If you’ve been following the Gundam franchise, or mecha in general, then you’ve probably come across the work of NAOKI (@n_a_o_k_i_) in one way or another. He’s a prolific modeler and an up-and-coming mecha designer. For the past several years, he has teased Titanomachia, which is a model kit lineup of varying scales to represent various kinds of machines. From human-sized exoskeletons to larger piloted machines. Following the pandemic, it looks like he’s finally launching the line as we are now getting more information on it and what we could expect from the upcoming kits.
Tie-in media is currently limited to the web comics found on the official website, but NAOKI has established an extensive world with a detailed history and world building of the current powers in play. You can check it out on the official website linked here, but these events necessitated the creation of these machines. There’s even an established progression between them and they factor directly into the model kits.
First are the exoskeletons which provide basic augmentation of human strength through cybernetics and nanomachines. We then have Core Units, or “Jungfrau Units” as they’re called, and they form the central module of the larger Reaper units. Most Jungfrau units look like a torso with shoulder and thighs attachments and can be configured depending on the combat situation.
When a Jungfrau Unit is outfitted with general purpose appendages, it’s now a Reaper. Reapers are usually five meters tall and have arms and legs for handling simple weapon systems. It has a humanoid silhouette, albeit basic. Going further, we have the Grim Reapers which usually stand twice the height of a typical Reaper at 10 meters. It has fully functioning appendages and can handle weaponry better than the standard Reaper.
Grim Reapers are then categorized into two: β Grade and α Grade. The former is more of your mass-produced grunt units with a focus on reliable performance, like your Zakus or GMs. While α Grade Grim Rippers are your high-performance machines meant for ace pilots, they’re basically the Gundams in this world.
Kits of each machine type are also categorized into “SIDES,” where kits would be shared by both Kotobukiya and Good Smile Company. This is a good approach, in my opinion, as not all companies can produce certain types of kits equally, with one often having more expertise than the rest. The same goes for modelers who have specific niches, whether you prefer the more traditional mecha models or the newer bishoujo kits, Titanomachia should have you covered.
SIDE: EXOSKELETON kits will be handled by Kotobukiya, which has definitely demonstrated their expertise with bishoujo model kits, making them the perfect choice for these 1/12 scale offerings. And while relatively new to the mecha model kit scene, Good Smile Company will be doing the SIDE: REAPER and SIDE: GRIM REAPER kits. Each will be 1/48 scale and fully customizable. Speaking of customizing, weapons and option sets will also be available and will be compatible to all three SIDES.
Kicking things off for these Titanomachia kits is a SIDE: SKELETON release form Kotobukiya, the Gale Hound. They are currently doing an exhibit where thirty Japanese modelers are given copies of the kit to build and customize. And because not everyone can get a sample of this kit, NAOKI has made a recent blog post that highlights the proportions and details of this kit.
Here’s the Gale Hound and it’s probably your standard exoskeleton unit. NAOKI makes a good point in saying that while bishoujo plastic models are really popular right now, the same can’t be said with male characters, or male armored characters in general. He mentions watching tokusatsu and western comic book movies and he thinks that a hero wearing an armored suit is as cool as a giant robot. And I totally agree, hence the reason I collect Iron Man figures, and the reason I’m interested in this kit.
And of course, he does acknowledge that Kotobukiya is really the expert in this subgenre, hoping to leverage all their expertise in bishoujo kits for these exoskeletons.
This test shot is currently molded in a combination of camouflage green and brown plastic which is perfect for the military vibe it’s aiming for. There are also a lot of panel lines and sculpted details that further add realism to the design. The head has a clear visor piece that you can remove to reveal optics and other details. On that note, the kit also comes with a replacement human head that you’ll probably need to paint, or just keep it in the box if you prefer the helmet all the time.
There are also several 3mm hard points all over the body of the exoskeleton and they are definitely compatible with your Frame Arms or MSG option kits. I won’t post everything NAOKI wrote on the blog so please check it out here.
Overall, I’m glad to finally see this project taking off, and on a very promising note at that. We’ve yet to see previews of the Reapers or Grim Reapers, but based on the attention to detail this Gale Hound exoskeleton kit has, we should expect the same with the rest of the line. No price or release information has been revealed for the Gale Hound, but pre-orders should be up by May 18.