Whenver a new kit comes out, it’s always interesting to compare it to an older version of the same subject. Nowhere is this more true than for Gundam kits. The improvements made in the engineering of Mobile Suit kits in the last 25+ years is astounding! Given that both the old and the new kits are all made by Bandai, comparing old and new really highlights just how far the science of model engineering has come.
As a perfect example, let’s compare the old, 1986-era Dovenwolf from ZZ Gundam’s time to the new HGUC Dovenwolf from 2013. They’re the same mech, but you’d really never know it looking at them closely!
Please remember that I build the old version back in 1997 or so, and my skills have also improved a lot (at least I humbly think they have) since then. Thus, don’t judge the two kits on how they’re built, but rather how they are designed and proportioned.
Walk 10 paces…
Back to back, you can see there’s a lot of difference in the two Dovenwolfs (Dovenwolves?). The old is on the right, the new is on the left. Key features to note are the proportioning of the legs and arms. The two mecha are the same height, but the new one’s legs and arms are much thinner through. There are other differences, too, such as the thickness of the towers and the size of the feet. One interesting note: The side skirts on the old kit are positionable, but the new one’s are fixed on the legs. Odd…
Oh, someone has a bigger gun and a bigger sword, too. Chicks dig it.
From the top, with feeling!
Seen from above, more differences are apparent. The new Dovenwolf is much smaller through the chest than the old one. also, the amount of “solid”, non-engine shoulder flare is quite different between the two. Once again, look at the guns; the new one is far thicker and longer (okay, enough snickering out there!). Notice the sizes of the head – the old head is massive in comparision to the new one. Oh, the old kit’s gun is missing a “petal” at the front; it fell off due to age. Interestingly enough, the petals on the new gun are just that; thin plastic flaps. On the old kit, they’re much thicker and have definite depth. They’re more like “lids” than flaps.
There’s a tonne of stuff going on on the legs. The old legs have the engines between the “flappers” on the back of the feet, but on the new kit the engines are far higher up, under the back flap. Note that you can barely see the new engine! Also, the size of the feet is apparent as being a major difference. As expected, the HGUC has a lot more detail between the ‘black parts’ of the feet. Of note is the difference in thickness of the green sections, front-to-back. Also, notice how the black “slice” on the old kit makes a smooth transition from the lower end of the leg, while on the new kit it creates a “sawtooth”? No idea why, but that’s ow it goes. Very telling too is the size of the engine pack; it’s almost the same on both kits, even though the new Dovenwolf is a smaller, slighter mech. More power!
This shot makes it clear that the head on the new kti is far smaller than the old one. It’s interesting to see that the centre aerial on the new kit (the swept back one) is WAAAY thicker than on the old version. It can’t be seen here, but the metal breather tubes around the bottom of the face are also much nicer on the new HGUC.
There are a tonne of differences in the towers, too. On the old kit, the “power lines” just float in space, and the tower is largely hollow except for a bit of the cannon at the front. On the new kit, the tower is solid, and the pipes are moulded into it. My brother prefers the old one, but I like the new; why have such a massive tower if it’s hollow? Note that there’s an engine at the top of the old kit’s main thruster bulge on the tower, but not on the new one. The shape of the bulges is different too. Note that the towers on the old kit cannot flip forward, nor can the rocket bays open. The INCOMs are also moulded in the closed position on the old kit.
The backsides of the two mecha are just as different as their other angles! You can see how thick from side-to-side the old kit’s leg is and how crude the engine nozzle is that’s moulded into it. The new nozzle is much nicer and larger. Notice how short the flap is, how narrow the “track” of the foot is, and again, the completely different positioning of the thruster bell under the back flap.
The rear skirts are similar, but the new one is a bit shorter and fatter. The patterns are different too; the old patterns “horns” have vertical sides, whereas the new one’s have them at an angle. The length of the side skirts is much less on the new kit, and you can see some of the black upper leg below the skirt, something you can’t do on the old one. The round detals near the tops of the skirts are different as well, being much larger on the new model.
So, first off, you can see that the new kit is a lot different. It’s a lot more lithe, a lot less bulky and while standing the same height, it is generally a smaller mech. Despite this, it has larger and more impressive weapons, as well as a busload more articulation and moveable gimicks. You can’t see in the pictures, but the new kit also has detachable forearms that can either be attached with wire, or fly off on their own, revealing articulated sub-arms. That’s not something the old kit will do.
So, who’s the winner? Well, you can decide for yourself, but I’d say the new one wins hands down!
This is your champion folks! The new HGUC Dovenwolf obliterates the competition, no questions asked. Why build old when you can build beautiful?