Saturday, 30 November 2019

MG RX-78-2 Gundam Ver.3.0 [WIP: Core of the Body]

Tempting as it is to now attach both halves (Upper Body and Lower Body) of the RX-78-2 Gundam together, call it done and start snapping shots for the blog, the venerable Grandpa Gundam per se is not quite finished yet. Rushing into the final assembly of the mecha itself (i.e. Grandpa Gundam sans any of its external weapons) would likely be disastrous seeing that both halves have a certain fragility to them. This arises out of their many moving and non-monving parts. This is where the Core of the Body (aka Body Core) steps in, serving both a structural as well as aesthetic function.    

Master Grade RX-78-2 Gundam Version 3.0 Work-in-Progress: Core of the Body (aka Body Core)
Scale comparison of the RX-78-2 Gundam Body Core components using a paperclip and five sen coin

Structural because the Body Core forms a basis for a strong connection between both halves in an otherwise hollow interior of the mecha's Upper Torso. And aesthetic because the front of the Upper Torso can be swiveled upwards to reveal the seated pilot within the Body Core. From the scale comparison in the immediate photo above, you should be able to tell that the Body Core isn't that big. A possible reason for this is to allow it to fit into the hollow torso interior. Nonetheless it's a solid enough block that allows both the Upper Body and Lower Body something substantial to attach to.

Amuro Ray, pilot in full flight suit and seated in the Body Core version (front view)
Back view of the seated Amuro Ray, which I don't know why I painted as it will never see the light of day
Cockpit seat, which also will also largely be hidden from view once assembled into the Body Core
Mid-section cutaway of the Core Fighter that forms the main structure holding both halves of RX-78-2 together
With the Body Core being a single molded piece, painting it entailed lots of masking
Apart from the single molded piece, there is also the pilot and cockpit seat that attached separately

Technically speaking this build was relatively easy. After all there were only three pieces involved. Apart from the single molded piece - i.e. the mid-section cutaway of the Core Fighter which is the largest of all three - there was also the seated pilot version of Amuro Ray and the cockpit seat. As a miniature painter I thought it was an excellent design choice to make the latter two as separate parts. It allowed to paint details I otherwise couldn't have reached effectively with my brush.  

RX-78-2 Gundam Body Core with Amuro Ray seated inside (angled side view, from the right)
RX-78-2 Gundam Body Core with Amuro Ray seated inside (front view)
RX-78-2 Gundam Body Core with Amuro Ray seated inside (angled side view, from the left)
RX-78-2 Gundam Body Core with Amuro Ray seated inside (view from the top)
RX-78-2 Gundam Body Core with Amuro Ray seated inside (view from the bottom)

Despite all the written explanations above, you might still be a bit confused as to where does this Body Core fits into the greater whole. And I don't blame you. As the old cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. So to provide a better context of how the said part relates to the Upper and Lower Body please refer to the two photos above this paragraph and the one immediately below.     

Body Core in relation to the Upper Body and Lower Body of the RX-78-2 Gundam

As you can see from the top view of the Body Core, it doesn't really connect to the Upper Body via a joint. Instead it slides securely into the hollow interior of the Upper Torso. Connections via a jointed system are made primarily between holes at the bottom of the Body Core and corresponding pegs on the Waist Unit of the Lower Body. Despite this, I still expect the connection to be a fairly strong one because the whole Body Core in a way acts like a huge connector peg that inserts itself into the corresponding 'hole' i.e. the hollow interior of the torso. Hopefully this all makes sense to you.  

Final closeup view of the RX-78-2 Gundam Body Core with Amuro Ray seated inside

While there is actually still lots to do for this kit such as main weapons - Beam Rifle, Hyper Bazooka, Shield and Beam Sabers - that the RX-78-2 Gundam is able to wield, the mecha itself is just a step away from completion. With all its main components - Upper Body, Core of the Body and Lower Body - assembled and painted, all that's left to do is to assemble the mecha's disparate parts together. Well, almost the only thing left to do. First, I plan to paint up a 1/100 scale figurine of Amuro Ray in a pilot suit standing up, and pose him next to a fully assembled RX-78-2 Gundam. This way the mecha would still remain in the background and not be the main focus ... yet. His big reveal will come soon enough, and before any of the weapons are completed. So I'll work on Amuro, for now.

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