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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Gundam Origin HG YMS-07-1 Gouf Production Type


Introduction:

Regardless of whatever fun little history I make up for this kit below. This project was my attempt to kit bash my own YMS 07A Mobile Demonstration Unit kit using parts I already had on hand. It was a short and sweet project that took maybe 6-8 hours and I completed the kit over the course of 1 week.

Mobile Suit History:

The following is my own fictional history of this series of mobile suit and should not be considered cannon. If you like this section please let me know and I may include more like it in future works.

When the YMS-07B-0 Protoype Gouf Tactical Demonstrator was tested, it was heralded as the true successor to the venerable Zaku 2 for earth based operations. The Gouf would be deployed as a command mobile suit as the head of a 3-4 man team, where it's superior mobility and armor would allow it to advance under covering fire to engage enemy forces in close range combat.

During initial trial runs the test pilot Ramba Ral showed superlative skill operating the tactical demonstrator model. However, as the engineers, scientists and other pilots soon discovered; the revolutionary integrated arm weapon systems represented a fatal flaw.

The right arm mounted heat-rod was prone to malfunction. Damage incurred during usage or other environmental factors could cause the rod to seize during retraction; burning out motors or otherwise damaging the winding mechanism within the arm. There is at least one recorded incident of a pilot damaging their own mobile suit with the heat-rod when they misjudged the trajectory of the weapon on a return swing.

The machine gun integrated into the left arm provided it's own problems as well. The short barrel length and compact design of the tri-machine gun limited the effective range of the weapon to less than half of that of the Zaku 2's standard 120mm machine gun. If a 07B-0 pilot found themselves pinned and out-ranged by an opposing force their options for engagement or retreat would be severely limited.

Ultimately the factor that doomed the deployment of this variation of the Gouf was that by not providing this mobile suit with a standard set of humanoid manipulators the Gouf lost access the various weapon systems of the Zaku 2. By utilizing a unique weapon system field technicians would likely find themselves without the parts or ammunition need to keep ahead of battlefield wear and tear. These factors would ultimately limit the Gouf tactically and logistically making it unfit for deployment. Zeon engineers attempted to remedy this fault by providing a 'replacement' arm with a manipulator that could be connected at the forearm. However the extra bulk required by this arm caused clearance issues with the stocks and barrels of many of the machine gun and bazooka models respectively.

That is not the end of the story for the Gouf type mobile suit. Zeon engineers fell back onto the earlier 07A-0 "mobility prototype" Gouf concept. These engineers would integrate a set of Zaku 2 lower arms and manipulators into the design of the Gouf to create The YMS-07-1 Gouf Production type mobile suit. This mobile suit was essentially a high performance successor to the Zaku 2. It featured a more powerful power plant, high ground speeds, greater jumping potential and heavier frontal armor.Ultimately the Gouf saw limited production as the Zeon began to favor the higher mobility and firepower of the upcoming YMS-09 Dom. 


Kit Talk:

This is a kit bash of the HG Gouf Tactical Demonstrator and the HG Char Zaku 2. The kits share many parts which made the kitbashing process very simple. The arms of the Zaku were simply attached to the shoulders the same way they would on the Zaku. I fixed the seamlines present on the forearms using the the process shown in this tutorial. 



The commander horn is a replacement part from one of the Builders Parts HG sets; the stock commander horn was blunt short and uninteresting. The horn was glued into place, but there was a considerable gap left between the two parts that I filled with Mr. Surfacer 500.



I had to scratch build the attachment peg for the Gouf's shield to attach it to the arm. The P-Bandai HG Gouf includes a custom part to attach the shield to the arm. I built this part from a piece of the HG Gouf and pla-plate. I then ground down the Zaku arm to attach the part onto the arm. I painted this component the same navy blue color as the feet, knees and chest. 


The color scheme for this kit was based on the Ms-07B-3 Gouf Custom with the white details taken form the YMS 07A Mobility Type. Similar to the Zaku 2 Ramba Ral custom I made years ago I created a hot glowing gradient along the blade of the heat hawk using orange, yellow, white and a coating of clear orange. I love the contrast that this creates with the blue colors of the mobile suit.

If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!


