HG 1/144 "Fighting Action" Gundam D-Hell Custom

It's been 11 years since I first seen this kit, back when Gundam W was airing in the U.S. and Endless Waltz, it's OVA/movie sequel, wasn't far behind it. I had pretty high expectations for these kits, being the first time I'd seen the "HG" moniker attached to a 1/144 scale line. (I would later find out about the first 1990 High Grades as well as the HGUC line.)
When I went to Toys R' Us one day back in 2000, I first saw this kit. Asking my mom to by this was difficult (I was 13 at the time) because of the $14 price tag. But she caved and got it for me. I can remember now, the thin layer of red paint along the face and chest vents, the ridiculously unremoved sprue flash, and the foil sticker eyes... sigh. Well I was young.
Anyway, 11 years later, I meet this kit again at a chance encounter on the east side of Columbus. Almost like fate, as I'd never been to this store, only hearing about it the day before, going there with the intention on picking up some 1/144 Endless Waltz kits. Destiny, right?
Ironically, the prices for these were $12 and $11, respectively. Eat your heart out, Bandai America...

So, without further introduction, time for the main event. The photo review!!

Front View
Rear View
Rear view without wings so you can see the two parts on the back skits I painted.

One thing that bothers me about this versus more recent kits are the exposed polycaps for the joints. The knee ones are clever enough, but the arms... and the NECK!

The fact that all the EW Gundams have colored necks makes this a real pain to paint, as paint has a very... VERY hard time holding to polycaprolactone because of it's rubber-esque nature...
Painting about 3 layers of paint, allowing each to dry a few hours is the only way to hope it will stay. As of writing this, some has already chipped. T_T

The wing backpack has a neat gimmick to hold itself in position. By placing the green peg into the corresponding socket first and then connecting the polycap to the red peg (colored in Photoshop to make more visible), it braces the wings at an angle instead of being slumped down!

The Beam Scissors (I still haven't figured out why they renamed it's weapon...) are a simple three part assembly. The blade was molded in yellow, however that is WRONG, so I painted it green... and later, a lighter green which is only in this picture...

Posing is a little hindered by the old technology. However, they thought a step ahead with these kits...

The extra torso included is a little distorted to the left, while the shoulder pegs are angled upwards, allowing epic posing like this:

The legs, or more namely the feet, still suffer from the "foot peg into leg socket" problem, uncured until somewhere into the 08th MS Team line...

This does make up for the underdeveloped joints. Downside: two necks to paint...

It's active cloak is simple and to-the-point. I only wish the clasp in the front would actually hold together.

I digress. This kit, despite it's simple construction and outdated technology, still has its clever points. It's proportionally top-notch and looks decent side-by-side with some newer kits (albeit smaller). Will my H-Arms Custom hold the same respect as this one has so far? ...


FINAL RATING: 3.5 out of 5


Anonymous said...

Looks great man. good review.

Siroh32 said...

Since you've said you needed my kind of two cents here, here I am. Grab a drink, since I intend to make full use of my two cents (and in a couple of comment posts).

I'm currently reading your 1/144 Heavyarms Kai and Deathscythe Hell reviews in that order, and having finished the former a bit quick (since I just found out DSH came first), I can already tell you that it's a good review style. First and foremost, unlike myself, you're to the point. It shows in your amount of images and text in-between. Now I haven't made a blog-styled review before (given DA's limits*), but even I know having the soul of wit at your side is something useful.
(*In fairness, I don't know a whole lot of DA's code to use in order to link to another user properly, or have thumbnails within an entry's comments. Maybe I could've made my reviews more "traditional" if I knew. But DA's not a blog, and it is limited on how it can be used for reviewing.)
Where I would tend to differ with most people on Gunpla reviews is usage of photos, but that's because of my main inspiration being Dalong and having to improvise, given DA's limits (see above). In my Kapool review, when I highlighted articulation, I would make use of my knowledge of Paint Shop Pro and try adding arrows here and there to illustrate where the articulation is and how it functions. It's simple and to the point, something I liked about Dalong's reviews when it came to the top of the articulation portion of his review on a given model.

To the Deathscythe Hell review itself...
-- On your list of links is GSaM. Take a look at half the NG 1/144s on a given list (available or sold out). They all range from $6-10 in price. I don't recall if prices were slightly higher when Gunpla was briefly available on store shelves here in the US, but I rarely see that in other online stores. Even if they aren't discontinued. US MSiA were similar prices back then, but by now it seems damn-near impossible to get them for even a few dollars more than that (around $15). I see prices on some MSiA in Google, Amazon, and EBay searches that have them as high up as $80-$90. The only ones I've seen near their original price were used ones with missing pieces.
-- But this review is about the model and not Gunpla/figure prices. The polycap joints don't bother me so much; I've been used to it and basic articulation with the 1/144s I've built, and they look a bit less tacky than the joints of a given MSiA, which tend to not cover up how the joints are connected. RDs, GFFs, HGs, MGs, they all portray exposed MS joints more accurately, and I would include standard 1/144s (and EW's HGFA series) in that list over MSiAs. But they don't bother me that much on MSiAs either.

