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Choose your Destiny

I actually had this all prepared last week and was going to do a double post with the Valkyria chronicles review but various the DNS problem and various other things got in the way.

So here it is, a week late but still kicking. Here’s Destiny Gundam!

Rather embarrassingly, I bought this kit when it was released last christmas or thereabouts but only got around to building it recently, spurred on by the imminent arrival of my MG infinite justice gundam.
The parts were washed and sprayed while still on the sprue to provide it with a minor paint job, and that is why the grey parts of the kit appear darker than how it otherwise would. I decided on a slightly darker shade to distinguish it more fully from Strike Freedom. Aside from that, There were just a few touchups with panel lines and that was it.

The kit was also the full burst version which came with the wings of light and silver joints. I didn’t mind the silver as much as the gold ones, so I kept them in.

I must admit that I’m not that big a fan of the destiny gundam, although I do like it more than Strike Freedom. Part of my lack of enthusiasm stems from the fact that it’s just all the impluse/strike gundam packs rolled into 1, something the freedom gundam was meant to be originally. It’s just the timing, after having 2 gundams with all the packs over 2 series, having one which combines them all just feels like “too little, too late” in terms of design. Giving it a God finger like attack and V gundam-esque wings of light didn’t help much either.

The above pics shows the destiny raising it’s anti-ship cannon, something rarely done as the cannon (like a lot of other things in the show) was criminally underused. For the most part, the cannon was just used to show just how OMG HAX Kira Yamato was, during the reused scene where the cannon shot fired by destiny would be cancelled by a perfectly alligned shot from the belly cannon of Strike freedom.

I don’t think it saw any use outside that…

And here’s destiny with it’s main Close combat weapon, preparing to launch another attack. Did anyone else notice that ZAFT seemed to have a very large number of these around since Shinn would ALWAYS lose it or have it destroyed by freedom or justice?

Preparing to take on the world…

However, with all things said and done, I have to admit that the Destiny gundam is one of the weakest MG kits I have built with various issues springing up from a design perspective which makes me wonder if the the designers of the kit were idiots.

Firstly, the hands follow the general tradition of having little spokes on the palms to hold the weapons in place, it works great for the beam rifle, but it’s really hard to get the destiny to get a grip on the sword, esp with 2 hands. The fact that the sword is also much heavier and longer than most beam sabers just make the situation worse. The sword in the pics above only lasted in those poses for a few minutes before they dropped.

Secondly, I had problems with the backpack.

Like the 1/144 kit before it, The bracket which holds the cannon is a little too high, which severely restricts the posabilty of the cannon. It’s held by ball joints to allow it to sway side to side, but it’s unable to take advantage of that fact. The handle is also too far back and makes bending the arm back a pain.

There’s also the issue with the wings of light being held up by a single bit of plastic which doesn’t have a particularly string grip on the wing.

The wings are held up by just that piece, with another helping to keep the wing in place at the bottom but doesn’t support the weight in the slightest (and is even more flimsy) so the wings fall out with annoying regularity.

But my biggest scorn goes to the hips…

The folks at bandai tried to add a gimmick to the destiny which attempts to increase the flexibility of the hip joints. It’s controlled by the small switch you see above. The idea was that in normal poses, the legs would be close together but in flight or whatever, the builder could pull the switch down and the silver joiints above would widen to allow more dynamic poses, in theory…

In practice, it just means that the joints feel very flimsy as the little switch/hook isn’t strong enough to hold the joints in place so they end up flapping about a lot. Coupled with the normal stiffness of the joints in the legs in general, and you feel like you could break the thing at any moment when moving the legs.

I just hope they didn’t use the same system in Infinite justice…

The kit also came with these figures of Kira and Shinn to put on the action base (or their own if you didn’t have any) Strangely, they molded them in completely clear plastic so you lose a lot of the detail simply because you can’t see it.