HG Origin Dom Test Type


Introduction:

The MSD line of Gundam the Origin kits continues to deliver on really cool, really unusual designs. If this mobile suit looks somewhat familiar that's because it's likely the precursor to MS-06RD-4 Zaku HighMobiltiy Test Type that Aina Sahalin uses at the beginning of the 8th MS Team series.

I really like the design of this model. It's clear from the design that this mobile suit is a prototype due to use of the Zaku type torso and modified Zaku head.

Kit Talk:

This is the third HG Origin kit that I've had a chance to build. So far, each kit from the Origin series has been an excellent build if you can get past the lazy seam line design of the forearms. If you haven't already you can see my tutorial on fixing these seam lines here. 

The basic color scheme of this kit is really uninteresting. To improve the scheme I referenced an earlier build I completed for the HG Gouf Custom. I added a red slash on the check and added a fade to the legs, skirt and shoulders. In hindsight I probably should have added more small red details throughout the design.




If you're interested in picking up this or other kits consider purchasing through the Amazon links on my site. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and doesn't cost you a dime!


Sunday, June 25, 2017

HG Origin Guncannon First Type


Introduction:

After a large project like the MG FA-78 I like to unwind by building a smaller kit. It's how I keep up my momentum as a builder and stay motivated to build future projects. A few weeks ago one of my nephews helped me to build and assemble this kit. When I pulled it off of the shelf on Tuesday it only need a bit of touch up sanding and seam removal before painting it.

This is also the very last kit I purchased from Modelgrade before they closed up shop.

Mobile suit History:

The following is my own fictional history of this series of mobile suit and should not be considered cannon. If you like this section please let me know and I may include more like it in future works.

Despite the lackluster performance of the Guncannon during its inaugural battle at Von Braun, this mobile site saw widespread deployment throughout the federation shortly after. Officially the Earth Federation indicated that too many resources had been dedicated to the development of the design to simply scrape the project. Rumors abound that lobbying efforts by Anaheim Electronics had hand in the decision.

Early production models of the Guncannon were identical to the models used during the battle of Von Braun. However, as production churned on: enhancements, modification and adjustments to the design were made based on collected battle data and observations by Anaheim Electronics technicians and consultants stationed aboard Federation vessels. A substantial modification made during the production run replaced the three pronged pincer like hands with articulated humanoid type manipulators. The pincer manipulators struggled to manage the recoil from the mobile suit's rifle. The humanoid manipulators also provided a Guncannon with the ability to provide a swift punch to a enemy attempting to close for melee combat.

The early operators of the Guncannon were mainly veteran RB-78 Ball pilots, and the reassignment to the more heavily armed and armored Guncannon was generally perceived as an upgrade. Many pilots quickly adapted to the new mobile suit thanks in part to very similar cockpit layouts and control configurations.

Guncannons were mostly used to fill the role of mid-range fire support in fleet formations or used to outflank or ambush Zeon vessels. Rarely were Guncannons encouraged to engage the more maneuverable Zaku 1 in one on one combat. Variants of the Guncannon would serve throughout the Federation prior to and following the One Year War on many battle fronts. The last few Guncannons still in operation were phased out of front line service around the time the Titans started to dominate the hierarchy of the federation.

Kit Talk:

I've never really cared for the design of the original RX-77 Guncannon or any of it's derivatives very much. The designs strike me as being very simple and lacking the mechanical design that I really appreciate. Fortunately this version has some great detail.

Early on I decided to that the stock color scheme of the early type model wasn't really doing it for me. Same goes for the 'arcade claw machine' style of hands. I used a set of builders parts HD hands and used the ball joint from the stock hands to ensure that they would fit the socket. If I had the chance I would have preferred to have a matching set of shoulder cannons similar to the RX-77.

I opted to push more color separation into the kit through the grey armor panels on the legs, arms and backpack. If I were to paint the kit again I might have chosen a RG style of color separation with different shades of red.

There are a few seam lines across the kit that needed to be filled and a few seam lines that needed to be re-scribed. Despite these minor fixes, the basic kit is really nice and should not be overlooked.