(To be continued... Dunh dunh DUUUUNNNNH!)

Siroh32 said...

(I warned you this would be one long comment... Hell, Blogspot's subtle attempt at recruiting me warned me I was well over the limit! Continuing on...)

-- I mentioned in some reviews and opinions of mine that I use permanent markers more often than paint, but I use both. More often than not, when I handle a model, I have to re-apply it every once in a while, provided I'm not wearing rubber gloves in order to handle it. I have a suspicion that the paint I do use is susceptible to this, even if a bit less so. So far, with the paint I used on my 1/144 SUMO (Gold Type), it appears to be solidly on the model, and I'm glad for that.
-- The gimmick for the wing is nice. I don't think my MSiA counterpart has it, but I can always hash it out to check it. With the exception of the center part, the wings hold up in mediocre fashion; the inner-sides connected by pegs, and the outer-sides connected to the inner ones by flimsy hinge connections that can sometimes fall off.
-- ...The scythe is yellow? Was it a solid yellow or a clear yellow? Sandrock discounted (given the armament), I think the HGFA (and previous GW 1/144) Gunpla have all-solid weaponry, right down to the beam weapon and blade. Well, if my Altron ver. EW is of any indication... I got an older NG 1/144, and I'll bet the beam saber is clear. I had it before ten years ago, and I recall it being so. My (unseen) 1/144 Virsago has one solid beam saber. The reason why I bring this up is because it might be nice to see a 1/144-scaled clear beam blade, regardless of actual color. *shrug* My MSiA counterpart has a clear green scythe blade, at least.
-- After looking at reviews of newer 1/144 HGs/figures and their articulation, I don't necessarily blame archaic tech as the reason for their basic (or lack of) articulation.
My HGUC Gundam Mk II (now complete with broken-but-superglued feet) has basic articulation in the arms and legs. By virtue of design, the 1/144 FLAT has excellent leg articulation and can easily do a kneeling pose. My HGUC Zaku I can barely pull one off, and I don't know about my two HGFAs, even if their leg articulation (and a couple of other unbuilt 1/144s) surpass some of my other models by being able to bend the leg pretty well.
-- And my MSiA counterpart lacks a clasp to connect the wings to form a cloak. Sometimes I take advantage of their heavyness and the flimsy hinge joints to make it seem more like an actual Batman-esque cloak as if it was wandering around with it partially open. But the cloak is hard to keep spread out and open for the more dynamic and action type of poses.

If my HGFA 1/144 Altron Gundam ver. EW is of any indication, I'll at least like the DSH (and others within the line). And it'll be able to be superior to my MSiA in a few ways... Probably not by polycap hands; the ball-joints of those hands can be loose, depending on the model and accessory. I'm surprised the plastic/non-polycap weapon hand of my 1/144 FLAT is acting how I describe the typical polycap hand, but it's such a unique MS (and Gunpla) design.

OZKai said...

I remember having the MSiA D-Hell (US release), and I do seem to remember the wings being almost a disadvantage because of their weight.
As for the Scythe/Scissors for the HGFA, it was a solid yellow.

Out of the EW 1/144's that I had in the past, I never got Nataku or Sandrock, so I'm looking forward to those (Except for Sandrock's shield, since it had no official design and I think most of the details are to be applied with a sticker...), as well as getting the rest of the crew back. I had actually considered getting all of the Wing 1/144's again (for, like, the 3rd time) but I'm not a fan of their plastic quality

The only thing I hate about having the
polycaped hands are their paint chipping qualities. Especially since 4 of the EW kits are to have colored hands (Wing Zero's white, Nataku's green plate, Sandrock's white w\ black plate, Serpent's... some color), so those may actually get top coated just to attempt some kind of sealant...

Siroh32 said...

I guess. *shrug* I don't think I encountered this problem when applying markers to Altron's hands, and I don't recall if I encountered this when applying paint (in amateur fashion) to 1/144 Turn A's hands (when I was touching it up; I'll post photos of it eventually). I'd have to hash both models out of their boxes to make sure, but I'm not getting around to that anytime soon. (One thing's for sure: I'd definitely use a paint marker or two for Altron when applying paint, even if I can screw it up almost as badly as a spray can of paint.)

As I started on a paragraph in my ill-fated Part 1 of the message (and apologized about losing on DA), you have GSaM on your list of links. Last time I checked, both Sandrock and Altron are still available, even if I'm in no hurry to get another set of those two or the other HGFAs yet.

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