A week or so ahead of its release, the great people at The Gundam Base Tokyo released a lengthy 30 minute video showing the features of the HGUC Penelope, including its transformation into flight mode and separation into the Odysseus Gundam plus the Fixed Flight unit. After watching the video in its entirety, you could probably see why I’m leaning towards getting two copies of this kit.
You don’t expect high-flying dynamic poses with a kit like the HGUC Penelope. That said, it has some notable gimmicks that would provide more display options. For starters, there are a couple of Mega Particle Cannons on the shoulder armors, since I also don’t think that this guy has dedicated beam saber handles. The shield also has another Mega Particle Cannon that’s also compatible with a beam saber effect part. For color accuracy, what I got from the completely Japanese video is that the kit has minimal usage of color correcting seals. With most of them used on the camera units, as well as the red accents on the rear binders.
I’d also like to note how the kit wobbles the whole time all these features are being demonstrated. Would this mean frustration and nightmares when posing?
Penelope Flight Mode
The transformation to flight mode just involves some extending the ‘head’ part of the Fixed Flight unit to cover the main head unit, which by the way has folding v-fins. Then most of the huge panels on the shoulder armors, front armors and the rear binders are folded out. Capping these are the leg units that fold back and are held by locking tabs.
On the other hand, the separation to the Odysseus Gundam and the Fixed Flight unit is more involved, and requires some replacement parts, most notably on the hip assembly as the extended joint is replaced by a standard one. In contrast, the shoulders can extend out during combination and retract when separated. Once done, you’ll be left with a Gundam and a bunch of parts that make up the Fixed Flight unit.
By itself, the Odysseus Gundam is quite articulated, free from all the armor and plastic pieces clashing onto each other.
Fixed Flight Unit
Everything left after separating the Odysseus Gundam is essentially the Flight Unit and it would involve using special parts to hold it together. I’m also inclined to think that some of these connections aren’t as secured as I would like and will probably need some glue. Once assembled, this thing is massive! It basically takes the whole shelf when standing next to the Odysseus Gundam. I might not have nightmares separating these two units every time but I will instead have nightmares on how to store these huge pieces of plastic.
And so, I am getting two copies of this kit. With the good amount of color separation and panel line opportunities in this kit, I am hoping that building two copies won’t end up like what happened to my HGUC Zeta Gundam that I left for more than two years before eventually completing
HGUC 1/144 Penelope
October 2019 / ¥6,800