Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Gunpla 03: "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes..."

The first part of my Gundam RX-78 build has been a bit tedious and time consuming, but now I have a feel for how the parts go together. Down side - there are a lot of sprues left...

Surprisingly, one of them is a rubber moulding, which contains some of the parts required for the torso segment.  The assembly of the first element in the instructions puzzles me for a moment - what are these things supposed to be, anyway? - until I realize that they must be shoulders, and the rubber parts are required for the connection and articulation of the joints. I gather that the final model will have a large range of motion, assuming that I put everything together correctly.

Not the least of my challenges in that area is that the instructions are in Japanese, which is why I don't know exactly what it is that I'm building right now. Similarly, I'm certain the sentence with the exclamation point at the top of page 9 is alerting me to something important, but hopefully things will go together as they should in spite of my lack of comprehension.


It does go fairly smoothly, although I'm temporarily baffled by how to put the two pieces of the chest together - until I realize that one of them is upside down.  Fortunately, there's a certain logic in the process:  tabs will go into slots, pins will go into holes, and so on.  It's rather like a jigsaw puzzle, where you can tell instantly whether or not you have the right piece to go into a gap.


And, like a jigsaw puzzle, right now it doesn't quite look like the box yet.  But it's coming along, the Gundam's torso is beginning to come together as I locate and detach each of the multicoloured pieces from the various sprues. (Obviously camouflage has become irrelevant on the battlefields of the future.)*

I'm momentarily stumped when I can't find one of those specified sprues, which makes me feel like someone who is missing a crucial screw for the IKEA dresser that they're trying to put together. To my relief, I finally locate it - in my defence, it's transparent.


The instructions for the head are a good example of the complicated techniques used to hold the parts together. It's made up of 16 parts from six sprues, and I gather that should I wish, I could add an LED to the head in order to make the eyes light up. 

Having seen exactly how that looks full sized during our visit to Japan, I'm a little tempted.  However, it's not an option which is included with the kit, so I'll have to do some aftermarket research.

After the head, I complete the neck module and decide to call it a day.  I'm stiff from sitting crouched over the table for most of the day, but I'm pleased with my progress:  core fighter, chest, neck assembly and the distinctive Gundam head.  Next, arms and legs - and maybe hips.
- Sid

* Which actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. The sort of complex electronic sensors used on ships like Star Trek's Enterprise would make any sort of painted camouflage pointless.  On the other hand, there was that Star Destroyer that couldn't find the Millennium Falcon when it was hiding right under their noses on their hull, so who knows.

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