On to reviewing this mean looking, uniquely designed Gunpla; this is one of many reviews I'll be doing exclusively for Gundam Planet. If you don’t know already, Gundam Planet is my main sponsor and they kindly provided me with this kit to test out its "limits" build wise. Now I'll be honest, this is the first Gunpla I built from the Turn A line; I have yet to build the MG Turn A or its HG counterparts; but through the wide reach that is the internetz, I have heard some positive reviews over it.
|Uniqueness is Key|
So as per build routine regardless of what the manual says, I always build the head unit first. First thing that you'll notice is that the head unit is also the cockpit; not your average MS where the cockpit is usually located in the chest area; this location is very similar to Sazabi; very cool design IMO and has numerous parts to compose this amazingly shaped head. The top part of the head unit does open, revealing its pilot; the camera eye is your standard clear part where the foil sticker will be placed; this kit gives you two foil sticker options, one that shows that eyes itself and another one just pure black with no eyes; so far so good.
|A very well rounded MS Indeed|
The next unit is the torso unit; one thing I noticed whilst building the frame is that this kit is very well rounded; I mean the entirety of the torso unit base frame is composed mostly of multiple hollow "pipes"; again, not your average humanoid shaped torso which makes this kit very unique and very interesting. It has your standard articulation where you can position the torso either facing up or facing down and side to side; you can lock it in a fixed position by attaching the back pack mount. As you can see the back is quite detailed which is a plus on this kit. Building the torso unit also requires you to build the shoulder frame; this is again very unique and conforms to the kit's rounded design; it is also very articulate too as you would expect on a MG kit. Following the frame, you will then have to attach the armour, and the first thing I noticed is that none of the parts are symmetrical. Before the main armour is attached; you have to first install the "Scar" foil sticker effect to the frame, very easy and it's almost impossible to make a mistake; once the stickers are installed; a sizeable clear part goes over it thus giving you a very cool effect when shined with light at varying angles. Following this, the armour can be easily installed.
|Rounded fit for the torso unit|
The next unit is the waist unit; you are served with quite a few parts to assemble it; the bottom part of the unit is pretty standard since legs will have to go with it; the top half however is again a rounded part since this is the main attachment for the torso unit; articulation is very good and I particularly like the front skirts and the amount of detail that goes along with it.
|Oversized Shoulder "Shields"|
On to the arms – building the arms gave me a new familiarity and completely threw me off on my normal build routine. When it comes to the arms and legs on any given kit, I always build them together, this way I learn the build mechanics in one go and also saves time. Looking at the instruction on this kit, it would not have been possible as the whole design is not symmetrical; the design was the same on the upper arms but the forearms are completely dissimilar. So I decided to build the upper arms first; there are no armour attachments for the upper arms; instead, the armour is located to cover the shoulder joint thus acting as the main attachment for the shoulder armour and towards the torso unit. The main reason why there are no amor pieces on the upper arms is mainly because of that colossal shoulder attachment; I call them shoulder shields since they might as well be due to its size; because this is large part, I never expected it to be so detailed and I can say this is by far the most detailed armour pieces on the kit. It has your basic frame and a heat sink to go with it too which is very unique. It is also very articulate which you can position at your own expense.
|A more standardised forearm|
As mentioned earlier, the forearms are dissimilar; so I went ahead and assembled the “Shining Finger” Weapon Arm; there are a few parts since this is where the kit is mainly drawn to; the sort of main attraction if you like for this MS design; I was amazed as to how ingenious it was; first you build the frame of course which is primarily hollow to accommodate the claws when you holster them; the claws itself are cleverly designed, again not symmetrical. If you look at it closely, the claws have a 2 point articulation and can move freely once they are deployed; another gimmick that has made me that much more in love with this kit. Assembling the left arm brings you back to the idea that yes, this is actually a Gundam; it has your normal swappable manipulators, the same one’s you get from the Wing kits except these have their own detailing to it. The left arm also has a noticeable clear part which gives It a massive contrast from its right counterpart. With both having numerous parts to assemble, it was fairly easy to snap fit together which is always a bonus.
