|Character Design||Kanetake Ebikawa|
Review by Rob
The EB-06 Graze is one of the next-generation model Mobile Suits from “Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans,” the latest chapter in the Sunrise mega franchise set in the new calendar of the “Post-Disaster” era.
The production for “Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans” takes a unique approach with regards to how the Mobile Suits represent a more lived in universe by using different mechanical designers.
While having more than one mechanical designer in a single anime series is normal, those working on “Iron-Blooded Orphans” use their individual talents to not only give the Mobile Suits more diverse appearances but also reflect their age and state of technology.
Courtesy of Gundam.Info
The Eb-06 Graze is designed by Kanetake Ebikawa, famous for his work on “Gundam 00” and “Full Metal Panic!”
The machine’s model number is an out of universe reference to Ebikawa’s name, and as he stated himself, an homage to the MS-06 Zaku II from the original “Mobile Suit Gundam.”
While the “Gundam-Frame” Mobile Suits are relics of the “Calamity War” which took place some 300 years ago, the EB-06 Graze is a new state of the art model. Produced for the military organization of Gjallarhorn, it serves as their primary Mobile Suit force spanning between the Earth Sphere and the colonies on Mars.
“It’s not a Master Grade.”
Although they are labeled as “Non-Grade” kits like those from “Gundam SEED” and “Gundam 00,” the 1:100 scale models for “Iron-Blooded Orphans” have more features and molded details that set them apart from the series’ 1:144 scale High Grade Gunpla.
The key gimmick for the 1:100 scale models is removable armor and a fully articulated inner frame designed to better match the Mobile Suit’s movement.
The reason is the Mobile Suits’ designs have the frames exposed between gaps in the armor and during the course of the series, they have been shown at different stages of repair with their armor removed and showing the mechanical frames underneath.
While this feature has until now, been exclusive to Bandai’s Master Grade model kit line, the inner frames for the 1:100 scale models from “Iron-Blooded Orphans” are made with a simplified level of engineering and at a fraction of the cost to produce than the more prestigious brand.
The 1:100 scale EB-06 Graze is the second model released for the series in this scale, colored after Gjallarhorn’s standard ground forces type.
The model’s box has a nice illustration of the Graze in full view with screen captures taken from the first three episodes with the machines’ pilots, Lieutenant Crank Zent and his subordinate Ein Dalton.
The Graze was released as an all-in-one “Standard/Commander Type” model, meaning it has two alternate head pieces to distinguish its rank following in the tradition of the MS-06 Zaku II.
It comes with a flat topped head for the “Standard” type and the one with a blade antenna for the “Commander” type, making it the EB-06S.
Other than that, the model is exactly the same from the neck down.
Out of the box, the model is comprised of 8 plastic runners and one polycap set.
The parts are molded in the Graze’s primary colors with green and dark green plastic for its armor and its inner frame molded in light gray plastic. The weapons are molded in gray plastic while the turbine for the Ahab Reactor protruding through its back as well as the camera lens for its head are molded in yellow plastic.
The number of runners does not reflect on the model’s difficulty but it does show attention to color separation and parts design.
What offsets the parts count in the Graze’s construction are the additional parts designed for the 1:100 scale Gundam Barbatos.
Parts from the “A” Runner and the whole “E2” runner are meant to downgrade the Gundam back to how it first appeared with a block shield on its left forearm and used the salvaged shoulder armor from the Graze.
The model has very little need for paint, but it can be used to touch up a few spots to really bring out the details.
The sensor eye is one of the few points on the model that really demands painting, which otherwise the model includes a decal to make up for.
I painted the sensor eye with a mix of Silver, Insignia Yellow, and Turn Signal Amber acrylic paint that I also used on the outer camera lens as well.
For the caps on the two yellow rings on the chest, I used Gunship Gray paint that I also used to paint the pads of the feet, inside the armor, and a few of the indented panels on the Graze’s surface.
I painted the blades of the Graze’s battle axe with some silver acrylic and finished the weapon sight on the long rifle with a metallic green paint.
As I said earlier, the 1:100 scale Graze is NOT a Master Grade.
Building the model isn’t difficult, as the engineering is more simplified without being too elaborate or carried away with mechanical details to create a fully formed, articulated skeleton.
Moreover, the Graze is missing an accessible cockpit and there are no pilot figurines to go with it.
There are some functioning mechanical parts such as the sliding pistons in its midsection that extend and contract with the chest movement as well as the exposable thrusters on the back of the legs.
The pistons are not load bearing, but are exposed to accent the inner frame.
The pelvis has swiveling posts for the hips that extend the legs range of movement around its armor.
One of the things I liked with building the model is how Bandai streamlines the construction process using duplicate parts to create the limbs but doing so without going to the excess of having too many duplicated runners.
The arms are built from one runner, while the parts for the legs are on another.
Fully built, the Graze stands 7 inches tall from head to heel and has a conflicting, inspired design to it.
The Graze’s design has an unintentional and striking resemblance to the KG-6 Sleipnir from “Aldnoah Zero.”
To me, the Graze looks like the combination of different machines from across the Gundam universe such as the Leo from “Gundam W,” the original series’ Zaku II, and even reflects Ebikawa’s work from “Full Metal Panic!”
The Graze even borrows some elements from “Code Geass,” with its exposable sensor eye inside the head.
The sensor eye is exposed when the two halves of the head open like a jaw.
The model lives up to its promise of having a full range of motion to match the on-screen version of the Graze, but there are some drawbacks.
The Graze has a more dynamic range of movement as a bare frame than it does with the armor attached.
The armor holds to the frame nicely, but I did find the two plates that go over the shoulder tend to lose their grip when you over articulate the clavicle.
Even with the pelvic plates, the legs lose some of the freedom thanks to the conflicting shapes of the skirt armor and the leg armor.
Otherwise the model is still very well balanced on its stiletto heels.
The Graze comes with the minimal amount of accessories including a set of jump boosters, two sets of hands and two weapons.
The Graze’s Jump Boosters feature swiveling thruster cones and connect with the model using two different sets of arms.
The first set mount the boosters to the Graze’s rear skirt armor on a central block and is really meant for the Graze’s use in atmosphere.
The second set is for connect the boosters to the Graze’s back for the machine’s use in space. These arms use ball and socket connections at the shoulder blades and their fit is much tighter against the Graze’s body than the other arrangement.
Still, the boosters move freely and have little clearance issues with the Graze, making them almost an integral part of the model more than accessories.
“Iron-Blooded Orphans” takes a road less traveled for a Gundam series by not having any beam weaponry, and so the Graze carries a 120 mm Machine Gun and a Battle Axe.
The machine gun has two different barrels: a short one for close combat and a long barrel with an improved sensor on the end for extended range.
One of the interesting factors of its design is the gun needs to be assembled around the Graze’s forearm. While the weapon holds together with the tab inserted into the hand, the long piece on the bottom interlocks it with the wrist.
The Battle Axe is as simple as it gets, but the weapon looks good and the arms have just the right amount of freedom to swing it.
The only obnoxious detail is the post that extends off of the side for pegging it into the hip skirt when the Graze isn’t using it.
Overall the Graze is a fun and good looking model that captures the design and the theme of its scale almost perfectly. While the armor looks good, the model has its best articulation as a bare frame. Even though it’s fast becoming the most retooled model in the series next to the Barbatos, the Graze shows it has just as much potential as any Gundam frame.
|Posted 22 February, 2016 - 17:28 by Rob|