If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mg FA-78 Thunderbolt sector Gundam


Introduction:

This is one of those kits that I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to build (even after buying it). But after seeing completed kits by Saintism & Holocause I knew that I had to build it. The FA-78 Full Armor Gundam (Thunderbolt ver.) is a redesign of the FA-78-1. This version was designed to handle the extremely hostile environment of the Thunderbolt Sector, an area full of debris, electrical discharges and Zeon sniper.

This sizable build took me a little over a month of building on an off to complete. 

Kit Talk:

Overall this kit was a pretty decent build. I know a lot of people make a big deal about the 'trash bag' joint covers, however I had no problem applying them and I think that they look pretty decent. A nice benefit of using these covers is that you don't need to paint much of the inner frame.

I worked with a mostly stock color scheme. Unlike 99% of my Gundam based builds, I tinted the color of the white with a pinch of blue and grey to give it a slightly cooler, and darker look to complement the toned down de-saturated look of the other colors.

This kit was designed with stability in mind. The arm and shoulder joints are very tight, and the waist is locked upright. This was required due to the weight of the arm mounted weapons and backpack. This kit is also a bit of a brick. While not as bad as the Full Armor Unicorn, it's not much better either. The included stand doesn't improve the situation much either as the action base connector tends to fall out of both points of connection. I found on my model that the shoulder joint was very stiff unwilling to move. These kits have a bit of a reputation for the shoulder joint breaking, so I didn't force the arm for fear of breaking it. 

Like the MG Gelgoog 2.0 I posted a few weeks ago, I really hated having to cover the kit up with the external armor. I really like the design of the basic Gundam. Unfortunately the process of applying the armor causes irreparable damage to the decals and paint below.

A nice feature of this kit is that Bandai provides decals for both the Manga and Anime versions of the model. My version utilizes the Anime version decals which use a large blocky militaristic font. The Mange version is a more classical serif style font.

If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

 



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Hobby Knives


A good hobby knife is an essential part of just about any modelers tool box. We use them for: nub clean up, masking, decals, weathering panel line scribing and more. In my opinion it's important to understand what options are available and which knife should be used with each task.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated, sponsored by or have any connections to any hobby tool manufacturer or reseller. The statements made below are strictly my opinions based on my experience as a modeler.



The classic Xacto #11 light duty hobby knife with X-life blades

In the US I can't think of a more widely used or iconic hobby knife than the classic #11. Until December of 2016 this style of knife was my primary knife choice for most hobby applications. Handles come in a variety of different shapes sizes and colors, and the blue oxidized carbon steel blades are extremely sharp and have decent edge retention.

The good:
  • A good general purpose knife. If I could only own one hobby knife this would be it.
  • A sharp blade is usually good for one full HG kit
  • The long fine point of this blade makes masking in tight places a breeze
  • Large packs of replacement blades are widely available an inexpensive
The bad:
  • The blade is not "locked" into the handle and I have somewhat frequent experience with the blade becoming loose to the point where it could fall out from the handle.
  • The thin point of the knife is prone to snapping.
Things to consider:
  • Handles come in many different shapes and sizes pick one that feels good in your hand. The standard silver metal handle is slightly too narrow for my large hands for example.
  • The #11 handle can be used with other styles of blades.


Precision Hobby Knife by Olfa

This is the style of knife that replaced my #11 xacto for just about all nub removal duties. The shape of the blade provides a better cutting angle and requires less force to cut through the plastic than the traditional #11 blade. Another benefit of the shorter blade length is that I have significantly reduce the incidents of accidentally cutting myself.

The good:
  • The best choice for removing nubs of all sizes.
  • Good edge retention, equal to the #11
  • Despite having blades that are .05 mm thinner on average that the #11, they feel much sturdier under compression. 
The bad:
  • The shorter cutting surface makes it a poorer choice when cutting masking tape or decals. 
Things to consider:
  • Like the X-acto #11 above the handles come in many different shapes and sizes pick one that feels good in your hand. Olfa manufactures some of the Tamiya branded hobby knives too. Due to the parallelogram shape of the blades, this style of knife tends to have a wider handle than the Xacto knives do.  


Snap off blade aka: Asuka's progressive knife

As a young teenager back in the bygone era of 2000 I used a knife like this to cut nubs off of kits. At the time I had no idea what I was doing, nor did I have access to the internet resources that we have today. It's unsurprising that many of the models I built were junk, considering I was using a tool like this.

