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For the fourth quarter of 2015, I found myself on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific. These islands, although frequented by Japanese, and Chinese tourists, did not supply Gunpla in a convenient place if at all (I was not able to find a hobby shop). Thus, for the last four months, I had been severely lacking in hobbies and therefore, I fell back into video game binging.
After dancing all night on the midnight stage and exploring Labyrinths at the Yasogami High Cultural Festival for four months, I finally made it home to usher in the new year by building all Gunpla that my brother ordered for me. One of which was the Dom R35.
To apologize in advance, I have not yet built the HGUC Rick Dom from 2006. Thus, my only reference is a kit four years older than that which is the Dom Tropen from 2002.
The Dom R35 is the second mobile suit that Mr. Ral pilots. Like the Gouf R35, he makes the suit in two different subtle blues. Despite Mr. Ral’s significance as a coach for the Try team in Build Fighters Try, this suit only shows up in the last episode, and plays an insignificant role. But of course, Bandai sold me when I saw the adjustable mono-eye.
As mentioned, the first idea that sold me was the head sculpt. Unlike the head of the Dom Tropen, the R35 version makes a collar behind the head, and shortens the head sculpt to free up the swing of the head and allows for more articulation comparatively. In addition, the face piece, which has a baseball cap like visor, is easily removed, and the mono-eye is set on a ball joint, much like the Zogok. This is in place of the flat faced, double sticker style of the older version of this kit.
Moving to the back of the suit, much like the Gouf R35, the Dom has a bunch of boosters. Although insignificant, each set of boosters are completely different from each other. Not sure why they decided on this since each one is similar in size.
The elbows and knees have these claws that I am still confused as to how they would be used, but they still look cool when stowed. My only guess is due to the shields being able to convert into giant knuckle dusters, this suit was meant for close combat, and thus the elbow and knee claws.
Although many parts of this kit make me happy like the updated shoulder guards, front skirts, or the booster back skirts, there are a couple of deal breaking problems I have come across so far. The most notable are the joint tightness in the legs, mainly the ankle joints.
Because this kit is naturally top heavy, the legs need to be solid. However, the ankles really break this stability, my theory is due to the small ball joint they used. With less surface area, comes less friction, and that is exactly what they changed from the Dom Tropen to the Dom R35.
Much like the Gouf R35, I was excited for this kit. But also like the Gouf, I was severely disappointed by one broken feature on the kit. For the Gouf, it is loose parts; for the Dom, it is the loose ankles. Despite this, I really do like the general sculpt. I guess since it is supposed to be a space suit, I should probably display it on an action base