The Shenlong is the third Master Grade kit from the Wing series that I have built. The very first, the MG Wing Gundam was excellent but the next in line, the Deathscythe EW Ver. was more miss than hit despite looking pretty cool. With those two kits behind me I wondered where the Shenlong would fall.
Overall Look: 8/10
I like it, and yet I can’t say exactly why. In my opinion everything from the torso down is perfect and the angles and lines work so well. The torso is very unique and there’s nothing really with which to compare it. Oddly enough, on the Deathscythe I felt the shoulder armor was a little too big, and now, on the Shenlong, I feel it might be slightly too small. The head is fantastic. Have I mentioned I really am starting to dig these Wing suits?
While it still is the tried and true red, white, yellow, and blue, the colors work on this kit. That said, this kit will not remain in these colors. Not even close.
Have you ever seen a mobile suit with weapons like this? The beam trident is similar enough to the Beam Scythe of the deathscythe, but the shield and the Dragon Fang are awesome and might actually be the part of the kit that is the most fun. I enjoy playing around with the Dragon Fang and it is designed really well.
Although the frame is very similar to the Deathscythe this thing actually articulates much better, probably because its movement isn’t inhibited by weird shaped armor. There’s a good range of motion in the legs and and arms.
Build Design: 8/10
Again despite the similarities with the Deathscythe and Wing the Shenlong holds up much better particularly in the skirt. Whereas the Deathscythe and Wing would have the skirt armor popping off the ball joints quite frequently, the Shenlong has yet to do that. I’ve even been playing rough with it to see how far it will go and so far so good. I was actually relieved.
The side skirt armor is not something you see in most gundam kits but because of this design allows the kit to articulate quite a bit in the legs without moving the armor a lot. This definitely helps the cool factor because it doesn’t look goofy when you have the legs all stretched out.
One oddity is this gap in the armor on the ankle. The design calls for you to put this front piece on last after you have assembled the full leg. This gap is designed into the kit and short of modifying something will remain there. Is the Mobile Suit like this in the anime?
Fun Factor: 8/10
Maybe it’s because I have built a lot of MG kits to date, or maybe the memory of the Wing and Deathscythe are fresh in my mind, but I was able to build this kit, weapon and all, in about two hours without once feeling like I was rushing. It’s a compliment to the design of this kit that I didn’t encounter a section which caused me confusion or frustration. I was even able to watch the news and use my computer as I was putting Shenlong together.
There aren’t a lot of ‘extras’ thrown into this kit but what is there, particularly this:
is a nice touch. These are swapped in and out on the back of the backpack. You can see the part that is used to hold the Beam Trident on its back and that part is replaced with the other when Beam Trident is being held by Shenlong. Other gundam kits will leave the adaptor piece there, often looking unsightly.
The hands, however, I am getting more frustrated with. I first encountered this kind of hand design with the V Gundam and it worked okay. If you want your gundam standing with a clenched fist, this is the way to go. However, particularly on the Deathscythe, when it comes to swapping the different finger parts to hold weapons, it’s just a pain in the ass, and the more you do it, the more loose these pieces become and then you end up with them falling off half the time. I miss the MG hands where you assembled them finger by finger.
Bandai will continue to roll out Wing kits in the near future and I’m tempted to jump on all of them thanks to the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of the Wing and Shenlong so far. The look of the Shenlong has even made me want to add the Wing Gundam EW Ver. to my growing collection/backlog.