Review by Optimal III
The MSIA & GFF Guncannon toys are a-okay, but neither fully capture all the features of the Mobile Suit, so I decided to spring the Master Grade kit. This kit is my second modern build and once again, these pictures are from a review I did on my FB page years ago, so my thoughts are a mix of then and now.
I got lucky and found it for $15 brand new, so what I'm about to share comes with a little disappointment. Like the MG Guntank, the box art is beautiful and needs to be a poster on my wall. The top and bottom display a headshot from the front, and the sides show off different details unique to the kit.
The first thing you see inside is this cardboard cover with a front shot of the completed kit. Underneath is the manual and part sprues. The manual gives instructions and a detailed history of the Guncannon's design and weapons, and features a paint guide (which is still not in my wheelhouse). Seeing a rear shot of the completed kit on the back makes me wonder if Bandai changed their packaging style over the eight years and eighty-one kits between the release of this MG and the MG Guntank. The latter of which has no cardboard insert and photo covers on both sides of the manual.
Another difference between this and the MG Guntank is that instructions for building the Core Fighter are halfway through the manual, not the beginning. It may be hard to tell with the pictures, but the build, parts, coloring, and overall feel are also different from the other Core Fighter I built. This one, the older of the two, was easier and feels sturdier, especially in the wings. The only minor negative is the missile launchers can't be raised out of the body. However, the panels for this function are still there, and so are the Vulcan cannons. I also don't mind leaving the rear end unpainted.
I wanted to show the landing gear, but it didn't survive the assembly. Stay tuned, as that happens more and more in this review.
As expected, the fighter transforms into a core block.Due to when it was made, the Core Fighter in this kit is only compatible with the MG Gundam Ver. Ka, and not any of the other Project V Master Grades. On the positive side however, an unpainted core block is also included, so you've got the option of using either one. The solid core block has a layer of sculpted parts on the outside that further distinguishes it from the Core Fighter, like some of the mechanical bits that appear as docking takes place.
Since I've got it, and it's unpainted, I figured I might as well use it and leave the Core Fighter out on its own. And it worked out perfectly because *insert drum roll*................some of the plastic is bad. Why is a $15 dollar Master Grade kit too good to be true? That's why. The part sprue with the landing gear, core block, hands, weapon mounts, and some other important parts was dried out and brittle. I knew something was wrong the second I took it out of the baggie, because it just felt cruddy, especially compared to the other parts.
When the landing gear broke, as soon as I touched it, I didn't think anything of it. But then I got to here. One connector broke as I attached it to the piece below, and the other went as soon as I docked the upper body.
So, six drops of krazy glue later, I'm finished. But the fun doesn't stop just yet.
Bad luck aside, I'm still impressed with the kit. Because it's a bunch of plastic, it doesn't have the heft or density of the other Guncannons. But it still holds very well, and the articulation is great. The feet don't rotate much side to side because of the leg armor, but they allow a good bit of forward lean and lots more when leaning back. Every joint is stable, but not too tight so standing on any surface isn't a problem. We can also see what's behind and inside the kneecap armor. And have the best foot thrusters yet even when left painted.
Crotch plate armor, can you dig it? The side and front skirts all move very well, don't get loose on you, and move back into place when standing straight nice and tidy like. The back skirt is a solid piece, so it's mostly static.
Due to how the kit is constructed, the body isn't so hard anymore. However, the torso does still has a nice size to it. It's also here that I really notice the symmetry of parts and their positioning with the Guntank and Gundam.
So yeah, the hands broke on me too. They went out on me before I got to final assembly, but it's kind of cool like this. If that missing digit was in the middle and just the tip, it'd be like Lee van Cleef (great actor, great mustache). The left could be used as a shovel or mine sweeper, or even a stabbing or slapping weapon. Even like this, the hand still works for the opening cockpit (opened very carefully). The shoulders rotate smoothly and are never coming out. The Gucannon's elbows are also steady.
It has the same spaceman backpack with side vents as my other Guncannons. You can't be see it here, but there are cable tethers connecting to this from inside the body. And like the feet, they still look great because of the amount of detail even without paint.
Here is a look at the head, shoulder, and vulcan cannons. The antennae can wiggle back and forth a little towards the inside. The shoulder cannons look great, but they feel a bit flimsily mounted unlike the MSIA and FIX. As such, aiming them is a little finicky.
The Master Grade RX-77 has crazy knee articulation for something so big. This is the only Guncannon I've got that can actually get on its hands and knees AND look and aim straight forward.
It's also my first Guncannon that actually has opening bins on the sides of the legs for grenades.
We've also got the spray missile launchers. They're neat to look at, but strangely floppy. I prefer the cannons anyways.
Of course, it was my luck that when I decided to switch back to the cannons, the right shoulder mount also broke. I was tired of this happening, so instead I pretend the Hulk just inexplicably showed up...
...assumed he was looking at some weird red Russian Sentinel...
...and decided he wasn't going to wait and see if it'd "leave Hulk alone". If the Guncannon could still make a fist, it'd be shaking it wrathfully by now.
All is not lost though, because this MG has the best beam rifle yet, extra sweet since I built it. There's a pair of static, flat hands I could have used here, but I made the shovel work. The target reticle can flip down, which is awesome.
Lastly, here are some comparison pics with the MSIA and FIX, and fellow MG Guntank. All the red is giving me a very CCCP vibe.
This could be the best Guncannon money can possibly buy, but my experience was bad luck of the draw. Even so, it's still a solid kit and I can imagine the joy of getting one with good plastic. At $45+, I'd probably be kind of mad. But for the $15 I paid, I'm happy and content.
|Posted 11 May, 2015 - 11:59 by Optimal III|
Comments3 comments posted
Considering Gundam kits are the kind that almost never go out of production, I would imagine a newer batch wouldn't have quite so many durability issues.
One can hope anyway. At least until they finally choose to make a 2.0 Guncannon...which I'm sure they will as soon as I give in and buy this one.
I built my MG Guncannon last year and cannot believe that you had all those issues. My model is perfectly fine, till now it all one piece, never had any issues with it. However I also purchased my model last year as well. Not sure if Bandai actually do change the quality of the actual materials over time in case of any complaints.
However, still, very good review, looking forward to your next one! :-)
Thanks. It's just the luck of the draw. Usually, for most collectors I hope, this doesn't normally happen. I remember buying the classic Voltron reissue, back when Third Dimension was still on TV, and one of the Yellow Lion's forelegs was on backwards. Didn't seem like there was a way to fix it without breaking the whole leg, so I let it be and eventually sold the whole thing years later as part of a "junk" lot.
My one other incident was with a 1st-gen 1:60 VF-1A Hikaru type from Yamato. It was stored MIB in my storage place, which is climate controlled. I decided to pull it out and deposit it at my local comic shop, and lo and behold, one of the wings went from white to yellow. Now I know that can happen if a batch of white paint is bad.