Being a young boy when G Fighter Gundam was airing, my parents did not allow me to watch it as they were busy with trying to get me to study hard and get 100 marks for everything so that they will not lose face to their friends who have children who are very bright. Such was the environment in Asian countries *sigh*
Thankfully, those days are now behind me and I am no longer binded by the whim and call of my parents and so I have only started watching this series. Whilst the animation is very old and nothing compared to all the CGI and 3D effects we now see on most Japanese Animes, I am still captivated by how simple most scenes are and how easily believable the story is, no matter how dumb or silly it sounds/looks.
It is watching this that I grew to like the Dragon Gundam more than the titular Shining or God Gundams. Needless to say, I scoured eBay and the internet in search for a 1/100 model kit but mostly found the 1/144 version. One fine day I noticed an italian ebayer selling the 1/100 kit and so place the order and waited for it to arrive.
After awaiting for what seems like eternity, it finaly arrived!!! Just as I was about to file a paypal dispute lol I mean, who would believe a rare kit that is out of production for several years could have come from an european country rather than the far east?
Anyway, I was a happy bunny when this arrived 😀 😀
Before even opening the box, I was dreading that this kit might not be of a good quality as most kits I encountered in the 80s are not very precise in their molding and also the plastic quality is not as good as the ones which are produced these days.
I was quite surprised that when I opened the box to review the runners that there is in fact very little flashing and also everything was rather detailed and on the green armour, they are even textured to make the it feel scaly (didnt take a macro pic to show that though unfortunately).
All in all, I was quite pleased with the quality I was presented with 🙂
A total of 5 runner and a Polycap runner. Foil stickers for eyes as usual as well as the entire dragon head gauntlet’s colours come from foil stickers. If this were a Master Grade kit, I think the gauntlet will be the most complex part in this kit.
The legs are made up of traditional 2 part fit-in-the-center type. The good thing about this sort of design is it is easy to build and fast. The only negative thing is that the seam lines are out in the open and very visible lol. Cannot complain too much as this kit is really very old in terms of design and Bandai had not even realized the seam line issue yet imo lol.
What i like about this kit is also that they bothered to include panel lines and small indents all over the white armour to make the kit look good and not too plain.
Both legs completed here. Nothing too complex and am still loving the panel lines 🙂
The waist of this kit is not too complex as well as compared to all that leg extending gimmick you find in most of the MG kits of today.
Comprising of only 4 moveable skirtings and one full length fixed rear skirt, this is a simple waist. The side and front skirts however, spot intricate panel lines and textured surfaces (which I mentioned earlier) and these make the kit more presentable and hide the simple articulation designs effectively.
Popping the legs onto the completed waist was a easy 5 second job as well lol. And here we have completed the lower body of the Dragon Gundam in less than 1 hour (well if you minus off photography and posing maybe you can get this done in under 30 minutes lol)
I am not really sure if this is called the core fighter or does it have some other fancy name. Maybe I have gotten used to the fact that all little air-borne craft that merges onto the Gundams are simply known as Core Fighters lol.
Anyway this core fighter contains 4 beam sabers and have got a green translucent cockpit canopy. Total number of parts it consist of is 7 🙂
The entire cockpit rotates a 90 degree when loaded into the Dragon Gundam.
Whilst the core fighter was being built, I took the opportunity to put together the torso as well. No pictures were captured as I went into Auto mode and simply put it together with taking any diorama shots of it lol.
With the torso build and completed, I installed it onto the waist and parked the core fighter into position behind it.
Everything is coming together slowly 😉
The head is another piece of art as it reminds me of an ancient chinese warriors’s helmet due to the side crests and design. Also included is the “pig-tail” which is reminiscent of the qing dynasty. As with most chinese martial artist of those times, the pig-tail is also an offensive weapon of the Dragon Gundam.
Finally we come to the last part of the Dragon Gundam which is the arms. Unlike the anime, these cannot stretch to infinite lengths to attack enemies. Even though they do not project themselves as “anime-correct” I still like them the way they are 😉
The hands are similar to the HG Wing series kits, 3 finger mitten, 1 index and a hand with the thumb molded on. The gauntlet itself is joint together in the middle, similar to the leg designs which spot visible seam lines down the center.
I suppose you can only see the seam lines if you look hard enough and also there is the foil stickers which will cover the seam lines completely. The reason why I am not putting the stickers on is in the event that i need to seperate the gauntlets to do something ie repair or modification, the stickers will then be destroyed so thats why I leave them off.
The only fault I can find from this kit is that the arms are being held on by this plug spotting a “H” type connector. this simply sits loosely in the gaps provided and are very flimsy. I think any attempt to rotate the arms will be quite a hard endeavour thanks to them.
I do not think I will be extending the arms or doing much as I do not want them to break.
So, all that is left is to mount the arms on, install the should pads and we will have completed the Dragon Gundam.
I do not know about most gunpla builders but I have grown to like this kit’s design. Maybe it is a little bit too retro for them and maybe this is a very old model from a very old anime. Building this kit has made me appreciate the advancement that the kits we nowadays have as they all started from these and were slowly improved 😉
A side by side comparison with the more recent AGE-1 Normal Gundam which I put together 😉 It is quite interesting to note that the earlier gundams have big feet and small body and the ones we have lately have more uniform body proportions lol.
Overall, the Dragon Gundam is quite a nice kit to put together and I hope that perhaps one day Bandai would one day decide to revisit this and give it an MG format 😉