Review by Showapop
Many of the model kits from Bandai’s original release of Mobile Suit Gundam model kit line called Best Mecha Collection still hold up very well over 30 years later. Yes there are many new and wonderful Gundam kits, such as MG and HG series kits, but there is nothing like the feeling of building these older kits. From their Glossy highly illustrated boxes, cream colored plastic and simple one page instructions, the only item that is missing is the complementary plastic model glue, with which the original kits came with. Every time I travel to Japan I cannot help but pick up a few of these kits for ¥200 each in hobby stores and toss the bunch in my suitcase.
A few years ago I decided I was going to start building and reviewing these kits for CDX and I believed a good place to start would be the three lead mechas of Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam, Guntank and Guncannon. Having already reviewed the Gundam model kit a few months ago, Guntank seems to be the order of the day for my next Best Mecha Collection review. Guntank was the long-range artillery support of the three-mecha team of White Base. It was piloted by a two-man crew, a driver and gunner, which sat in the body and head respectively.
The Guntank model kit comes with 2x blue Sprue, 2x rubber tracks and an one-sheet color instructions. No decals are included.
The kit goes together very well, but there are a few places you should take notice when building the kit. One mistake I did was putting in the front vent part after I assembled the tank body halves together. That ended up being a nightmare when filling and smoothing out the area and severely distorted the area. As the instructions notes put that part in when putting the halves together.
There is one area where some putty filler will be needed, and that is where the side panel parts attach to the side of the main tank body. The open seem goes around the entire main body of the body frame and takes much filler and sanding to smooth out. Make sure you have lots of sanding sticks to get into the tight area. It is difficult but can be completed with good results.
There are a lot of Ship-In-A-Bottle type techniques that are needed with these old kits. Guntank has three of them: The Head, Arms and Large Shoulder Cannons. This has to do mostly with ease of painting in the final finishing steps.
For example, the head’s disc that attaches itself to the body should be trimmed down. Once painted and completed the head can be inserted into the body with a little pressure. Although a little difficult the arms can be attached after the model is completed using pressure tweezers and the clips provided. The Large Cannons are also to be attached early on when the body goes together, but the pegs that keep the cannons attached can be trimmed down and the cannons snapped into the body after the painting is completed. Be careful as too much pressure when snapping these parts in can break open a seam in the kit. Light pressure should work just fine.
The rubber tracks can be assembled to the kit after it is painted, use Tamiya white spray primer to get some tooth on the rubber for the paint to stick to. CA glue should be used to glue the rubber together.
One aspect of this kit that is great is the fact that many of the parts are separated by color. For example the red waist and grey exhaust area is a separate part from the blue tank base and the upper blue bust. I cannot imagine the nightmare it would have been to paint and mask this area if it was all one intergraded part. It makes painting this kit so much better.
I painted this kit at a time when I was moving over to Tamiya paints and before I started using Gunze paints for anime kits. While the finish came out reasonable well, today I would have painted this kit with semi-gloss Gunze paints. Not my best finish but it worked very well for the time when I painted it.
This is a very straightforward kit to paint, due to the parts separated by color. One masking area was the blue glass on the head. I used gloss paints to replicate glass. The finish results came out very well. When I finish painting the entire kit, I flat coated it and applied a wash of oil paints and a silver pencil for scratches.
In terms of articulation there is not much, the arms can go up and down and the cannons can be adjusted and the head can turn. My only real disappointment is the elbows do not go in a 90-degree angle to face them forward, as is they face towards the ground.
Overall, I am impressed with this kit and would love to build another. Other people also liked it so much that it won second place in the Gundam Guys Model contest in the 1/144 scale category in 2013. Not bad for a 30+ year old model kit!
I have always loved the odd design of the Guntank and this classic model kit’s lines still hold up very well to the spirit of the design. Advanced Tank and mecha modelers would want to go all out with finishing and tricking this kit out and young kids would have a blast putting together such an odd vehicle. This kit regularly sells for under $6.00, so if you never built a classic kit before, this might be a good start. Highly recommended for everyone.
©2014 Photos and pictures by Leonardo Flores and CollectionDX
|Posted 21 April, 2014 - 16:34 by Showapop|