1/144 GAT-01A1+AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel Dagger
and Technical Data
Series: High Grade Gundam SEED (HGGS) 1/144
Title: GAT-01A1+AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel Dagger
Release Date: 09/2004
Suggested Price: ¥ 1500
No. of Parts: approx. 150 (4 runners) + 1 PC 123 polycaps + 2 stickers
Plastic colors: red, dark blue, pale white, bright orange
Gimmicks: Morgan Chevalier “Moonlight Mad Dog” markings, AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel, base stand
Contributor: Aryo ”Proud Indonesian” Nugroho
Date: January 7, 2006
This kit is from the SEED-MSV line and has appeared in a PlayStation 2 game and the ASTRAY manga. SEED-MSV mainly featured MS with special markings of its pilot as its plus point. Seems like Bandai is trying to cash in on everything, although nearly all of these kits from the MSV lines never appeared in the anime. Not that these kits are bad though, some of them are worthy if you are a diehard fans.
The first time I saw this kit I had no interest in it at all, because I saw it at my local toy store chains, whereas the price is very, very high. But when I saw it at my local hobby shop, the story takes an 180o turn. And it turns out that this kit was worth my money.
The GAT-01A1 Dagger is a customized version of the Earth Alliance's Strike Dagger.One of these customized units is used by Morgan Chevalier, the ace pilot who earned the nickname of “Moonlight Mad Dog” for his special abilities. He appeared in the X ASTRAY and DESTINY ASTRAY manga, and although his suit is destroyed, he survives.
The AQM/E-X04 Gunbarrel is a scaled down, cheaper version of TMF-02Mod00 Moebius Zero as seen in the original SEED series.
The head is pretty decent and consists of five pieces (antenna, faceplate, head helmet, antenna cover). A blue sticker is applied for the visor. The antenna is inserted first into the front side of the “helmet” (different from the most Gundams), and the faceplate is inserted into the backside and snapped together. So the antenna is actually in the middle, not in the front of the head. The color for the head is ok, although the white color for this kit looks dirty and cheap (just like the white of the no-grade 1/144 Gundam Wing kits, if any of you had experience with them).
The upper torso consists of two parts: the blue upper portion and a lower red area. Assembling is quite simple, just snap it altogether. The backpack is integrated with the upper parts, but you have to paint it light gray, since the original part is blue in color. Lower parts are red, but it needs to painted dark gray for the lower half. The special markings “Moonlight Mad Dog ” are applied to the front torso, and a small orange sticker for the hatch is applied to the cockpit.
The skirt is the same with another model, simple front and back skirt. The back skirt must be painted light and dark gray for the vernier. The side skirt houses a beam saber hilt each. The side skirt also need to be painted.
As mentioned before, there is no backpack (the Gunbarrel will become the backpack), the only thing that resembles a backpack is a square bulge in the back torso, which needs to be painted light gray. And since it has a line that runs into the front torso, it seems that a paint job is inevitable.
The shoulders are a standard design- an arm covered by shoulder armor. The shoulder armor’s gray lines need to be painted also, and an orange sticker is applied for both front and back shoulder armor. Articulation of arm is rather poor (compared to newer designs such as DESTINY’s ZGMF-1000 ZAKU Warrior), because it follows traditional torso connector to arm. Bandai gives only one manipulator for each hand, which is a little sad, considering the price. It creates a problem because it cannot hold the machine gun firmly.
The thighs are standard, no frills upper legs with two pieces combined together. No details and no lines - just thighs. Each leg is made up of two pieces: a blue knee protector (with a black sticker) and a lower white piece with a hole for the blue ankle protector. The protector’s movement is rather limited, which makes me wonder why the design isn't integrated with the leg. The ankle is standard three piece construction, with 180 degrees movement forward-backward. The feet are comprised of three parts: dark gray for lower parts, red, and white for the front-very generous of Bandai, giving matching colors for feet, but NOT the torso.
The fuselage is divided into two parts, front and back so that when connected with the Dagger, it can be folded. There are ten pieces that are assembled into back parts of the fuselage (wing, wing balancer, thruster, and barrel connector). The colors are the same with the guide, so no need for additional painting. The two front parts include an upper body, which is white and a lower body, which is orange. Three bright green stickers are applied to the cockpit. The lower body has a peg that houses the four M58E4 Gatling gun pods.
Each pod has two pieces that make up the main body, which is orange. The gimmick of this pod is that it can show open mode (where GAU-758S railgun and M70AMSAT missiles are exposed) and closed mode. The only flaw in the design is that it doesn’t have any hinges, so to make it into open mode, you have to use a connector piece. The pods connect firmly to the main body via a slot-no polycap- so it’s quick to wear out if you play a lot in-and out with it. But, it has a plus side. Give it a 10cm black cable each, and you will have 4 “detached” pods, to give the model a more realistic look.
Display stand- The base is designed to place the Gunbarrel, and with a change of the stand, it can also hold your Dagger nicely. There are multiple slots beneath the base to hold the railgun, and connector pieces secure things when the pods are in closed mode. It’s quite smart though, since the pieces are quite small, so you can store them in one place without fear of losing them.
GAU-8M2 52mm machine gun- Standard two piece snap together. You need blue paint for the targeting scopes, though. This job can be done using a leftover sticker from the visor parts.
Beam saber- Two clear blades, connected to hilts that are stored in side skirt armor.
For people who have spare time and an ability for some painting, buy this kit! The Gunbarrel is another great gimmick from this kit and it also looks nice with the stand, so you can put it anywhere. I hope that Bandai will add a base and stand as a standard feature in every kit!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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