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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Over the past few days, I've been gawking at the gorgeous lineart that was used for the RX-78 Master Archive, and upon closer inspection of some aspects, I have a few questions regarding some of the content. It should be noted that both Okawara's and Katoki's version of the RX-78-2 are included this book, with Katoki's version seemingly having it's own dedicated info blurb. In addition, it seems whoever the artist behind this book is has decided to actually tweak both versions, to the point where they both now share at least 50% of the same exact parts, most notably in the legs, arms and basic overall frame. (I put them beside each other for the sake of comparison) which kind of toys with the notion in that they are just two different artists interpretations of the same suit, at least for the context of this book. In addition, the main section about the RX-78-3 seems to have used Hajime Katoki's iteration of the RX-78 instead of Okawara's, just with the usual G3 colors, and the section with Katoki's RX-78-2 seems to mention the RX-78-3 in it's info paragraph. This has led me to some, admittedly probably outlandish conclusions about the context established by the info in this book.

As we know, the RX-78-2 recieved the magnetic coating upgrade almost right before the battle of A Baoa Qu. Seeing as this book uses RX-78 Ver Ka's proportions in it's depiction of the RX-78-3, which was the mobile suit that first tested the magnetic coating, does the Japanese text within imply that Katoki's RX-78 is actually the RX-78-3's original proportions, and that the RX-78-2 ver Ka is what the Gundam looked like after the magnetic coating upgrade? In a way, it would kind of make a bit of sense, since the RX-78-2 with magnetic coating and the RX-78-3 are, performance wise, the same suit, and since the art in this book makes it look like ver Oka. and ver Ka. share so many proportions, it would be an interesting way to incorporate the RX-78-2 Ver. Ka into the lore without having to completely revamp the original RGM-79 and it's variants to maintain a sense of continuity.

Also, I'd like to know if the RX-78 Master archive mentions any details about the RX-78-4 through 7 that we wouldn't normally be privy to. One thing that bothered me about Battlefield Record 0081 is that it retconned the RX-78-7 so that it no longer has the Magnetic coating and Panoramic monitor. Does the book mention either of these two elements, or does it adhere to the version used in 0081?

Note: I'm not interested in whether or not the context established by this book is compatible with the official story established by Sunrise and Bandai. Since the RX-78 Master Archives is published by GA Graphix, it's pretty obvious that anything this book has to say is not applicable. I'm just asking these questions within the context of this book alone. Obviously, I can't read Japanese, which leaves me only this option to satiate my curiosity, which is why I ask these questions now.

Also, out of curiosity, who is the artist behind this book? Looking at his lineart for the RX-78-4 through 7, he's done a marvelous job of taking the best things from Okawara's M-MSV designs and Katoki's more lore-friendly versions of them and merging them without compromising the best elements of either. He/she deserves a medal.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:37 pm 
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I'm sorry that I can't help with any of your more important queries, but I can at least tell you that the artist is Kyoshi Takigawa (滝川虚至). It appears that he's also the artist behind the Z DeFine designs, and that's pretty much all I could gather for now from google. Though I didn't find his name from google to be honest, since it was stated on the credits page.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Hmmm, looking up the lineart for Z Gundam DeFine, I can see that the style is identical, and he even uses the same lineart fo the GM II. Interesting stuff, can't wait to see his iteration fo the Nemo...

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Yeah, they've adopted the Ver.Ka as the post Solomon minor upgrade, similar to how the Origin version had one.

I have the real book myself, but overall, this ain't as good as the GM one.

Reading this book is like a textbook, I still haven't had the urge to go through it.


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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Yes, it's kind of a dull book compared to the GM edition. A couple of easter eggs hidden in the text, but they don't always seem to be in sync with the illustrations, no matter how nice the latter look.

According to the text, the third RX-78 unit was delivered to the Augusta base around the time of Operation Odessa, where it was overhauled by Mosk Han and his fellow engineers and turned into a magnet coating testbed. This is apparently where the "Ver. Ka" features were added, although these aren't explicitly mentioned in the text. The same changes were later made to Amuro's Gundam along with the magnet coating, essentially upgrading it to the RX-78-3 version, although the text claims that its model number was unchanged because they didn't make any changes to the core fighter.

(As an aside: Among the various upgrades that have been mentioned in the G-3 version are new laser accelerators in its reactors, and an improved "NICN" control system. Both of these would presumably affect the core fighter, and so they probably wouldn't have been applied to Amuro's Gundam.)

