Gaijin Gunpla
The new HG Gundam Avalanche Exia!

Yes, I had a week off from work and enjoyed my free time in the sunny locale of chichijima, Japan, which means I spent a lot of time in the ocean. I did, however, sneak a Gundam kit into my luggage when packing in preparation for my trip.
I’ve been interested in the Avalanche Exia ever since seeing master-modeler Naoki Kimura’s 1/100 Avalanche Exia in an older issue of Hobby Japan. But, then again, anything Naoki Kimura does draws my interest. When the Avalanche Exia came out as an HG kit, I took the plunge and picked it up.
Because I was on vacation I was able to build while enjoying other things at the same time. Namely…
Host-supplied Asahi beer! And A&W Root Beer! I can’t find this anywhere around Saitama or Tokyo, unless I go to specific international markets, however there is a vending machine on Chichijima which carries A&W Root Beer. I bought an average of two a day. I’m on vacation!

But, oh no! In my haste to get my vacation underway I left home without any tools! Not even side-cutters. Once I made it to my destination I had to search out a hardware store and find something that I could use to cut Gunpla plastic. I ended up getting a pair of 137 yen Nigirihasami cutters. But because these aren’t your standard side-cutters I wasn’t going to be able to get a good cut when removing the part from the runner. I lacked a design knife to clean up the nubs. What to do? I came up with a pretty ingenious way of removing the part from the runner. My fingers!

For example, here’s a standard piece which is attached to the runner by three gates.
First I would cut off the ‘lone’ connection leaving the two symmetrical connections still attached. Then using my fingers I would rotate the piece so the connections became weak and eventually broke of their own accord.

Then you end up with this. Just some slight trimming and you’re good to go. I may incorporate this method when building kits in the future.

Here’s the torso. Indeed, you be an Exia.

Each arm is actually assembled using a fair number of parts. There’s a lot of places that articulate and the design functions well in this regard. Cleaning up seam lines may be difficult and I haven’t yet decided if I will be going this route. It’s my vacation, after all. Gotta take it easy.

Upper body finished! Looking good, Ex.

And here’s the skirt. I really don’t need to go into detail, do I?

With this kit you have the option of building the legs in one of two forms. Big knee caps or small knee caps. Actually, there’s more to it than that, but the armour on the front of the legs is where your eyes are drawn.

I built one of each to compare them. I think that big knee cap goes well with the big shoulders, but I’m not a fan of how it looks when viewed from behind. I think I will make some ‘changes’.

There are quite a few pieces that are not used when building the Exia Avalanche Dash, but I can’t let a nice shield like that go to waste. I just need to find a way to attach it to the MS.

Yes! This will work fine.

Here are all the weapon parts. No real need to show you how they assemble; pretty straight-forward.

The last part I assembled was the ‘ski’. I originally planned to leave them off the kit but since I had some free time I thought I would go ahead and assemble them.
The ‘ski’ looking contraption attaches to the back of the leg and come down underneath the foot. It actually fits really well under the foot and moves with the flexing of the ankle thanks to a clever design.

Here’s how it looks with its skis down. Not sure I’m feeling it.

I think it would look better like this!
Will it be possible? I think I can do it. I have everything I need to make it work I just need to ‘adjust’ a few things.
Here the Exia set up on the stand so as to look like it’s flying, complete with all the weapons strapped to its back. That’s a lot of stuff.
And then I tucked him away safely for the journey home. See you soon, Exia!
Back to real-life, back to work, and back to Gunpla! (was I ever away?)

6 Responses so far.

  1. Busterbeam says:

    haha couldnt even take a break from gunpla for a week! glad you enjoyed yourself tho! chichijima looks like a great place. id never even heard of it until you mentioned it

  2. gnsquacker says:

    I think that's the kit I'm gonna get next
    my original intention was to try and make an SD Unicorn Gundam the same way Keita did, but a paintjob on this would look good and cost less!!

  3. igro says:

    How about an outdoor pic? 😀 Otherwise, it will look like you spent the whole week drinking beer and building gunpla (not that there's anything wrong with that ;)).

    PS: If you could check out my latest (second.. :P) build on my blog – I think you'll find it… familiar 🙂

  4. Tonzo says:

    Glad you got to spend some time relaxing and enjoying the hobby at your own pace. I've been pounding the Asahi's lately. My local has reduced the price of a carton by around $20, making them no longer outrageously priced. That root beer looks interesting. Never tried root beer. Is it similar to ginger ale? I'm quite fond of the Canada Dry brand in japan. Can't find anything close to it at home.

    Looking forward to seeing what colours you slap on that bad boy.

  5. MadPrinceWill says:

    I like gundam, but it's too hard to keep track of them. Right now, the only ones I can remember is G Gundam and I vaguely remember Gundam Wing

  6. Gaijin Gunpla says:

    @busterbeam: chichijima is paradise! I hope to retire there (hopefully early).

    @It's a good kit. You'll like it. I would like to be able to produce results like Keita does but, for now, this will have to do. 😉

    @igro: I've many outdoor pics, but they don't seem to fit with the theme of this blog. hah. Congratulations on your latest build! It's fantastic.

    @Tonzo: They don't have Root Beer in Australia? What about Sarsparilla?

    @MadPrinceWill: I haven't watched many of the Gundam anime so it's really easy for me to keep track of them. I imagine the more I watched the more they will get mixed up in my head. Par for the course, ne.

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