Thursday, April 9, 2009

HG 1/144 Gundam Exia Review, Part 2 - Finale

Okay, I got some free time right now, so I'm gonna finish up this review and showing off my newb experience in painting with a Gundam Marker. XP

Read the first part HERE.

Exia and all of its armaments and alternate left hand. Yep, 1/144 scale Gunpla are quite small when you put a bottle near em' and can be quite fragile(So you'll have to hold em' a bit more carefully!).

All armaments equipped! Front view of Exia. For those who are a bit familiar with Exia's design, yes, I did not paint some parts, either too time consuming or forgot. XP Otherwise, I'm quite satisfied with the final results, so all is right.

Left side view. The white part of the shield is made of complete sticker and is very annoying when you're trying to put it on properly, which I didn't really do really well. If possible, I would prefer to paint it, but from my small bits of experience with Gundam Markers(GM), it can be really difficult to make sure the layer of paint dry evenly on a large surface area, so sticker was my only choice, unless I can get some proper tools and thinner.

Right side view. Stare in amazement and awe at my lame skillz with a silver GM! It came out bad and I had to customize as I said in the first part. In all seriousness, I heard that you have to shake the silver GM a bit longer than the normal GM to get the silver to come out right. If you visit Ngee Khiong Ex, NK show how much metallic GMs can be really nice(check out his MG Destiny).

Of course, not being lame and leaving it as an obvious uneven silver paint job, I decide to do my usual fixing by using the file sander to "shave" it off a bit, trying not to scratch the plastic. The end result is as you see in the picture above. Personally, it slightly gives a knife feel or a more "real" feel than an even out silver coat.

The rear view. Don't you think the GN Drive(cone shape on the back) came out really nice?

Well, that's it for the four angle view posing. Now, time for the action!

GN Sword, Rifle Mode! *pew**pew**pew* A standard shot from this can disarm a standard mech in the 00 universe, mostly in the first half of season 1 only though, before the enemies decide to get better mechs... In truth, it is said to be one of the weaker beam rifles.

But who cares? It has a huge sword which can break through GN Fields(barriers) and is considered more efficient as compared to the standard beam saber.

Obligatory pose for big sword wielding warriors. XP

I got this pose from the manual cover of the NG 1/100 Gundam Exia, whereby Exia slashes an enemy with its GN Long Blade while on a mountain/uneven land background(with the GN Short Blade held back). I just use my wireless mouse to copy the pose. ^^

Dual beam saber action! The beam parts were borrowed from Nadleeh. Too bad there aren't any beam dagger parts or else I can try to pose Exia ready to throw his beam daggers at the enemies(what a waste), which Setsuna does a lot in the anime. >> To be truthful, Setsuna wastes his armaments a lot in the anime...

You don't want to be close to those beam sabers, now would you?

Then again, single posing can be boring... so...

A familiar enemy appears! It's Ali al-Saachez in his AEU Enact Custom!

This is a reenactment of the anime scene where the AEU Enact was pwning Exia due to having a better pilot... watch the anime to find out more about that.

Close-up with the AEU Enact in closer focus. XP

Did Exia win? Well... watch the anime. XD

Okay, next up, some comparisons with the NG 1/100 Exia.
I'll be using the term 'NG Exia' for the 1/100 version, so that it is easier to type.

Front view. The NG Exia can be seen to be almost 2 times taller than HG Exia. You can instantly see that NG Exia is a bit more detailed than the HG Exia, though a bit hard to see since I've panted it.

Rear view. The GN Drive of the NG Exia is much detailed as it comes in several parts, inclusive of a transparent cover on the drive's exposed part. This makes the HG Exia's one piece drive look totally inferior(unless you paint it).

Moreover, the NG Exia's shield comes in a few more parts than the HG Exia, making it more detailed and in a way follows the boxart more closely(only panel lining is needed to make it look nice), unlike the sticker shield HG Exia uses...

However, the GN Swords are barely different, just that the detailing is slightly different in some areas. Overally, it is the same. Why didn't Bandai make a gray part for that circular are on the white part of the GN Sword to make it look nicer and less of a paint of needing gray paint. =/

As you can see from the pics above, the NG Exia is more detailed as I've said before, making it a better buy for most collectors and modelers. Of course, details isn't everything, articulation is important too... which the NG Exia wins but at a very annoying risk... more on that later.