Moving onto the legs; the first thing that you will need to assemble is the feet; well you can call it a feet but they look more like hooves to me but for normality, we’ll call it feet. These are very sizeable yet very very stable, quite right since looking at the kit itself and that backpack, the most important feature has to be stability otherwise it will not be able to stand. Whilst the frame is built the same way, the design of the armour is again asymmetrical; the next part are the lower leg where the asymmetrical design is very prominent; the calf armour are quite large and the way it overlaps with other armour parts is a genius in design IMO; such a stunning thing to look at. By assembling the legs, this kit grew on me even more; and this trend continues onto the upper leg areas as well. Whilst the upper right leg has an overlapping armour design, the left leg has a clear part, which again makes a really good contrast when you pit them side-by-side.
The final process is the back pack and the weapons; again, the size of the back pack is not your conventional back pack; just one part alone dominates the whole design. With a substantial amount of part to finally piece them together, it is a joy to build indeed. It has you combining normal frame parts, armour and clear parts to finish the detailing. One would think that because of the size, details should be lacking but no, this backpack is very detailed and is one of the best features on this kit. The connector itself lets you move the back pack up and down; since it isn’t close to the torso unit, you can move it freely without any hindrance.
The weapons are pretty straight forward; but one of the tasking feature on any gunpla weapon assembly are the seam lines, as a modeler, I always have to plan carefully to address the seam lines and seal them when appropriate. This kit however, the seam lines are actually part of the design which is a plus for any modeler hoping to custom this amazing kit. This gives you 4 projectile weapons, a rocket pod, a bazooka type, a beam rifle and a handgun; not sure why it has weapons in the first place since the Gundam in itself is already a powerful weapon.
With that, the assembly is complete; Only when you have assembled all the parts and you initially combine them together will you see the sheer size of this kit; it is both tall and very wide, it really gives off that mean stance just like any antagonistic MS in the Gundam Universe. One thing that made me fall in love with this kit are the abundance in details; I always have to outline armour parts that lacked in detail as I feel that leaving it alone makes the kit look very generic and unappealing. As mentioned earlier, seam lines plays a very big part in customisation and I can honestly say that I cannot find any noticeable seam lines on this kit. Bandai was very cleaver to incorporate the seam lines as being part of the kit design indeed.
|How the weapons are mounted|
Another awesome feature is the movability and the articulation; for a large kit, it can still kneel down, since the torso unit is quite compact and the waist unit being quite small, the legs and the arms including the backpack can be moved freely and with ease. The shoulder joints has near infinite articulation and can be moved forward and all the way back. The head unit is surprisingly articulate too, it has a 2 point articulation as the neck mount itself can be moved up and down. As with any other gunpla kits, there are cons that are quite annoying, on this kit, one being the right arm where the “Shining Finger” is equipped; as this is very heavy; you cannot freeze this pointing forward as it will just droop down, this is pretty annoying as you would want to pose this pointing that awesome weapon frontwards. Though this is clearly a minus on this kit, this can be easily remedied by adding additional plating, putty or simply applying thick paint on the said shoulder joint. This is understandable though since the main feature of this kit is the parts separation system where every single unit is a deadly weapon; that’s why I said before that this Gundam does not require hand held weapons. Whilst other hero suits gets dragoons and funnels, this gives you limbs; that to me is an awesome yet very crazy conceptual design; definitely adds to the “unique” factor of this MS.
|Pretty cool arsenal|
So, on to evaluating this kit; I can honestly say that I really enjoyed building it; it was yet again a breath of fresh air as this is definitely not your conventional master grade. The way you have to assemble it and the way it was engineered, it is astoundingly fun, giving you a fair amount of challenge and a new build experience at the same time. I will eventually customise this kit but since I have quite a few on-going projects, this will have to be parked for now.
Design – 7/10 Very Unique and I guarantee that this will grow on any modeler hoping to acquire a new challenge.
Build – 8/10 Mainly because of its asymmetrical design, but although it looks complex, it was surprisingly easy to build.
Details – 7/10 As stated earlier, this kit does not lack in details, love the stock lines and the added armour protrusions; the overlapping armour design is unique to this uniquely designed MS.
Articulation – 7/10 For a large kit, it is surprisingly articulate.