17 February 2013
GM Cannon Conversion for HGUC 1/144 GM II
While I am quite fond of grunt machines in Gundam franchise, especially those of Earth Federation ones, there are several relatively obscure ones that don't get model releases yet (unless you count those that were made in the 1980s). Luckily, a local Hong Kong magazine has released a GM Cannon conversion kit for GM II a few months ago, and I finally got it completely pretty recently.
The conversion kit comes as a bonus from December issue of local Hong Kong hobby magazine "機動世界" (literally "Mobile World"), which covers mostly on Gundam and other mecha models. It is worth noting that the conversion kit is for HGUC 1/144 GM II rather than the original GM (although GM III is also compatible with it to some degree, but it won't resemble the GM Cannon as much as that with GM II).
Assembly instructions on the first page of the magazine.
The GM II assembled with the GM Cannon conversion parts (sans the shoulders, which seem to be directly copied from HGUC 1/44 GM Sniper II).
Overall, the GM Cannon has thicker lower legs, different front and back skirt armour, new backpack, as well as different parts for the head with two antennas.
It took me some time to decide what colours the grey conversion parts should be, but as I've decided that the colour of the torso to be that of GM III's, I tried to have the leg parts to best match that teal colour. I think I have sort of done it, albeit a little mediocre with the finish:
The backpack looks pretty faithful to the original design. It overall is pretty easy to assemble, though the thrusters can pop off a little easily, so a bit of glue would help to keep them in place.
The back of the head with two antennas is also new, but not for the front half which is still the same from the original kit.
The cannon sits on top of a mount which goes over the right side of the upper chest.
Comparison with GM II
A few poses to finish the post before conclusion.
GM Cannon is a relatively obscure design from Mobile Suit Variation, which serves as variations of the existing designs that made appearance in the anime. It did make brief cameo appearance in Zeta Gundam, as well as in several video games as a playable unit.
The conversion parts for the top half of the kit, including the head, backpack, and cannon, are pretty easy to assemble, whereas parts for the bottom half legs need a bit of sanding on the pegs before assembly.
The only problem I have with this converted GM Cannon is how the lower legs are bulky and obstructs the articulation on the knees to some degree.
Otherwise I am quite happy with the GM Cannon, which is something nice to complement my GM II. With the MS-06R-1A Zaku High Mobility Type announced for several ace machines recently, perhaps we will see more HGUC 1/144 scale Gunpla releases for MSV soon or later! ^^