The RX-79[G] Ez8 Gundam was my very first master grade kit, built back in the biting cold of January 2008. This was still before I got a proper tool for panel lining! I did employ some new things on the kit, as the kit was fairly cheap (30$) and I wasn’t too concerned about ruining it. As a note, while the antennae is broken off in the display picture, it’s since been fixed! 🙂 Sooner or later I’ll take a new mugshot for it.
It’s certainly a handsome suit when built, but the 8th MS team never had any shiny never-taking-damage gundams. Despite my inexperience with it, I gave two things a try even though I was hesitant to attempt them…
Dry-transfers and weathering. While it was a cheap method of doing so, I used the GM48 marker from the fine point set to panel line…then smeared it around with my thumb. The “fine point” markers aren’t all that fine, so they leave behind a bit more ink than the GM01 so it’s unlikely you’ll wipe it off with your thumb and just smudge it around. It worked well enough though and gave the suit a kind of grimy-dirty look, far better than how it looked pristine. The dry-transfer decals from these older kits are a bit more problematic than the newer ones, it seems like I had a very hard time getting them to transfer cleanly but it worked out for the best in the end, lending to the weathered look very well!
I also took the plunge and did a little bit of interior detailing. For the most part, I think this is the only model I’ve done this with…most of the other ones don’t have something that folds back like this and everything else is covered by armor, so I usually don’t bother. It was fairly easy despite the chunky markers used! It does make the cockpit/opened chest look pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself.
Ez8 comes with your standard UC Gundam loadout in the form of a beam rifle (Not pictured, I don’t know where it got to…), a bazooka and some beam sabers. Unique things include a machine gun (along with two extra ammo clips that attach to the hips) and the crate that clips on to his back, though I find it to make Ez8 a bit unstable. The box also stores the bazooka which can break down in to 4 separate and much smaller bits. Also included are alternate hands since like most early MG models, the hands have a pretty crappy grip on anything.
As far as frills and extras go there isn’t much outside of the bazooka backpack, though the beam saber storage compartments are neat on paper. They have a horrible tendency of not staying attached to the legs when you try to open them up, I find it easier to just leave the sabers out.
Articulation is alright, nothing too drastic but everything has a nice range of motion and nothing is blocked by anything else. The ankles can be a bit stiff (they don’t really move) but everything else is pretty solid. Surprising considering it’s age! It’s got a somewhat sparse inner frame but it does it’s job well, providing support for the rest of the model. It holds poses well and I don’t have any sagging issues or the like with it.
Ez8 was also the first kit to get weathering compact used on it, along with top coat. Both of these forays turned out really well, and make the final product something I’m happy with. Considering Ez8’s role in the series having one look clean seems out of the ordinary! Even if you’re new to weathering and the like I think this is definitely a kit to test it out on.
Overall I’ve no major complaints with the Ez8, especially when I take in to account that it’s an older kit (MG #33), a lot of the things we take for granted nowadays weren’t around when they made this model. Someday, I’d love to see an Ez8 Ver2.0 emerge if Bandai ever stops releasing Zaku II after Zaku II.