February 14, 2013

1/100 MG Epyon Writeup/Review

When Epyon debuted in the original Gundam Wing back in the late 90’s in America, it instantly became one of my favorite mobile suits. It was big; it was bad, dark and looked evil. Housing the Zero System, Epyon was one of the few mobile suits in the Wing Universe that could go toe to toe with Wing Zero. Everything about this guy screams “the devil”. The picture painted by the series, and especially the new EW Manga- is that Wing Zero is the angel, fighting the demon, Epyon. They visually represent this in their respective designs. Fans have loved Epyon since it was completed by Treize Kushrenada, and Bandai finally put it into 2010+ MG form.

When it came out, Epyon cost a steep 4800 yen. At the time, that was around $65.00 USD. Rightfully so- with this kit you are getting a ton, and I mean a metric butt ton- of plastic. Despite wing frames’ short stature; there is nothing not bulky about this guy. You will be getting the EW Manga variant and not the anime version. Believe me, this redesign is leaps and bounds superior to the 90’s high grade kit and the anime design. If Gundam Wing got a kai edition, Epyon would be animated like this kit.

Epyon features unique parts that fit onto a modified XXX-G frame. The legs were molded differently and are unique to the Epyon. One can see a hint of the XXX-G influence, but this suit is radically different enough to give the builder more variety. There are around two dozen parts in the wings and a whole bunch more through each sub-assembly. When talking about Epyon, the suit’s trademark weapons are the beam sword (know what BFG stands for? Try BFS) and shield/heat rod combo. For those who have not seen the anime- that heat rod is nasty. It can whip, puncture, and burn holes through just about anything. The shield is adequate in size, enough to see that the Epyon’s design incorporated chivalrous swordplay into a mobile suit whose ultimate strength is his speed and melee abilities.

The Kit and Build
When assembled, Epyon looks menacing. Every part was easy to assemble and fit right in place with a bit of care. Bandai has been doing a better job at creating parts which attach on top of, or on the side of other underlying parts. The most pain in the neck parts include the ankle fins, wrists and the action base connector. I did not like the design of the arms; the inner frame design anyways. There is barely any frame there- and the hands are attached to pegs which fit on a loose front forearm connection. That connection was pulled by the beam sword’s wire pack and needed to be super-glued in.

A lot of folks have complained about the side skirts or front/back skirts falling off. While I would have liked more articulation in the front skirts, I have not had issues with them falling off, ever. The back skirts feel too petite for this powerhouse, but they get the job done. Vents are strategically placed, and they did an amazing job on the head sculpt. This has to be THE coolest looking head I have ever seen for a Gundam. The wings lock down and come upwards, or you can unlock them upwards and allow them to free float on their respective custom poly caps. At first I did not like the yellow in the original color scheme. To stay true to an anime accurate recolor, I went with insignia yellow. I am happy with the results and can live with them; however the yellow seems a little too distracting from the main body. When one looks at Epyon, the eyes immediately focus on the feet, then the wings, then the center and rest of the kit. He is solid, passes every shake test I give him, and for a plastic model he has some weight to him.

This kit will be back heavy. The wings bring the center of gravity backwards from the center of the kit, where most of the weight should be if it isn’t to fall over. Fortunately Epyon can rest on the tips of the wings and not look too bad standing. My kit is on a custom action base I built myself, and so far he hasn’t moved very far. He has a tendency to lean backwards at a 10-15 degree angle, but for the most part he stays put. The action base connector has a hard time staying in place. If it gives me big trouble in the future, it will meet its fate with the super glue.

This is what Epyon should have been. Bandai did this build justice with a perfect sculpt of the entire mobile suit. Despite looking like “thunder thighs” early on, Epyon is most certainly proportional when all assembled. The beam sword is slightly taller than Epyon itself and must be connected to the internal reactor to power the massive blade. It’s big, bad, dark red, and out for blood. This was an absolute treat to assemble and put together, and I am going to give it a two thumbs up, my highest recommendation. If you know how to deal with some of the problems or don’t care, then this is the dream version for you.

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