Mass-Production type Guncannon

I’ve been working on an Armored Core project lately – unfortunately I’ve been unable to get anywhere with it lately because I’ve run out of Mr. Color black paint… So while I wait for my paint to arrive in the mail, I’m working on some other things. For the last couple days I’ve been working on the HGUC RX-77D Guncannon Mass-Production type. This is the version of the Guncannon which appeared in Gundam 0080. The HGUC kit is pretty good overall but as with most of the Gundam 0080 HGUC kits its representation of the original design is a bit distorted… Since getting the kit I’ve been a bit unsure about how to go about correcting the issues with the kit.

Inspired by Hobby Japan’s recent re-release of their “How to Build Gundam” books, I decided to finally take on the challenge of building the kit, and trying to correct its deficiencies.

To me one of the biggest problems with this kit is the lower legs. It’s a little hard sometimes to identify exactly what’s wrong with them – they tend to look rather klunky. Sometimes they strike me as being too long, too wide, too narrow – just something looks off. I think the basic problem is that the kit feet are too small: the original design had fairly massive feet, and these helped to balance out the look of the lower leg. The model kit has more moderately-sized feet – and to prevent these from looking completely out of place, the end of the lower leg near the ankle is narrower than it would otherwise be – and the length of the lower leg was (I believe) made too long in order to make up for the lost height from shrinking the feet.

When I’m trying to figure out where a model design went wrong I usually go straight back to the original source design. From measurements taken from that lineart I figure the Guncannon’s feet should be nearly 3cm wide – roughly 50% wider than the ones supplied on the kit. Under the circumstances I’m not sure altering the kit part is really a viable option, but I may attempt it rather than going for a full scratch build… But that’s a lot of width, height, and depth to add to an existing part… I may have to experiment a bit.

My plan is to scratch-build new feet. I will also be modifying the lower legs in various ways to try to improve the look. So far I’ve cut a wedge-shaped chunk out of the leg to give it more of a taper toward the top. (I cut away roughly 2mm of front-to-back depth from the top of the lower leg, and a relatively small amount from the bottom of the leg. The change in the leg’s taper is subtle but I think it’s a big improvement.

The next thing I changed was the chest: in the original lineart (and even in Katoki’s lineart for the HGUC kit) there’s fairly little bulk to the chest block beneath the chest vents. The kit has a taller chest block, with a longer slope to the armor under the vents. I cut away 2mm of height from the chest block.

This is the current state of the model. You can see the alterations to the chest block and to the left leg. You may also notice that I’ve used aftermarket hands: these are the Kotobukiya 1:144 “Normal Hand” parts. I think these look quite nice – and unlike the 1:100 versions they don’t seem oversized at all…

One other issue I haven’t addressed yet is the cannons. The cannons on the MP Guncannon have extending barrels – on the kit, the inner section of the extending segment of the cannon barrel is too thin, and the wall of the outer section is too thick. This may be a consequence of how the parts were molded or something – I don’t really know. But it pisses me off. I think the stock kit guns look terrible in extended position. I haven’t worked out exactly what I’m going to do about them yet.

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