1/144 RGM-89 Jegan (HGUC)

When the Gundam movie Char’s Counterattack came out in theaters in 1988, it was accompanied by models of the main mecha from the show. For their day, these were good kits, but time has not been kind to them, and Bandai has since issued new kits of these mecha under its High Grade Universal Century (HGUC) banner. However, of all the HGUC kits of Char’s Counterattack mecha, one was, for a time, conspicuously absent.

The mech in question was the RGM-89 Jegan, the Federation’s general purpose (read: Cannon Fodder) mobile suit. This was the successor to the GM series, and even appeared in the Gundam F-91 movie a few years later. Given that the newest UC Gundam anime, Unicorn, is full of Jegans and their variants, it was surprising that it took Bandai as long as it did to come out with an HGUC of this mech. However, it’s here now, and, quite frankly, it’s very nicely done.

This is the HGUC Jegan with its full weapons loadout, completely painted and outlined. While not that colourful, it is well-proportioned and looks suitably aggressive and business-like. Well, ready to get blown up, at least!

The Kit:

The Jegan, in its basic form, is not a flashy mech. It’s there to get blown up, and look cool doing it. The Jegan doesn’t have a lot of splashy colours and garish weapons, and is thus not, at first, a particularly eye-catching model, especially in the box. You get a lot of racks of somewhat sickly mint green parts, a clear beam sabre blade, a few red bits and some grey and black parts.

The seperation of the parts, though, is superb. Most things that need to be different colours are moulded as such (cockpit hatch, red chin and missiles, grey collar, etc.). You could assemble this kit right out of the box and get a passable, if not badly-coloured, representation of a Jegan.

The kit fits together flawlessly, as with most HGUCs, and the range of motion on the Jegan is particularly good. With no front or rear skirts, long legs and ball-jointed hips, the Jegan can pose quite well. However, the “bellbottoms” on its legs do restrict foot movement, so there are some limitations. The arms have double jointed elbows and can move quite a bit, and there is a pivot at the waist.

Despite the mech’s lanky lines and lack of skirting, those stylin’ flared lower legs do hamper things.  I painted the cylinder on the backpack grey just to break things up, too.

Finishing:

To make the Jegan a little bit more showy, I decided to pick out all the verniers and main thrusters with orange on the inside and jet exhaust on the outside. These were all then washed with a thin black wash to bring out detail and add a burnished look.  The wash was also used on all the “mechanical bits” such as the hands, knee and elbow joints and rifle. One major difference between my build and the picture on the box was how I painted the shoulder thrusters. The box shows them as green, but that, to me, makes no sense. By painting the entire thruster in jet exhaust, the entire shape of the Jegan’s shoulder is actually altered; now it looks like a big engine sandwiched between two plates, rather than one big monochromatic housing. I think it works to break up the monotonous colour of the Jegan very effectively.

This close-up of the chest shows how the clear sensor visor, as well as the steel-painted backpack cables and chest vents really set this kit off. There is a minimum of surface detail simply because the Jegan is a very clean, uncluttered mech.

This kit was hand painted using Tesors Model Master acrylic paints and coated to achieve a semi-gloss finish. This was done using Delta Ceramcoat Matte Indoor/Outdoor varnish. This is tough stuff, and was airbrushed on for smoothness.

Overall, the Jegan is a simple kit that fits together well and is quite a joy to build and paint. While it may be a bit pedestrian compared to some other more colourful or more modern suits, it builds up to a nicely proportioned and poseable display piece.

This time from the top! You can see the Jegan’s svelte lines very well from the top.

Above and Below: The old and the new! It’s not just the author’s skills that have improved since the first Jegan kit came out… Compare the differences in proportioning, especially in the head and upper legs, between the new Jegan and the original. Note, too, the small size of the original’s gun, and the geometry of the backpack.

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