8.31.2015

Quick Review: HGUC Dreissen (ZZ Version)


Preamble
I wanted a Dom.
It was late summer last year, our small circle of friends created a group build themed "Monoeye Space Pirates." Though the group build has been slow-moving, we have been gathering our crew, ready to plunder any unsuspecting Earth Federation supply vessels. My idea of a space pirate started off with a Dom, but through some research, I decided to pick up a Dreissen instead.
Like the Jesta Cannon I reviewed last week, I built this during that time period and lost all motivation to write about it. I decided before getting into any other projects, I should properly update the blog.

If you want more on this Space Pirate group build, check out Morgenroete Munitions' Refurb Build Contest entry!

Background
As the next iteration of the Dom, the suit was based on Rick Dom II but functioned more like a Dom. Though the suit was based on ground melee combat, it also has ranged weapons and can maneuver in space, as most recently seen in episode three of Gundam Unicorn.


Thoughts
Looking at the shape and colors, I was afraid the Dreissen was going to be pretty flimsy: many half shells that would feel like they would break on merely touching the kit. I was thinking the articulation would be just as bad as the old HGUC Zakus, and I thought I would not enjoy this kit in any way.
...good thing I was wrong.


The Dreissen's build is bulky and weighty. The suit is almost as large as Kshatriya (not counting the quad wing height) but is in no way flimsy or hollow. Because the arms house the tri-cannons and the legs are covered in thrusters, the suit is filled out and feels weighty. On top of that, each of the pieces are engineered in such a way that the plastic does not feel like it would collapse, especially where parts flare out (most notably at the legs).

Using my friend's custom Kshatriya, a work in progress, you can see how similar in height each kit is.
Photography Notes: camera used - Nexus 5; subjects are standing on a piano
Unfortunately, just as much can be said about Dreissen's blandess: color separation is one of the major cons of the ZZ Ver Dreissen. The big purple dinosaur has very subtle color separation that can be appreciated, but I would have liked some color separation between the purples to make a more dynamic looking suit. I do not think color separation would have been such a big issue for me if the Unicorn version did not exist (which has the Sleeves detail to break up the near monochrome armor).
Despite its weighty build, this bland monoeye suit has decent articulation for what it is. It is true the size of the rear skirt and the bulkiness of the legs prevent full articulation, but to think the Dreissen can make a wide stance with ease is already quite impressive. The arms boast the same articulation without all the bulky parts inhibiting its range of motion.


Articulation is not the only thing these arms have to boast about. An additional feature is one of the few play options on this kit, the three-barrel beam cannons. Each arm is equipped with this weapon mounted in the forearm under the armor. To deploy, the armor shifts backwards to reveal three large barrels in a triangular formation (for the sake of the High Grade kit's structural integrity, the piece does not actually slide backwards - you must remove and re-position the piece).


Another play option includes the Tri-Blades. These spinning pods come off the Dreissen's back to cut anything in its way. Though the instructions advertise the ability to display these flying objects coming off its back, the pieces are not included. Instead we are forced to use pieces from an older kit (I believe it is the Jagd Doga) to use this feature. Basically, as a stand-alone kit, the set of deployed Tri-Blades are useless.


Luckily the Tri-blades are not the only play option on this kit: Those pieces can be replaced with holsters for other weapons included in this kit.


The most significant play option is the Giant Bazooka, This over-the-shoulder weapon is proportional to the size of the Dreissen and is quite detailed. Other pieces that attach to the back in place of the Tri-blades are the heat saber and the Beam Lancer/Tomahawk combination.


The Lancer/Tomahawk come in two forms, split and combined. Each version takes the beam effect parts and can be held on Dreissen's back. However the combined Lancer/Tomahawk is my preferred mode of storage.


Even with all these weapons, the Dreissen still seems to be lacking in play options. It is possible there is a bias against the fact that Bandai did not include the clear parts to properly display those Tri-blades, but it seems to be such a defining part of the suit that I do not think the other play options can make up for it.
Tri-blades aside, the overall kit is okay. The suit is massive and can be filled out with the included weapons. If you are looking for a hulky kit without spending the money on a Kshatriya, you might want to consider this monoeye grunt from ZZ and Unicorn.

Blogstuff
September already? That means one month until Iron-blooded Orphans! Knowing who is involved with the series, I'm still somewhat skeptical on how this will turn out, but I still am excited from what Sunrise/Bandai has shown us thus far. I'm sure it will be better than Build Fighters Try and G no Reconguista, but will it be better than AGE? Likely, but I won't get my hopes up. All I know is I will not be doing the Mecha Analysis series this time. It is much too time consuming and it felt fruitless by the end. For those who were remotely interested (I don't know why you would be), I apologize.

As for what is to come, I think I should post on the WeiƟ Hund Zulu next, even if I have to force it. Even though the post will probably have more on flaws and frustration than the process of customizing the kit, I feel like it would be a good way to bring closure to that monster. Please stick around for more Gunpla stuff, see you in the next one!