Later on, in the section devoted to the Gundam Full Armor Type, the text claims that the Full Armor Type is actually based on the RX-78-3 version. By this account, the RX-78-3 has a bunch of modifications made to support the Full Armor equipment - structural reinforcement, mounts for the armor sections, and extra connectors to allow it to control the add-on weapons and thrusters. This is why it's actually heavier than the standard Gundam, with a base weight of 47.2 tons compared to the standard 43.4 tons.

This actually strikes me as a pretty good explanation for the G-3's increased weight, and if it was developed at Augusta with the FSWS project in mind, it ties in very nicely with the Alex. The only problem is that Takigawa's lovely illustrations of the Full Armor Type are clearly based on the standard Gundam, not the Ver. Ka-styled G-3. Ah well.

The discussion of the RX-78-4 through RX-78-6 is pretty standard, and makes reference to their recent game appearances, even though the drawings are based mainly on Okawara's original M-MSV designs. As for the RX-78-7, the text does say it has a panoramic display, but I don't think it mentions the magnet coating.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:47 pm 
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So how about the bits on the early version of the RX-78-1 which later got upgraded to match the RX-78-2's design?

This Japanese explanation is pretty good.
http://titansroar.blog110.fc2.com/blog-entry-415.html

By the way, Amuro's Gundam got a paint scheme upgrade in Jaburo, from the anime version sky blue to the more modern cobalt blue. This was kind of reflected in the HCM Pro releases.


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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:12 am 
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Thanks for the answers!

On that note, you mentioned the GM Master Archive, which I've been looking at as well. If there's one thing that I really appreciate about these books and this author, he definitely unified all these designs under one artstyle, which helps give a better sense of continuity between various GMs. It also makes the old implication (which I forget from where it came) that the GMs throughout the years are basically the same suits refitted with new parts over and over much more visually evident.

Does the new backstory of the RX-78-3 have any bearing on the lore behind the RGM-79E and GM Kai by proxy in the GM book, since they're so proportionately related? You mentioned that the book claim it was overhauled, which I guess means they used parts from the RGM-79E during the installation of the magnet coating...which would be a rare case of a GM influencing the design of a Gundam, rather than vice versa. :)

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:28 am 
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J-Lead wrote:
Over the past few days, I've been gawking at the gorgeous line art that was used for the RX-78 Master Archive, and upon closer inspection of some aspects, I have a few questions regarding some of the content.

You're not alone in that... like its Macross "Master File" counterpart, the Master Archive Mobile Suit series has some excellent line art, some decent info, and a couple tidbits to confuse the heck out of the casual reader. My copy just rolled in today, so one of my friends who lurks here shanghaied me into registering here while I was first going over the book in the hopes that I'd be able to answer a few of your questions.




J-Lead wrote:
[...] does the Japanese text within imply that Katoki's RX-78 is actually the RX-78-3's original proportions, and that the RX-78-2 ver Ka is what the Gundam looked like after the magnetic coating upgrade?

Just going from what I've gleaned from a quick skim through the RX-78-2 and -3 parts early in the book (pg24-35), it doesn't look like it does. As near as I can tell, it treats the line art for the RX-78-2 and RX-78-3 as though that's what they've always looked like, and makes no reference to other artists "interpretations" of the design.

Over on pg31 of the RX-78 Master Archive, there's a chart (of sorts) that shows how the external appearance of the RX-78-1, -2, and -3 changed during development and the course of their combat service during the One Year War. For the RX-78-2, those labels (2-#) show what it looked like at various "milestones" in its service... including initial roll-out (2-1), Luna II (2-2), Jaburo (2-3), and Konpei Island (2-4). The 3 that were listed for the RX-78-3 are roll-out (3-1), Luna II (3-2), and Augusta Base (3-3).

(Using that as a reference, it looks like the large line art for the RX-78-2 depicts the body blocks in use around the time the RX-78-2 was first launched. The line art the RX-78-3 section uses looks to be the later version of the body sections, the one the chart lists as its appearance while serving at Augusta Base.)



J-Lead wrote:
[...] it would be an interesting way to incorporate the RX-78-2 Ver. Ka into the lore without having to completely revamp the original RGM-79 and it's variants to maintain a sense of continuity.

In all honestly, I suspect a much less elaborate motive... namely, having a consistent visual aesthetic throughout the entire book.



J-Lead wrote:
Also, I'd like to know if the RX-78 Master archive mentions any details about the RX-78-4 through 7 that we wouldn't normally be privy to.

Now that, I can't help you with... I know exactly bugger-all about those models, since my Gundam-fu is weak on account of my exposure to it being mostly to its various animated titles.



