It's obvious by now that I have a thing for TFs with Gundam proportions. After assembling Hercules (Devastator), my hands got itchy and I went on to assembling Bruticus, which has been in my stash for a while now. To the uninitiated, and unlike Hercules - which is an entirely third-party produced product - the Cross-fire Bruticus combines the original BM toys from Hasbro with extra third-party products from HK-based company FansProject that make for a bad-ass lookin' gestalt, just as it should be!
So here's the original BM set from Hasbro comprising five Decepticons:
Erm. Not exactly very appealing, especially to the eye of a Gunpla modeller. We go for aesthetics in mecha mode, which means, proportions and articulation. This....leaves much to be desired.
Enter Fansproject, which sells its Crossfire series as a pair of bots with colours matching the BM set, and a bunch of extra parts for the badass makeover. These two newbies replace and arm and leg from the Hasbro set:
Re-arrange everything and add on some parts, and we get this:
Now we're getting somewhere! I really like this fella - the proportions are more heroic (or villainous), there's much more articulation, and it sure as hell looks closer to the cartoon G1 version. In fact, articulation is even better than TFC's Hercules. I particularly like the design touch given to the fingers, and the intricately designed guns. Yes. TFs have BFGs too. Enjoy.
Nice Decepticon chest emblem from the original Hasbro set.
Bringing sexy back. Even nicer hip plates given as an extra accessory from the Fansproject set:
The feet are add-ons from the FP set. Right leg is the extra bot that replaces the Hasbro one:
Extra extension accessories elongate the arm and provide and extra elbow joint sorely missing in the original. Then, slap on the wrist and articulated hands. Yum:
Nicely done guns that look fab even on a Gundam:
Final verdict: 7/10. It's a head shorter and less massive than Hercules/ Devastator. But articulation-wise, it's top-notch for this size, comparable even to a PG gundam. The only reason Hercules would rank higher is that looks-wise, it still packs more of a punch than Bruticus, of course. Besides that, this rare set (it was released in the earlier half of last year, I think) is a good buy for toy enthusiasts, and at only about over a third of the price of Hercules too.