Bandai 1/35th Zeon Mobile Scout Set (UC Hardgraph)
|NOTES:||Very fun, very detailed, very nice.|
Ah, the earth in the year 2040 and something. The exact timeline is mixed up in this fictional universe, and changes with every new bit of text. The “Zeon” conglomerate is made up of a union, of sorts, of hardworking extra-terrestrials (not aliens) that had been working their rears off on small manmade and constructed planetoids near the earth, and have grown fed up with the constant over-taxation and domination of the puny earthlings that depend on them for life and sustenance.
Guess what? There is a revolt ! The Zeon’s invade homeworld Terra and begin attacking key points. Of course, like every well thought out battle, they need intelligence, and the twin fanned mobile scout chopter works out just fine with the advancing forces of giant walking mobile suits, the Gundam.
The Mobile Scout vehicle has two ducted rotors that are steerable, and four torsion legs to take up the slack as it bounces its way across the terrain, keeping an eye on those untrustworthy enemy Earth forces. It also has a machine gun and two huge mirrors. Why? Because they look cool, and the Zeons like to look cool, no matter how outlandish they may appear.
Of course, like every other armor kit, this one was spray painted with a flat black whilst still on the sprue. The main fuselage, if one could call it that, is assembled in step 1. Hold off on gluing the chin plates of the fan receivers for right now, or you will split them up later. Trust me.
The elevation fans fit snugly together, and are fit into the main frame without glue, so they can be rotated as necessary for the appearance you want in your finished model. Once the fan assemblies are in place, go ahead and glue the chins together with two small drops of C/A glue, then set this bit aside to cure.
The ping-pong like fan housings have a few bells and whistles on them, but like all other Bandai parts, fit perfectly on. You can opt not to glue them in place if you want to show off the inner workings at some point. Since the front and the back are basically the same, I did glue on the forward cover, but left the rear one just in place, you never know when someone might want to “look under the hood”, so to speak.
The legs of the beast fit into place with nary a problem, though I did drill out one and using a toothpick, rebuilt it so that it had a “peg” sticking out the bottom for the diorama idea I had come up with. On top of the craft is a strange canopy of sorts that holds a machine gun and a tarpaulin. Why? I don’t know. Trying to fire with one hand while holding the collective throttle of this mobile craft (read: completely unstable) would be ludicrous. Be careful when removing the small circular counterweight to the machine gun like I wasn’t, it went zinging off into the carpet someplace, so I used a bb to replace it.
The middle console gave me some grief, I did have to test fit and sand a few spots to get it to where everything went on right. This kit will test your manipulation skills, and there are lots of do-dads stuck all over it that are a bit fragile.
As far as the figures go, they are standard anime sorts of people, with very tall bodies, but small hands and heads. Every bit is molded separately, and in a few different colours. Leave off gluing the hand of the pilot initially, as you are going to want to attach just the hand to the collective first. Once that has dried, seat the figure, and then glue the arm to the hand. I did have to use a little bit of white glue as a filler on these figures, which is unusual for Bandai, but far less than normal for armor troops in 1/35th scale.
A neat innovational approach is used to help you build the binocular sight and tripod for the commanding officer. On the B sprue , there are locating holes for assembly, a neat idea. You just put the three legs into them, and glue up the middle without having to fuss with getting things all straight.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The standard Zeon scout is done up in a light olive drab/field drab, but I chose to make the Armored Assault version, which is shown as being dark blue. Of course, like all armor kits, I painted everything black at first, and then started working up to lighter and lighter colours as the assembly progressed. I really like to prepaint before assembly, it saves you the “oh no, I can’t hit that bit” sort of frustration, and you can vary the tones, which I think lends a bit more of depth to the final product. Smaller items like the fire extinguisher were brush painted.
Working my way from dark blue to light, I lightly sprayed on a coat, then sealed it with a clear flat in between each thin layer. The figures were done by brush, and in a sort of “Gestapo” outfit, mostly dark Payne’s Grey, with a bit of silver picking out the details. I’ve become quite fond of using “water based oil” paints for figures, they are less smelly and dry a bit faster, and still give you the time for brush work.
The decals are a bit thick, and needed some Micro-Sol to settle onto the curved surfaces, but are nice and sharp when finally settled down. A few coats of satin finished off the kit.
As much fun as this kit is, I thought it looked boring just sitting there like an ant missing two legs, so I wanted to have it fluttering about. Knowing my fair share of officers, I decided to do a dio called “You’re Late!”, with the pilot looking a little p.o’d and a smirking 2nd Lt looking at his watch and pointing at him. The base is just a bit of hardboard (masonite) with some railroad scenic grass, nothing fancy at all.
I did put a scarf around the neck of the officer to try to show some air motion coming from the twin fans. It’s one of those silly dioramas that just makes you smile.
A wonderful little kit with a lot of fiddly bits that go together well. Very highly recommended. Another winner from Bandai.
Thanks to HobbyLinkJapan for the review kit. http://www.hlj.com/
Water-based oils are available from: http://www.dickblick.com/products/holbein-duo-aqua-water-soluble-oils/
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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