The good:
  • Great for opening boxes, breaking down boxes or cutting tape.

The bad:  
  • Generally the blades on these knife are inferior both in sharpness and edge retention to the hobby knives listed above. 
  • The ergonomics of these types of knives are generally poor for long modeling sessions.
Things to Consider:
  • We use tools to make problems easier to solve. For a given problem there usually exists an "ideal tool". Learning to use a certain tool in a certain situation is a skill we spend most of our lives learning and scale modeling is no exception.
What are your preferences for hobby knives? Did I miss a blade type that you swear is the best solution? If so, please leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Patron Commission Contest!


At the start of this month I launched my Patreon page. To celebrate this new beginning I am going to host a commission contest for my Patrons.

Support me on Patreon by clicking this link!

How it works:

Anyone who has pledged, or will pledge before July 1st 2017 is entered to for a chance to win.

Every dollar pledged equates to one "ticket" and each ticket is one chance to win.

High Grade Patrons earn 1 ticket
Real Grade Patrons earn 5 tickets
Master Grade Patrons earn 15 tickets
Perfect Grade Patrons earn 50 tickets

For this contest to succeed at least 50 tickets submitted by the contest date.

A winner will be randomly be selected on July 2nd

This is a special limited time reward for one early contributor.

Prize:

You get to select any 1/144 scale HG kit that costs up to 2500 yen, I'll build, paint, decal and detail it however you like!

Support me on Patreon by clicking this link!

Disclaimer: This is not a raffle, no tickets are being sold. Patrons that pledge are gaining access to the rewards listed on the Patreon website.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Patreon page has launched!

Thanks in to the advice provided by some of my readers as well as others in the community I've decided to launch a Patreon page. The goal of my Patreon service is two fold, the first is to branch out into new areas and media (as well as improving some old), and the second is provide more interactivity with my readers. For long time readers that don't want to contribute, don't worry you'll still continue to see the same posts and content you have enjoyed in the past.

But, if you do decide to support me, I've set several levels, HG, RG, MG and PG. HG starts off at the lowest price point at $1 a month and each level provides more benefits. I may tweak these in the future to add more benefits to my patrons.

I've also set several goals including removing ads from YouTube, buying new equipment for new series and a free commission reward after hit one of the milestones!

If you'd like to support me and don't want to mess around with Amazon affiliates or ads, please consider supporting me on Patreon!

Also if you haven't already start following me on Twitter & Google + for more regular updates!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

MG Gelgoog 2.0 Anavel Gato Custom


Introduction:

The MG Gelgoog 2.0 Anavel Gato Custom was my submission for the 2017 Playing with Plamo contest hosted by HLJ. It didn't end up winning anything, but the contest proved to be a good motivator for completing a kit that I might have left un-built for too long.

The goal of this project was to create a final product that looked like it was an official P-Bandai release. With the fairly constant stream of P-Bandai Zaku 2.0 ace custom units, I'm still fairly surprised we haven't seen much in the way of Gelgoog 2.0 variations. 

Kit Talk:



The base kit for this project was the Char Custom version of the Gelgoog 2.0; the high mobility backpack and prototype long beam rifle were taken from the Gelgoog 1.0 Anavel Gato Custom. I made very minor modifications to the proportions of the kit by added pla-rods to the ankles and a nylon washer and pla-plate to the waist. The extra height added to the ankles helps keep the bell bottom legs from scuffing on whatever surface it's standing on. The additional height added to the waist was done mostly for aesthetic reasons. Both the ankles and waist were reinforced with metal rods for durability. 



I added may thruster and dome greebles throughout the design to fill in the boring blank holes. The mono-eye is also custom made from extra parts.



Like the Zaku 2.0 the Gelgoog 2.0 has a beautiful layered and detailed inner frame. A big focus for this kit was on masking, painting and detailing the inner frame and outer armor of this model. The masking process of this kit easily tripled the time required to complete this kit. I would wager more the 90% of the parts of this kit were masked at least once.  



