Okay, I've previously covered my thoughts on the Unicorn series, way back in my Unicorn Mode post. But I still have to say, Unicorn Gundam is one of the most beautiful Gundam series I have the opportunity to watch. Explosive actions and beautiful mecha designs, plus the plot is intriguing.
Anyway, here it is, my take on a deactive Destroy mode. I first saw the illustration image in Hobby Japan magazine and I really liked it, hell, I would say I even loved it when I saw it in Unicorn episode 4. I've always liked "factory-deactive" colour schemes because it gives a more mechanical and machine feel to the unit. With that in mind, I simply sprayed all clear red pieces with German Grey and decided not to decal it, to fit the "new from production" image, with only the bright yellow on the V-fin to draw attention to it's face.
I've always told my friend, CerealKillerXii that one of the problem with Destroy modes is the super long legs but to be honest, I think that is also what made the Destroy modes the supermodels of the Gundam series. I hope he doesn't read this and say "I told you so" because god damn it, he likes Gundam's legs more than their heads, which is WRONG! The best part of a Gundam is their head, and the Destroy modes did not disappoint. The larger than usual fins and that handsome clean face fits perfectly with the multi-layered body.
And it doesn't come loaded with tonnes of weapons, just a beam rifle [A very powerful one too] and a shield with some, okay A LOT of beam sabers. I would include the bazooka but since I hate that abomination, I'll just ignore it.
Building a Destroy mode is quite a challenge, mostly because you have to sand the small clear pieces carefully and to fit them inside the armour plates. Other than that, there's nothing really different about making them, other than the fact you don't really have to worry about seam lines because of the armor separation.
It's also really tall, which is not obvious if you pose a Destroy mode alone. But put it beside an RX-78-2 and you could really see the difference. The simple colour scheme also works wonders to complement the complicated armor pieces.
Articulation wise, it's not the best. The legs won't give you something like the signature Freedom Gundam pose but in the end, like a supermodel, if you look good standing still, you're good to go.
My only problem is the back skirt. There's a plate that will always be pushed back in, hiding the thrusters and psycho frame, requiring you to pull it back out and adjust. Damn, I hate that mechanism and I will forever hate it in all Destroy modes. To illustrate my hate, that's like finding out that your favourite lingerie model turns out to have a flat butt. It's just wrong on so many levels.
Butts, I mean back skirts aside, a HGUC Destroy mode's different than usual build style means you get to explore something fresh and while building it, you could really start appreciating the mech design, like how the armor should slide in and how it could possibly transform back into Unicorn Mode.
For it's design alone, I would rate the HGUC Destroy mode as 7.5, for both details, proportions and gimmicks, in this case being the clear red pieces. Having owned several Destroy modes, I would say if you don't have one and am finding a good HG kit, this will do nicely.