Dec 21
Cacophanus

Available From HobbyLink Japan – HLJ.com

By Cacophanus from Mecha Damashii

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With Hajime Katoki now firmly embedded within Bandai, it was only a matter of time until he got around to sorting out some new toys from his debut work Gundam Sentinel. The latest of these is the very impressive Metal Robot Damashii Ex-S Gundam and like the name implies, this is one excessive toy.

Gundam Sentinel was a side story set during the same time as Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam. It dealt with a Federation force known as Task Force Alpha dealing with some Titans remnants called the New Desides.

Written as a serialised novel, it used model kits to depict the conflict and it’s here we get to the designs.

For all intents and purposes, Gundam Sentinel was the debut work for Hajime Katoki in terms of his mecha design. Alongside Mika Akitaka, Katoki penned the Federation forces mecha in a hard edged style no-one had seen before.

It’s this style that has gone on to not only define Katoki’s work but also the rest of modern real robot mecha.

The main mobile suit in Gundam Sentinel was the interesting MSA-011 S Gundam (shown below). Piloted by the hotheaded Ryu Roots, the S Gundam had an onboard AI of sorts called ALICE. It also used quasi-funnel weapons knowns as INCOMS. These were wire based beam weapons that could be detached and controlled remotely.

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The S Gundam was a lean, fast and powerful transformable mobile suit, however, it came in a more beefy variant and it’s here we get to the MSA-0011(Ext) Ex-S Gundam (shown below).

The Ex-S Gundam was everything the S Gundam was but dialled up to eleven. It sported an I-Field generator in the chest and employed two additional reflector INCOMS in the knees. It also had a sizable increase in speed due to the positively immense booster pack at its rear. The mobile suit could also transform into G-Cruiser mode to cover larger distances more quickly.

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The Ex-S Gundam then is then the “final form” of what Katoki intended and the fact we now have such a lovely new rendition of the Ex-S Gundam is a wonderful thing indeed.

While there have been lots of kits of the Ex-S Gundam over the years, this is the first time the design has been given a proper toy. Admittedly, the Gundam FIX Figuration figures were interesting but you couldn’t really play with them, as they were meant more as display pieces and often fell apart as well.

In any case, this is a gorgeous toy and one that I am sure Katoki must be very proud of.

Finally, if you don’t have the Gundam Sentinel artbook already, then you need to get it. Now.

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This is a glorious toy, so keep an eye out for my forthcoming review.
 

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