21 November 2012
HGUC 1/144 Byarlant Custom
A beast of innovation, tainted by the stigma of its former master, is dignified with grace, and flies over the sky once again.
At last, after a long wait, the HGUC 1/144 Byarlant Custom is out! I wasted no time and built it over the weekend. It's an enjoyable build, and also satisfying seeing its size! Without further ado, let's jump in and see how it is!
The Byarlant Custom was released earlier this month for 2600 Yen. Being an original unit first debuted in episode 4 of Gundam UC, it attracted attention for its unusual design and stellar combat performance against the Zeon remnants.
Originally an experimental unit from the Titans, an elite but corrupt division of Earth Federation, the Byarlant is unique in its ability to fly without having to transform or rely on a support flight system thanks to its powerful thrusters. With the defeat of the Titans after the Gryps War (as seen in Gundam Zeta), a lot of powerful mobile suits were scrapped due to negative stigma influenced by their former masters. Byarlant was one of them.
But a small number of Byarlants were kept and converted into technology testbeds. The one seen in episode 4 of Gundam UC and here in the review is Unit 1. It gains extra propellant tanks on its back for extra range, as well as parts cobbled from other Titans' units such as RX-110 Gabthley and NRX-055 Baund Doc, hence the nickname "chimera" which it earns as a result.
One of the big features for the Byarlant Custom is the number of articulated joints for the unusual arms.
Back propellant tank thruster has some joints as well.
Torso has a ball joint and the legs have fairly standard articulations compared with recent Gunpla.
Head unit has a small clear green visor. The original Byarlant had a monoeye, but this was replaced by twin eye system along with visor as the sole requirement for the modification of Byarlant by the Earth Federation.
Byarlant Custom does not have normal arms or manipulators (i.e. hands), but instead claws derived from RX-110 Gabthley, and mega particle cannons that can also be beam sabres.
Beam sabre part for Byarlant is very long. In fact it's the kind normally used for 1/100 scale Gunpla. The Byarlant Custom is not the first 1/144 scale Gunpla to use 1/100 scale beam sabre though; the HGUC 1/144 ZZ Gundam made it first.
A few random fights with other models I've also built fairly recently to show it off. Vs Marasai (another Titans unit, but here in captured Zeon remnant colour).
Vs Zaku II FZ (aka Zaku Kai)
Vs Zaku Mariner
As Byarlant Custom has no proper hands, it cannot hold hand-held weapons (and it has none in the first place). But it simply shoots beam weaponry out of its 2-in-1 arm cannons.
The kit comes with adaptor parts to fit Byarlant Custom on Action Base 1 that is normally for 1/100 scale Gunpla. Unfortunately I lost one of the parts vital for connecting the base to the adaptor part, so I have to compromise...
Showing off the rear thrusters~
A lot of the red parts inside the thrusters are provided as stickers, but I coloured mine (rather hastily) with Gundam Markers
Comparison with an ordinary (but different colour) HGUC 1/144 GM II. The size difference and mere appearances make the two leagues apart!
The Byarlant Custom is huge, and it has a lot of parts to make up for its size. Even though it lacks accessories due to its design (apart from the beam sabre parts), the wide range of articulation is nice to play around, with . It is a tad back heavy, so a bit of care is needed for posing. There are a number of stickers included but I did not use them - a lot of them are for the inner sides of the thrusters, but looking at other reviews they don't look too bad or out of place because they are not too obvious. A separate decal sheet with several EFF and Titans markings are also available for the kit, or for sticking onto other existing models.
I'm glad that I did not go for the expensive Robot Damashii version earlier and waited it out. If you like its unusual design or something mean to boast the Federation apart from Gundams, I do recommend the Byarlant Custom!