Friday, October 5, 2012

[mini-Review] HCM-Pro Nu Gundam SP-003

Cleaning the place up and dug this guy up; thought I would shoot a few pics before storing him away to save space.

What is HCM-Pro?

If I had to describe Bandai's HCM-Pro line--I would put them roughly between their MSIA action figures and 1/144 HG model kits.  Bandai sells these as completed kits, give or take a few things you may have to cut off a tree and finish yourself.  So small parts such as V-fins and other delicate parts would come attached to a plastic tree for you to cut out and finish.

backside of box

iirc, Bandai isn't making this anymore . . . nor their action figures.  I'm actually not sure what is available now and what isn't, the company has a history if discontinuing product lines on a whim.

anyhow, on to the brief photo review:

 Out of the box, the Nu Gundam is a smaller than a typical 1/144 scale MS (I forget what scale HCM pro is supposed to be at).  At first glance the figure looks quite good; not as metallic white as traditional model kits and the decals are tasteful/not in excess.  The figure feels more of 'model-kit plastic' than rubbery 'action-figure plastic'.  I want to describe HCM Pro in general as 'pre-assembled model kits'

However, on closer inspection there are some quality issues with the actual assembly (I will mention later) and painting.
small details

clean decals, nice panel line molding

bit of paint issue under the vents

seamline down the arm visible


 good in some areas . . . .
. . . not so good elsewhere


not shown here: spare V-fin

A few things worth nothing:
-Bazooka handle can swivel
-Funnels are individually labelled with decal, nice touch--otherwise all the same
-Technically 4 beam sabers, 2 just the hilt
-3 sets of hands: closed-fist, open for gun/sword, and open palm
-shield can only mount to left-arm, no hand-grip as true to design

example of hand-swivel
very noticeable seam-line, requires cementing; painting not the best

One gripe I have is the exclusion of a full-size beam for the secondary saber

Closing Thoughts

 I stick with what I said earlier when I say this is much like a 'pre-assembled' model kit; fully painted and decal'd.

Things I like:

+good paint and finish quality
+small details really make this a great Nu Gundam rendition/mold (I believe the upcoming MG ver 2.0 might resemble this)

Things I don't like:

-where's my second beam saber?
-argh seamlines, nail down that basic construction
-figure BEGS for a display stand

Worth buying? no; 

especially not for full price.  I'm confused as to who the target audience the HCM pro line is for; and Bandai must be as well because they discontinued the product line.  The plastic used here feels more like model kit plastic than action figure pvc (and the seamlines show). 

Alternatively, I recommend the Robot Damashii Nu-Gundam if you want an action figure (however, it's very expensive IMO).  For fellow modelers, the HGUC Nu-Gundam is quite recent and an excellent 1/144 rendition (the Hi-Nu is also available).  DO NOT buy the 1/100 MG Nu Gundam since the NEWER ver. Ka MG Nu is releasing sooooon.

I don't mean to disappoint anyone; I don't exactly dislike HCM Pros.  In fact, I have a pair of HCM Pro Geara Dogas and I absolutely LOVE them.  But as a product line I'm really confused as to why this scale and who it is meant for.  Buyer's remorse =P

Another/Better Review here: