Monday, February 20, 2012

Alternate Weapon Ideas For A Strike Rouge

Still fiddling with Gundam kits at the moment. I had recently bought the Strike Rouge and Skygrasper/Aile Striker set. A month or so later, I finally completed it in a state that I'd consider "partially acceptable". There's plenty of reviews about the kit, so I'll spare you the crappy assault of "build progress" photos and "poseability" photos demonstrating how the articulation works. This is the Vortex! Only useless information that no one wants will be shared here!

For the inquiring minds, the PG Strike (and presumably all other Perfect Grade kits) stand roughly 12" tall, which conveniently is the same scale as a 1:6 scale figure. Unfortunately, their hands are quite large and don't translate well to a 1:6 scale figure, and feel more like 1:5 scale hands in size. While off scale, this does provide an opportunity to all you PG Strike owners who want something more desirable in their arsenal than the included beam rifle, shield and shiny sword. What if you wanted to give your Strike Gundam something more... interesting?

Let's put on our thinking glasses and brainstorm! Where else could we find some crap to give our Gundam to use? Stuff that's roughly 1:6 scale, and would be used by a military fighting robot? 
 To the gun rack!

 Since the hands are a bit larger than 1:6 scale, the Strike is limited in gun options. Guns like the M-4/M-16 with small thin grips are almost out of the question. Even if you happen to have one that sort of works, the fingers tend to overhang the trigger guard, so you end up like the Heavy Weapons guy holding... practically anything other than the minigun. My solution was to cup the grip with just the fingers, and that placed the trigger finger around the right area so it doesn't look oversized.

Guns with a stock work well, as the grip occupies more space in the hand, allowing you to use the thumb more. So if you want to give your Strike some 1:6 scale guns, stuff like hunting rifles, shotguns and the like work well. Pistol grip weapons, not so much. I'm certain that a MK23 or a desert eagle would fit nicely. A Tokarev... not so well. I also tried out the MGL, and that didn't work. The fingers just didn't want to work with it.

Now, what about heavy weapons?

The Strike's hands seem to fit a Dragon Browning M2HB quite well. All four fingers fit around the rear handles and the thumbs are close enough for the trigger. However, the main issue with giving your Strike the M2HB is that you really need to put your Strike in a trench. It can do some prone poses, but not enough to make the M2 work without putting the gun a little higher. Not quite a satisfactory addition. It's acceptable if you wanted to make a support gunner out of your Strike. 

After a long while, I finally found a use for my ZACCA bazookas. They look great on the Strike Rouge, and the size fits nicely. However, there's a significant problem with giving 1:6 scale bazookas to a PG Gundam, and that's related to how their hands work. They don't have enough wrist articulation like you get out of most 1:6 scale human bodies. They're on ball joints, so you have a limited cone of range whereas human figures get wrists that can almost go 180 degrees. That makes most bazookas unsuitable for a Gundam.

I tried out most of the bazookas/rocket launchers I had and found a lot of not-at-all surprising results. I took photos of the ones that worked best.
Soldiers of the World/ZACCA M20A1: mediocre. Hands fit around the trigger perfectly, but the limited wrist motion prevents you from holding them correctly. Shoulder armor interferes with the shoulder rest, so you'll need to be creative with your poses.
ZACCA Panzerfaust 3: Great.  Nothing interferes, and there's enough range of motion to hold it properly. Can almost look down the scope as well.

ZACCA M136 AT-4: Great. Since you hold it with one hand on top, the oversize hands for the Strike work well. The front grip's easy to hold. The shoulder strap should be glued together on the AT-4, but otherwise a good addition to the Strike. It's one of the more elegant rocket launchers you could have in your collection.

 ZACCA Panzerschreck: Mediocre. You're going to have to hold this with one hand like the M20A1.  No chance in hell you can get the second hand to hold it in any decent manner. Looks great, but you just can't hold the thing. This is where a better wrist motion would help a lot.

Other notes:
I couldn't get the FIM-92, FIM-43 or the SA-18 to work due to the wrists. If you wanted a Strike Stinger combo, it'll look awkward. Don't even bother with panzerfausts. Other models from the ZACCA collection simply didn't work due to the shoulder armor interfering.

There's one outlet left for 1:6 scale weapons: Melee!

Let's say you felt the Grand Slam sword was a bit lacking, and the beam sabers were pretty dull. We can fix that with a Moonfire/Bloodberry! I did find that the fingers worked well to hold the hilts for my Bloodberry and Moonfire, but unfortunately the Moonfire's weight was too much for the fingers to handle. I had to play with the fingers to get them to clasp shut around the hilt. I could use some blue tack to attempt to hold the sword in place, but you will need to use quite a lot to hold it in place. Moonfire's the heaviest sword I have currently, almost twice the weight of the Grand Slam, and without hand pegs to hold it into place. The hands are capable of holding thin objects such as polearms, so it's feasible to have other swords (much like the Red Frame Astray) without relying on the hand peg.

It's convenient to know that a PG Strike can use about half of the possible 1:6 scale stuff on the market. The biggest problem is the wrists. I would recommend experimenting with other melee weapons than guns or rockets, as they offer the best results. Don't settle for energy blades when you can use a slab of metal to impale your foes.


Danny Barrios said...

Can you tell me where I can buy these weapon for my zaku ii 2.0?

JNORAD said...

I bought most of these off e-bay and various 1:6 scale dealers like monkeydepot. Particular models will be harder to come by now, so you're likely going to be getting whatever's cheap off the e-bay seller Storerooms.