8.22.2015

Quick Review: HGUC Jesta Cannon

I'm not sure why I delayed on reviewing this kit. It quickly became one of my favorite suits, but for some reason I lost all motivation to write at the time (possibly due to the frustration that is 'Weiß Hund Zulu'). Oh well, no better time than now!


Preamble
Around the same time I was talking to my brother about the Strikes Odaiba Set, he asked me what kits I was looking for. Finishing up the Space Mercenary: Specter GM project, I needed a Jesta Cannon as the last character in the group. I mentioned this to my brother but I explicitly told him not to get it for me: I would eventually be able to find this kit on my own.

He ends up purchasing one for me anyway. Seriously, this guy continues to spoil me (come to think about it, too many of these kits are gifts. I need to get on the counter-attack soon). Thank you again, Morgenroete Munitions!

Background
Jesta is a variant of the Jegan used by Earth Federation's Londo Bell as a special operations suit, more specifically to escort the Unicorn Gundam. Within the Jesta family of mobile suits, the Jesta Cannon is the heavy weapons variant. Some of the changes made from the original Jesta is the heavier armor and the shoulder mounted cannons.

Thoughts
This is quite a popular kit. I continue to hear endless praise for this kit from well known people like rrobbert184 as well as friends like Gunpla Works. I just had to eventually experience this kit for myself!



Upon building the Jesta Cannon, the first amazing aspect I found was the color separation. Where I expected stickers, there was different colored plastic. I especially want to mention the shoulders with those lighter plates of plastic. The color separation continues in the lower body not only with more armor, but also with the many grenade racks.
Contrary to the Unicorn Gundam Destroy Mode I reviewed earlier, the color separation through a complex build does not sacrifice the structural integrity of the suit. Not once did I feel the kit was going to fall apart which most people would consider that a plus. It is as if this kit has the best of both worlds: the structural integrity of its predecessor the Jegan, but has the beauty and complexity of the lead, Unicorn Gundam.


Sometimes such complexity may lead to problems in articulation. For the Jesta Cannon, that is not the case. The joints are solid and provide a decent range of motion. Despite my praise, I do have a few complaints, though I suspect it is an easy fix. The first problem lies in the hands of the Jesta Cannon: for some reason every hand goes on loose. I am unsure if I assembled the arms wrong or if it just a minor manufacturing error. Either way, the fix should be easy. The second problem is in the ankles: with its double joint system, I have had the Jesta Cannon in certain positions where it would bend at the ankles and fall over. It is a rare occasion, but it happened frequently enough to mention. These two issues are quite miniscule relative to the positive articulation and structure.

Another amazing part of the Jesta Cannon is the play options. While the kit is based on the vanilla Jesta, Bandai could have easily removed many of the pieces from the runners rendering them useless for use on the Jesta Cannon, however, we are given enough of the pieces to customize the Jesta in a few ways. The first most obvious bonus is the weapon.

 

Along with Jesta Cannon's bulky rifle, we are given the original Jesta rifle with silencer. Personally I prefer the original rifle mainly because the Jesta Cannon rifle is so unwieldy (not to mention the large piece that covers the top of the rifle makes no sense.



The other obvious play option is the shield. The back-mounted shield is replaced by the over-the-shoulder weapons which plug into the same location as the shield.

 
Once again, Bandai could withhold the piece, but they did not. We are not only given the shield but the pieces that cover the polycap location: one could use either the cannon rack, the shield (both extended and retracted arm), or cover up both holes for no add-ons.


A less obvious option given to us is half the Jesta's original armor. We are given the half shells for one shoulder, the original side skirts (with beam saber and grenade rack), a shield-less arm option, the original front skirts, and one of the original legs. With these  play options, the Jesta Cannon can be customized with half the original Jesta equipment. For those like me who like the asymmetric look, this kit does not need any additional pieces to create that desired look.


I should also mention this kit comes with hands: many hands. For those who were around for the GoodGuy Competition in early 2014, I mentioned the Desert Colors Nemo I submitted had many hands. The same runner is used on the Jesta Cannon and we are once again showed with many forms - standard, fist, open, and one trigger. Now it makes me sad when I see older kits, like the GM, with only one or two hand options.


Overall I enjoyed the build and highly suggest anyone who is even remotely interested in this kit (or the vanilla Jesta) to grab one. And if you like this kit, maybe you will consider purchasing two more and three Base Jabbers.


Future Plans
As I mentioned in the preamble, this kit was specifically purchased for the project Space Mercenary: Specter GM. According to its story, the suit is as new as the character, so I will be doing little to no modifications to the suit. Will I paint it? Yes. Will I customize it? Yes, but I will be doing minimal kitbashing. Most likely I will stick to whatever was provided in the box and painting it as close as possible to the colors. We shall see in the not-so-near future where I take this kit.

Housekeeping: Blogstuff
Thank you for reading yet another quick review. For those who were even remotely interested in my entry for the 2015 Refurb Build Contest, I regret to inform you that I dropped out. Soon after the announcement, I had some ideas on how to customize my Tallgeese. I was in the process of rebuilding it and even announced it on my blog that I was participating. However due to some personal problems events (not Monster Hunter related), and work being work, I got burned out pretty fast while working on Gunpla Lollapalooza while practicing my Midas Touch. The only kit I really worked on in July was the Crossbone Gundam X1 and it took me a lot of motivation to even get that started. When I eventually started building again in August, I did not feel so great about the Tallgeese custom (or customizing anything). I will have to revisit the idea at a later date, maybe next year's Refurb Contest. At least Morgenroete Munitions submitted his work for the contest! Please, if you have not, check it out I love what he has done to the kit!
For now, I will probably be catching up on reviews I should have worked on in April: next up either the HGUC Dreissen (ZZ Ver) or an overview of the customized Geara Zulu, Weiß Hund Zulu. Until then, may your cuts be clean and your sandpaper rough. See you in the next one.