HG 1/144 RX-121-2 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel II] (HGUC) Review

HG Hazel II

It’s late but better late than ever I guess?

The recent Paint Accident that I faced while working on the blog and on the kit almost cost me my sanity. I didn’t just have to deal with cleaning the paint off from the almost finished HGUC Hazel II, I as well had to deal with some of the paint ruining the Keyboard on my workhorse laptop.

This made life insanely hard for me because I was still in the middle of writing the review and it was FAR from finished, so reluctantly I decided to again do the unthinkable, push the review to another day taking the slot that was supposed to be for another segment that I was planning to release.

But even with that said, I’m still glad that I was given the chance to do so because it gave me the space that I really need to properly rethink my feelings for this HGUC Hazel II.

So finally, after the long delay, I can now give you my final thoughts of this retail AoZ HG 1/144 RX-121-2 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel II] (HGUC) kit.

But before we get to that, let us first explore the lore behind this much-beloved MS, shall we?

The History of the Titans Test Team’s RX-121-2 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel II]

Hazel-II-early
RX-121-2 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel II]

Model name:

  • RX-121-2

Classification:

  • Prototype General-Purpose Mobile Suit

Weapon systems:

  • XB-G-1065H Beam Saber
  • 60mm Vulcan Gun
  • RGM*M-Sh-ABT/S-00195 Shield
  • HFW-GR-MR-82-90mm GM Rifle

Height:

  • 16.1 m

Armour Material:

  • Titanium Alloy Ceramic Composite

Powerplant:

  • Minovsky Ultracompact Fusion Reactor (1,420Kw)

Total Thrust:

  • Unknown

Effective Sensor Radius:

  • Unknown

Crew:

  • 1 pilot

Out of all the MS that the Titans Test Team had in their Disposal, this was the only one that they had which was originally wasn’t meant to use for their ongoing experiments. Heck this MS didn’t even start its life as a Gundam as well. Why? Because this was a GM that was given a Gundam Head, more specifically this MS started its life as an RGM-79Q GM Quel.

Yes, this is not a Gundam, but a GM. What’s more interesting to know here that this MS was originally was intended to be used by the Titan Test Team that was stationed on the Alexandria class ship the ‘Aswan’ only to be gored for parts. However due to the massive toll that was taken by Titans Test Team Murphy’s MS team roaster. They decided to press this reserve unit into service with the team.

What makes this particular MS interesting when compared to the other MS’s that this Titan Test Team has. That it still shares many of the same characteristics that you would find on the GM Quel, although the only difference this unit has over the normal mass-produced version is that it was equipped the Gundam head, and eventually the Tri Booster unit.

Hazel_II_Weapons
The standard weapons and types of equipment of the Hazel II

Originally the Tri Booster unit was supposed to be installed and tested on one of the main Hazel units but due to the aforementioned situation, they have to instead have it installed and tested on the Reserve GM Quel unit. It would later as well receive further updates on its head unit, with the installation of Crest shaped sensor.

But before it receives this particular update on its head unit, it was at first given the ‘Hazel Early Type’ designation, and only after receiving the upgrades and the new 3 tone Titan Test Team colors, only then it was re-designated to its official name, the RX-121-2 Gundam TR-1 [Hazel II]

Normally it would take a lot of red tape and documentation to have a prototype MS to be re-designated from a testbed unit to a combat unit. However, after the Stardust incident, the newly formed Titans was enjoying alot of authority from the Earth Federation so it may explain why it was easy for them to get the Hazel II to be out from its ‘Testbed’ role and into combat role so easily.

Hazel-ii_dock
The Haze II is seen here docking in after its combat trials

The only thing that is an issue with this particular MS is that because it was a hastily put together unit, the overall performance of this MS couldn’t be considered as satisfactory. But at the very least it due to the high output that the Tri Booster provides, it was able to handle the heavy armor attachment better alot better when compared to the other Hazel units.

Speaking about the Hazel II’s Tri Booster system. Unlike the familiar bits of the rest of this MS, the Tri Booster system is the only part of this MS that is the most revolutionary here. Because even though the Tri Booster is a propulsion unit that was made up of two main thruster unit and one LARGE central Stürm booster, what makes this different then most booster units out there is that direction of the universal Booster can be controlled all thanks to the articulated frame that connects them to the backpack system. This idea used on Hazel II’s Tri Booster system eventually became the foundation of the moveable frame system that was seen on most modern MS.

