The MG 00 Qan[T]. There was a lot of hype regarding this Master Grade kit, and Bandai added to it by showcasing the Qan[T] in a sweet exhibit at the All Japan Hobby Show revealing that there would be the option of using an LED for the GN Drive just like the GN-X. Reviews of the MG Exia were not so favorable but how has Bandai made this kit better? I wanted to find out.
Note: I didn’t have a lot of time to play with the shield and GN Sword Bits and there has been a lot of info floating about the internet so I am not going to be redundant. My comments are regarding the kit itself and not so much the GN Sword Bits.
Overall Look: 9/10
I really like how this kit looks. Despite its lack of symmetry I find this suit appealing to me aesthetically. It’s lean and flexible and fast. All the sharp edges around the torso and skirt help enhance that image. I am not much into 00 but this kit certainly holds my attention.
Contrasting with the tried and true red, white, and blue the Qan[T]’s green effect parts really stand out.
The shield looks great even without the attached GN Sword Bits. How it attaches to the suit is really well designed allowing it to be worn on the side as a shield or behind the suit. As people have pointed out, the shield is pretty heavy so it does affect the balance of the kit somewhat. The GN Sword? I can take it or leave it. It attaches to the forearm fine but is so heavy that the hand can’t really hold it well.
Here is where the kit design shines, but also where faults in said design are highlighted. The kit’s hip joints provide plenty of range of movement, however, moving the legs past a certain point causes some armor pieces to fall off. (more on this later)
The design for the wrists is also really well done. Range of motion in the wrist joint is enhanced thanks to a unique design and the upper (or is that lower?) forearms also pivot forward and back. The lateral sway of the torso is appreciated however it does seem to be a little too weak once the big shield comes into play.
There will be a lot of really cool photos of this kit coming, mark my words.
Build Design: 7/10
The unique mix of stickers and clear green parts gives a neat effect for the torso and legs, however it does certainly require good concentration and a steady hand to line them up properly. You’ll definitely need a good dose of patience as well.
As mentioned before the shield attachment is a neat gimmick unto itself.
The parts that displeased me?
Well, there is this section of the helmet. For some reason Bandai molded this so it requires a very small section to be inserted however there is nothing to hold it in place except for friction. If you trim just a little too much gate mark off the small piece it will not stay in place and you’ll be searching for it frequently, or give up on it altogether. For those out there who will be painting, then glue is no problem, but if you just want to straight build then you are going to have to be very careful. The V-fin comes off far too easily as well.
The side skirt armor was designed very poorly, in my opinion. With a kit that has this much range of motion in the hips why design the side skirt armor to come off/apart so easily? The lower section of the side armor is meant to come off and move down one peg allowing you to attach the holder for the sword, but this means it just comes off anytime you move the leg too much to the side. On top of that…
This is how the side armor attaches? Seriously. Did Bandai learn nothing from how the side sections of the Deathscythe backpack fail? This is exactly the same thing. Only a ball joint and a hole into which you insert it. No poly-cap means there is no snug fit. It will hang there until you move the leg and then it just comes off. Weak.
Before I paint this thing I am definitely going to have to come up with some kind of modification for this section.
Fun Factor: 8/10
If you’ve built a fair number of Master Grade kits in your time, you usually can tell how a build will go just by looking at the runners. Before you even remove a piece you have an idea of what goes where and its function. The Qan[T] threw me off a bit. And this is a good thing. Maybe because I haven’t built the Exia but as I was building the Qan[T] I found myself looking at the pieces and pondering what their purpose was. This element of discovery is something that makes Gunpla so fun, so it was good to experience it with the Qan[T].
Hurray for included stand! Bandai also gives you options when it comes to doing the eyes and choices when it comes to using the dry-transfers. It also states in the manual that if you plan on building it with the the LED GN Drive that you need to use different stickers for some sections.
Despite some design flaws and balance issues, and rumours of problems with the GN bits, I really enjoyed putting this guy together. The problems with the side skirt armor, though frustrating, weren’t enough to turn me off of the kit and I look forward to working on it more in the future. If 00 is your thing, you might want to check it out.