Can't you see that you are sweet, Oh let me love you so~
Back in early 2012 it was like 80% finished as i gave the kit a paint job and all left to was the detailing and sealed it with Topcoat. But with the strange turns of events it took me 4 years to return on this kit and gave the finishing work it deserved.
RX-78 NT-1 "Alex" was the first experimental unit for Newtype from EFSF created secretly on Neutral Colony Side-6 nearing the end of One Year War. The Gundam possesses couple of new features that makes it one of the best performance Mobile Suit in its period including full 360 degree Panoramic Cockpit, 90 mm Gatling guns hidden in forearm and most importantly incredible reaction speed that requires a newtype-level piloting skill to make use of it. RX-78 NT-1 was meant to be given to Amuro Ray for Federation's Final Battle at A Baoa Qu but the unit was destroyed by Zeon Task Force Cyclops team rookie Bernie Wiseman in a sabotage operation. There are couple of things i heard about the unit Fluff-wise. In an alternate timeline where Amuro did get NT-1, he pawns with the mobile suit but in the end died as NT-1 didn't have any Core Fighter and thus Amuro unable to retreat when the unit got destroyed. Another one is that i heard NT-1 was created from the scraps of RX-78-6 Mudrock Gundam which got wrecked in the earlier phase of One Year War.
Personally RX-78 NT-1 "Alex" is one of my favorite Gundam from the whole series with its minimalist yet effective design which i find suit with Main Protagonist Real Robot unit the best. Designed by Yutaka Izubuchi, some of this MS characteristics can be traced on RX-93 Nu Gundam which shares the same design philosophy. Being one of the earlier Master Grade Lineup, the kit obviously suffers from articulation issues especially on the knee which got rather weak joints due to the Polycaps. As for the detailing you need to do major work on the Head and Shoulders being the older kit. Nevertheless i will always have soft spots on these 3000 Yen Master Grade Kits since they will always look good as long as you put some work on it.
For the kit all i did is gave it the stand spray paint job for all color parts save for the white armor which i am quite satisfied with the end result. As for the finishing touch all i did is some handbrush work and setting the decals as well as panel lining. Should have sealed the seamlines for the kit which can be seen on the head, knee joints and the rifle but i guess i was too lazy to do the job at that time. I guess taking a break from this hobby for couple of years does make my skill abit rusty with the sloppy work on the dry transfer decals. Being the second work of hand-painting, there are couple of smudges here but still i am still satisfied with the overall result of the kit as the kit's condition could have been worse considering it was collecting dust for 4 years before i gave it the finishing job it deserved.
While the unit was intended to be given to Amuro, the one who pilots RX-78 NT-1 before its destruction was Christina Mackenzie, the test pilot of the unit. The sweet young girl who is the neighbour of the young boy Al was a Test pilot for EFSF in secret. She remarks that NT-1 is such a difficult unit to control wondering if anyone could have piloted the unit properly. During the Cyclops team attack she piloted NT-1 taking down the Kaempfer after taking the full brunt of its attack. Shortly after she was tasked to chase down a rogue Zaku-II Custom which ultimately turns the pilot into Hamburger while caused the NT-1 Alex serious damage beyond repair that makes Amuro stuck with his RX-78-2 till the end of OYW. In the end Christina survives the ordeal with slight injuries but unknowingly kills that sweet young man that was with Al which could have been her love interest. From what i heard Christina later went on Anaheim Electronics on a job in MS field.
To me War in the Pocket is still the Gundam series that still have the finest storyline in whole Gundam series putting the recent Gundam titles to shame. 0080 shows that an animation does not need a grand scale of events to make a powerful anti-war message which it succeeds with Flying color. Without the conflict between Federation and Zeon, Bernie could have been Chris lover and Al would have been a happy kid with no Trauma. Then again without War in the Pocket we wouldn't see the story of an average rookie pilot becomes the Unsung Hero trying to save the Colony from atrocities of war from his own side.
The armaments of RX-78 NT-1 are your standard Gundam armament but what sets it apart from other Gundam that it sports a hidden 90mm Gatling gun in the forearm that was used to take down surprised Kampfer by Chris in the OVA. The 90mm proves to be devastating weapon sufficient enough to take down your average OYW era mobile suit. While the shield is your average Gundam Shield, i find it to be one of the cooler Gundam Shield Design on par with GP01 Gundam's shield. In the OVA IIRC NT-1 never get to use the beam rifle and the shield due to the sabotage and it chased down Zaku-II Custom with the Gatling gun and Beam saber only. Interestingly RX-78 NT-1's Beam Rifle kinda resemble of the FAMAS assault rifle used by the real world French Infantry
RX-78 NT-1 Alex has been shown in lots of Video Games. In the first Gundam Battle series, Gundam Battle Tactics, it was the best unit for EFSF side. While in Gundam Vs Gundam it is 1000 Cost Gundam with its Chobham Armor granting some limited invulnerability. And in G Generation series it is always available whenever 0080 is in the Roster and the Full Armor armor version of Alex will turn into a normal version when it got destroyed. IIRC 0080 was included in couple of SRW and definitely need to show up more in the series.
During the development of RX-78 NT-1 an experimental additional armor was developed at the same time called Chobham Armor. The Chobham Armor provides an excellent protection against Ballistic type weapons which are common in OYW Era but probably rather limited protection against beam Weaponries. During the Team Cyclops Surprise Attack, the armor was proven effective as it leaves NT-1 Alex Unscathed from Kaempfer's Chain Mine attack which would have been fatal damages. If the Cyclops Team never attacked Side-6 in the first place, probably we could have seen the weapon incorporation on Alex's Chobham Armor. Anyway later on EFSF are using the Chobham Armor system for their MS most notably on GM Cannon 2. In SRW Chobham Armor is the lowest Armor Extra Parts usually granting the unit 500 HP and 50 Armor Points.
I guess my primary reason getting the MG RX-78 NT-1 is because of its Chobham Armor which was rather good deal for a 3000 Yen MG Kit. I will not deny that Detachable armor is one my favorite gimmicks for mecha which is why Wildwurger was my one of my favorite Mecha Design. I guess it has something to do with showing that a Real Robot can take shrug off a hit or two with these kind of armor and moving on hitting the enemies. With the Chobham Armor Equipped, the kit's limited articulation even become more limited especially on the arms. I am curious with the MG Duel Assault Shroud articulation with the armor on considering that guy was the spiritual successor of RX-78 NT-1.
While my work are not as impressive as others out there i am still quite satisfied with this kit overall. But if you ever plan of getting the kit you will need to consider doing some works on the detailing as the kill will not look good without some work on it considering it is one of the earlier MG Kits and obviously are not as good as the newer MGs when it comes to Straight Build. At some point probably i will get the MG Duel Assault Shroud which will look interesting when posed side to side with MG Alex.