Hazel_unit_2_booster
The Hazel II’s Tri Booster concept illustrated

Another advantage the moveable frame provides to the MS is that when compared to the other previously developed Stürm boosters, the moveable frame system used on the Hazel II’s Tri Booster system is freely moveable, enabling it to be used for AMBAC maneuvering. Traces of this technology can be seen in the tail stabilizers used by later machines.

This is some pretty good upgrade for something that started life as a reserve unit that was only meant to be used for parts. Learning more about the Hazel II does make us quite curious now to learn more about what else the Titans Test team has made throughout the years leading to the Gryps conflict?

Because if this MS is as interesting as it is now, I would love to learn more about the rest.

With that ends the review, let us now get to the review, shall we?

The Review

HG Hazel II

I feel that one of the main things that really drove me into me making that decision to start working on this particular HGUC Advance of Z kit (besides the fact that I had it stored in many years) would be mainly because I was really taken by what I’ve seen with the AoZ HGUC P-Bandai releases. But that wasn’t the only thing that prompted me to do so, because every time I had a conversation with a fellow builder about any of the kits from the HGUC AoZ lineup, they will always talk fondly of the time that they spent building them.

Which does make me think about taking it on for myself and see what is all this fuss about?

I thought at first it would take me a while for me to get to the point where I would see whats the fuss is all about with this HGUC AoZ kit, but surprisingly enough, even at the earlier stages of my run with the kit, I was quite impressed by what I’ve encountered here. In which I admit that the experience does keep on improving as I moved forward with the build.

But I know that is a very vague explanation of my overall experience with the HGUC Hazel II, so that is why I will take the time to explain part by part of my overall experience and I will start by talking about the HGUC Hazel II’s building experience. Because the thing is I find this kit to be something pretty easy to work on.

When I mean easy here what I mean it that most of the things that I find to be quite hard to deal with on some of the other kits like for an instance dealing with the nubs and the painting the unpainted parts strangely I find that process to be quite easy to deal with here. After going through it one cannot help to feel like there were alot of thought went into some of the design elements on the parts of this HGUC Hazel II kit to make the whole experience enjoyable for the builder.

hg hezels chest unit
I remember having a huge smile working on this bit, it was a straight forward build, but the design and the way that everything just comes together is the bit that I really like the most about this bit
hg hazels head unit
Even the head unit here looks good…I really starting to regret not working on this sooner now.

Not to mention too that most of the parts here were well molded as well. Even though, yes I do encounter some bad seam lines here and there, which was mostly due to the way that some of the HG Hazel II’s parts were designed at the time, but if I were, to be honest? It doesn’t really look all that bad. So even if you decided to just leave it be, the aforementioned parts would still look somewhat decent.

I was as well were quite impressed by how good the color separation of the parts was for this HGUC Hazel II kit. Even though there were a few bits here and there that do require the use of paint and foil stickers, but all in all I was surprised at how accurate it all looked when I compared it to its promotional pictures on the box.

It is not often you see kits from this period that looked this accurate. Because most of the time you would get alot of old kits with parts that requires alot of ‘paintwork’ that needed to be done on it.

The handsome top half of the HG Hazel II
Out of all the HGUC kits that I’ve built, this might be the one that really made me smile to no end
hg hazels feets
Even though the details are seen here is quite simple and basic, but I really can’t get over on how good it all looked

I was as well quite impressed with the fact that Bandai decided to include in this kit that wonderful clear foil decal stickers. I love how the stickers looked on the kit, I do feel like almost all the decals design here looked really good and I really do think that the HGUC Hazel II’s decals do make the kit looked unique. Although as I take the time to look at this we do start to wonder why they didn’t just include things like this with the regular HGUC kit?

Because we do think that the clear decals do work great with the HGUC kit, and we do hope to see Bandai including it with future releases.

But just having some awesome looking decals wouldn’t mean much if the kit itself doesn’t look great. Which thankfully this kit is. The HGUC Hazel II is a decently detailed kit, with alot of really good looking parts. Although when compared to the other kits in the AoZ line up, admittedly this might be the only one that looks the most restrained (in terms of design) out of the rest.

