RX-78NT-1 Gundam (Alex)

The NT-1, nicknamed Alex, was one of the original eight RX-78 Gundam prototypes (assumed to be RX-78-4, but this is thrown in to doubt by a new manga, Mobile Suit Gundam Side Story: Space, To the End of A Flash, which features a very different RX-78-4). After the success of Amuro Ray and his RX-78-2, Alex was redeveloped as an extremely high performance mobile suit meant for use by a Newtype. After being shipped to a secret base in the Side 6 colony of Libot, the Alex was meant to undergo final testing and then be shipped to the 13th Autonomous Squadron (and more specifically, Amuro himself), but never made it. Alex was also a testbed for magnetic coating technology, which was applied to the RX-78-2 shortly before the end of the war.



The Alex is one of my favorite Gundam designs, partially because it bears a bit of similarity to Nu Gundam (as they were both designed by the same guy, Yutaka Izubuchi). Plus it has pop-up forearm gatlings, and is the only Gundam (from the One Year War era, anyway) to be able to hover like a Dom. The Chobam Armor (the grey coverings) are also a nice bonus, they simply snap on over the existing armor and give Alex a beefed-up look. The model kit itself is fairly simple, the legs, torso and head are very stright forward builds. The mechanism for the pop-up gatlings involves the top blue part of the forearm swinging back and upward, while the bottom white part of the arm drops down a bit. The only part that I painted was the red part on each knee, stickers are provided, but I usually try to avoid them. There were plenty of places to put a fine-tipped sharpie to use, such as on the head and all over the Chobam Armor. Also, the small thrusters in the shoulders (the round black/yellow parts) required both a sharpie and a yellow Gundam Marker (basically just a paint pen, but conveniently comes in just the right shade of yellow for a Gundam). Unfortunately, I don't think that part came out very well. The sharpie was unable to reach some areas on the side crevasses, nor could anything else I found, so it kind of looks incomplete and a bit messy. There are a couple other places you may notice a sharpie-related slip-up, but overall I think Alex turned out rather well. I'd still like to go back over the detail in the yellow area of the lower-leg main thrusters, but it was tough enough getting them looking decent at all.