Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HGBF Wing Gundam Fenice Rinascita Review

Pic courtesy of ToyArena.com

-=-=INCOMING TRANSMISSION=-=-

About time I got a Gunpla Review up. Although this will be slightly different from the norm since I am typing this on my iPad (My trusted Lapper conked out on me months ago. So sad...)





Anyways...



A brief history on the suit: Originally named as the XXXG-01Wfr Wing Gundam Fenice Rinascita (although on the box, the "Wing" part of thr name is removed) the suit made its debut in episode 23 of Gundam Build Fighters (essentially the Gundam show purposely-crafted as a marketing ploy for the boffins at Bandai), at the hands of its build-fighter Ricardo "The Italian Dandy" Fellini. And boy, did it make a proper first impression when it appeared.

As for this particular kit, compared to the others in the collection, this one was an early Christmas Gift from a family friend. Wasn't actually expecting someone to gift me a model kit at my yuppie age; but hey, a gift's a gift. Do bear in mind that I was, at that time, still saving up moolah for the just-announced RG Wing Gundam Zero OVA (more on that on another post), and I was still cash-strapped.

On to the review...

Base unit (without armaments)




Since the suit's design was penned by Kanatake Ekibawa (aka the chap behind the mecha designs for Gundam 00, which kinda explains the suit deriving its lines from the Reborns Gundam on certain angles), I'd go ahead and call it the Ver.Eki were it painted in the Original Wing Gundam color scheme. And were the kneecap areas replaced with a slimmer, white pair.


Dimensional Views






Since I do not have its predecessor, the Fenice, I couldn't make the proper comparo pics with it. Still looks fighter-plane sharp, even in MS mode.

Armament and Beam Effect Layout



Apart from the signature Buster Rifle (modified version from the one on the Fenice), it gets a sharp-looking shield, a beam saber handle, and apparently four beam effects. Notably the pair of beam mantlets (more on them later.)

Also, the box piece with protruding rods on the left is for use with other Build Custom attachments under the HG Build Fighters line; as for the odd piece on the right, I'll explain a bit later.

Kit with Basic Armaments





As expected of a Wing Gundam variant, it can hold the Rifle and Shield with no problem. Although the shoulder and elbow joints will have the usual sagging issues overtime.



Lame effort of replicating the SEED title card pose.



Gotta love the sharpness of that shield. Although it reminds me more of the one on the Wing Zero (TV Ver) than the Wing, with its large side fins and all.



Also, the attachment underneath the buster rifle can be removed for some dual wielding action.


Beam Effects






Surprisingly, these semi-clear parts are just as hard as the plastc on the kit itself compared to the effect parts on older kits (the last time I encountered these would probably be with the HGCE Strike Freedom). Gotta love those beam mantlets though.

CPSW Special Shield Attachment



Remember this bit? Well, annoyed by not being able to mount the shield on the kit while it dual-wields, I decided to rummage through my parts bin, chop down what I think was one of the shield mounts for the HGUC Gaplant TR-5 Hrairoo, carve down one end, then make a small hole for the shield handle to slide into.


Like so.


End Result: the shield can now be mounted onto the hole on the Rinascita's back (meant for mounting the Buster Rifle when not in use). Kinda looks sleeker that way, too.

Bird Mode



The Rinascita probably has the sleekest alternate mode among the collection's transforming mobile suits. What's more, no need to do some swapping or repositioning of parts. Well, apart from the shield. The kit comes supplied with an adaptor for the action bases if one wants to display it like so.



My only gripe would be the weapon mounting scheme in this kit, requiring the buster rifle to be split and mounted underneath, using the slots on the forearms. Couple that with the difficulty of clamping the shoulders with the wings and the said mode lookes a bit awkward when viewed from below.

Still won't stop me from doing what can be done with the HGAC Wing Gundam though:

"Gerwalk" Mode




Completely pointless to pose it this way since it makes the kit veeery front-heavy, but who the feth cares, right?

Summary:

Good bits

- Sleek design
- Armament versatility
- Transformation Gimmick

Bad Bits

- Awkward mounting of weapons in Bird Mode
- Sag-prone arm and shoulder joints

Conclusion:


Kinda refreshing yet okay of a kit, the Rinascita. It isn't as bland like most kits with preominantly-green color schemes barring the Zaku series of suits, but it doesn't stand out too much like the other Gundams from the same series, or from the rest of the franchise. If I had a few gripes about this kit, it would be its lack of proper screentime in Build Figters; it may be just a bit of "saving the best for last" tactic on the part of Sunrise and Bandai, but it did kinda leave a proper impression on those who saw the suit, me included.






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