Arm articulation. The HG Exia only has a single joint at the elbow joint, totally limiting its bending ability while the NG Exia has a double joint, enabling it to bend almost exactly like any normal human would be able to. Because of this, the HG Exia is unable to grab its shoulder mounted beam sabers unlike the NG Exia. Sorry, no pic on that, didn't take one and don't want to try so hard, later break the elbow joint. XP

Zoom into the elbow connectors and you'll see what I meant, hopefully since the pic is quite small.

Close-up of the rear. Due to my paint job, the HG Exia stands out a bit more than its larger counterpart. XD

See the hip mounted beam hilts. The ones on the ass. Yes, the two sticks with the rectangular red part in the middle.

The NG Exia has a better design for the beam dagger hilts as it is easier to take out, but both can be reached by both Exias, so no problem there.

Close-up of the legs. The NG Exia has a bit of extra details on the legs, which some of you may feel that it is a bit uneccessary, though it does make it look less plain.

In terms of leg bending capabilities, the HG Exia is exactly the same as the NG Exia, though the lack of a better thigh joint prevents it from making more poses with the legs. Though, the articulation of the HG Exia is enough for it to pose around.

I did this with the HG 00 and NG 00, so I should do this for Exia too, right? Not much difference can be seen in this pic as both of them can pose basically the same.

However... look here! The detail of the inner part of the knee plates are more detailed on the HG Exia! Hmmm...

Another difference. The red circled parts are the rear ankle plates. The NG Exia one can move up and down while the HG Exia does not. Though, it isn't that important and needed, but it does give it a bit more detail(NG Exia).

The blue circled parts are showing the joint of the feet of the Exias. The NG Exia is much better articulated as it can bend the front of the feet, similar to a human being unlike the HG Exia, which is just flat. The extra joint on the legs on the NG Exia gives it a bit more possibilities on the ground. >>

Well, that's it.

As you can tell, the HG Exia is not as good as the NG Exia. Though, the HG Exia is not something you should ignore just because of that. Since most of the model kits for 00 are in HG size, it is better to buy the HG version, for contingency and makes you able to pose them in ridiculous poses! Of course, that's a terrible reason to buy it for. XD

Moreover, the NG Exia is only 1100 Yen more than the HG Exia and comes with more details(rubber parts for the purple "connectors", full beam parts and a non-sticker needing shield). Then again, due to the current exchange rates, another 1100 Yen can land you a bit of trouble, especially when you are collecting tthe Gundams, like me. XP

At any rate, you can buy the HG Exia if you like 1/144 scales more or you can buy the NG Exia, which is bigger and more detailed. BUT, the NG Exia has a warring flaw in its hip connectors to the thighs which IS THE MOST ANNOYING PART. Because of a bad molding decision, the polycaps doesn't fit in well, thus causing the legs to possibly come off from the hip socket when you pose Exia around. Worse comes to worst, it might become lose and there goes Exia's legs. But if you just build and pose a bit then keep inside the display from then till infinitum, it doesn't matter so much.

Wait, those walls of text are just about the NG Exia... XP

However, the HG Exia is a bit more sturdy than the NG Exia, which can be one of its selling point and that it is fairly cheap(1200 Yen), which is a standard price for HGs lately. >> It is also much easier and takes less time to build(unless you paint it) and can pose quite a decent lot.

In the end, I guess the HG Exia isn't as good as the NG Exia, unlike the comparison between the HG 00 and NG 00, which was more closer... Oh well, either you buy the HG Exia or the NG Exia, they are both really nicely molded and are relatively easy to put together.

If you like Exia(like me), you should definately buy this HG! Then again, the HG Exia R2 will come out in June which comes with the GN Sword III which looks much better(and cooler!). I suggest you wait for that instead. XP You can however, buy the NG Exia and have a ball with the detailing and articulation, though don't play with it too much or else...
Rumor: MG Exia will come in the near future, so maybe you shouldn't buy the NG Exia after all...

Well, that's all for now. Sorry if this review became mostly a comparison, but then again, I guess it is better that way... and sorry if it is a bit jumbled up, cuz' I'm a bit sleepy as I type this. =X

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