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MG 1/100 GM Command Ground Type; You will see the tears of time!
Topic Started: Apr 10 2018, 06:06 PM (405 Views)
theplasticone
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RGM-79G[x4g] GM Command Ground Type (Karaba Use)

GM Command GM79G-KG9088[X4] was one of seven GM Command Ground Type units constructed during the One Year War. This unit, X4, saw the fewest combat trials of the seven and was one of two to survive the war intact. Like its brethren, it was modified for operation on Earth, including sharing the weapons and modular rack systems used by the RX-79[g] and RGM-79[g]; it was rumored that these units also possessed upgraded Minovsky reactors to increase operational capacity. More agile than their bespoke brethren, the GM Command Ground Types were often used as air-deployed shock troops, on top of their testbed duties. Following the end of the war, X4 was mothballed at Jaburo Base, and several years later would wind up in the private collection of a retired Federation general. This general passed away in UC0086, and willed his “modest” collection of mobile suits and fighters to the Kennedy Space Museum. The mobile suit was “placed into conservation” by Director Kobayashi, as the sole sentinel of Hickory Base. While it remained active as a training and garrison unit, it was as hidden away as Hickory Base itself, not even being deployed to aid AEUG refugees escape a Titan intercept attempt, and would not be seen by the public eye again until Karaba’s all-out assault at Kilimanjaro. The mobile suit survived the battle, though its whereabouts following the event are unknown.

X4 was notable in that it carried an equally-experimental variant of the BOWA Norfolk XBR-L Type-3 beam rifle, adapted for use on Earth. The Type-3 beam rifle was incredibly rare even during the One Year War, but its ECAP magazine system has been replicated by Anaheim Electronics to provide the GM Command with additional combat longevity.

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If you don’t know me by my postings on this board, welcome: I am a GM Command addict. So you might imagine that the MG GM Command holds a very special place for me, as I never thought I would live to see the day that Bandai would even consider putting it out.

Something that’s been a tradition for me is that my first GM Command of a model line (so, the original and the HGUC, now the MG) would become a GM Command Ground Type, which usually means a Gundam Ground Type’s back rack and some additional bar and armor detail. I have built four of these so far, which you'll see later. We’re here to talk about the MG, so here it is.

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Recently, I became of the mind that most Gunpla builds are over-weathered. I mean, they also look great, but in context of the actual scale of the machine and context of how they exist and how they’re build, a lot of weathering can quickly get out-of-scale. A machine built out of literal space-age materials with paint that can survive atmospheric reentry, and ostensibly frequently maintained by a regular federal army, can’t look that beat up, especially when most Gundam series establish that there is a rapid rate of attrition, replacement, and upgrade. If you really think about it, how many GM models canonically exist during the OYW period? A ton. How long did they serve in battle? They were only available for the last few months of the war, and most of them are shown getting totally destroyed, so it stands to reason that not many of them get salvaged and fixed up. 08MST is the exception, of course, but you have to remember that the conflict in that series was quite short and brutal.

With that in mind, I still wanted a pretty used-looking (but not super damaged) GM, so I applied Star Wars levels of weathering to the surfaces. Based on my framework above, it’s hard for me to justify a very late-war OYW GM that looks like it’s owned and operated by a ragtag band of rebels. Not during the OYW era. But, I can justify the GM looking like that during, say, the Gryps Conflict timeframe. Once I decided that, I moved forward with the idea that this GM Command Ground Type (or perhaps prototype) was mothballed after the OYW having seen some cursory service, then hauled out and recommissioned by Karaba as a garrison/recon unit. You can see here that I’ve stenciled in some original Federation markings, weathered around them, then peeled them off as if a Karaba tech had peeled vinyl markings off the GM. I dub it “The Last GM Command On Earth.” For now, its backstory is simply that it is stationed as a garrison unit at Hickory Base, only deployed in severe emergency (i.e., never) so as to maintain the secrecy of the location, and hauled out for the Battle of Kilimanjaro.

I decided to keep the paint scheme similar to the HGUC. The basecoats are Tamiya German Gray 2 and Krylon Camo Brown, with layers of Dullcote, pastel, Tamiya Weathering Master, and various drybrushings to age the paint. The back-rack came from an MG Ez-8 (using the GM Command’s more detailed thrusters) and is hand-painted.

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The surface details were achieved with Kotobukiya modeling parts, as well as some of the extra detail bits from the Ez-8 (remember those days? I wish I had some mini-ladder rungs handy.). These pieces in particular represent winches in my mind - if I can come across more, I’ll add at least one to the rear skirt, and one on each leg somewhere. The tow points (which first came into play on the most recent HGUC GM Command Ground Type) are to aid in asset recovery. I’ve weathered over these, as if they were present on the GM when it rolled off the line. You'll notice I also upgraded to Hobby Base articulated hands.

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One thing that’s new for this GM Command Ground Type is the “escape hatch” at the base of the neck. One thing to remember about the 0080 GMs is that the cockpit is actually located in the upper chest just like the 08MST Gundams and GMs, and not in the abdomen like the RX-78, original GM, and anything else employing a core fighter/block. As this is intended to be a ground-type unit (and prototype), I figure it’s possible that an ejection seat would be added to the cockpit, and with that a hatch to allow the escape to occur. Because of the hatch I couldn’t replicate the massive tow bar that the HGUC had, so I went with shackle-type recovery points. No shackles are here because they’d be banging against the chest all day, and nobody wants to deal with that.

