1/60 Big Scale Model Kit Gundam F-91
Review by VF5SS
1/60 is a bit of an oddball scale. At the dawn of the Gunpla boom, it represented the biggest bundles of plastic you could have for under 3000 yen. It works out that your average Gundam shrinks down to about much more manageable size, one that still captures a little bit of majesty and presence on your shelf.
At the beginning of the 1990's Gundam was moving towards much smaller Mobile Suits. The monstrous Nu Gundam and it's adversary, the Sazabi, towered over their predecessors. This came with a nagging increase in price. As such, subsequent Mobile Suits would be much smaller starting with the titular Gundam F-91.
The Big Scale Model Kit line began and ended with the Gundam F-91. Packed in a large cardboard box, the figure came in one Styrofoam tray containing the legs, arms, torso, and shoulders of the F-91 while another box held parts trees which were used to construct its beam rifle, shield, beam bazooka, and Variable Speed Beam Rifles (VSBR).
The back of the box shows a breakdown of the figure's parts as well as an example of a fully painted sample. The box proudly proclaims the F-91 is 255 millimeters tall.
For paperwork you get an instruction booklet, a set of decals, and an extra leaflet which I assume is warning the user about the finicky leg panels.
The instruction booklet itself is a nice treat. It features an oh so Real Robot schematic at the beginning.
While the subsequent pages have technical drawings of the F-91 straight from Okawara himself. One can see it as the precursor to the style of a Master Grade kit's manual.
The complete figure has a very dignified, almost regal appearance. Despite the age of the sculpt, I think it replicates the look and feel of the original lineart. Check out that authentic "Okawara lean."
The model kit aspect of the figure is reflected in several plastic parts that are snapped onto the completed ABS frame. One interesting detail is the unarmored head which features the F-91's characteristic mouth vent. Being a model, the owner must paint the mouth vent the proper white color.
Both halves of the helmet have a vulcan cannon unit, complete with ammo drum.
This is the mounting bracket for the VSBR. Check out that old school yellow poly-cap. Long time Gunpla enthusiasts will remember back in the early days of High Grade kits when a Gundam would come with a bunch of these sickly colored joints.
The inner frame of the legs are complete right out of the box. One thing I find funny is that while the knee features two joints like a modern Gundam kit, the lower joint can only move forward which negates any nugget of enhanced articulation. At the very least, it helps the F-91 lean forward.
Articulation is pretty standard. It has the usual array of joints, few of which can bend more than 90 degrees. The combination of poly-caps, ABS, and styrene causes the figure to creak audibly when you handle it. While the F-91 is a little more toy like than even modern kits, the thinness of the styrene parts coupled with the abundance of poly-caps quickly remind you why this figure is called a scale model.
The details on the kit are typical of its era. It looks complete but some of the lines are a little soft. One nice touch is the head crest is comprised of three separate colored parts so it does not require additional painting.
The shoulders feature the F-91's signature radiator fins, which slide out with a fair bit of tugging. One cool thing is that the "F-91" markings are done using Bandai's patented System Injection technique for molding multiple colors on a single part. Of course the decal sheet comes with its own set of "F-91" markings for when you invariably have to paint the entire kit.
The chest has a sliding cockpit hatch.
The hands are done in the familiar Gundam kit fashion with the index finger being independent from the rest of the fingers. The thumb does not move.
The left arm has an articulated mount for the beam shield. You can also store a spare beam shield in the hip armor.
The beam sabers can be stored in the right hip armor. The housing extends and rotates forward for deployment.
Each beam saber comes with a clear green blade. The figure comes with two beam shields, one powered down and one with the beam shield ignited. The F-91 has no problem wielding either its saber or shield.
The VSBRs can slide down under the F-91's arms.
The barrel of the VSBR extends and two handles can be flipped out. The toy itself is not quite dexterous enough to grip either handle.
Pushing in the ankles cause the spring-loaded leg fins to flip out. This also has the effect of launching the loosest fitting fin off into the carpet.
The rear armor plate has a mounting point for the beam bazooka.
The bazooka is tough for the figure to grip in a convincing manner.
The beam rifle is difficult for the figure to grasp properly. On its own it is a decent accessory. Much of it needs to be painted white to match the anime.
The F-91 is a few heads shorter than a typical Gundam.
The Big Scale Model F-91 is a real curiosity in the vast array of Gundam merchandise. While still more model than toy, it has enough durability and presence that it feels at home with other large scale Gundam items. The model kit nature of this piece makes me wonder what Gunpla enthusiasts have done with this figure. In the world of High Grades and Master Grades, this is the one Gundam F-91 that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
|Posted 8 February, 2010 - 15:31 by VF5SS|