HG Hazel's very nice looking legs
I love the design of the HGUC Hazel II’s leg here, although am not a fan of the seam lines here
an almost complete HG Hazel II
I thought when I got to this bit that it doesn’t get better…..

Lastly, let’s talk about the articulation and balance of this kit. Frankly, since this is an old kit, this might be the only bit of my whole experience which doesn’t really stray too far off course I feel. The articulation is good but limited, But to be frank, even when I was coming to work on the kit I wasn’t expecting it to do be anything special. However, there is something there that I observed which I was quite surprised by which actually prompted me to consider it as a positive (and negative too), that is seen on the HGUC Hazel II’s balance. Because I have a feeling that this kit will have an issue with its weight distribution since the Tri Booster is quite heavy. So having the kit displayed without a proper stand will be a tricky matter since you do have to take into account the weight distribution.

Obviously, if you play around with the Tri Booster too much, you will end up offsetting the kit. Although there is an upside to the Tri Booster because funnily enough, the Tri Booster does help you to support the kit if you need it to stand upright with no support needed or whatsoever. That is only possible if you wanted it to just have it posed standing up.

This is something that I don’t think the designers intended for it to be used, but somehow it works. But yes, if you are planning to display the HGUC Hazel II kit, it definitely best if you do take the time to have it displayed on a proper stand.

But like all the kits that we talk about here, it is not to say that it doesn’t come with its own set of issues, because it does. However, the issues I had with this kit were mostly on its foil stickers, which is to no surprise, sucks. If you are thinking of getting this, just remember to paint the unpainted parts and just don’t use the foil stickers that came with the kit.

Oh another thing, do remember to trim the clear foil stickers a bit before applying them to the part because some of them are just too big to be applied at some bits here and there on the kit.

There is as well the matter of the kit still have some bad seam line issues, the nubs, and the issue with its weight distribution. But like I have previously mentioned before, it wasn’t something that I’m particularly bothered with, and instead, it was something that I actually do find to be quite fun to work on. So those aren’t really big issues.

HG Hazel II
But boy I was wrong because the HGUC Hazel II’s backpack unit was a joy to work on. Although I do have to go through the hassle to clean and repaint some of the sections up due to a ‘paint accident’ that was caused by yours truly. But I’m still quite happy to see how it all turned out to be, regardless.

But if I were to be perfectly honest? All the things that I faced here don’t really take away much of my experience here and coming in I was already expecting to deal with some of the issues that I faced here.

Although working on this HGUC Hazel II does help me to finally understand why this kit was loved by those that worked on them. Because through my time here I find the HG Hazel II to be a well designed, no-nonsense kit, that manages to be a fun kit to build and not to mention is one of the most good looking HGUC kits that retail side has to offer.

That is why, as I get to the end of this review, I do starting to feel really sad to think about the current HGUC AoZ’s fate. To see that now P-Bandai is taking over the development and release of the newer AoZ kit is something that I find to be quite upsetting. Yes, it is nice to see that we are still getting new AoZ kits, but it kills me to know that only those with money and those that got in earlier than the rest of us would be the only ones that would be able to own the all other awesome AoZ kits.

Its a shame, really. Because if the old HGUC AoZ kit like this is this good, I really can’t imagine how it would be for the newer ones. This line up really deserves better.

With that ends the review for the HG 1/144 RX-121-2 Gundam Tr-1 [Hazel II] (HGUC). What do you think of both the kit and the review for this AoZ HGUC kit? Do you share the same thoughts with us or do you think that this kit could’ve been better? I loved spending time with this kit and it was really one of those kits that I really wished that I’ve got into it sooner… It was a really fun kit to build and I really hope that I would be able to pop another one soon enough.

I’m really starting to really dig these kits from the AoZ line up.

Anyways, we will be back again with more new gunpla related posts this coming Saturday! So do look forward to that!

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We hope by sharing our love and passion for gunplas here, it’ll inspire you to pick up the hobby or reignite your love for gunpla!

Anyways, we shall see all of you again next week, and we hope that you all have an awesome week and weekend ahead! Have an awesome Gunpla building time there as well and until next time!

Ciao!


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