J-Lead wrote:
One thing that bothered me about Battlefield Record 0081 is that it retconned the RX-78-7 so that it no longer has the Magnetic coating and Panoramic monitor. Does the book mention either of these two elements, or does it adhere to the version used in 0081?

Jeez... feels like Talos set me up to be the bearer of bad news. :|

Since the RX-78-7 section of the book is mercifully short, I just shot straight through the whole section instead of skimming. The vast majority of it is focused on the "Full Armor" version of the mecha. I didn't see anything in there about magnetic coatings, panoramic monitors, etc.

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Does this book mentiosn how many RX-78-1 units were actually made and what became of them? Any new characteristics or differences between the RX-78-1 and the RX-78-2?

I was also hoping to find out if any were converted into Full Armor Gundams, but after what has been mentioned here, I imagine that could only happen if said RX-78-1 units were first upgraded into RX-78-3 units.

Finally, is there any mention of a RX-79[E] or whatever is the base model for the Blue Destiny Units 2 and 3?


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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Gelgoog Jager wrote:
Does this book mentiosn how many RX-78-1 units were actually made and what became of them?

The sentence structure's a little awkward, it looks like there were two RX-78-1 units at one point. Prior to the attack on Side-7, they were fitted with replacement body block parts matching the RX-78-2 specification. They were damaged in the Zeon attack and were incinerated using super napalm to preserve the secrecy of the Gundam project.


Gelgoog Jager wrote:
Any new characteristics or differences between the RX-78-1 and the RX-78-2?

Hm... well, I'm not sure if this is new or not, but the initial (roll-out) specs shown for the RX-78-1 in the Master Archive book show it with a slightly different head. It had the traditional V-fin only after being upgraded to RX-78-2 body parts. The head that was installed on the early type body had two small antennas coming out vertically on the top of the "ear" protrusions of the Gundam's "helmet". The appearance and paint scheme in Gundam Historica is supposedly from after its upgrade with RX-78-2 parts.


Gelgoog Jager wrote:
I was also hoping to find out if any were converted into Full Armor Gundams, but after what has been mentioned here, I imagine that could only happen if said RX-78-1 units were first upgraded into RX-78-3 units.

There's mention of two different Full Armor models, FA-78-1 and -2 in the 1st Lot, and the FA-78-3 in the later models.


Gelgoog Jager wrote:
Finally, is there any mention of a RX-79[E] or whatever is the base model for the Blue Destiny Units 2 and 3?

I don't believe so. I haven't gone over it with a fine-toothed comb, but the farthest they go in the book is the RX-78NT-1 and its armor suite.

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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:05 am 
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The book actually reverts to the classic MSV explanation. The first three RX-78 units were all constructed as the RX-78-1 version, and units 2 and 3 were subsequently upgraded to the RX-78-2 version. On page 31 of the book, we can see the color schemes for all three units in their original RX-78-1 incarnations.

As Seto Kaiba mentions, there's also a preliminary version of the first unit, with no V-fin, "helium control core" boxes, or crotch and knee blocks. I think this configuration was also mentioned in the MSV materials, but this is the one of the first times I've seen it visualized. It's described here as "a stage just before it was defined as the RX-78-1 version," but both the antenna-less version and the final Prototype Gundam are labeled as "RX-78-1".

In other words, to recap the table on page 31...

Unit 1: RX-78-1 (pre-finalized) -> RX-78-1
Unit 2: RX-78-1 -> RX-78-2 -> "effectively equivalent to RX-78-3 version"
Unit 3: RX-78-1 -> RX-78-2 -> RX-78-3

As for the Full Armor Type, the classic MSV series claimed that five more Gundams remained at Jaburo in an earlier configuration, and the Full Armor equipment was created for them. Now that units 4 through 7 have been retconned as special super custom units, it's unclear what machines were actually supposed to receive this armor, and the Master Archive book doesn't seem to address it.

-- Mark


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Could it be that the 5 remaining "Gundam"s are just more RX-78-1 units that may or may not been upgraded to 2 or 3 at all? And RX-78-4 to -7 are newly constructed? Just like core fighters in MSV-R construction of Gundam parts may be need to continue in small numbers to have parts avaliable for maintaince, spare and/or use for future MS development during wartime?


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:09 pm 
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domtropen wrote:
Could it be that the 5 remaining "Gundam"s are just more RX-78-1 units that may or may not been upgraded to 2 or 3 at all? And RX-78-4 to -7 are newly constructed? Just like core fighters in MSV-R construction of Gundam parts may be need to continue in small numbers to have parts avaliable for maintaince, spare and/or use for future MS development during wartime?