The articulation of the frame is limited, but there are gobs of pistons, thrusters and other goodies tucked into it. I really regret having to add the armor to this kit, because in the process of adding it the frames paint job and decals scheme was unavoidably damaged. I mostly stuck to the canon Anavel Gato colo scheme, but I made minor modifications to push more yellow into the design. Each piston receiver is now colored yellow, as are the lips of the thruster bells and pipes in the shoulders.



The decal scheme is mostly based on the stock 2.0 scheme, however I added additional decals throughout the design highlight decals. The "302" visible in a number of areas is a call back to the 1.0 Gato Gelgoog's scheme.


If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!

 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

RX-78 Thunderbolt Gundam WIP 2

I'm out traveling this weekend so I'm getting as much done on the RX-78 Thunderbolt Gundam as I can before I leave. 


This kit has seed or wing style hands with the interchangeable fingers. The thumb is an assembled joint. I honestly prefer this type of hand joint over the emotion manipulators found on kits like the Nu. Ver ka, RX 78 3.0, etc. I'm not wild about the white finger color either. I may changes this.


The shoulder designs are very simple. I'm noticing a lot of the white outer armor parts have a very simplified construction, many of these parts appear to be one half of a "clam shell". 


Sunday, May 7, 2017

MG RX 78 Gundam The Origin


Introduction:

I've been on a bit of a RX 78 bend lately. The 3.0 version was my 100th build for the site, I've got RX 78 Thunderbolt version on my desk as I write this and I finally picked up a RX 78 Ver. Ka and I'm on the back order list to get a FA-78.

If I had to pick a favorite between the 3.0 and Origin versions of this kit I'd still pick the 3.0. I love the color separation and complexity of the 3.0 design, but the Origin version definitely merits some praise. The design of the kit looks great, the flat feet and thin knee caps and smaller head give the kit a ver.ka 2.0 style appearance and I really like the blocky design of the fore arms and shoulders. The Origin kit is also a great looking and dynamic kit for posing, which is something that the 3.0 struggles with.



Kit Talk:

I've actually had this kit partially built for a few months. I quickly snap built the kit over a weekend a few months ago and threw it in a box. I had actually forgotten about it until I found it when rooting around for parts for the MS-05L Zaku 1 Sniper a couple of weeks ago.



This kit is pretty much directly out of box. I did re-scribe a few of the more shallow panel lines but it's other wise stock.

I used a mostly stock color scheme, but I swapped the lighter blue of the chest out with a rich blue color (Gundam Color MS Blue) and the softer red with a more "true red" (Mr. Color GX Red)/



The water slide decals from this kit were cobbled together from a few different sources. The shoulder designs are taken from the RX 78-2 Ver ka. I had to cut them apart and rearrange them to better resemble the design seen on the Origin mobile suit. The smaller warning symbols are from the Unicorn MG and HG sets, Wing TV, Deathsythe and other sets.

If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime!




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Weekend WIP Rx-78 round up



I think this is going to be my last quiet weekend for a few weeks, so I wanted to sit down and get some work done on my current and next project. I pulled this guy down off of the "Katoki Shrine" on top of my display cases and went to work.


What a "Katoki Shrine" might look like

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Kits up for auction


I currently have kits up for auction on ebay!

Click on the image to check it out!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

MS 05L Zaku 1 Sniper Type


Introduction:

Despite being the first nuclear equipped combat capable mobile suit, the five year old Zaku 1  design was consider unfit for combat by the beginning of the One Year War. Pushed into rear defense, supply line and even construction roles the Zaku 1 seemed destined for ignominy. During the waning months of the One Year War the Republic of Zeon became desperate of mobile suits and pilots capable of operating them. The Zaku 1 suddenly became a common sight on the front lines. Some Zaku 1 mobile suits were refitted and updated with more modern technology, however many were pushed to the front lines using the same outdated technology and weapon systems that made them obsolete mere months ago.

The MS-05L Sniper type was one of the refit types available for the Zaku 1. Some design changes include: an updated head with an improved main camera, sensors, communication equipment and Vulcan cannons, new backpack capable of powering a long range beam rifle and stabilization gear mounted on the right knee to anchor and steady the mobile suit while firing. 

