DABAN Review: 1/144 HGUC MSN-001 Delta Gundam (DABAN)

So yeah, HGUC MSN-001 Delta Gundam came before the earlier released HGUC Delta Plus kit. I loved Hyaku-Shiki from the Zeta Gundam series but I don’t want to pick the released kit due to it was released in mid-2000 and I don’t have much faith/liking to the kits made in that period.

Honestly, I haven’t worked on a gold-plated kit before. I preferably don’t want to but I want to complete the Gundam Unicorn HGUC line, so this would be my current exception.

Manufacturer: DABAN MODEL
Scale: 1/144
Grade: High Grade – Universal Century
Origin: MSV – Gundam Unicorn
Price: 450php (as of posting).
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The big question most of us had was how are the runners constructed. Key word being ‘undergate’. Well I am glad to inform everyone that, yup, these runners are undergated. Yes, Daban pulled it well enough.

Once you open the box you’re going to be treated to a spectacle of SEVEN separate runners of which three are gold plated. This seven doesn’t count the PC and the beam saber runner. A somewhat bonus here is a runner with just hands.

Part 1: Runners

Looking at those runners, I thought to my self, they’re too shiny. I’ll have a hard time photographing this kit! And it did. Too much reflection. But damn it looks good when finished!

The runners contain some fairly large wing pieces. A rather huge shield piece. If you have built Delta Plus or the Hyaku-Shiki, you’ll notice some familiar looking pieces. After all, this is the updated Hyaku-Shiki or more of the ideal Hyaku-Shiki. It was told in the anime that the movable frame for Hyaku-Shiki was foregone since they found out that their design was weak. Kamille used the Hyaku-Shiki’s design to come up with the Zeta Gundam. The Delta Gundam is the re imagined Hyaku-Shiki.

Fun fact. Hyaku Shiki‘s codename is  “? Gundam” (Delta Gundam).

Part 2: Head

The head is very very reminiscent of the Hyaku-Shiki updated to today’s design philosophy.

Part 3: Body

The body is rather simple and very straight forward. Just a peg hole for the arms and that’s it. The body’s design is of course very Hyaku Shiki but with a Delta Plus wings–but with boosters.

Part 4: Upper Limbs

Straight peg to attach to the body. Standard joint on the elbow and able to rotate on the upper arm. Very dated HG standard compared to post-All Gundam Project currently being rolled out today by Bandai.

Part 5: Waist

The very typical waist. Balljoint for the body and the legs. Oh, you can cut the front skirt armor at the peg so you can add some extra articulation. It’s a very basic mod that I’ve been doing on all HGUCs for quite some time now.

Part 6: Lower Limbs

The lower limbs are comparable to recent HGUCs in the Unicorn series. It can move 90 degrees at the knee and a bit more due to the transformation. Some articulation in the ankles. The no rotations at the hip.

Part 7: Weapons

Standard issue beam rifle and a shield that’s oddly huge. Shield is of course being utilized in Wave rider mode.

Look! Extra hands!
Part 8: Delta Gundam – Hyaku Shiki as originally envisioned.

Part 9: READY! GO!

Delta Gundam, Daban’s first foray into undergates and gold-plated kit.

The first thing we all need to get out of the way here, is that while I find the value of system of undergating chromed kits very reasonable–it will slow your progress or typical build time. Trying to be extra careful of eliminating undergates will slow your typical build time to a crawl. The kit took me extra hours and thus stretching my typical build time. While this can also be attributed to the kit’s complexity, you can still blame it to the undergating simply due to the care you’ll need to to take to remove the nubs from the pieces. 

If this is your first experience with an undergated kit, be really careful. The kit will not tolerate mistakes. Mistakes from the nipper and hubby knife cuts it will surely show. Also you may gouge a large piece of chrome if you’re bad at hobby knife. As an added frustration, not all of the pieces are properly undergated (SAME WITH BANDAI). The upper arms is a good example of this. It’s likely that you’ll scratch the chrome off on at least one piece. This is a pain unless you’re planning on stripping all the chrome—but then why buy an all chromed kit in the first place?

The Delta has a fair amount of complexity to the build, and multiple pieces are small and is undergated(!). While there’s also some clear overlap between the Delta Plus and the Delta, it’s not so much that it’ll be unbearable. In fact, the only parts that are IDENTICAL are the legs and feet—and even then there are differences.

In order to prevent any further blemishes on this kit, you might find it wise to build with gloves on—unless you don’t mind your Delta Gundam having fingerprints all over it—like what I did, I had no gloves–I WASN’T INFORMED.

When you thought you’ve finished the kit, lo and behold. Bad news, you’re not quite done on the construction. This is due to the transformation gimmick you need to assemble duplicate shoulders, duplicate skirts, and part of the feet.

Leave plenty of space in your schedule when building this kit. On the other hand, bonus pieces are always appreciated (if you don’t plan on transforming it).

Simply put, if you’re planning on buying this kit as a beginner, don’t expect  to enjoy the build. If someone bought this for me when I was beginning, I would never continue with Gunpla. I’d recommend it for intermediate and advanced.

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