The clear look is also extended to the “destiny finger”, although that can be fixed with a little misting with my airbrush. More perplexing is the decision by bandai to only include parts to do a destiny finger on the right hand. You cannot do this with the left.

And to finish, here are some shots of the 2 MS together.One annoying thing about photographing gundam kits is that it’s very hard to fit them in my photobox separately, let alone when 2 are together…

The scene from the end of the 3rd OP, which features heavily in the instruction manual.

A shot inspired by an old preview pic in a japanese magazine back when GSD was still airing. The original pic depicted a severely damgaged destiny reaching out with his hand to “destiny finger” a badly damage strike freedom, which was preparing his own counterattack at the same time. I lost the pic but it was basically what viewers were hoping for and was pretty much the opposite of what we got in the end.

A favourite scene of mine…

So which side would you prefer to be in this situation? My money is on freedom…

Overall, I must admit I’m disappointed in Destiny. Mostly from a design Point of view. several parts (most obviously the hip) feels like they used the kit as a testbed for some ideas without refining them or even checking if they work properly. The kit suffers rather badly as a result.

Here’s hoping they do some major updates on Infinite justice, or just abandon the ideas altogether…

  • http://beamknight87blog.blogspot.com/ beamknight87

    Great job. I think it is a good model and I admit that the issue with the mechanism to spread apart the legs also gave me trouble. Maybe the problem is that Destiny tries too hard to copy other Gundams forgetting at the same time to be itself, that’s why it got so humiliated in the series.
    But whatever, the Wings of Light are pretty much the sole reason for getting this model, they are lovely ^^.

  • gundamjehutykai

    The series itself was just poor and I would rather forget it actually happened.

    Destiny did have a bit of an identity crisis and copycat syndrome but you always wanted it to do more than what was shown. then there was the really stupid stuff like trying to kick a MS which has beam blades on it’s shins…

  • http://mygunplamodels.blogspot.com Hugo

    it seems they always try new idea with the destiny kits that fail. SF was the fragile wing system, Destiny it would be the pelvis mechanism. Hopefully MG IJ wont suffer the same fate.

  • gundamjehutykai

    here’s hoping. Well, I should find out for myself soon enough as my IJ should arrive on sat.

  • Xenostripsis

    so sexay, anyways, i still curse myself for not buying the full burst edition, destiny for me contained some of my worst gunpla memories, especially those little round gray parts on the small wing sections (rrrrrgh, so many cuts on my fingers from that) not to mention the fact that I broke the hand grip on the cannon and did a crappy repair job on it, other than that, and the slightly flimsy hip mechanism, destiny was a nice display piece, it would be even better if i had the wings too

  • gundamjehutykai

    Well, all I can say (like I say everytime anyone says that a recent MG is bad) is “at least you never tried to build the Mk1 Zeta gundam!!

    But yeah, the hip mechanism was a really badly implemented idea and what makes it worse is that it’s present in Infinite justice too!! I just hope they made it at least a little better…

  • Xenostripsis

    I must ask, how much do you pay for your gunpla? Where I buy my gunpla, the full burst destiny was about 100 and the special coated mg sazabi was about 170-200, i believe these are the best prices in town, tho.

  • gundamjehutykai

    Well, since I buy my gunpla from either HLJ.com or directly from Hong Kong when I get the chance, my prices are hugely affected by the exchange rates.

    If I bought the full burst now, I think it would be around the price you mentioned. In fact, probably more when you add in the shipping costs.
    But when I did buy it, I think it was £40 or around 75CAD.
    Damn Recession…

    My infinite justice came from Hong Kong via a family member so I’m not sure on the total cost. HK tends to sell kits on the cheap anyway, even new ones.

