HGUC 1/144 Messala (Detailed Look)

Alright… Let’s take a look at this 1/144 HGUC Messala

For a 1/144, this thing is big. It transforms, comes with a stand, and has pretty good color separation. All of the seam lines are hidden really well except for maybe 1 or 2 parts, and as we dig in, we’ll see where some of the more problematic parts are when it comes to painting.

Here it is from the back. You can see the red plastic used on the tail to bring out some detail. If you look at the stand, you’ll see the giant purple claws that you can plop onto the arm armor, you’ll also notice the extra hinge that’s used in the transformation, and the 2 giant beam sabers. What you don’t see is that underneath the base, there’re attachment points where you can store the extra hands.

When transformed, everything looks nice and clean. NM the left arm not positioned perfectly. You can see that the torso is on a slider as well that extends during the transformation.

It even looks good from the back side. There’s the red on the tail, extra detail on the underside of the back plate, but unfortunately the underside of the thrusters on the boosters need to be painted red.

And here we have a side by side with the transformed RG 1/144 Zeta Gundam. If you were follow my Zeta detailed look thread, you’ll see that I got the leg to transform properly now.

First part, the body.

Very different from everything else. Single piece for torso and waist, so there’s articulation here. Well, the only articulation is a slider that allows the head go slide up and down on the body, but it’s only used during the transformation. From the side, you can see the peg holes for the leg and the arm, so they will need to be masked during painting. Arms, not so much, but definitely the legs holes. The purple shoulders are actually separate pieces so they can be painted separately. One quick thing here is that the prongs at the tips of the torso are also separate pieces, and they can actually all out easily. This is where painting it will actually help quiet a big since the extra material will help make the fit tighter.

Underside, nothing special except the hinge on the top that the back attach to. Of course this is for when you transform the Messala.

So here we have the head. This is one of the areas can be problematic in painting. You’ll see that there’s two tones of purple being used here, and 5 pieces are used to construct the head. Unfortunately the darker purple piece is covered by the lighter purple and because of this you’ll see that there’s a lot of seams. If you paint them separately, the seams’ll show, but if you try to glue the seams, then you can’t really paint the dark purple pieces. Bandai tried their best here to in trying to hide the seam lines, and the only thing that I don’t really like is how the chin is a separate piece.

The chin may actually be alright though. The should armor helps hide the seams so it’s not too much of an eyesore.

Here you can see how all the head pieces are attached. The top two actually slides down the main piece, so that seam line there cause by the first two pieces can be easily removed. Lower part of the neck and the chin that you can’t really do anything about. Btw, if you are planning on painting, definitely make sure you widen the holes that attaches to the body. Once the head is on the body, it’s really difficult to pry off since there’s a lot of friction holding it on.

Quite interesting construction this guy has. Is that little notch in the head supposed to be the mono-eye?

On to the back

Nothing too special here, two main pieces with two hinges that the boosters attach to. Just look at all the things you can panel line on the underside. And of course if you’re gonna paint it, don’t press the underside fully into the back plate. Since it’s recessed, getting it out isn’t exactly fun.

So here we have the tail thruster. It’s made up of 3 pieces, and this is gonna be another difficult piece to paint if you want to get rid of the seam line. The red piece here isn’t just a slide in piece. It’s actually held in by the outer purple sides. You’ll see in the 3rd photo that the outer pieces wraps around the red detail. So now we have a problem of that if you want to remove the seam line, you’ve got do a lot of masking on the inside.

And here it is. The body, assembled.

Looks good, doesn’t it.

Now let’s take a close look at the arms.

So here you have the should, that goes into the body on a round peg so it pivots all around. Upper arm is attached to the shoulder separate on a peg so it has 360 rotation. Lower arm is on a hinge that lets it swing forward and backward. What’s not to like here. We’ve got the red missile pods on the shoulder with a pivoting cover, and then we also have the gauntlet with the interchangeable cover that you can remove to put the claws on. Hands’re sold pieces with no finger joints, but I could care less about that. Main thing I don’t like here is the lower arm red pipings. Rather than 2 separate pieces, it’s a mono piece. You can’t really cut them off separate cause it attaches to the lower arm via a peg in the bridge. Sucks.

