The FD-03 Gustav Karl is a mass-produced general purpose mobile suit introduced in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative. A redesigned/different colour variant appeared in the Mobile Suit Gundam: Hathaway’s Flash movie and this is the machine that took down the Me-02R Messer and subsequently the arrest of its pilot.
Gustav Karl is aimed to be a direct successor to the next generation mass production of the RGM Mobile Suit series for the Earth Federation Forces.
It is developed as a general-purpose and was intended mainly for operations under gravity. It was designed to be a larger, more heavily armoured mobile suit when compared to its predecessor RGM-89 Jegan.
To compensate for the increased weight and not hindering the Mobile Suit versatility, it was installed with a high-output generator, and a large number of thrusters and posture control verniers were placed throughout its body to maintain its mobility and manoeuvrability.
The larger size of the Gustav Karl is a necessary consideration since it is operating in the Unicorn era where the Zeon and Federation are starting to manufacture Mobile Suits that are larger than the Universal Century counterparts.
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This is Gustav Karl side by side comparison to the Mobile Suits from the Unicorn era such as the Sinanju and Unicorn Gundam in both Unicorn and Destroy Mode.
This is a side by side comparison of Gustav Karl to other UC Mobile Suit such as its predecessor RGM-89 Jegan and RGM-79G Command which I have customised is to look like Pale Rider and finally a RX-178 Gundam MKII.
And to bring things into context and which most fans are more familiar to the Granddad RX-78 Gundam and Zaku 2 from the Original series. And just for laugh, the F91 Gundam, which was developed with an aim to miniaturize Mobile Suit to address technological problems such as the increasing cost of MS.
My Gustav Karl is inspired by the Guncannon 2 and RX-78NT-1 Gundam “ALEX”, where my Gustav is a heavily armoured Mobile Suit designed for Long, Medium range, and Close Combat machine.
Hence it is equipped with Chobham Armour and a Gatling gun fixed to the left forearm for close combat use was inspired by RX-78NT-1. The Beam sub-machine gun was also taken from RX-78NT-1 for medium range attacks.
The 300mm calibre smoothbore gun/cannon (which I kit-bashed from Barbatos) and is inspired by Guncannon 2 where is also a heavily armoured version of the original Guncannon or you also mesh in a bit of a Guntank inspiration.
I wasn’t originally a big fan of the Gustav Karl design especially in the Unicorn series where it was shown been piloted by some lazy and inexperience test pilot and naturally defeated easily by RGM-96X Jesta. But in Hathaway Flash, the Gustav Karl was shown to be a much more aggressive and “Hunter” like mobile Suit, hence I thought painting it in Titian Blue is more relevant.
I bought this kit from my mate Ching To, who operates mainly from a Facebook group where he is able to source gunpla and other overseas model kits. If you are interested please take a look at his website and sign up to his Facebook group.