Starting with the head and the core. I’m amazed at how many parts necessary just for the core alone. With this huge number of parts I won’t take parts breakdown picture. Too many parts to laid out and heavy risk of some tiny parts lost or getting blown by the wind in the process. Those tiny parts are really really tiny. There are other difficulties in building process too, but anyway pictures of finished head and core first.
Head: YH-12 Mayfly
Mayfly is my favorite AC head design, aesthetically. Those parallel visors on beak-shaped head, very menacing yet elegant.
Functionality wise, it has integrated radar. Good enough for me. Don’t really care for other stats.
The use of clear parts make this piece really stands out.
There are quite number of parts and the construction is unusual, unlike many gunplas I’ve build.
A separate neck part is necessary to connect the head into the core.
In parts selection screen in AC games, this neck part is nowhere to be seen
(but they are there in completed AC).
The problem in constructing the head lies on the size of its parts. They’re small and delicate yet need some force to snap fit (more on that later).
This core is also my favorite in aesthetic and functionality.
Note: it’s hard to balance the core like in this picture, hence for the next pics I support it
with a roll of masking tape.
Crest-made cores all have angular and blocky design, contrary to curvy and organic Mirage design.
Among those cores made by Crest, I find 98E2 to be the most pleasant-looking.
I like the elongated and streamlined “hood”, but the beauty lies in balance.
Note that I painted the cables and pistons with silver Gundam Marker.
Those “chest” vents are nice touch, felt very familiar with Gundam design.
That spoiler-thingy on the back is actually Exceed Orbit (EO) built-in weapon.
This is what I like on 98E2 functionality; since I’m suck on using Overboost, so EO cores for me.
In this model the EO is detachable but just that, nothing more.
The turret in front section is actually Core Anti Missile System (CAMS), unique to Crest-made core.
It shoots down incoming missiles with pewpew lazors, not that reliable but better than nothing.
The turret is movable in this model.
I’m not exaggerating when I say the number of parts needed to build the core alone is absurdly high. About 61 parts excluding polycaps. And unlike Master Grade models, the core has no complicated gimmicks/elaborate inner frame/sophisticated articulation. The parts are there to show insane details in the core design. And yet there are still some area with incorrect color. Not much, but still there. If Bandai designing this, I bet they can use half the parts with same result.
Other things I encountered when building this model. First, looks like it came with special coating. Nice, but that only makes nub marks even more visible. The same with painted parts (i.e red parts in black runner vice-versa). As for nub placement, I’ll reserve my judgement until I build all the parts.
Next, about how tight the parts plugged to each other. I hurt my hand when trying to fit two segments together. I recommend everyone to recheck before joining two halves together. Don’t want to pry them apart later due to one part or polycap left out. Obviously, if anyone ever planned to paint this, better plan ahead.
Next will be arms and legs.