Friday, 7 August 2015

Gundam Converge : SP G-3 Gundam & Rick Dom

This summer's The Art Of Gundam exhibition, held in Tokyo, lets users take in a lot of original artwork that went into the classic animes, and is of course also a scenario ripe for merchandise. Last year's exhibition in Osaka saw among other things a special Converge SP release, and this stunt is being repeated in Tokyo as well, with the new Rick Dom/G-3 box.

Just like last year's box the Rick Dom and the G-3 are reissues of classic figures with an upgraded paint job including unit insignias and patches, things rarely seen in Gundam Converge. However, recent figures are beginning to show more and more such detail as the Fusion Works design crew no doubt keeps refining their manufacturing process.

We have seen the G-3 Gundam and the red Rick Dom duo in Converge once before, then as promo items for the rather incomplete Complete Book of Gundam Converge (review here). As such they were really hard to come by and unless you lived in Japan you had to pay an arm and a leg to secure them. This box set is a very nice gesture to make up for their sneaky past, and the upgraded paint job will, as we shall see, make the former two figures obsolete.

The packaging holds no surprises here, it is the typical Converge SP box with the typical individually packaged figures. The parts and accessories are virtually the same as the original incarnation, except for the fact that the G-3 Gundam's Beam Rifle is now a separate component. Originally it was molded directly onto the hand, this evolution is a testament to the continuous development of the Converge figure line.

It is worth mentioning a few words on the backstory of these two figures. Although the G-3 Gundam originally started out as an official Mobile Suit Variation, it was later given a backstory in the events of the original Mobile Suit Gundam setting. In the novelization of the iconic television series, the G-3 is pieced together from salvaged parts of the other Gundam prototypes destroyed during the opening scene of the series. It becomes the vehicle of choice for Amuro Ray after his original RX-78-2 is destroyed, and is his steed during the final battle at A Baoa Qu, the Zeon asteroid stronghold. The same goes for Char's Rick Dom, which also takes part in this battle, where it replaces the MSN-02 Zeong featured in the television series.

Talking about the figures themselves for a second, there's not that much to say about them. The MS-09RS Rick Dom (Char's Custom) is the fourth Rick Dom figure to appear in Converge, and apart from its attractive colour scheme it has the same basic features as all the other ones. The only articulation is found at the shoulders. You can also choose which angle to position the Heat Sword, or remove it completely.

The RX-78-3 G-3 Gundam is the latest in a long line of Converge figures where the basic design has carried over all the way from the very first Converge figure released. This particular figure also has no obvious sculpt variations (apart from said rifle and hand separation) compared to the myriad of RX-78-2s that preceded it. The new colour scheme is one of the best to hit Converge though, the only thing that stands a bit and that I wish that they had fixed is the see-through visor on the shield. Both the resculpted "Detail Up version" of the RX-78-2 figure (Converge 98, volume 16) and the recent RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam (figure 104, volume 18) featured see-through shields. it is understandable that they would want to reuse the old mold, but at least a black paint line would have done the trick. Now I am debating with myself whether I should make this modification or not... :)

Compared side by side, the original Rick Dom and G-3 Gundam from the Complete Book package look a bit dated by now. The oddly pinkish colour on the Rick Dom is by the way very consistent with the STANDart variation of the figure, which was also developed by Fusion Works. Where the very white tone on the G-3 Gundam comes from though, I have no idea.

Here we can see the full Art Of Gundam family, with last year's MS-06S Zaku and RX-78-2 Gundam in their respective Real Type colour schemes. Notice the nicely painted beam rifle used by the RX-78-2 Gundam, some more detail in this regard on the two new figures would also have been welcome.

There are now a total of three incarnations of the G-3 in Gundam Converge. Apart from the two versions we have looked at earlier (center and right) we also have the dual bazooka wielding G-3 from Converge volume 3, where it appeared as a secret figure replacing the RX-78-2 Gundam in some boxes.

DOMography left to right: Char's MS-09RS Rick Dom from the new Art of Gundam set, the previous version from the Complete Book set (released December 2013), the cream coloured MS-09 Dom from the Operation Jaburo set (December 2012), the violet MS-09 Dom figure from Converge volume 5, November 2011) and the blue MS-09R Rick Dom from volume 10, released in April 2013. The last figure is available in two versions, either with the original Dom-style bazooka or as a secret version with the larger Beam Bazooka (pictured here).
The Converge DOMography is starting to look really good by now. Not that the line is anywhere near complete, plenty of green and brown Desert and Cannon versions to hope for. Apart from the five figures in the above photo there is also a sixth version, which is a variation of the blue figure on the right, equipped with the smaller bazooka.

1 comment:

  1. I just noticed this last night -- the RX-78 mould used here (same goes for the Converge Book G3 unit) is actually not based on the Part 1 RX-78 (which was used for all subsequent reissues), but rather on the SP03 Final Decisive Battle unit. The shield can therefore be mounted on the backpack and the rifle stowed away on the back hip. If you own tons of RX-78 variations already like me (which you clearly do) you can exploit this to create all sorts of neat configurations, swapping hands, bazookas, etc. Again, the same applies to the Converge Book G3.