This will be my first unboxing that I ever documented.
What I have this time is a non-bandai, 3rd party kit. It is actually the first kit that I ever got from this company/brand but its other earlier release had good reviews so I decided to get its second release from the series it is based on.
皆様、I present you Model Comprehend (MC) RX-104FF Penelope Gundoom. Please note, Model Comprehend is entirely a third party, meaning it is not affiliated with Bandai and so it uses the 'Gundoom' instead of Gundam to avoid copyright infringements as basically the term Gundam is copyrighted only to Bandai and Sunrise (and other affiliates I may not know of).
|MC 1/144 RX-105 Xi Gundam box art|
People who already built MC kits always say "It's larger than a normal Bandai HG" - but let me just inform everyone that even if MC slightly fixes proportions, those customizations doesn't really change the fact that the kits they make are based on tall/huge mobile suits in the first place. Nu, Qubeley, Xi and now Penelope - these are all relatively huge mobile suits and so they will seem bigger in 1/144 scale (Xi in 1/144 is as big as an MG Zaku II). To put things in perspective, the Xi's overall height is 28 meters, in 1/144 scale that would translate to 19.4cm in height and that means it's already as tall as a normal Universal Century mobile suit in MG 1/100 scale.
Pricing/Cost: By the time of this writing, which is actually the same day I got this kit, its cost is Php 1550 or roughly US$35. That was basically the price it was originally posted before. I was surprised it didn't cost as much as I thought it would have (which you will know later why it should've) but judging from the fact that the Philippines is not that far from China, I should say the factor of shipping might've been minimized even if I bought this from a re-seller. If you're buying from non-Asian countries expect for the price to be higher.
By the way, I got this from sir Dale Chua of Neo System Hobby or Neo Hobs. They have a brick-n-mortar shop (not just an online shop) which you can visit to buy things personally.
Check their shop thru their Facebook page/s:
Neo System Hobby
The Box* Just click the pics to see it in higher res
Here it is, the damn, big-ass box.
As you can see in this first pic, there seems to be already something wrong even if there is no size reference.
Let's see first the 360-deg shots:
|Front design (or at least the first large face I took a pic of)|
|Side shot 1: This features the detachable Minovsky craft flight unit|
|Other main display of the box|
|Side shot 2|
|Normal Bandai HG box for comparison|
Okay, why did the box became that freakin' big? Well, we all actually figured out with the pics released in the net. Somehow, MC decided to use styrofoam (expanded styrene) to separate parts runners but not all. The big parts, specially the parts for the minovsky craft, were secured by the styrofoam and other minor parts were packaged in normal plastic packs as we all are familiar with.
|Note that there are 3 layers of styrofoam trays|
|The manual features 14 leaves, including the cover pages (at least 28 pages for the instructions)|
|1st tray contains the parts packaged in plastic packs like what is normally done|
|3rd, Bottom Tray: Also includes sticker seals/decals and the huge water-slide decal sheet|
My thoughts: I actually commend Model Comprehend for thinking ahead in terms of packaging. They most likely have in mind that their products will be spending a lot of time in shipment. And so, they really ensured that the parts will not be deformed and/or damaged while in transit. But somehow, I still cannot change my initial opinion that they could've used other ways of protecting the parts without resulting to big-ass box. Others will of course disagree with me in this, but the main alternative I can think of is to separate the parts more into smaller divisions. As you can see, the kit has good color separation but if you divided these parts into smaller sections, you won't have to worry about them snapping off or getting broken. This will result you to more runners but less protection needed since the parts are now smaller (like what they do for big mobile suits like the MG Sazabi Ver Ka). But given that this is supposed to be an HG, this is already a step above what we're used to in normal HG kits. In the end, I got a kit with all parts intact and everything how it's supposed to be. Also, that box and styro-trays will have other uses in the future.
By the way, I initially planned to do an Advance Of Zeta build series. I actually already have cleaned the parts off the runners for my HGUC RX-121 TR-1 Hazel Custom and will probably just add new panel lines but they're basically ready for painting. But I want to build this while it's fresh from the oven. I kinda don't trust MC yet and the plastic might change negatively if I let it sit in my backlog LOL. It's summer right now in my place and unwanted things might happen to plastics. That, and I am actually excited building a Penelope.
That's all I have right now, so please just watch out for WIP logs of this build.
Thanks for taking time to view this log :D
'Til next time, cheers!