Review: 1/144 HGUC LM312V04 Victory Gundam (Bandai)

This is just a showcase review (still a review) to test out my new lighting set-up and reading The Strobist as recommended by peers in order to learn about proper lighting. I’m also trying to learn portrait photography (with at least one light source) and street photography as a hobby.

Regardless of just doing toy photography, I suggest you get a FREE copy of David ‘The Strobist’ Hobby’s Lighting 101 here.

I haven’t got a proper photo of my light set-up yet but it is composed of two fill lights using household 9W CFL mounted on cheap desk lamps and one ugh 9ft Light Stand that should have been just 7ft paired with a shoot through umbrella as seen here in the photo from the The Strobist.

Yes, of course I have a flash by way of a Yongnuo YN-560 Mk. III controlled by a remote flash trigger.

Now, we should probably go along with the review!

HGUC Victory Gundam is actually a 1/144 re-release as the first HG Victory Gundam was released sometime in the mid 90s as a 1/100 scale. There was of course a 1/144 release but a No Grade one. I personally have a 1/144 Victory gundam that was unfortunately stolen when I was kid. Now let’s get going.

Manufacturer: Bandai
Scale: 1/144
Grade: High Grade Universal Century
Origin: Mobile Suit Victory Gundam
Price: Not For Sale, price reference: 950PHP or 1200JPY

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Part 1: Box, Runners, and Manual

The kit doesn’t really have much runners in count, as Victory is the starter Gundam and by tradition, it comes scantily equipped. By this time, solid shield are now frowned upon and now uses beamshield. Bazooka seems to be out of fashion though. One thing that irks me though is the antagonist in the series uses helicopter blades to hover. Talk about being innovatively backwards.

The head unit is small as Victory only stands 15m high compared to average height of mobile suits in the gundam universe is around 17-18m.

Interestingly, the V-fin in Victory is not snapped on but is rather slid on the head. Be careful as it is really thin and small. Very fragile piece.

Part 3: Torso Unit

The body is also designed differently as the red parts are swapped with blue with only the part of core fighter left out to be red. Other than that, it is a typical torso with a ball joint on the hips to add a little articulation. This is different to the typical ball joint with the hips.

Part 4: Arm Unit

The arm now conforms to the new HG standard, with having a ball joint as a connector thus squeezing in more articulation a the shoulder joint. Also, they have double jointed elbows that will be showcased on the succeeding photos.

Without the new double joint design for the elbow, this wouldn’t be possible. As a bending joint is now both on the forearm and biceps.

Part 5: Waist Unit

Doing Shutter Priority is making the background more shadowy regardless of my setup. You might ask what happened to my fill light? Well, my flash setup is a bit too strong that is causing to throw out the fills.

The waist unit is rather typical. You can cut the connection between the front skirt armor to add additional articulation detail on the armor.

It has an additional booster mounted on the back skirt. No movable parts though.

Part 6: Leg Unit

The leg hides the pivot point on the thigh in a way that it separated in the design cues that it should be gray/metal. Victory has that part still in white.

The knee joint is weird as it sorts of pull out and extending the legs in a way. It is also double jointed in a way.

Part 7: Weapons and Add-ons

Beam Rifle

Standard issue beam rifle since 0079.

Beam Sword & Shield

The Beam sword has two sets. A pair of standard beam sword effect and fan-blade effect that’s supposed to either show movement or just a fan blade for a more broader slash.

No, it wasn’t Seed that sported the beam shields first. It was actually F91 in the anime/OVA then succeeded by Victory as the UC timeline dictates.

Core Fighter

The kit also has a core fighter. Sadly, it doesn’t merge into Victory (Notice that Victory is completed on the background). Also, you cannot build the other fighers at HGUC, it seems that it is only possible with the MG Ver. Ka.

Part 8: Stand-up to the Victory!

Part 9: USOOOOOO!!

In small packages.

It was just really small. Personally,  I like how Victory looks and feels. I’m thinking of buying an MG Victory. The build experience is typical of Bandai kits, but really really small. The front visor (mouth piece) is almost RG-level small and I find trimming it a little hard as to I can’t hold the piece properly.

League Militaire’s Best Bet.

Being a Bandai, this kit should be held with outmost quality expectations which it is. Nothing to say here as this part is usually where I grind KOs versus Bandai quality. But we can still review something out of Victory.

Victory with the new HG standard helps a lot in the articulation department. Normally, the pose above can only be done with MG level kits.

Notice the ball joint on the shoulder. Though it looks like it is going to pop out, this redesigned joint helped to extend articulation/freedom.

You now can do the arms like the one above that in the old HGs, you simply can’t. You’ll never know when you can make use of those, but it is really comforting to know that you have when the need comes.

Pros:

  • Top notch articulation.
  • Great plastic and color separations
  • Superb detail
  • New plastics used in the greys, more forgiving

Cons:

  • Some parts are just too small, even for HG
  • Delicate V-Fin

If you haven’t watched Victory, you should really find time to. It was the last Tomino series before he went hiatus for G, W, and X Gundams. Apparently, Victory is the last entry in the Universal Century that either ends with the Gundam Reko or Turn A Gundam’s Correct Century.

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