It is time for a new departure into custom Converge territory, as we have a new set of repaints of a couple of the basic figures. I guess once you reach that plateau in your collection where stuff becomes hard to find, you begin to press on in new directions. Suddenly it begins to make sense to army build and customize stuff just because you can't resist those little figures on that shelf. So, once again my friend Marcin has been messing around with Converge figures based on some suggestions on my part. Let's dive in and see what he came up with.
MS-06R-1A Zaku II High Mobility Type
Converge has been blessed with two versions of the High Mobility Zaku II, the R-1A in Black Tristars livery and the R2 in Ace pilot Johnny Ridden's red colour. Both figures came out in 2012, and are not too difficult to find these days, the Black Tristar machine being the easier find. I find it a bit strange since I know there are a lot of Zaku II fans out there.
Here we've taken the R1-A type and converted it into a basic grey/white
machine clearly inspired by Shin Matsunaga's custom white. However, with no
commander antenna readily available I didn't want to steal one from another figure so this is just an ordinary grunt suit. Not familiar with Gundam lore, Marcin didn't realize the crappy mold of the bazooka front handle and painted up the part that was supposed to be empty as part of the targeting system. I think it turned out really cool so we decided to let it stay. Another option for this machine could have been Anavel Gato's custom machine, which also features no antenna. Perhaps we will do it in the future as well.
XM-07S Vigna Ghina (Berah Ronah Custom)
I happen to think that the Vigna Ghina (of Gundam F91 fame, or rather lack thereof...) is one of the best basic Converge figures, especially when you compare it to the figures we had seen up to that point. It has a remarkably sleek and deadly look about it, and the colours are perfect. The Converge figure looks even more menacing than the "real" thing. Its F91 heritage of course makes it less popular, and it makes my heart sad to see that it doesn't get more attention. The Converge Vigna Ghina appeared in October 2013 and I would say it is readily available and one of the cheaper things out there.
Our custom Vigna Ghina is based on an MSV repaint of the basic machine which is also piloted by Cecily Fairchild/Berah Ronah. The full MSV design is a bloated mess of ornate detail so our figure is a bit spartan by comparison. I can't wait for Bandai and Fusion Works to turn some love into F91, the Crossbone Vanguard has a pile of awesome looking machines in the XM-series. With any luck though, one can be sure that if we will get more Crossbone Vanguard stuff it will be robed Gundams.... sigh.
AMX-107 Bawoo (Glemy Faction use)
The AMX-107 Bawoo is a Neo Zeon design from the ZZ Gundam era. Although the Converge figures (especially the red one) have a rather garish look, it still feels rather conservative when compared to many other designs from that show. The Glemy faction splinter group however, preferred a more basic light grey livery. The Gundam Converge Bawoo premiered in September 2014 and the basic red figure also had a secret green variant of the mass production model (ironically you would think it should be the other way around...). I'd say neither of the two Bawoo figures is particularly difficult to find, with the green slightly pricier.
I think that the toned down colours of the Glemy Faction really make this figure feel more believable and interesting. I guess that's just what happens when companies design figures to sell toys. : )
RMS-141 Xeku Eins (Titans use)
I guess if I was asked to pick a second favourite faction, the New Desides have a really strong position here thanks to their awesomely unique Xeku series of mobile suits. When the Converge Xeku Eins figure appeared in late 2013 I was still much of a Gundam novice and hadn't yet heard of this design and it just punched me in the gut much the same way the Marasai did before.
It is too bad that the Titans and New Desides are predominantly major
assholes, because they have the most awesome fleet out there! And with
the New Desides originating out of the Titans, it made perfect sense to
have a Titans conversion for it. Especially since I don't know of any official MSV's or custom repaints of this thing. I am really thankful that FW and Bandai gave us this figure, perhaps the S Gundam simply needed something next to it to seem more imposing... On the collector market, the Xeku Eins is still a moderately easy figure to find, and generally not too expensive.
So, there you have it folks, another round of custom Converge. Hope to be able to see more of these in the future.