Model kit: 1/100 Gog
From: Mobile Suit Gundam
Time to build: 10 hours
Difficulty: medium (simple but poor quality kit)
This model represents a benchmark in the life of this otaku – my very first Gundam.
No, it’s not your typical mobile suit, but it’s Gundam nonetheless. Why this lack of the most identifiable mecha in my cadre of robots? Well, that requires a rather shocking admission on my part:
I have never watched a minute of any Gundam show. Ever.
Regardless, when I saw this dude on the shelf of a tiny, cheap-ass toy store in Vancouver’s Chinatown, his intense ugliness cried out to me – in fact, there’s this one pose on the box where his hands are tucked under his armpits in a chicken dance-like position. Oh kay. Anyway, I loved his very 70s design, but I could also see him on the shelves of any vinyl toy store or even art gallery. He’s chubby and seems to be wearing a big ol’ brown diaper. I had to have him.
A bit of research taught me that this, at one time very inexpensive kit was issued in the late 90s and is now out of production. The instructions taught me that I was not in for a good time. It’s not that this is a difficult model, not at all. The problem is poor design, a first in the Japanese kits I’ve encountered.
The biggest problem was in the process of sealing seams and painting parts before attaching them together. Previous kits I’ve built have done a miraculous job of making this process easy, so you can focus on each part and get it just right. This kit, however, forces you to leave certain seams showing as there is no way to deal with them previous to assembly. Plus, the plastic is such low quality, and the fit sometimes so mis-matched, that no amount of sanding could smooth out the seams. Not to mention that once the parts are painted and sealed, joints barely move without much scraping and scratching because they are so tight.
But despite the rough edges, this dude turned out more phatt than fat. I fudged the colour scheme a bit, going a bit more ash on the blue and more green on the yellow, making him look a little contemporary and even artistic. And he’s nice and big and is going to look good and awesome in any diorama.
And I suppose it’s time I finally sat down and watched some Gundam. Maybe there’s a robot wedding or bar mitzvah scene that explains Gog’s weird choice in dance moves.