounted shields that are stowed vertically behind the suit.
From what I understand, this is a standard Powered GM body. Four vents in black around the shoulder area, surrounded by a split shell. In the split shell are two poles for the arms, and a poly cap that attaches to the skirt. On the back is four pegs for the modified version of the Powered GM back pack. For those interested, the original back pack is included.
The skirt is as standard as it gets; stationary back, single molded piece in the front, and poly-cap mounted sides. In this case, there are holes on the side skirts that match the size of a standard poly-cap. What they are for, I still have no idea. However, I was able to use the holes to insert an action base since there is no poly cap under the skirt in this kit. Also, the original side skirts are included, but the only difference is the holes are smaller and square shaped
I was not a big fan of the customization of the arms. Although shielded mini-guns on the fore arms are a great idea and the shoulder mounted beam sabers are a little different, the way they are assembled, the way they are mounted, the way they are designed to be opened and closed; everything seemed like a fast patch.
The forearm mini-guns would be great, but the way the original arm is designed, you must twist the arm around to have the mini-gun sitting on top. This causes the elbow joint to bend the wrong way forcing you to have the arm outstretched. If you do have the arm outstretched, the shoulder must be turned ninety degrees for any kind of range of motion.
In addition, the only left hand is an open one; no left closed fists or grips in this kit. It even shows this flaw on the cover art.
The shoulder mounted beam sabers are mounted on a single piece, pivoting between the split shell shoulders. Although it is sturdy, it seems like a cheap move.
Although I am not familiar with the powered GM, Nothing seems special about the head. Standard clear visor with a grey piece behind it. Split shell head with two ear pieces and an antenna mounted on the back.
Here is where this kit became interesting. Although the feet were the standard GM slippers, the calves were surrounded by many different layers of plastic. This covers up some of the details I would love to have painted, but this is okay.
The original Powered GM calf armor is included, but the Cardigan version have a hole in each shell. This is so that the massive calf boosters can be mounted around it. That means three layers of plastic. Why they did not just make custom pieces surrounding the original base calf, I will never know.
The diamond shaped boosters have a grey inner frame. Normally, I would say this piece makes the boosters amazing, since they are not just holes, but if you can see the inner frame from both front and back even though the back should be hidden, I will have to reconsider this statement.
Back Mounted Beam Rifles
Twin back mounted beam rifles are mounted on the top of the back pack. The rifles remind me of Wing Fenice's Beam Rifle. In this case, there are no handles, thus they will have to stay on the back.
Back Mounted Shields
The standard issue Earth Federation shields are attached to the longest auxiliary arms I have ever seen. So long they can block from either direction. An arm bracket is included, but with those mini-guns in the way, I think they will stay on the backpack.
Although I mentioned the flaw in the arms in correlation to these guns, these fore arm mounted shielded mini-guns are really what makes this kit. The last time I dealt with mini-guns of this size were on the Master Grade Wing Zero. Actually, those were smaller. That means these things are huge in comparison.
Right Handed Beam Machine Gun
As I mentioned before, there are only right handed trigger fingers. Thus, the beam rifle included must be a right handed. Not sure if this short barreled almost assault rifle looking gun is of the Universal Century, or of Build Custom.
Shoulder Mounted Beam Sabers
Again, as I mentioned before, there are only right handed gripping fingers. Thus all the beam sabers are for right handed pilots only. Why they bothered to mount one on the left and right shoulder, I will never know. The weirdest part though was the fact that one is molded out of a single piece of plastic, while the other was made up of two.
As you may have read, I was kind of confused about the decisions going into this kit. Like why is there only one non-gripping left hand. But beyond these flaws, I also remembered that I bought these kits to have a little fun while on my off time. In this case, the Powered GM Cardigan was fun to build, and well designed.
On another note, I may be going crazy and seeing things. I thought I caught a glimpse of one of the NAVY chicks spying on me while I was chroming out the knee joints. Anyways, this has been The Munitions, hope to see you soon!