Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Unboxing - Hobby Crazy 1/35 Scale Hi-V Gundam Bust

Here's a little something for my nerd bretheren. Today we're gonna have a look at some old Games Workshop stuff I had laying around, and I'm going to unbox a Gundam model kit I purchased a few months ago. I know I've been neglecting the modeling/miniatures aspect of this blog for too long, and it's time for a change. Recently I've been preparing for the summer months by assembling my nerd dojo in the garage. I scrubbed her down, re-organized the tools, and scrounged up a workbench. We're almost ready to shred!

One thing any garage needs is cool stuff on the walls, so a trip into the stash resulted in a couple of rad late 90's Games Workshop posters. I'm pretty sure the Warhammer fantasy poster is a David Gallagher piece, but I have no idea what issue it came from. The Land Raider is from issue #245, printed way back in June 2000. I still haven't decided if I want to tape that thing to the wall. I'd really like to frame that shit and hang it in my bedroom, but I'm worried I'll never get laid again.


WD245. Classic. Find it.
I did hit up my box of old White Dwarf magazines and actually found the issue the Land Raider poster is from. If you're a Warhammer fan, I'd recommend finding a copy of this issue. It has a pretty awesome article about the design and process of creating the Land Raider model, and it features Jervis and Andy Chambers reliving a classic Space Wolves vs. Ork battle report they did years prior. A spotlight on multiple Golden Daemon winner Anthony Warrington and his work was a major influence on my early years of painting miniatures. Here is a link to his stuff. There are also a few pages about that year's Baltimore Grand Tournament, and the owner of the local shop I used to go to - The Adventurer's Guild in Harrisburg, PA – won best 40k army.

That being said, this coming weekend is the MFCA show in Valley Forge, PA. I've attended this show several times already, it's right down the road from me, and the caliber of artists is unparalleled. I believe last year cats came out from as far as Spain, Italy, and France. The sci-fi and fantasy categories have been growing over the past few years as well, and this will be my first year showing. Wish me luck, and if you ever get a chance to make this annual show, do it. I'll try to snap some pictures and do a write up of my trip.
Unboxing the 1/35 RX-93 Hi-V Gundam Head Desktop Model
So for those unfamiliar with Gundam models, I'll try to explain a little bit. Gundam is apparently a multiple series anime franchise owned by Bandai. I get the impression that it's like Star Trek, only Japanese, a cartoon, and with 80 foot tall killer robots. Alright, so I'm obviously no expert on Gundam, and it is nothing like Star Trek, but I'm just gonna roll with it.

So what I really dig, and what I think more people in the miniature/modeling community should be introduced to, is the models. For the most part they are manufactured by Bandai, and come in a few scales (or grades in the Gundam world), 1/144, 1/100, and 1/60. Miniature nerds, for a reference point on scales, I've found that 1/48 scale models look good with our stuff. I've been modeling since I was a kid, but I've only built a couple 1/144 scale Gundams so far. The lack of fine detail in such a small scale is kind of a turn off for me. As evidenced by my Dreadnought battle damage article, ALittle Destruction, I need something more.

So, the search for a reasonably priced large scale Gundam model led to me checking out some of the 1/48 and larger scale busts on the market. There aren't very many models available, and its pretty much split 50/50 between resin and plastic kits. After I weighed the odds, I decided on a plastic kit. I feel the resin kit would have offered a more detailed build out of the box, but the plastic kits offer easier customization. I've never built a full resin kit, and I feel fixing plastic is probably easier than repairing the resin pieces I'll definitely break.

I chose the 1/35 Hi-V RX-93 Head Desktop Model by the Chinese company Hobby Crazy. Out of the kits I could choose from, the model looks mean, seems detailed enough, is plastic, and I found it for the right price. Also, can I say how cool it is that it's a High-Five Gundam? Sweet. I paid around $90 for it, including shipping from their distributor in Hong Kong. This isn't a licensed kit, but they did a good job. It's definitely flawed in spots, but I think with some work it can turn out to be a stellar model.
This is the box, and what you find upon opening it.
The kit comes on twelve sprues, with a sheet of decals, a bag of springs, an led kit for lighting, instruction manual, and a poster. The springs are used for hoses on the chest unit.
 This is the inside and outside cover of the instruction manual, it shows pictures of the completed kit and a breakdown of the pieces.

All twelve of the sprues are crammed into five bags, and some of my pieces broke off the runners while in shipping. I seem to have avoided major damage, but be warned, it could happen.

Here's an idea of how big the completed helmet will be.
These pieces fit on the side of the helmet, and can be seen when their covers are opened. This is one of the places I feel the resin kit would have shined, as the detail on these is pretty rudimentary and soft. I see some Dremel work in the future. The covers have no internal detail, but I plan to add some ribbing and battle damage. The ridge on top of the helmet opens as well, and it suffers the same issues. Still, I'm pretty stoked on the possibilities for scratch building.


Here is a shot of some external detail. There are some spots it gets a bit soft, but for the most part it's pretty crisp. The main places that I find issue with are the screws and rivets. I'll possibly be drilling them out and replacing them with machined metal pieces.

I really can't report on the quality of the decals. I try not to open them until neccesary, but I did snag a picture of them from the instructions. Most of the decals are offered in at least 2 different colors. Very cool and useful for alternate color schemes.
So those are my initial impressions on this kit. Like I said before, I think it will build up well, but it definitely has some flaws and detail issues. I couldn't find a decent review or unboxing of this kit, so I hope this encourages more people to take the chance and check out this kit. It should look pretty impressive sitting on the shelf.
So that's about it for now, kids. Like I said, wish me luck on the convention. It'll be a party! I'll have pictures and fun stuff to show off afterward. 'Til next time!

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