The Gundam F91… depending on my mood and how I look at it, I sometimes find myself hating this Gundam almost as much as the Mk II or appreciate it as a simplistic yet still coolsome mobile suit. The F91 packs huge amount of power in a little package due to 30 years of technological advancement after Char’s Counterattack. Hmm… I forgot why I bought this MG… I watched F91 twice and twice I find the movie to be a mess (all thanks to it being a full series cramped into one movie format). I wasn’t fond of Seabook nor was I particularly impressed with the F91. Maybe because the selling point was “OMG NO POLYCAPZ!”. Anyway, let’s just get to the WISP…
Out of the Box
13 Total runners (yes, including the beam sabers and that little one for the fins). Typical of most MG. The Rafflesia is one giant red plastic mold with green tentacles. The decal set for F91 looks too busy. I like the runner-free shield. Parts are noticeably smaller… almost on par with 1/144 scale stuff.
Straight built. Total “home look”. No topcoat (except head… before I found out that Japan banned all spray cans). No paint. Just decals.
Haha the body looks like a giant radiator/heatsink. The F91’s body take a rather long time to cut, clean and snap together compared to other MG Gundams simply for the fact that the parts are a lot smaller and that you are already assembling the backpack as well. The blue is VERY shiny and feels very cheap. The blue side body panels also feel very fragile and thin.
Whoops… forgot a completed shot. Many terribly small pieces here as well (look at the red chin and V-fin gem!). Very hard to remove the nub without almost slicing into myself (file was almost too wide). Issue: The normal face plate can rub against the eye sticker and lift it up… and the helmet can rub against the side of the eye sticker and push it down.. -___-;. Had to keep removing the helmet to realign the sticker…
Very simple here. The fins are one solid piece but they are very thin and thus… very fragile. You can feel them flex. You can pop open the top shoulder piece to push out the fins…or do what I do and just pull them out by grabbing them; the top shoulder piece isn’t exactly readily removeable.
First off, I hate the elbow design. It is like Bandai went backwards with their joint engineering. I haven’t seen elbows connected at its “pivot point” (for lack of better term) since… maybe the 1/100 Gundam Wing/X models. Since the elbow is not “enclosed”, it is bound to wiggle out as you play and the joints are generally weaker. I also hate the hands… the three bottom fingers are molded together completely so I can’t really cut them out individually. The hands feel loose and weak. I think it is fairly obvious why such design sucks. On another note, it is only building this MG that I realize F91’s arms are different on each side; the right arm is plain while the left houses its shield and a bit more design. I’ve always thought it had shields on both side ^^;.
I like the design of F91’s feet but it needs more useful articulation… all it can do is have the front part point up.
While there is a lot going on here, there is little complexity as things are pretty straightforward. Most, if not all, of the leg parts are heavily infested with nubs so a lot of time was consumed just trying to clean up every piece. At this point, the legs show some promise…
For something that virtually has no gimmick in and of itself (save the side skirt pockets for the beam sabers and extra shield generator), the waist sure has some fancy assembly process and parts.
VSBR (Variable Speed Beam Rifle)
Easily the worst assembly process of this whole model. The part that makes assembling the VSBR so troublesome is slipping that PC-like cube through the sliding rail of the VSBR’s inner frame. It is that initial fitting in part that makes this process a chore because you basically have to force that little cube in through the rail due to there being a notch at the tip. I can feel the stress and flex on the rail (it was bending) as if it is about to break as I try to force that little sucker inside. It took awhile but sign of relief came around when I heard the *pachi* of the parts and a sore thumb afterwards. The rest is a breeze. Blue plastic = overly shiny and cheap.
You can pretty much figure out how to assemble these just by the pictures right?
Just personal preference and nothing else here… I really couldn’t care any less about this thing so I decided not to build it ^^;… which makes me wonder why I didn’t go for the Martin Harrison F91 since I like that color scheme a lot more (incidentally, I also like his F91 GFF more than the original as well).
