Another reclamation from my previous HGUC collection, the AMX-004 Qubeley has always been another favorite MS from Z Gundam and Gundam ZZ (Though I've still not seen it). Its organic design, along with its strong femininity (It is piloted by a woman, after all), makes it very sleek, endearing, yet wrathful looking. Being Haman Karn's personal machine throughout the end of the Gryps Conflict and through the 1st Neo Zeon War, this machine stays ahead of the game the whole way, thanks to the miniaturization of the Psycommu System and being the fore-bearer of the Funnel weapons.
I: Main Body
The kit perfectly showcases the unique design of the Qubeley, from the elongated head, wide shoulder binders and broad legs. All while remaining slim and agile. Color separation is decent, however a LOT is required to paint if you want to avoid having a bunch of foil stickers slapped on.
Head and Torso
The body has a couple joints that were rare at the time which allows the chest to arch upwards, which will be shown in the pose section. Not a whole lot needed painting on the torso besides the flat black for the panel gaps and the holes where the pipes beside the head emerge. The front armor is the first place that need to be painted pink in the "vents" (I don't know exactly what they are). I also panel lined the center line of the front armor and filled the gaps on the side armor with flat black.
The "2 Lmes" (An Engrish mistranslation of "Elmeth II") was filed with black to define it. I didn't bother painting the cables on the backside of the torso, as they're purple on the lineart. The pink vents for the tail binder had to be painted, as well.
Fore some reason beyond my ability to comprehend, the cockpit hatch's blast shield can lower and raise.
The head, especially the eyes, are very intimidating. I wish I could have painted them a bit lighter or more noticeable. The lines going down the face were drawn on to lengthen the field.
The neck, like the chest, allows for further upward arching to aid in Qubeley's flight pose. There are two vents on the sides of the head that I just panel lined. Although they can't be seen unless you tilt the head up like this.
The arms have an abstract shrine maiden's sleeve design to the forearms, with thin pink biceps and a plain pink shoulder armor. Those will be the base for the shoulder binders.
The shoulders can't rotate, and instead have the classic two-polycap elbow joint. However, thanks to the flared cuff at the elbow of the forearm, it hides the joint very well.
The painting for the arms was limited to the blue extrusions at the hand guard, and the two small vents on the shoulder armor in flat black.
The inner flaring of the sleeve is a separate part an helps hold the lower elbow together. good subtle details along the inner sleeve thanks to this part!
Two sets of hands - open palmed and saber gripped - are included. Small options, but given the armaments, they're all that's necessary.
The legs have a nice flare to them that is very reminescent to Mamoru Nagano's The Five Star Stories designs. More pink vents along the sides of the legs and knee armor, as well as two blue circles on the side of the thigh. Finished off with the black panel lining, it gives a good overall appearance to the structure.
Some parts of the knee joint had to be painted gray. Also, the purple thrusters that inhabit the bottom of the heels. The thruster itself made flat black, as usual.
The shoulder binder exteriors are simple and the same on both arms (sort of), having both front and back views the same asymmetry with only the blue vents differing in their flow directions.
(Front: the vent lines run vertically, on the rear: horizontally)
Those vents were separate pieces needing no paint. However, once again, the pink vents are to be painted in. Just as Revelations foretold.
Now here's where I'm gonna get the heretic comments. All of the promo shots (including the one at the top) and all kits released since this have the inside of the binders as red. All original lineart and screenshots show it as black (or shadowed). I chose the CG model from Gundam Vs. Zeta Gundam, as most of that games models were very true to the original designs, which keeps the insides white on the binders (Although, the GvsZG model also has one big thruster in each binder instead of the three recessed ones, seen here). Honestly, with no real red anywhere else on the body, and the thin white plastic would surely let it show through, I'm fine with the plain white.
Only the thrusters got painted, flat black again.
The binders attach to the polycaps on the shoulder armor. The joints simply rotate along that to extend and open. The joint on the binder allows it to "flap."
Th binders, when closed, can appear almost seamless. I went ahead and strengthened the joints on all the polycaps, by letting glue dry in them before attaching them together.
The tail binder just attaches to the back via a simple polycap. All ten funnels are separate parts. However due to their size, I've adhered them into the binder, as I'm too afraid to lose one (I lost a few with my old one). I painted all ten of them purple, however it was thinly mixed and didn't coat well. It looks alright, but it could have been better. Also painted the vent slits near the joint flat black.
The only weapons besides the funnels. Rather typical of Psycommu MS, come to think about it...
Single pieced clear yellow. Painted the hilts pink. Nuff said.
III: Action Poses
In its flight mode, you can now see the thrusters in the feet, which were painted purple.
I love that stopping/reverse thrust pose!
Oh! It just wanted to give me the Hyaku-Shiki's wing binder!
Alright, I'll add it to it's review.
For being one kit prior to the original Hyaku-Shiki rlease, the posability of this kit far surpasses it, and shows the aim of the HGUC line very well. Though, like the Hyaku, it's color separation did suffer some. I'm still waiting for a proper release of Qubeley Mk-II's (Not the coated limited releases). Aged well, all-in-all.
FINAL RATING: 3.5 OUT OF 5
Also, I'd like to say, the omake of this review was very experimental. Please don't expect too much more like this in the near future.