That's not a bad rationale. Recent publications (the MG kit manuals, and this book) claim that there were two rounds of RX-78 production, a "first lot" of three units and a "second lot" which briefly served as GM testbeds and were then customized into the RX-78-4 through RX-78-7.

But since the MSV books indicated there were five leftover units, and the current explanation gives us a "second lot" of only four machines - plus unofficial spinoffs like the Pixie, and a gradually increasing number of Alex units - that numerical discrepancy may be enough reason to think that five more units of the "first lot" were built before the "second lot" appeared. Something had to account for all those extra parts used in the RX-79(G), after all. :-)


Incidentally, I've been looking some more at the Master Archive book and its explanation of the RX-78-1 versus RX-78-2. Originally, Gundam Century said that of the eight prototype RX-78 units, two were sent to Luna II to be upgraded with better reactors so that they could power beam rifles. Gundam Century says that this was the point where the waist and knee units were added: "As a result of these modifications, cases containing supplemental output-enhancing systems were installed around the prototype units' waists, and cooling units were added to their knee sections." This suggests that the original version would have simpler waist and knee sections like the GM, just as shown in the Master Archive.

On the other hand, the MSV depiction of the RX-78-1 already has these extra doohickeys. Likewise, the Master Archive says that they were added to the first unit before the power-up, as part of the standard RX-78-1 spec, and that the second and third units had them from the beginning. So if these extra cooling units weren't part of the power upgrade (contrary to Gundam Century), then what exactly was done at Luna II to boost these machines' power output?

According to the Master Archive, the Luna II upgrade that turned the first three units into the RX-78-2 version consisted of new reactors for the Core Fighter, which could only be manufactured in a low-gravity environment. This seems consistent with the book's claim that the RX-78-3 was also defined by changes to the Core Fighter, and thus Amuro's Gundam was never reclassified even though the rest of its body was revised according to the RX-78-3 specs. Interesting!

-- Mark


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:55 pm 
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toysdream wrote:
As Seto Kaiba mentions, there's also a preliminary version of the first unit, with no V-fin, "helium control core" boxes, or crotch and knee blocks. I think this configuration was also mentioned in the MSV materials, but this is the one of the first times I've seen it visualized.

Wasn't there also something in there about the core block system not being completed (or not fully functional) on the pre-rollout RX-78-1?


toysdream wrote:
Recent publications (the MG kit manuals, and this book) claim that there were two rounds of RX-78 production, a "first lot" of three units and a "second lot" which briefly served as GM testbeds and were then customized into the RX-78-4 through RX-78-7.

Yeah, that's the rationale that the Master Archive books follow... and is the way they organized things in the book's table of contents.


toysdream wrote:
But since the MSV books indicated there were five leftover units, and the current explanation gives us a "second lot" of only four machines [...] that numerical discrepancy may be enough reason to think that five more units of the "first lot" were built before the "second lot" appeared.

Weirdly, the book's table of contents provides an explanation for this... the first lot is the first three units (RX-78-1, -2, and -3), and the second lot is listed with the other four RX-78 units (-4 thru -7) and the FA-78-1. It looks like the discrepancy is probably no discrepancy at all... the missing fifth unit from the second production lot seems to have been developed into the FA-78-1. (That'd explain why the FA-78-1 is given the full article treatment, while they gloss over the FA-78-2 and -3.)

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:40 am 
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I dunno, all this, "so many of x Gundam" and "so many of y Gundam"...

I kinda liked it more when the 78-2 was more unique.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:06 am 
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Seto Kaiba wrote:
Wasn't there also something in there about the core block system not being completed (or not fully functional) on the pre-rollout RX-78-1?

I don't think it says anything like that.

Quote:
Weirdly, the book's table of contents provides an explanation for this... the first lot is the first three units (RX-78-1, -2, and -3), and the second lot is listed with the other four RX-78 units (-4 thru -7) and the FA-78-1. It looks like the discrepancy is probably no discrepancy at all... the missing fifth unit from the second production lot seems to have been developed into the FA-78-1.

Even though the FA-78-1 is listed under "second lot", it's never described as being the "eighth unit" or anything similar. The RX-78-4 is the fourth unit, the RX-78-5 is the fifth, and so on and so forth to the RX-78-7, but the FA-78-1 has no such designation. On page 66, there's a sidebar discussing the mystery of the missing eighth unit, and the book mentions that "there is speculation whether it might have become a base for the FSWS project," but this is apparently one of many theories and the sidebar concludes that there's no clear answer.

