The box for this thing was bigger than the one for my Sazabi model, and the kit has 29 runners of parts plus the included stand. And that stand is necessary, since this model is so unbalanced it can’t stand on its own feet without either a) mad skills at balancing it, or b) adding weight inside the model. You actually have to build the kit onto the stand!
I started the model a few days back, but didn’t think of doing Work in Progress posts until today, so you don’t get to see the waist sitting on the stand with nothing else attached. Instead, you get to see the waist and legs on the stand, which is where I was when I started today, along with part of the torso, and the core fighter.
The legs weren’t too difficult to build — the only part that was different from the standard master grade kit internally is the fact that there are more screws in the legs to support the weight and keep the joints from becoming too flexible. The pieces that hold the Incoms (the little red nubs near the knees) where a bit of a pain to get installed correctly though, as you have to bend the joints farther than depicted in the instructions to get them to actually snap in.
This part was easy to build, but the sliding piece in the upper torso proved to be a hassle in the later portion of the torso build as it had a tendency to pop out of its track. There was also the dry-apply decal, and I’ll forgo the usual rant I have on applying these things to curved surfaces. Perhaps I’ll buy some scotch tape after work on Wednesday, I’ve heard that it can make the process easier by freeing up a hand. This is the tail stabilizer that — as usual — in the great tradition of transforming Gundams forms the nose of the flight mode of the mech. Whether or not I choose to display this model in G-Cruiser mode once completed remains to be seen, since transforming it involves taking the thing apart.
One of my favorite parts of any kit is the elements that are not actually part of the model. Weapons, shields, the little car that comes with the Char Custom Gelgoog model for some reason, and of course, Core Fighters. Unfortunately, the fan elements on the top of this particular kit’s core fighter were molded as part of the overall top of the model, and I made a few small goofs with my black paint marker. Oh well, that’s what the white paint marker is for later on. While the model does come with a second core fighter unit cannot be displayed in this manner, this core fighter can transform into the core block and thus be inserted int the model instead. But I think its cooler to display it separately, especially since the included base has a second display arm intended for such a purpose.
Aside from the previously mentioned problems with the sliding element of the torso that the head mounts onto, the upper torso build was rather simple — as is usually the case. The head was a rather easy build as well, but getting those vertical yellow antennae to stay in place while attaching the red piece in front of them as a bit of a pain. Between the yellow vertical antennae is the Ex-S’s third Incom unit, which unlike the other two (which just fly out and reflect beam shots around), flies off and can fire a beam gun three times. Its not really that visible in this shot, so I’ll get some better shots of it when the model is completed.
I forgot to take photos of the backpack while I was building it, but there wasn’t much to see there. Just some rather large individual pieces that get held together with polycaps and attached to the back of the model with screw-reinforced joints. Unlike the ZZ Gundam, which comes from the same era of Universal Century as the Ex-S, those white things on the thruster backpack are not gigantic beam sabers. Instead, they are beam cannons. Also, at this point I realized exactly what prevents the model from standing on its own — its the gigantic thruster backpack, which is about twice as deep as the rest of the model. I haven’t read Gundam Sentinel (I don’t even know if its been translated into English), but according to MAHQ’s page on this monstrosity, the backpack contains “nuclear thermal rocket engines,” a la NERVA and TIMBER WIND, which were both crazy ideas by the NASA and the US Government for nuclear powered rockets. While in theory this rocket would work, I don’t think I would want to be flying around with between two t0 four fission reactors strapped to my back — even if I was inside a Gundam.
Well, thats where I left off for the day. Tomorrow I plan on building the arms for this model and there’s a few more pieces of the torso as well. Here’s a few more shots of where I left off.