MG Akatsuki Gundam by Dragon Momoko

DM_MG-Akatsuki

They’re at it again! Dragon Momoko is really stepping up their game by producing stuff that Bandai doesn’t, or is yet to release and this time it’s the MG version of the Akatsuki Gundam with Ootori and Oowashi pack.

Dragon Momoko first made major waves when they produced an MG TG III kit in early 2014 and now they seem to be in a roll with this follow up. They really are trying to out do Bandai with all the nifty add-ons they are throwing in with the kit.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_Decals

Clear crisp decals.

DM is really putting out their A-Game with the seemingly high quality decals. Although they look good, these are sample images after all. And based on my previous experience with bootlegs, we won’t know for sure if it really looks like what they advertise, plus, I’m not a big fan of the font face they used for the labels on the Dragoons.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_Ootori-wing

The flaps on the wings actually turn!

A concept borrowed by DM from the ver. RM MG Aile Striker pack, now this is something you don’t see often from other copycat bootleggers, naming Daban and TT Hongli.

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The Akatsuki Rail Guns can be extended to reveal more inner frame details and a handle.

This one is a pleasant surprise for this kit.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_Armaments

The Akatsuki beam armaments.

Leave it to DM to produce stylized beam armaments, this is the first time I’ve seen them branch out from the plain beam swords and effects parts.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_Manipulators1

It comes with three (four?) sets of fixed manipulators.

And the thing that sets this bootleg release from anything Bandai can put out for this particular model are the mechanical manipulators, with individually functioning fingers!

DM_MG-Akatsuki_Manipulators2

Individual finger ball-jointed manipulators.

YOUR MOVE, BANDAI!

Now that praising this bootleg is done, let’s start with the nitpicking.

DM is really rolling it out thick! I wonder what Bandai will do to upstage this. It looks pretty amazing and all, but let’s not forget that these are just advertisement images of a bootleg. I haven’t gone out to look for other reviews of this kit, and I don’t intend to bother at the moment. Looking at the photos, I’ve already spotted some things.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_Gaps

Horrible gaps!

If the sample photos have this, the actual product is bound to have more of these. Remember that the model being advertised is already cosmetically prepped to look as good as it can get.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_manipulators3

These manipulators look awfully familiar.

Wow, is it just me, or did they just reproduced the after market Bandai manipulators and packed them as default parts for their product?

DM_MG-Akatsuki_manipulators4

Another thing that irks me is the odd shift of details, the design of the mechanical manipulators is radically different from the regular fixed ones. Having choices is all good, but at least have some sort of consistency!

DM_MG-Akatsuki_minordetails

Details are painted.

It’s something that I have came across with DM kits reviews and builds, some details are just painted on in their advertisement photos to make their models look extra good. Not that it’s a bad thing, since Bandai also do this. It sort of gives you the impression that there is an inner frame in the Dragoons, but in reality, there isn’t. But in most recent Bandai MG kits, they really do go the extra mile in providing different color plastic for details such as these.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_minordetails2

On the left is the DM MG Akatsuki and on the right is the MG Akatsuki resin conversion kit by Super G for the MG Strike kit.

This is another characteristic of DM kits, take a look at the models, you will notice that they have striking similarities. You may even say that they are the same kits only painted differently, but you’re wrong. The model on the left is the DM MG Akatsuki, but the one on the right is a resin Akatsuki MG conversion kit by Super G. It appears that DM created their own design, but they actually used another existing kit.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_shields

On the left is the DM Akatsuki shield, in the middle is the Super G resin kit Akatsuki shield, on the right is the unpainted Bandai Akatsuki shield.

Here we see three different shields, if you’ll pay close attention, the DM shield is very similar to the design of the resin kit. Both shields have far departed from the more rounded original Bandai design. This further suggests that DM may have just based their design on the resin conversion kit.

DM_MG-Akatsuki_color

One last thing that kind of turns me off for the DM MG Akatsuki kit is how flat the metallic coating is. In the anime, the Akatsuki is designed to be shiny gold for reflective reasons, yeah it’s kind of unrealistic, but I liked the Akatsuki that way.

All in all, it seems that DM heavily based their Akatsuki design from a lesser known conversion resin kit, re-worked it to fit with the MG Strike RM version kit and threw in some flashy effect parts and manipulators, and VOILA! The DM MG Akatsuki kit is born.

Though I have to hand it to the DM folks, they really do try to make their own stuff to please fans/collectors, but they are still far from producing independently designed and engineered products. Although the sample kit in the photos look good, there are still glaring imperfections in it, especially the gaps. I did a quick search of other DM Akatsuki builds and found that the gaps that I pointed out is a common imperfection that many modelers were not able to fix. But if you’re only after getting an MG Akatsuki, I suppose this is the next best thing you can get.

Image sources:
Neo Gundam Info: Smile Garage Kits: Solo Wing Pixy Blog:
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