So what does the Master Archive say the FA-78-1 is based on? Well, for one thing, it's not clear whether any actual machines were even built. It does claim, as we've already covered in this thread, that the Full Armor equipment is designed for use with the RX-78-3 version. So if there actually were a functional FA-78-1 during the One Year War, it would either be the third Gundam unit with optional armor, or they would have had to build additional RX-78-3 units to put the armor on.

-- Mark


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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:04 pm 
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You know, as I read this thread and think back on older material, could the "eighth unit" be the old Heavy Gundam from MS-X, the one Dem Berserk took out Pezun with? I do recall there were pilots associated with the Full Armor Gundam as well though.


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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Since the Heavy Gundam is a redesign of the Gundam, not just add-on parts, it would have to be a separate unit. On the other hand, it's not clear this was ever actually built (the apocryphal MS-X series notwithstanding). The whole secret-special-operations aspect of MS-X would give us a good excuse for the apparent disappearance of the eighth unit, though. :-)

Incidentally, the Gundam Fix Figuration toy of the Heavy Gundam is convertible to the Prototype Gundam. The box text notes that "There is already a theory that the Prototype Gundam was later remodeled into the G3 Gundam, but another way of enjoyment is to wonder whether the Heavy Gundam was also created by re-using a Prototype unit."

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:14 pm 
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toysdream wrote:
I don't think it says anything like that.

Hrm... I must be remembering something from another book then. Too many projects goin' on simultaneously.


toysdream wrote:
Even though the FA-78-1 is listed under "second lot", it's never described as being the "eighth unit" or anything similar. [...] the book mentions that "there is speculation whether it might have become a base for the FSWS project," but this is apparently one of many theories and the sidebar concludes that there's no clear answer.

*shrug* I'll take a probable answer over a lot of vague guesswork any day. I'm not a terribly Gundam-savvy bloke, so I guess the head-crushing quantity of prior stuff sort of slipped me by. It's been my experience with the Master File series (the Master Archive's Macross counterpart) that when there's an area of ambiguity in canon, they like to keep things deliberately vague or give an answer that's complete but isn't directly applicable to a canon source (e.g. the VF-25 book being about the version of the VF-25 made and used by another fleet). I guess this is their way of making some backhanded acknowledgement of a MSV design and Encounters in Space, and it got lumped into "2nd Lot" because that's where the developmental FA-78-1 Full Armor Gundam or FA-78-2 Heavy Gundam would fit if it were on a more solid canon footing?




Arbiter GUNDAM wrote:
I dunno, all this, "so many of x Gundam" and "so many of y Gundam"...

I kinda liked it more when the 78-2 was more unique.

Me too... tho in this case (and I'm not sure if this is representative of how it is in the canon sources or not) it feels like they're treating that second number like it's a block number (e.g. the series and movie versions of the VF-1 in Macross) instead of a unique identifier assigned to a specific prototype (e.g. the YF-19 No.1 vs No.2 in the Macross Plus OVA materials). Presumably, the way Master Archive seems to be treating it, Amuro's RX-78-2 could've been converted into any of the later types if it survived A Baoa Qu.

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:08 pm 
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The last digit of the model number was always supposed to be a version indicator - thus "RX-78-2" means "second version", not "second unit", and the fact that there's only one unit of the RX-78-6 type and it also happens to be the sixth Gundam unit built is just a wacky coincidence.

As a result, there could easily be multiple examples of a given version, and they could undergo a few rounds of revision into different types. This is exactly what the old MSV materials claimed, and the Master Archive is just following in the footsteps of previous sources.


One lingering mystery is which Gundam units started out as which version. According to the MSV series, the first two units were built in the RX-78-1 configuration; the RX-78-2 design was introduced as of the third unit, and the first two were subsequently upgraded to the new version. When these first three units were sent up into space, five units were left behind at Jaburo, but most of these remaining ones were still in an early configuration - as per the Full Armor Type kit manual, "only one machine was of what could, at that point, be called the standard RX-78 type." One goal of the Full Armor project was to put these leftover machines to good use.

The previous Master Archive book devoted to the GM seems to go even further than the MSV explanation, referring to "units 4-8 of the RX-78-1, which rolled out at the Jaburo arsenal in late July." This would mean that all eight Gundam units rolled out in the RX-78-1 configuration, and all the customizations applied to the "second lot" were made later on.

-- Mark


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