Enter the F91
How to start off… hmm… well the model looks as good as a relatively modern MG should be. Proportions are probably about anime-accurate with a slight bias toward sleek/GFF. And as you can probably expect of any UC mobile suits, the F91 looks great just standing there. Unsurprisingly, this is quite a lightweight model and as for its size…
I didn’t like the bulk of the decals for this Gundam (it was mostly a bunch of red triangles and circles) so I omitted them and just used the main ones that do make a difference. Kept the model clean overall. Most importantly is that I successfully got the “F 91” on there ^^
I swear Seabook’s mom was thinking of Iron mask when she designed the open-face for the F91…
I thought the beam rifle had some color accuracy issues since it was only half pieces snapped together but it really IS that plain…
The beam shield is cool and all but… it is so big that it gets obstructed by the shoulder -_-. But eh, the part didn’t look as cool as I thought it would be at first sight.
Articulation is good… and that’s it. Nothing to really praise about it. Sure it beats older models but it is not something that this MG sticks out for.
Posing with the beam saber is almost like posing without any weapons at all…
Even with a rotating handle, the Beam Launcher was hard for F91 to hold firmly since the hands are kinda weak. The launcher also doesn’t rest well on the shoulder either and it can easily slide right off. Overall, not a really poseable weapon despite looking so cool… after spending quite some time doing the panel lines.
This is the main highlight of the F91 that I was looking forward to play around with. I find it odd that the VSBR has two handles (not shown: there’s one further out, you can see where it is hidden). Awesome looking cannons… had some trouble at first getting the hands to hold but once set, it can move along with the VSBR almost hassle-free. No problems here…except that the inner frame could use some detailing ^^;
That’s a permanent frown…
The F91 is so powerful and produces so much excessive heat that it causes a Metal Peel-Off Effect, creating after-image of itself…
By itself, the F91 doesn’t seem so small. It is still taller than most HGUC and other 1/144 models out there so size isn’t much of a problem after assembly. However, most of the issues I have with this kit are the following:
Parts- They are thin and feel fragile. It’s like if you’re not too careful, they can easily snap. This mostly applies to the inner frame parts though. I supposed this one can be overlooked since the Gundam is so small but thought I should still point this out.
Color inconsistency- For an MG, this model requires a bit more painting than other models released around its time (again, must be due to size…). It’s not so much that this kit needs some coloring in here and there that irks me but the color of choice Bandai chose to mold some parts in. For example, look at the front skirt armor… the black vents are supposed to be WHITE. Why the hell didn’t Bandai just mold them in white so we can just color in the vent instead of having to paint the entire thing white first THEN paint in the black OR… just save some plastic and just mold them onto the entire skirt? The shoulder fins are understandable because they are so thin.
Legs- They are on the weak side and not very rigid. Articulation doesn’t mean much if the legs can’t support the Gundam during dynamic poses. Either the model has a tendency to do the splits, the body falling back, or the pose not working when it should. Rigidity: the legs don’t feel very solid and kinda hollow..especially the knees. The parts also doesn’t move smoothly.
Nubs- For a model with such small pieces, the nub marks are obnoxiously abundant and thick. The nubs leave a lot of scars that you can’t really file or filet out with a knife but luckily aren’t readily noticeable… but they are there out in the open.
Any other rants I have are already mentioned above.
I think the MG F91 looks great as a display piece. I don’t understand what was so great about “NO POLYCAPS!” but I felt it could actually use some here and there as some parts feel terrible moving around. The small parts are easy to get used to so that’s no big deal. Most of the problems I have with it comes from playing with the model. Its articulation is nothing to write home about and neither is the detail so effort should be put into the kit if one wants a good display piece of the F91. Those who aren’t really interested in the F91 can pass on this model without missing much while those who loves it probably wouldn’t mind the extra effort to clean up this model.