  • Xenostripsis

    You have justice?!? why aren’t there any posts on it yet?!?!??!?
    Anyways, i guess hobby wave is prolly the best place to buy gunpla right now, although they don’t accept paypal yet T_T

  • gundamjehutykai

    *kisses his credit card which he has had since he was 18*

    and Justice is on it’s way. But I’ve been on Kagami since before it arrived, so I want to finish her off before I do something else. Just putting the finishing touches on her now…

  • Xenostripsis

    Didn’t you know? Justice and order are the two most important things in society, that’s why we have police!
    XD im 18 now, but I don’t have a job, or any other real income and im afraid that i’ll end up getting my identity stolen, since i spend so much time on the net. I also give out a fair amount of PI, which I’m already not happy about adding a credit card to the mix would just be like firing a chain gun in a nuclear missile silo (happens all the time in movies, tho).
    Back on topic: Anyways i ope after upgrading my computer ill have enough left over for a SINANJU,to go w/ my unicorn, or a PG(still don’t have one).

  • gundamjehutykai

    ah yeah, it does take a little discipline to use a credit card without amassing some “issues”

    I just use it for a small number of foreign websites which I use infrequently and for when I go abroad as it’s very good with exchange rates (unlike the rates themselves these days)
    well, a Sinanju should be OK, it’s a MG kit so it won’t be *too* expensive, but you probably will need a fair bit left over to buy a PG. A 1TB internal HD would be cheaper than one of those!

  • Xenostripsis

    actually, i heard from my supplier that Bandai raised their prices 30% on models produced after december 1st and the store hasn’t bought anything since the announcement and prolly won’t for a long time, so online stores, here i come! i have to wonder tho, is this just an issue with my store’s supplier, or is it an order from bandai HQ?

  • Xenostripsis

    only models produced after December 1st will have their pricces marked up, so we prolly won’t see any effects in online stores for a while(that’s why I’m switching to online), but i have to wonder about the sinanju, that was released on the 15 of dec, so it may be marked up. T_T

  • Xenostripsis

    oh and i just noticed your missing the little gold v-fin for the crotch(thats the only way i can describe the area) did you just not put it on, or did you lose/break it? oh and happy new year

  • Xenostripsis

    I find that most of bandai’s newer MGs have a difficult time holding onto weapons, even the originals with their crappy articulation, had a better time holding their primary weapon(s). Any idea what the reason is?

  • gundamjehutykai

    well, I find that the newer MGs have looser joints around the knuckles as they are ball jointed whereas the older ones were hole-and-peg on the outer knuckle areas.

    The stiffness of the old fingers helped keep the weapons in place, but the newer ones have hooks on the palms which go into indents in the weapons. I found my strike freedom holds it’s weapons very well and it’s one of the newer versions, but destiny doesn’t.

    Having said that, Perfect grades use the palm hooks and weapon indents system and they hold their weapons very well, but then the pegs can hold the weapons by themselves without the fingers wrapping around them.

  • Xenostripsis

    interestingly enough, my strike can’t hold either of it’s beam rifles for beans, on the other hand my Destiny is pretty good at holding things, apart from the issues with the A.S.S. (Anti Ship Sword) which is in its own class of sucking ASS. My unicorn also has the same problem as my strike and I wonder if it’s just that the grips aren’t “compatible” with the current gundam hands. Neither of my 2 Zeon MG 2.0’s have EVER dropped a weapon, even through some very rigorous posing, which i attribute to : A) better designed weapon grips and B) the second joint in the fingers, neither of which are present in any non-MG 2.0 gundam to date

  • gundamjehutykai

    I wouldn’t be surprised about the mark up. but i suspect it’s more to do with individual stores rather than from bandai direct. Exchange rates being what they are and all. I haven’t seen a jump in price on stores which operate from within japan, like HLJ.

  • gundamjehutykai

    tbh, I just didn’t like it so I left it out. simple as…

  • gundamjehutykai

    TBH, all hands to me are easily manipulated to hold a weapon, regardless of what it is. It;s easy to transfer weapons from old kits to eachother as the hands are all very similar. I think I cut my skills from trying to get the ver 1 zeta to hold a beam rifle, which proved hopeless in the end… It would only hold the beam saber properly due to some ridiculously poorly designed fingers and loose connectors.