If it’s one thing I love, its a mech with twin cannons on its shoulders. From the little R-44 Guntank in Gundam F-91 (and it’s chronologically newer, but continuity-wise later relative the D-50 Loto) to the SDF-1, anything that has a gun on either side of its head is okay by me.
That’s what drew me to this guy; the Super Robot Wars Original Generation R-Gun Powered. This mech was something like the old-school Transformers Targetmasters; it was designed to transform into a hand weapon for the colossally powerful (and horribly gaudy) SRX-00. In this mode, called “Metal Genocider” it was something akin to an ultimate weapon. I can see why, a huge mech that turns into a bigger gun has to be awesome.
The funny thing is, I almost didn’t bother to pick this guy up!
The colours on the box were so bad, and the mech was such a gaudy mismatch of scattered colours that it turned me right off of the kit. The thing looked like a quilt that had been eaten, and then vomited up, by some malevolent spirit with rainbow-coloured bile. Still, since this kit was cheap, and it did include both the R-Gun and the “Powered” upgrade set, and since it had the requisite cannons, I decided to take the plunge.
Like all Kotobukiya kits from SRW, this kit has, like, 1 billion parts. Literally everything that needs to be a different colour (and man, on this clown-suit of a mech that’s a LOT of different colours!) is separate. This is normally a good thing, but for some reason, Kotobukiya takes it too far. Waaay too far. Every little inset and sub panel is a separate piece, which means a lot more chopping off of racks and sanding of small, hard-to-hold but easy-to-lose pieces. There is so much chopping and sanding (my least favourite part of a mech) that it rivals many Master Grade Gundams, despite being only 1/144 sized.
The pieces all fit together fairly well, but once you get some paint on them, they become quite a tight fit indeed. you’ll have a lot of scraping to do when you go to put this all together. Also, note that this kit is NOT up to the quality of a normal Bandai mech. It is good, but there’s just an air of slight roughness about it. It won’t slow you down, but it won’t give you that “warm fuzzy” you get from an HGUC.
There was no way I was going to saddle this poor thing with a paint job that induces epileptic seizures in children. I had to come up with something different, more subdued and uniform. Since I love purple (I am a Decepticon fan, after all) I decided to try something along those lines. I mixed up a greyish purple using a bit of Testors Model Master Light Ghost Grey and some Tamiya Purple. I then turned the tables and made up a lightish mauve (same as I eventually used on the Sundance Express’ interior!) using MMA Light Grey and a bit of Tamiya Purple. I needed a few more colours, so I used the straight Light Grey and a light green I’d mixed up for something (forget what, now…).
I primered the mech with the Walmart Colour Place grey primer (this stuff rocks and is CHEAP!). Looking at the mech at this point, I could really see that it was an attractive machine under its paint scheme. This inspired me to really make sure the end result was a lot nicer than the canonical paint! I painted the purples, light grey and green by hand, and then flat coated it with Delta Ceramcoat Matte Indoor/Outdoor varnish.
I used washes on the mechanical parts, and did the backs of the legs in steel; they looked like they should just be bare mechanism, for some reason. I did the clip on the rifle in green, just to be different, and did all thrusters Jet Exhaust on the outside and Orange on the inside. Both of these colours were Testors Model Master Acrylics.
Amazingly, this thing not only stands, it is incredibly stable. It comes with a support stand, to make it seem like it’s flying, but this is a very poor offering in comparison to Bandai’s stands (let alone Action Bases). I have had this guy on display for a few years now, and never has he even wobbled. To counter the weight of those huge cannons, there is a lot of weight in the backpack, and these really do seem to cancel out. Kotobukiya wisely put a few supports in the middle of the cannon rails; without them, I’m sure these puppies would warp something fierce!
Once you get rid of the crappy paint job, the R-Gun Powered is actually a very, very mean looking mech. It has a beautiful head, like a Jegan on steroids, with lots of cool little aerials on it. The body is angular and there are lots of blades and plates and cooling fins jutting out at all angles on this guy. The backpack alone is liberally festooned with such details, and it really gives a lot of personality to the finished product.
This kit was not a favourite to build, and it was annoying to cut off and sand all those pieces. I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who’s just starting out in mech building or for someone with a patience deficiency, but for experienced modellers who would like a chance to experiment with colours, it’s a pretty good kit. I’d recommend it, but with the warning that you are going to need to budget some real time for it.