Friday, 28 February 2014

Gundam Converge vol. 13

Converge seems to be doing quite well at the moment. There are already two figure sets announced for the first half of the year, and there are a couple of specially packaged figures to be released in parallell, including two high end figures and a set of six old figures now reissued (which by the way will appear in a limited edition version as well). In any which way, Converge volume 13 was released in December 2013 and it features a very strong line-up of mobile suits.

Just look at these guys. A very varied set including some really unusual types. This is exactly what I like the most about Converge; the chance to encounter a lot of odd mobile suits and not just the usual suspects. I really hope Bandai will keep this line alive for as long as they can, it is turning out to be a very well stocked figure line. Now if they could only get to work on doing some Wing Gundam figures...

75 : The poster boy for this set must surely be the beefy looking MSA-0011 "S"-Gundam. I would hazard a guess that this is the figure that will sell best out of the seven in this set. And as you can see from the above pictures it is not without merit. It is a very detailed figure with attractive colour configuration, as long as you can overlook the fact that its head looks like that of a chicken. There is something slightly disturbing about how you cannot see its eyes when the figure is facing you, perhaps this could have been tweaked a bit by Bandai. Overall though, an awesome little compact figure for your Converge collection.

76 : Here is the unexpected highlight for me in this set; the awesome, unheard of, RMS-141 Xeku Eins. If you are unfamiliar with the type, it is because it was featured in a novel called Gunam Sentinel only. It is well worth to check this out as the original design is awesome, a very Marasai looking thing. Apparently there are three different types of the RMS-141 and here we are looking at the third type, an assault configuration, which is recognized by its large shoulder-mounted ammo drums. Due to its compact appearance there is not much in the way of articulation here. In addition, when assembling the few pieces of this figure I was left with two white parts that puzzled me greatly, I could not figure out where to attach them. I ended up having to look through pictures on the Gundam Wiki to figure out that they were boost tanks which fit onto the backside of the legs. Still, a true favourite for me, one of the best figures in the line in my opinion.

77 : The RX-78GP03S Gundam GP-03 "Stamen" is perhaps the least succesful figure in this set. Being a typical blue and white Gundam, what sets it apart from the others are its wing-like skirts with thrusters for extra mobility. While the sculpting came out reasonably well the colour scheme is really basic; plain white with a few specks of colour on the torso. The legs, skirts and backpack are all boring white. This reminds me of the GP-03, which was recently released in the Assault Kingdom volume 3 a little while ago. That figure also suffered from an air of boring white and blue. Comparing these to the old GP-03S from the Ultimate Operation line the two modern counterparts look awfully pale, whereas the FWUO figure had an attractive light grey and blue colour scheme. This is a figure for the completists only.

78 : At slot number seventy-eight we find a perfect army-builder figure. Specifically it is the updated RGM-86R GM III Earth Force mobile suit. Looking quite similar to a typical Gundam it has a rich colour scheme with several nice details, especially the blue helmet visor. Due to its large shoulder pads this figure is very compact in appearance (especially when compared to its original counterpart) and as a consequence this limits articulation to a little bit of rotation at the shoulders. If I should moan about something I guess it would be the fact that the legs are nearly completely plain white. This was the case also with the GM III that appeared recently in STANDart volume 18. There is however a much more colourful variant in the now somnolent Ultimate Operation line which still is the benchmark unit for the GM III in my humble opinion.

79 : Another sure to be highlight of this set is the MS-05L Zaku I Sniper Type. Besides the fact that it is a Zaku (which automatically makes it popular) we're talking here about a very odd and customized version which has turned out very successful. Just look at all those tiny details! An absolutely incredible looking figure for Converge, and one of the few to hold his rifle in a more refined and natural looking pose. High marks all over and for those of you who only collect the absolute cream of the line; get this figure into your collections!

80 : The last figure of the set is a personal favourite of mine. It is the wonderfully odd-looking NRX-044 Asshimar, a transformable mobile suit operated by the Titans. Its odd looking head is intended to swivel sideways in between the shoulders and form part of a doughnut shaped segment. The Converge item of course has no such transformation. The head is firmly stuck in place and only the arms rotate at the shoulder. Although the figure turned out reasonably well, the antenna feels quite out of proportion to the rest of the figure. This gives the Asshimar a rather diminutive appearance when placed next to another Converge figure.

Secret : The secret figure for Converge thirteen is a variation on the RGM-86R GM III, the (Desert Color) variation in sand-toned colours. This mimics the recent line-up in STANDart volume 18, which featured the same GM III in these two colour variations. The secret Converge item however still equips the same Beam Rifle as the standard white type, being a simple colour variation only. Still, it is a welcome addition as an additional army builder and it would be nice to see more desert themed figures in the Converge line, such as the Ez8 Gundam or the DOM Tropen for example.

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