7.17.2015

Quick Review: Crossbone Gundam X1 (HGUC)


Preamble
With Gundam Build Fighters (not Try) coming to a close, my favorite suit design had to be Crossbone Maoh. The creativity of implementing X's satellite beam cannon onto Crossbone Gundam's rear thrusters was hands down the best within that world. I was ready to get the kit (seriously who could say no to a kit with double 'V' fingers?) until I realized most of the color separation depended on stickers. I decided to hold off on purchasing the kit. Maybe a beautiful Master Grade would be created.

Photography: Gunpla Works (Blogger post, 19 May 2014)
Not too long after, the Crossbone X1 was announced. I was surprised with the timing and somewhat skeptical of the design especially after hearing the problems the Master Grade had. Nevertheless, one thing the X1 had a leg up over the Maoh was the detail in the plastic: The X1 boasted superior detail and color separation making it a tempting purchase over the Maoh.

A few months later (Easter Sunday), our friend we call meijin (on reddit as sandrock465) slips a Crossbone Gundam X1 into my bag. To this day, I am not entirely sure why he gave me the kit. You spoil me, meijin. Thanks!

Background
Crossbone Gundam X1 is the first lead protagonist suit of the mid-90s manga series Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam, a direct sequel of Mobile Suit Gundam F91. I do not know much about the series besides the fact that Space Pirates are a thing and Jupiter.


One of these days I'll find the time to go through the series. For now, I'm still catching up with Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin.

Thoughts
Just a glance at this kit and the first thing I notice is the stature or lack thereof. Compared to most of its Universal Century counter-parts, the Crossbone Gundam (and most every mobile suit from that era) were downsized by quite a bit. It only seems strange to me because the size of mobile suits continue to grow between UC 0079 to 0096 but then in UC 0133 (the year Crossbone takes place) the suit is smaller than RX-78-2. Was there a shift in technology in those forty-ish years? Whatever the case may be, the size of the Crossbone Gundam caught me off guard.

Crossbone stands shorter than AEUG's 40 year old machine.
The Unicorn stands at least a head above Crossbone (and it's not even in NT-D mode). 
Finally! A suit of similar stature. Too bad Wing Fenice is from an Alternative Universe (and still stands slightly taller)
Despite its size, there are many positive notes while building the HGUC version of this mobile suit. For one, the color separation and detail in the pieces are quite amazing, especially the skull on the forehead. Even parts that require a little attention are made easy enough. For example, the shoulder mounted beam sabers are attached to the back half. This means one could paint the cylinders before assembly.

Notice the back half holds the cylinders that go through the front half holes
Articulation seems pretty typical for a modern High Grade kit. Besides a minor issue I have with the free rotation of the back thrusters, I did not have anything to complain or praise with kit for in this field.


Play options were more than satisfying. With the scimitar, flintlock pistol, knives and beam effects, this kit boasts many possible poses. My favorite item has got to be the flintlock pistol. With a little paint, that piece is bound to capture someone's attention. Unfortunately I am not a big fan of the combined pistol and scimitar, that weapon does not appeal to me in any way.




Another interesting play option is the Brandmarkers. Attached to each arm, the brandmarkers can swivel out over the hands, forming a beam knuckle of sorts. The brandmarker placement is also the location for the beam shield.

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The last interesting play option is the core fighter. As small as this suit is, there is a core fighter that will fit inside. Of course engineering a core fighter that could fit in a 1/144 scale kit would be madness, so Bandai instead includes one that can be attached to the rear thrusters.



Overall I am satisfied with this kit. It is a decent build with good color separation, articulation and play options. The only issue I had with this kit is the fact that Bandai did not include the 'V' hands that its predecessor, Crossbone Maoh has.

'V' hands (without back caps) from the HGBC Skull Weapon Set
Once again, thank you for the kit, Meijin! Hopefully I will get around to painting in the little details all over this beauty, though I should really be focusing on the Refurb Contest. Speaking of which, I finally started touching the Tallgeese again. It has been a relatively hectic time these past weeks and I have not been able to work on the Refurb Build. I hope I do not run out of time. With that tangent, I do not think I have anymore to say about the Crossbone X1. Hope to see you in the next one.