No glaring seam lines anywhere, but a little bit of masking is necessary on the gauntlet and the shoulders.

A close look at the shoulder and you’ll see that Bandai did a WONDERFUL job hiding the seamlines. This means you can paint the missile pods separately. HORRAY!!!

Here you can see how the gauntlet attaches to the arm. Nice thing here is that to pull the gauntlet in during transformation, you simply mount the gauntlet to the arm with the other hole. I like it simple.

Check it out, it’s a leg. *yawn…

Seems lines are well hidden, so they can be painted separately. Some nice detail on the back of the leg so you can make the thrusters look nice if you want. Ball joint ankle and a pivoting hip peg.

Claw legs.

Yeah… I just don’t know what else to say here.

These boosters’re huge. Seamlines’re well hidden, and the ones that aren’t can be fixed without impacting painting. The tail fins on the booster’re a bit loose though. So the paint will aid in the fitment here too. If you don’t paint it, be prepared for them to fall off when you transform the model

So pieces here, one thing that you don’t see is that the light purple on the booster body is actually 2 pieces. Good job here on hiding the seams with the extra 3rd piece for the bottom of the booster body.

Now if you look at the bottom side, you’ll see some extra detail, and a peg hole that’s used during the transformation. So that’s where the extra set of shoulder hinges comes into play as it secures the body, booster, leg, and arm. It actually works really really well and makes the transformation super easy.

So here it is, the Messala. Should you get it, I would say so. Clean, large, comes with a base, great transformation, and it’s purple. Oh, and a mono eye. There’s not much details, but that’s just the design of the mech. Can’t really fault Bandai here. Fault the mech designer from back in the 80s, and the animators that were too lazy to draw more lines.

Would I buy it again, totally. If were to rate it on a scale of 10, hmm… probably a 8.5.

But here you go, one last photos. The Messala, The Gerbera Tetra, Strike Freedom with its rail gun fixed, and the Zeta.

Monoeye is actually on the dark purple piece. The kit comes with a pink sticker to make it stand out, but it’s easy enough to paint. What I may actually try doing is use my vinyl plotter to create the airbrush masks rather than doing it with masking tape. We’ll see how that goes later on. If anyone is interested I can easily recut the mask for them.

Thanks for the in-depth look at this kit. Nice to see there are some internal details available to make up for the not-so-detailed outer body, although that actually means it makes a great area to do some custom scribing. Kinda sucks about the head; welding that part will take some work.

Great review! One of my favorite HG’s to come out last year! Here’s one of the sexiest thing’s customs i’ve seen in a long time, truly inspiring to see what can be made of this kit.

^ Good lord, that thing is a work of art. All of the extra work fits well and doesn’t look to have been turned into a glorified statue. Would love to see the WIP of it, but alas, it’s usually not available.

Whoa holy crap that thing is nice.

Holy F#%!ing @$& crackers!!! That thing drop dead gorgeous.

Yea it sold for quite a penny too!
Dlinker: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/dod9872000/MYBLOG/yblog.html?m=lc&p=4

Move forward from page 4 to page 1 to watch the insanity.

Edit* Found the yahoo auction. Sold for over $2500!!

http://page11.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/n126123157

Holy shit. I dont get why people pay so much money for a painted kit.

I went through the WIP for it (or the partial WIP, rather). Sometimes, when you see a WIP for a complex kit, you can understand how the modeler was able to create it. Other times, it is just completely baffling. This one is the latter; I get that lots of plastic plate/rods, possibly metal option parts, and a good deal of time were used, but the precision required for all of it is simply beyond my comprehension. Truly a work of art.

Good grief, the Sazabi, and Kampfer kits he built, are mind blowing.