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Kotobukiya Super ZZ Gundam

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  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Kotobukiya Super ZZ Gundam
Posted by Real G on Monday, November 14, 2022 4:59 PM

I gleefully purchased this kit at Yamashiro-Ya in Ueno, Tokyo in the early 1990s.  Resin garage kits were all the rage at the time, and this kit was fully representative of the best you could find in those heady days.  It had it all - outrageous subject, outrageous detail... and outrageous price (12,000 Yen)!  In addition to the resin parts, a PE fret with various fins, vanes, and vents was provided, along with some coiled hoses and brass wire.  The instruction sheet included a really cool comic strip which originally ran in B-Club magazine.  Kotobukiya was selling their own brand of resin de-greasing detergent called "Liqcaper", and a small bottle of said detergent was included with the kit.  What a package!

After returning home, I marvelled at the pile of resin parts that just oozed with insane detail.  And then I realized I had zero experience with resin kits.  The parts were extremely well molded, and cleanup was tedious only because of the intricate details.  The PE parts had no means of attachment to the model, so it was all DIY.  The resin parts also had no locator pins or aids either, but to be fair the kit was "free pose" in design to allow the builder to adjust to taste.

So after cleaning up the kit and giving the parts a wash using the included Liqcaper (which worked very well in stripping all the release agent), I assembled a few parts, added some locator pins, and applied some primer.  The arm supporting the enormous gun was the only kind of wonky looking bit in the box, and I had no confidence that the spindly thing would support the gun's weight for any appreciable time.  What to do?  What to do.  And then it sat in the box until I could figure out how to put this beast together.

Funny how 30 years changes one's perspective.  My younger self did all the heavy lifting by cleaning up most of the parts (the big, block-like energy capacitors for the main gun are still untouched), repairing a few broken parts, and adding some small details.  The articulated gun support arm will be replaced with a suitably bent up piece of wire with my own details.  I was really taken by the box art, but had no idea how to get that aged effect.  But model painting has evolved greatly in recent years, so achieving that look (might) be in reach.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by potchip on Monday, November 14, 2022 10:11 PM

Interesting. I quite like the rough designs of these concept arts. And sometimes when irregularty transfers to garage kits, nature of hand made products, it lends to the same charm. It is part of the reason I bought Yellow Submarine's 1/4000 SDF kits, even after Hasegawa released their plastic kits. The crisp molding, straight lines etc of the Hasegawa kit is lacking the organic look of line drawings - sometimes you actually want unstraight lines and rounded edges and asymetric parts, which ironically gives a bigger sense of scale. 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 1:54 AM

Potchip, you apparently understand the Zen art of the unstraight straight line.  You speak the truth about how the imperfect organic look appears to look more natural than perfectly razor straight lines.

And this kit has unstraight lines up the wazoo!  Stick out tongue

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 5:58 PM

That's a spectacular looking kit! If more Gundam looked like that I'd be more tempted to pick it up.  Hope you get the opportunity to finish it.

I'd have to agree that there is something about the imperfections in a resin kit which give it a certain "liveliness" that is missing from the injection kits.

It was that which caught me when I first saw the reissue of this kit.Monster Fireball

I've never done resin but I was ready to jump into the deep end for this one.  Sadly, finances determined otherwise. Crying

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

MB Strange Company Ep. 1

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Thursday, November 17, 2022 1:36 AM

PhoenixG,

OMG, it's a powered suit...in a powered suit! Indifferent

What kind of expired senko was Kow Yokoyama smoking the day he invented that thing?!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Monday, November 21, 2022 11:35 PM

Real G

PhoenixG,

OMG, it's a powered suit...in a powered suit! Indifferent

What kind of expired senko was Kow Yokoyama smoking the day he invented that thing?!

 

 
LOL, I know right!?  The thing is like a Guerilla crossed with a Howitzer!

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

MB Strange Company Ep. 1

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 12:54 AM

Actually, I think it WAS based on a Zoids King Kong.  I felt when Kow started leaning on the Zoids aesthetic was when his MaK design edge began to wander off course.  The Grosserhund is a prime example.

All artists have their off days though.  Kobayashi did that weird Space Battleship Yamato with the greenhouse window.  Heck, even the late, great Syd Mead did... Turn A Gundam.  I heaved about in rage/despair when I saw the design, asking myself how the artist who penned the Spinner and Sulaco could produce such a travesty of a mobile suit.

And if there is anyone with a high-pitched nasal voice who is about to tisk at me, saying Turn A Gundam was a great series - you are not welcome in my house.  Devil

Never hire a westerner to do anime mecha.  It never ends well.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 1:10 PM

Here are some closer pics of the kit:

The unpainted blocks on the shoulders are one-shot(!) energy capacitors for the twin beam guns.

There is a small white metal insert "face" that goes into the resin head.

Gigantic "smart gun", rear stabilizer fin, beam sabres, front armor skirt, and arm parts.

The hands are white metal, so the fingers can be adjusted a bit to handle the smart gun.  I think Kobayashi was inspired by Ripley's ad-hoc taped-together machine gun/flame thrower in Aliens, since this kit's gun includes a twin beam gun, grenade launcher, and flame thrower!

Those are really big shoes!

 

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    September 2010
Posted by potchip on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 6:48 PM

Ok you take that back about Turn-A Gundam! The bearded one has very elegant lines. 

The worst thing that happened to gundam design was Hajime Katoki IMO. When I read the background of that super ZZ at least I can appreciate back in the 80's there were competing asthetics and designers bring different styles to the table. Nowadays, it's all the same proportion and same concepts, with different backpacks. I scoffed at most of the Unicorn designs even if it's set in UC (unicorn mode itself, maybe, but the body proportions is an abomination). Just not interesting at all and stop making mecha with anime-human proportions already! /ENDRANT

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 9:26 PM

We'll have to agree to disagree Potchip.  I found Katoki's aesthetic refreshing in the late 1980s/early 1990s.  At the time, I found the folded paper edges and sleek industrial looks to be an attractive and sophisticated step up from Kunio Okawara's kind of dumpy super robot designs.  I liked Syd Mead's work for similar reasons, but his take on Gundam was just too weird and off-key for me.

Perhaps Katoki's current work has become cliche, since it appears Bandai has chosen him to pen most of the new kits' lines.  I was hoping there would be a true Katoki Zaku II, since the Zaku II 2.0 was so darned near perfect.  But I don't gush over all of his works, as I dislike anything Gundam Wing (perhaps that smacks of blasphemy here in the US, but I got my Gundam indoctrination elsewhere, years before Cartoon Network aired the show).

Makoto Kobayashi is like the Picasso of the Gundam world, kind of the end marker of the farthest that the extremes of Gundam designs will go.  And I like it.  A lot.  None of my friends do, but I don't care.

Time to get on with the Super ZZ.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, December 5, 2022 10:27 PM

That's so cool G! Did you get any more work done? 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 11:39 AM

Not yet Gamera, but hopefully soon!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

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