Gunpla Build - High Grade Mercuone Gundam

Well, I decided the order in which I’m going to build all those Planet Armors. Or at the very least I’ve figured out the next one. Since I already built the Earthree Gundam, the easiest build to do next would be the Mercuone Gundam. All I have to do is build the Mercury Armor and attach it to the Core Gundam. So let’s do it!

Spoiler Preface!!!

This post contains spoilers for Build Divers Re:Rise. You may want to skip it if you haven’t watched the show.

Also, if you haven’t the Core Gundam Primer, you might want to do that too.

About the Mobile Suit

The Mercuone Gundam is the underwater specialist among the Planet Armors. Here is what the Gundam Wiki has to say (note that I’ve cleaned it up a tad to make it read a little better):

The Mercuone Gundam has a silhouette with large fins across its entire body, and was designed to have excellent mobility in the depths of the sea. The armor sections have improved pressure resistance to further enhance its defensive capabilities. It has a backpack with large fins for attitude control and water jets for underwater propulsion. It is also equipped with active sonar for detecting enemies underwater, and its armaments include the Water Needle Gun (equipped with Underwater Bits) and Fin Zambers.

Appearances in the Show

Aside from a flashback scene later on, the Mercuone really only shows up for in two back to back episodes early on in the show. Our heroes the Build DiVERS discover they have to go on an underwater mission, so they head to the virtual world of GBN take on a special challenge hosted by a clan of amphibious mobile suit enthusiasts:

Some of the Build DiVERS show up with minor modifications to prep their Gunpla for underwater activity, but as usual Hiroto upstages everyone by bringing the Mercury armor:

The Mercuone’s introductory scene is played for laughs, partly because it looks kind of silly with its oxygen mask, and partly because even the show admits there is some humor in Hiroto having a mobile suit for every scenario

Some folks on the team discover that their Gunpla aren’t handling water pressure very well, and the others discover they can’t move fast enough to keep up with their opponents.

It doesn’t take long for the Build DiVERS to be down two members:

Of course Hiroto has no such problems, so he goes it alone at full speed to reach his objective: to recover a Haro at the bottom of a deep pool:

He then quickly heads to the surface, and while the opposing clan tries to stop him, they prove not to be a match for Hiroto’s weapons or his tactics:

Hiroto essentially wins the challenge on his own, though afterwards multiple people point out failure to work as a true team might cause problems down the line.

This, of course, turns out to be foreshadowing. The team goes on their actual mission in the next episode; once again Hiroto tries to win on his own, but this time he meets his match in the form of an enemy mobile armor:

Which ends up causing major damage to the Mercuone, and temporarily knocking Hiroto unconscious.

In the end, he’s only able to take it down with the full help of his team, and after that the Mercury armor is essentially retired.

Weapons and Stuff

The Mercuone technically only has two special weapons, though one of them is essentially multiple weapons in one.

The first is the Fin Zamber. It’s basically an underwater knife stored on the backpack. It’s only briefly used in the show, and isn’t really effective:

The second weapon is the Water Needle Gun, which is more like a Swiss Army Knife. As the name implies, it can fire tiny needles:

It can also fire a giant harpoon:

Lastly, it can fire a pair of autonomous bits:

These bits can fire their own needles, and they can also magnetize to other targets:

Hiroto uses this tactic twice; once to give his teammate a boost, and once to halt the movement of an enemy. It’s pretty clever.

About the Visual Design

My biggest criticism of the Mercuone is that it looks a bit too much like the Earthree.

Granted, there are certain similarities across all the Planet armors, but these two in particular look particularly alike. The Mercuone is essentially the Earthree with scuba gear on. They even share the same color:

The fins on the Mercuone’s shoulders are basically the same thing as the white sections on the Earthree’s shoulders. And even the Mercuone’s flippers just look like extended versions of the Earthree’s feet

In the Mercuone’s defense, out of all the armors, I’d say the water specialist has the best claim to being blue. But it still manages to feel repetitive.

I’m on the fence with this one. I’m hoping it will look better in person, to better endear me to it.

About the Model Kit(s)

The Mercuone Unit kit comes with the airframe for the Support mecha and most of the Mercury armor. The only thing it’s missing is the backpack and the weapons.

Conveniently, all of those things are found in the Mercuone Weapons kit.

I’m not entirely sure why the backpack is there, instead of with the rest of the armor. Perhaps they needed to add a bit more plastic to the package to justify the price.

Speaking of which, I’ve been trained to be skeptical of these kinds of accessory packs. I’ve previously built two Iron Blooded Orphans accessory packs, both of which were far from color accurate out of the box. I had to put a lot of work into making them look halfway decent, and I guess I resented that. These packs cost almost as much as a cheap High Grade, but they offer up far less plastic. You’d think they could at least go out of their way to make them color accurate, but no.

Still, it’s possible the Mercuone Weapons won’t quite be as bad.

About the Build

Since my Core Gundam isn’t topcoated, I’m not going to topcoat this either. I’m just going to panel line, and to any other color correction that is needed.