Gunpla Build - High Grade Gelgoog Marine Commander Type

I know I said I’d start the year off with a Witch from Mercury kit, but I ended up changing my mind. One day I had all the parts for the GWitch kit lined up and ready to go, and the next I’m putting them back and pulling another kit off the shelf, one that I knew might turn into a month long slog.

I can’t really explain myself. It’s just a quirk of the way my mind works. For whatever reason I decided that this was the time to take on this particular challenge. So here we go.

Let’s try and build the Gelgoog Marine Commander Type - AKA Cima Garahau’s Gelgoog from Stardust Memory.

About the (standard) Gelgoog Marine

As is typical of Zeon, the Gelgoog Marine Commander Type is just a slightly fancier version of the standard Gelgoog Marine, which is itself one of many variants of the Gelgoog.

The standard Gelgoog Marine

Here’s what the Gundam Wiki has to say about it:

A variation of the MS-14 Gelgoog, the MS-14F Gelgoog Marine was developed from the MS-14B Gelgoog High Mobility Type. Being designed for the Zeon Marine Corps, its power-to-weight ratio, mobility, and maneuverability were all greatly improved, rivalling the later MS-14Jg Gelgoog Jäger. Though the Gelgoog Jäger's performance was still superior, the Gelgoog Marine's production cost was lower, and was thus produced in greater number. In fact, many of the characteristics of the Gelgoog Marine and its commander variant would later be incorporated into the Gelgoog Jäger's design.

Compared to the MS-14A Gelgoog and the MS-14S Gelgoog Commander Type, the Gelgoog Marine was almost entirely specialized for space combat, adopting a unique backpack, with two large propellant tanks attached for extended operation time and cruise range. Instead of arm-mounted auxiliary propulsion units (which were useless in space), it was equipped with a pair of 110mm machine cannons. Although capable of using beam weapons, its main weapon was the MMP-80 machine gun, presumably due to the higher reliability of physical projectile weapons. Its other weapons include a pair of beam sabers and a spike shield that doubles as a melee weapon.

So it’s a space-specific variant of the Gelgoog, and a precursor to the Gelgoog Jäger. Makes sense (well, it makes sense within the logic of the Universal Century. It will never make any actual sense that a single military cranked out so many different variants and prototypes in a handful of months).

Now let’s move on and look the actual subject of this build.

About Cima’s Gelgoog

The Commander Type

Here’s what the wiki has to say about the Commander variant:

Compared to the mass production variant, the Gelgoog Marine Commander Type boasted improved mobility and maneuverability, featuring more vernier thrusters and two additional propellant tank slots for a total of four. In addition to the head antenna signifying its role as a commander unit, it was also equipped with a pair of head-mounted 40mm Vulcan Guns. Furthermore, the mobile suit has undergone weight reduction and is lighter than the standard Gelgoog Marine.

The Gelgoog Marine Commander Type's main weapon was the MRB-110 Beam Rifle, which was capable of rapid firing due to a forced cooling mechanism. It was equipped with a custom arm-mounted shield, which conceals a chaff/flare dispenser. Its other weapons are identical to the standard Gelgoog Marine. Late in the One Year War, the unit used by Cima Garahau was given a unique camouflage pattern composed of many fine dots, which makes gauging their shape on a monitor difficult. The paint itself also confuses many different types of sensors.

I feel like that’s a significant amount of upgrades relative to Zeon’s other “Commander Type” variants. Typically a commander unit is faster and lighter, but they don’t always get extra (or better) weapons.

In fact, judging by it’s weapon loadout and performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Commander Type is on par with, if not better than the Gelgoog Jäger. Consider the following:

  • The Gelgoog Marine Commander Type has more propellant tanks
  • It’s beam rifle has rapid fire capabilities and a visibly larger ammo drum
  • The Marine Commander has a shield as standard issue

I love the Jäger as much as the next guy, but on the surface I’d say this Commander Type gives it a serious run for its money.

Depiction in Stardust Memory

Cima’s Gelgoog shows up at least twice during the events of Stardust Memory (it may show up at least once more, but I’m not going to go back and scour my DVDs to find out. The point is that these are its two big scenes)

The first is during episode 5, the first one that takes place in outer space. A skirmish breaks out between Zeon and EFF forces, and Cima only decides to jump into the fray at the last minute, when it’s clear her help is needed.

While her men don’t fare too well in this fight, Cima herself manages to swoop in and take out a capital ship:

She then proceeds to severely damage the Gundam GP-01, which deployed before being outfitted for space combat, leaving it a sitting duck that’s largely unable to move. It only gets saved when Lt. South Burning shows up in his GM Custom to scare Cima away.

The second appearance of the Gelgoog is in Episode 8. Once again there is a skirmish, and once Cima squares off again against the GP01 (which is now spaceworthy, and holds its own in the fight). But she gets distracted by what appears to be a completely stationary mobile suit hiding in the wreckage of a ship.

In reality, Lt. Burning noticed a briefcase filled with intel, and was in the process of trying to recover it. This results in a rather surprising scene in which Cima appears right in front of his cockpit:

Amazingly, Burning fends her off even at close range (though tragically his mobile suit later explodes due to a malfunction).

All in all, while the regular Gelgoog Marines serve as cannon fodder, Cima and her Commander unit actually manage to do some damage, despite facing brand new, state of the art GM Customs and a Gundam. I have no doubt that this is mostly due to the skill of the pilot, but I also wonder if the improved weapons and performance of her mobile suit was at all a factor.

A Bad Color Scheme?

There’s one big problem with this Gelgoog - it’s color scheme.

The purple is perfectly fine, even if I think it could stand to be a little darker. No, the real problem is the other color, which I can only describe as a shade of “puke”1.

It’s a bit deceiving, because it looks different in Stardust Memory. The animators chose to color all the mobile suits darker than usual when out in space, and since space is the only place we see the Gelgoog Marines, Cima’s Gelgoog ends up looking closer to some sort of green tone:

It still doesn’t look great, but I do think it looks better, relatively speaking.

However, since it’s actual color is “puke”, that is exactly the color of plastic we get in the model kit:

I just don’t think it’s a good look, and so this kit has stayed on the shelf collecting dust until I could figure out how I wanted to recolor it, and how I would go about doing it.

I finally decided upon the simplest solution I could think of - repaint all the puke colored pieces with a can of spraypaint:

I’ll be honest with you - I had no idea what I was doing here. I had no idea if I need to use primer when also using a premade, Gunpla specific spraypaint. I had no idea if using both will make things worse. And I had no idea if there’s even enough grey paint in the can.

In short, this was an experiment and a learning experience.

A Long Build

Like I said at the start, I had a feeling in my gut that this build could become a month long slog. That turned out to be eerily accurate.

All the spray painting and priming alone meant there would be build nights that were largely lost to waiting for parts to dry.

Then there was the detailing, of which there was quite a lot to do. That also needed to dry.

Also, it’s January, one of the darkest and coldest months of the year. When night comes and the kids are in bed, sometimes all I want to do is sleep around this time of year.

Oh, and my kids got sick. Multiple times.

This build got done and fits and spurts. I’d work on it for a few days in a row, only to go twice as many days without touching it. It wasn’t easy, per se, but taking my time kept it from getting stressful.

As for this posting, the build isn’t quite complete. I still need to put a few finishing touches on some accessories, and then of course I have to take photos. I predict that will all be done by some time on February 4th or 5th, which will be exactly one month since I posted about the Guntank (I started the Gelgoog build only a day or two after that).

See you soon!

  1. According to the color guide, I think it’s supposed to be some sort of ochre, but it’s hard to tell. [return]