When I first saw the Unicorn Gundam on a Magazine scan, I was like “wow… how unique!”. Unicorn looked like something out of Macross Plus while keeping the mobile suit feeling but I wasn’t actually attracted to it though… until I saw Destroy Mode! I laughed… it transformed from an original design to something we all recognize: IT’S A GUNDAM! The red panels are certainly alluring enough to make me pre-order the MG the moment I knew about it. That being said… I actually have this MG since it first came out (last christmas) and left it on my shelf for about 10 months before finally getting to it now. Geez…
I love the design of the Unicorn and find it so special that I don’t think straight building it will do the Gundam any justice so I wanted to put in all of my effort into this model. This is my first time using paint on a Gundam model in a larger scale than just minor detailing. The only parts that weren’t painted were the white parts; I just sprayed top coat on them to flatten the shine.
Out of the Box
If I counted right, this model comes with 20 frame runners of parts and suprisingly, no PC parts. As expected of a Ver. Ka kit, you get this HUGE sheet of marking stickers and decal. Yay!
The Works- Preparations, Color Testing, Progress and Whatnot
The one thing I didn’t like about this model is that the transparent parts are of a dull pink color. Combined with the pure white parts, and it gives off a nauseating effect to me. I figured I should probably make it more vivid.
Before I began on the construction, I actually looked through the manual like twenty times to familiarize myself with the Gundam’s parts. This helps me prepare on what I need to do later on and I’ll at least have an idea on where I need and don’t need to paint.
Before I paint the actual piece, I tested all my paint on the runners itself to see how it turns out as a precaution. Played around until I find a satisfying result then move on to the actual parts. At the end, I’ve settled on painting over the pink parts in Tamiya Clear Red. It makes the Destroy panels more vivid and give it a Jolly Rancher red look to it ^_^. The white parts I just spray with Mr. Hobby’s Flat top coat.
After painting the pink body panels and waiting for it to dry, I started construction of the body first. Many little pieces build right on top of each other to form the bulk of the body. Even though there are plenty of sliding parts, the body doesn’t feel the least bit flimsy. It’s actually quite solid!
I sprayed Mr. Hobby’s Flat top coat after applying the decals and stickers.
The Arms and Hands
Same process as the body. Check out the difference between the painted and unpainted arms! :D
For the hands, I cut up the 3-finger piece into individual pieces to allow more articulation when posing. I think this is a no-brainer mod ^^;
For the shoulders, I assembled it without the red panels first so I can spray the top coat without risk having to fog up the red panels. It’s takes more time since I have to dissemble and reassemble it again but it was necessary.
One of the most interesting things of this model is seeing how all the sliding parts go together that allows Unicorn to transform into Destroy Mode. Even the waist has plenty of sliding, flipping, opening panels that requires some time to assemble than the average MG waist. A locking mechanism on the rear allows you to pull the ball socket that connects the legs outward a little (completely pointless methinks).
I thought the plain gray thrusters and beam saber holders were a bit boring so I painted them in Gunmetal on the outside ^^;. The inside is coated with multiple layers of Tamiya flat red then another layer of the clear red. I also ran over the blue part with Tamiya Flat Blue.
Legs and Feet
There’s nothing really “complicated” or difficult about assembling this part surprisingly as everything seem straightforward despite the abundance of pieces. You can actually immediately see how the inner mechanisms work as you build it that allow the legs to transform.
First off… whoever decided to use the yellow foil sticker for the Unicorn’s V-fin and thinks it look even remotely OKAY deserves to have their model confiscated >_>. The foil sticker is just hideous and destroys any elegance this Ver. Ka model has.
Although I have Tamiya Yellow, I decided to not use it because I find a yellow v-fin on an almost entirely white Gundam is… out of place. I had a better idea…
The V-fin took a good amount of time and effort for me to get it right. The process was paint the lines, wipe with thinner, paint, wipe, paint, wipe until I got it how I want it. So tedious…
The only foil sticker I used on this ENTIRE model was for the eyes. I painted in everything else.
Painted the Beam Magnum’s ammo pack into gunmetal and painted in the missles for the bazooka.
I didn’t care enough to assemble the other ammo packs ^^;
As for the beam sabers, they were originally pink but that didn’t flow well with the red I had going so I painted them too!
Unicorn has four beam sabers but the model only comes with two beams sooo okay… I took two more from my other MG models and painted them as well. They fit because these are just your generic MG UC beams.
Unicorn has its own clip for the Action Base but didn’t come with the base itself so thought I bust out a new white one from my Action Base Reserve (aka my closet). Got this the same time I bought Unicorn :D
My initial impression of the completed model was… “Wow… it can’t move!” but it’s probably the top coat that got on the joint that cause it to be so stiff. Loving how clean the color scheme look on this model. The details are still sharp despite the fact I didn’t even do the panel lines! Movement does feel restricted but not really something to complain about and for this model, its not one of its maint points anyway.
ORE WA GUNDAM MODE!
Transforming Unicorn looks deceptively complicated from the manual but it’s actually quite simple and easy after playing with it a couple of times. It’s very straightforward and the parts hold in place pretty well for the most part.
When in Gundam Destroy mode, Unicorn becomes a little more loose and feel a bit less stable than its former self. This is probably due to the added height. The body also tends to the come off easier from the waist because the peg isn’t as deep into the socket anymore. It might feel like it’ll break at first when trying to move it around but after getting the hang of it, the joints are quite abusable! Their range might be limited but they hold in place very well and doesn’t fall to the whims of gravity. This is great because that means it’s actually more versatile in mid-air poses!
I’m truly proud of this model’s end result. The dark red definitely looks a lot better (vivid) than the stock pink in my eyes. Sure, I made a few whoops here and there but the overall picture is just aesthetically pleasing to the eyes (to mine at least).
Now for the moment of truth!
UNICORN DRILL! FINAL ATTACK!!
cookies to anyone who knows the references ^_^
WITH YOUR DRILL, PIERCE THE HEAVENS!!!
DRILL BOOSTER KNUCKLE!!!
And these two are my favorite shots during the photoshoot:
I love this model. This is definitely a great model in and of itself. Even with the high number of part runners, this model can still be built quickly and it isn’t as sophisticated as something like the MG Zeta Gundam Ver. 2.0. Even with all the sliding parts and whatnot, this model is still straightforward to assemble.
People have complained about this kit’s lack of poseability but you see… the purpose (selling point) of this particular model is not its articulation but I think we all know where the true beauty of this model comes from. Katoki probably intended this kit to be yet another GFF in model form. I actually find the comment “lack of poseability” is an overstatement. This model might not be able to pull off extra dynamic moves like the MG Strike Noir or even Avalanche Exia but it can still pose decently as evident in my photos. People just need to push the joints a little harder than usual, that’s all.
To get the full aesthetic pleasure out of this kit, one needs to spend a little more time and effort on it. Slapping all the little red markings and decals IS tedious and requires an infinite amount of patience but the end result is well worth it.