Tobe yo, Gandamu!

The mobile suit which started it all; a fitting final project for my sojourn across the sea.

Ready, set.

Core fighter ver. 2.0. What a little bundle of madness. With many tiny, intricate parts, this little plane can do anything the animated original can: the wings fold and tuck into the body, the cockpit opens, the chair therein rotates, the nose folds down, and everything else necessary to transform into the core block is accomplished. The missile bays, as can be seen above, even swing open.

The core fighter also comes with its own stand for independent display. Unfortunately I'll have to go get another action base for Gundam itself.

Having never been much of a fan of core fighters, nor the whole transforming mobile suit thing, this little mini-project is hardly my main concern. That said, it's nevertheless impressive. Don't know how it compares to previous versions of the core fighter, but regardless it certainly holds its own.

The core fighter's tiny and fragile parts have many finer-than-usual panel lines. While I count myself lucky to have managed not to break anything in the course of assembling the little plane, I did make a pretty ugly mess of the inking. Fortunately, this little birdie will be hidden inside Gundam's (hopefully more nicely-finished) torso.

The tiny, hinged wings sag a bit, but the thing still has a smart profile.

Leg internals. I was actually struck by a feeling of simplicity in this leg's engineering. It's definitely up to snuff in terms of modern MG technology, of course, and as you can see it's not at all lacking in flexibility. The construction of the internal mechanism, however, feels more reserved than the Zaku II ver. 2.0, and certainly more than the Hi-Nu. Large central parts make up the main body of the upper and lower leg. Each of these has a simple sliding lever of sorts (rather than operable pistons) which, along with a point on the main part itself, connects into the knee. A small number of additional parts are added on top of this basic frame to fill out the limb's shape.

As might be expected, however, the little foot is a bit more complex than usual on account of that extra joint in the toe.

The entire foot-leg assemblage contains only a single polycap, in the foot. Even the hip joint is made just of two interlocking parts.

Gundam B module. Getting it into a kneel seems almost too easy.

That's right. That is indeed the compartment in the waist where Gundam keeps the heat-resistant film which permitted Amuro to perform the first atmospheric reentry in a mobile suit.

Shoulder internals. Those pistons aren't for show, and in fact are entirely functional, serving as the actual mechanism for the shoulder joints.

Additionally, the vents on the chest are hinged and articulated for good measure.

That circular interface visible on the frame's spine is a joint which permits the torso unit's expressive side-to-side flexibility.

Inner arm mechanism. Somewhat like the legs, the arm uses single-piece sliding levers to simulate pistons. The flex is smooth and excellent.

Core change, go for docking! Laser searcher synchronized.

The core fighter transformation, almost to my surprise, is very smooth and easy. All those tiny pieces fit together just so.

Front view. Party like it's 1979.

Rear view.

Gundam reaches for a beam saber with the greatest of ease.

Almost as if I've seen this somewhere before.

Hopefully Amuro won't miss with a scope that big. Sheesh. Doesn't this look familiar too?

Letting loose with that classic beam rifle. Simple, but probably the best-constructed MG weapon I've encountered yet. I'm still getting deja vu for some reason.

Gundam has one thing to say: super napalm. That's right. What now? The loudspeaker carts are finished, that's what.

Gundam was out for a heavily-armed stroll…

… When he encountered the three Wolfgar Zakus, evidently looking for trouble.

Hagar, currently in command, orders the team to attack…

… But himself leaps right into close combat, obstructing the others' lines of fire. Gundam, still surprised, takes aim with the hyper bazooka.

The Wolfgar veteran is too fast, however, and the brand-new bazooka is cloven in twain before a shot is fired. The White Base supply crew isn't going to be happy about this.

Gundam never cared much for the bazooka anyhow. As Hagar tries to smash through his shield, the white mobile suit reaches for his favorite weapon.

Buffeting Hagar's assault aside with a sweep of the shield, Gundam disarms the Zaku with a pinpoint shot.

… And follows up with a brutal shield-bash that's sure to put the bellicose drill sergeant out of commission.

With the field clear, Saki and Lester both move to take the shot, but the white devil, on a roll now, shoots aside one of their weapons…

… And takes the other out with a classic shield toss.

Not missing a beat, Saki draws one of her mysterious beam sabers, while Lester takes up his fallen commander's heat hawk. Gundam moves to draw one of his own blades…

… But his delay in doing so gives Saki the opening she needs, and blocking her sudden strike in turn allows Lester to leap in and knock out the beam rifle before Gundam can take another shot. That's teamwork.

Mr. V Project is no pushover, however — warding off Saki with a broad swing, he lays a nasty Zaku-nose-grab on Lester…

… And whips out the beam javelin for the killing stroke.

Let us pause to reflect on all the mellows thusly harshed by this awesome machine.

Saki attacks mightily, forcing Gundam back…

… But noticing something at his feet, the white mobile suit moves the Wolfgar lass back with an unexpected hurl of the javelin…

… And takes up the most sophisticated weapon ever included in a mobile suit's arsenal.

And with a swing of the Gundam Hammer, Saki's sent flying before she knows what hit her.

Gundam: 3; Wolfgar Team: ouch.

Collecting his shield, Gundam stretches and contemplates how much has changed over all these years…

… Then again, some things — like how much the Red Comet Kick hurts — never change.