While this is not new, this is only the second time I’ve incorporated lighting detail on the mobile suit itself. The very first GM Command Ground had some light details off the back-rack pillars (which in fact were detail bits off an older Master Grade), and the first HGUC version had a floodlight mounted to its machine gun. I figure that most OYW MS rely on infrared visuals for night operations, so the lights are mainly for the benefit of infantry and vehicles while on-base. These pieces are white metal deck lights for a 1/24 police car, filled with Testors Clear Parts Cement.

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The base coats are Krylon Camouflage Brown and Tamiya Field Gray. Various craft and Citadel paints and washes for the frame and accessories; Tamiya Insignia White for the backpack container. The visor was tinted slightly with Testors Jade Green Metallic (which is clear when unshaken). Weathered with colored pencil, pastel, and Tamiya Weathering Master.


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Previous GM Command Ground Types had additional knee armor, once lifted off a Heavyarms Custom kit. With this one, I went with the idea of knee spikes/stabilizers like other Ground Type MS have. I went with a fin-type device to echo the detail from the back-rack, which were cut from an old credit card.

I also stretched fingers from a nitrile glove over the ankle joints to create dust boots. Many of the vents have pantyhose scraps stretched over them as a "prefilter."

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The weapon is a literal revisit of one that I put together for an old RX-78-2 build (see:). Originally, it was the scope from the MG GM Ground Type’s beam sniper rifle glued to the Alex’s beam rifle (sans carrying handle). I took that exact weapon to make this one - I removed the scope (which was missing pieces) and carved up the beam rifle from the exact same GM Ground Type (RIP) to get its scope, which was grafted on in place. I also cleaned up the build (snap-built way back in the early 2000s), filling seams and whatnot. This partially contributed to my idea to set this GM’s story in 0087, as the new silhouette really reminded me of the weapons used in the Zeta era. Fluff-wise it remains a prototype variant of the Alex’s E-CAP rifle - I cleaned up and recast the E-CAP magazine so I had spares to mount to the shield. One of my HGUC GM Sniper IIs boasts a scale replica of the first rifle design; the RX-78 Ver Ka I built the original rifle for went back to its old one. As you can see, Anaheim Electronics made some additional magazines (green) to accompany the original two (gray).

I was debating recreating the arm-mounted magazine/beam saber rack that the HGUC has (see:). For now I decided to keep it simple, but if I move forward with that idea I’ll recast the shield mount and build off of that, so I don’t have to glue anything on to the arm (and I have 0083-style beam sabers ready to go, from my B-Club MG GM Command conversion). Another idea is to use the MG MSV GM Sniper Custom’s forearm beam saber piece.

I'm not always a fan of the 90mm SMG that the GMs have, but the new Master Grade one is quite good. I had a moment of serendipity when I found that with minor trimming, a System Weapon gun rack would fit inside the backpack container, so I decided to put it in there (also great that it fits perfectly) with allllll of the magazines between my GM Commands and Sniper II. Most of them are glued in. I also put a little Zeta twist on it with the AE logo - I figure it would be a license-built version.

Spoiler: click to toggle


A lot of it is hidden by weathering, but I wanted to really sell that this GM Command is in its original paint job from the OYW days, so I stenciled out old numbers and Federation crosses, Dullcoted over them, and removed the stencils to create "tan lines." The best example is on the shield. The backpack I left with Federation markings to show its surplus status; the "primer" area indicates a repair job.


And of course, bonus content!
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In my companion build, the MG GM Command Space Type (AEUG Use), you'll find some family photos of all my GM Commands! http://gundameclipse.net/topic/8267529/1/

Thanks for looking!
Edited by theplasticone, Apr 10 2018, 06:07 PM.
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WarMachine395
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^^Really nice work! Loving the weathering you've applied to this kit (Y)

Facebook-----Youtube-----Blogspot
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theplasticone
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Oof, tough crowd!

I've upgraded this build with a pilot in two poses, from the Builders Parts.

Pose 1 "Suiting Up:"
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Pose 2 "Victory at Kilimanjaro"
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Together:
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If you look closely the pilot is wearing a Karaba-inspired black jacket with a hint of the EF Army logo over the left breast; the head is painted (I felt sculpting was unnecessary) to resemble the blue EFSF Torrington Base pilot helmet from Unicorn. The kneeling figure had his hand slightly reposed; the flag is made from a staple and a folded printout of the EF flag.
Edited by theplasticone, May 22 2018, 06:21 PM.
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LeDelmo
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Dude, I really love your work. Great colors great representation of Grunt suits.

Well done
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mabudon
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excellent work on the pilots, and i have a soft spot in my heart for remnant-style forces
nice work!
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theplasticone
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Thanks! It's the only way I can justify heavy weathering on a Federation mobile suit.

Coming up soon for this build are Huiyan hands (knockoff 3.0 Emotion Manipulators) to keep the look consistent between all my other GM Command builds. Also, I've 3D-printed a ground-type parachute pack and am working on smoothing out the surface.
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