Kit talk:



I made a pretty comprehensive Wip post here that will show in some detail what I modified to create this design.The shorter and more basic version of this explanation is: I wanted a Zaku 1 Sniper type, but the HG model is kind of crap, so I used the new Origin version of the Zaku 1 and modded on the stuff that makes the Sniper type unique. There were a fair number of parts like the head and knee that I couldn't directly kit bash onto the kit and instead these parts were are either modified or scratch built to replicate the detail.



I chose a subdued green color palette for the design with tones based off of the canon design. The decal scheme followed the basic Origin layout with some inspiration from the RG Zaku and some of my other decal schemes.

All in I'm quite pleased with how this build turned out, most of the normal jankiness typically associated with a kitbashed build has been smoothed out. 

If you like my work and you want to help support me, then consider purchasing from the Amazon links on my blog or by clicking this link. Every purchase you make helps me out tremendously and it doesn't cost you a dime! 

 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

HG Origin Zaku 1 Sniper Conversion WIP


I picked up a few HG Origin kits during the HLJ holiday sale. I'm planning on modifying just about everything I ordered staring with the:



HG Zaku 1 Sniper

I really like the design of the Zaku 1 Sniper. but as far as I can tell this model uses the ancient HG Zaku 1 as its base. I'm using the new HG Origin Zaku 1 as the base for this build and incorporating parts from the HG Sniper Yoenem Kirks custom into the design. That's not to say that I'm making Kirk's unit, rather this will just be a generic MS-05L unit.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tutorial: Seam Repair for HG The Origin Zeon kits



While the new line of HG kits from the Origin have been generally well received, a lot of people have complained about the poor design of the forearms found on many Zeon models. This is tutorial will show you how to modify the forearms to remove the ugly seam lines of certain HG Origin Zeon kits.

This tutorial will work on the following Origin kits:

HG Zaku 1
HG Zaku 1 Char Custom (either version)
HG Zaku 2 Char Custom
HG Zaku 2 Black Tri-star custom (either version)
HG Bugu
HG Dom test Type (or the P-Bandai version)

This tutorial will only require basic tools and materials. At the very least you will need a sharp hobby knife and some modeling cement. I am using Tamiya thin cement in this example because it flows more easily into gaps. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Vol 1. Quickie Review



The illustration on the cover is very similar to the artwork on original release of the HG Thunderbolt Gundam


This review is spoiler free!

Presentation:

First things first, this is a soft cover novel. There are probably around 250 pages and about a dozen of them are in color. There are also a few beautiful splash art pages included at the beginning of the novel too. This manga reads in the correct direction (right to left) and there's an idiot's guide on how to read in this style on the very last page.

This is practically mecha porn,

This is my own subjective opinion, however, I'm not wild about the design of the characters featured in the novelization or animated versions of this story. While still expressive, and well drawn, some aspect of the design does not resonate with me, your mileage will probably vary.The mecha designs by contrast are gorgeous, and drawn with tons of mechanical detail. Overall the artwork quality throughout the novel is fantastic, practically everything is drawn with an attention to detail and there's a real feeling of dynamic motion throughout the combat scenes.

Story:


Without getting into spoilers here's what you need to know. Thunderbolt occurs in the Universal Century timeline during the waning hours of the One Year War. Events from the story occur in a dangerous debris laden area of space known as the "Thunderbolt Sector". Thunderbolt is a more grounded story from the Gundam franchise. It eschews many of the more fantastical tropes like new types and their space magic.

This is a story that focuses on a small scale conflict between a branch of the Earth Federation Forces called the "Moore Brotherhood", and the "Living Dead unit", a vanguard force of the Republic of Zeon. The story portrays the conflict evenly from both sides and allows the reader to view the events of the story from the eyes of very different characters.

So far, the story has very minor differences from the OVA. Most of these changes were probably made to produce a more streamlined narrative; I don't believe any of these changes seen so far will have a major impact on the overall story or character motivations.

For reference, this first novel concludes around the 30 minute mark of the OVA adaptation.




Recommendation: 

If you have already seen the OVA version of this story you can probably skip the Manga without missing out on anything. Otherwise I would strongly recommend picking up this Manga and giving it a shot. The story is tight, and the artwork is beautiful.

This first novel is currently selling for just over $8 on Amazon at the time of writing this, and volumes 2 and 3 are now also available now for purchase.