HG THE WITCH FROM MERCURY: New Features and Gimmicks

With the recent premiere of Mobile Suit Gundan the WITCH from MERCURY “PROLOGUE” comes the reveal of the other Gunpla appearing in the special episode, and the main series as well. I won’t be covering each and every kit revealed as you could easily go to Bandai Spirits Hobby’s official website and check them out at your own leisure. What I will do is check out the new gimmicks and features for the two prominent Gundams — Gundam Lfrith and Gundam Aerial.

HG 1/144 Gundam Lfrith
August 6, 2022 / ¥1,600
Pre-order via HobbyLink Japan

HG 1/144 Gundam Aerial
October 2022 / ¥1,300

One of the primary features of both Gundams is the activation of the GUND Format system which is depicted by the illumination of the mobile suit’s Shell Units as they’re called. When these kits were first announced, everyone assumed that the effect would be done through stickers. But Bandai Spirits was one step ahead and would be using parts decorated in the molds themselves, allowing the effect to be done without additional paint or stickers.

For each Shell Unit part on the torso, you are given the option to build with the illuminated or non-illuminated parts, with the latter using double-sided stickers.

Speaking of double-sided stickers, these are specific to Gundam Aerial and would be placed at the inner side of these translucent smoke parts. Now how good would these looks when placed side-by-side with the in-mold decorated parts is another story.

Another feature common to both Gundams are gun bits or Bit Staves as stated here, which are essentially the Ad Stella version of funnels, DRAGOONS, or fangs. The bits can be combined together to form the shield of both mobile suits or be attached to the mobile suit itself for its Bit on Form. I remember everyone speculating that the Gundam Aerial’s shield will do some transformation when it was first revealed and that was correct to an extent.

As mentioned, the Bit Staves can be attached to the mobile suit itself to produce its Bit on Form. The bits mostly go to the back, the shoulder armor, and the beam rifle. When attached to the beam rifle, they could produce more powerful beam blades and if I recall correctly, corresponding effect parts for these larger beam blades are also included.

The last thing they highlighted for these two kits is how good and accurate they look straight out of the box. Granted some of these are through stickers, but for a weekend builder like me who does detail painting, but not the expert level customization and work more seasoned modelers do, this is such a treat, especially for the lower price points of these kits.

To cap this post, we also got a look at the third Gundam in the line, Gundam Pharact, as CG renders. As of this point, we don’t know its affiliation or how it’s connected to the first two Gundams, but it does have the same Shell Units so there must be some GUND Format technology on this thing.

HG 1/144 Gundam Pharact
December 2022 / ¥1,900

Overall, I really like the different direction these designs take, and the innovations Bandai Spirits does to realize these design in plastic form that’s accessible to more markets. So much so that I decided to build my IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS backlog so that I could start clean with the WITCH from MERCURY. And with how the Prologue episode went, I am legitimately excited.

To check out the whole slew of kits revealed, head on to the Bandai Spirits’ Hobby Site special page here. Oh, and here’s that HG Gundam Aerial commercial they’ll probably slap everytime in those internation simulcasts at YouTube.


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