This of course found it's ultimate form in me entering Gunpla, the international Gundam modal building competition in 2013.
Well today I finally got my hands on the original series made in 1979 and frankly... it's not bad.
The animation is pretty rough, but no worse than Battle of the Planets or Votron, and the mecha designs remain solid.
If you've held off on getting the series, don't!
It's worth a look and gives you the roots of the Universal Century timeline.