Gaijin Gunpla

I think I’ve already made it known that I am not particularly interested in the new Gundam series, Gundam Age, but of course I am interested in new Gundam kits! So how does the first kit from the new series stack up?

Overall Look: 8.5/10



You know what? I like it. Perhaps what I like most about it is that it isn’t over the top. It hasn’t departed too radically from the Mobile Suit designs we’ve all come to love but there are some differences that are worth noting. One in particular…

That car spoiler-like backpack. I think this may be the coolest part of the design, although it tends to stick out too much for my liking. If I had time (and skill) I would probably modify the backpack so it looks even more like the rear end of a sports car and replace the thruster with some massive exhaust pipes.

I even like the head.

Colors: 6/10

It’s a new series. You could have made a bold step in a different direction, Bandai. Instead, I think Bandai kind of failed here, but the old ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ Japanese attitude dies hard (or won’t die).

Weapons: 7/10

I like the shield far more than the rifle. The rifle is capable of changing form but other than having the front swivel 90 degrees so it can be grabbed with both hands the only other rifle ‘mode’ is lame. You just take the front half of the rifle off. You do get 4 beams sabers, though!

Articulation: 10/10

In one word; awesome! It’s got a huge range of motion in the hips and legs and that car spoiler backpack actually doesn’t affect its balance too much. I was able to get it to stay upright quite easily.

When a kit looks cool and can hold cool poses, it’s a 10!

Build Design: 9/10

Nothing revolutionary here but then again revolution (color aside) isn’t necessary. The design works perfectly allowing that large range of articulation. One interesting difference in the design from other HG kits I have assembled is found in the shoulders.

The polycap is slightly offset from the shoulder piece and the range of motion in the shoulders is greater because of this. He is easily able to grab the rifle with both hands and look cool doing so.

Fun Factor: 9/10

It’s an uncomplicated HG kit with a couple of surprises so it does keep your interest during the build and continues to keep it afterwards when you get to play with it. That’s the way it should be with every Gundam model.

Extras: 6.5/10

Here be the controversial category. For myself, this category starts at 5. If the kit has some cool stuff added into the design or as an accessory, the score goes up. If it is lacking some things that definitely would have made a better overall product, the score goes down.

There’s not much ‘extra’ with this kit but that isn’t a bad thing. The extra beam sabers are nice, though not necessary really, and there is a cool little design with the side skirts allowing them to accommodate the beam saber handles.

If the rest of the kits in this series are as good as this one, Bandai might be onto something. Although, if the rest of the kits in this series are exactly the same as this one, Bandai may be missing an opportunity. I enjoyed the Age-1 Normal and look forward to its Mega Size counterpart.

And as for that cool pose found on the box and in the instruction manual

Replicated!

12 Responses so far.

  1. Shaid says:

    Nice review, Gaigun! I have to agree with you on the rear spoiler idea. Makes me want to grab some 1/24 car kits and get cutting. This kit looks better than I thought it was going to.

    The ZEDAS from this series though is a day-one purchase for me. It’s something different!

  2. fury-s12 says:

    im still not sold on the new line up of suits the original pics way back didn’t capture me and so far no newer images have too, its weird though theres only one thing i truly don’t like about this suit and thats the big chest “thing”, its just not my taste, and over all when looking at it on the whole its not a suit that strikes me but individually the pieces are nice i love the back pack for instance and the blocky legs with sort of build in shields are pretty nice too, but as is said whens its all together it doesn’t jump out and kick me in the face till i buy it, perhaps the SD will

    the (maybe fake) age 3 on the other hand is a beast that i want

  3. Bocalt says:

    Hey there but at the end of the day is it worth the $23 its selling at (cheapest i could find shipping included)

  4. samshirou says:

    awsome kit , can’t wait to receive mine !

    nice review !

  5. me says:

    the spoiler of a sport car on its back pack, and the chest actually remind me of bugati veyron. izit coincident? hehe

  6. glaurung says:

    Very nice review, I enjoyed it. I was quite apprehensive when the kits were first demonstrated and I found the design predictable and boring. It might be due to the HG style, but this kit looks rather bold (in a good way) and the backpack adds a nice balance to it. Still unsure about the chopped off feet. I can agree on the colors argument: Bandai went the tried and safe route and that’s why it looks so unremarkable. But I suppose the kit lends itself nicely to some cool coloring, just like the recent MG Delta Plus that has already received some amazing color schemes from the fans. I might still wait for the MG version of the Gundam AGE series and if they have a similar huge spoiler atop the backpack, I might just end up chopping it off altogether.

  7. Hypnos says:

    I had my doubts when bandai announced that they wanted to make the kits for this series “easier” for kids … that like most of the MS would be already assembled, but it looks quite good. let´s see how that series develop, the designs for age-2 and age-3 are quite good.

  8. Jamz says:

    in my mind it reminds me of a hybrid of the exia and the rx-78-2 but i think thats been said already but i like its hybrid design much like the 2 is zeta+00 and the 3 reminds me very much of a pimped ZZ+freedom. i can’t help but love this odd hybridization of designs but i agree the coklors should have been more adventurous, i can easily see it with faded gray instead of white and swap out the red and blue for teal and forest green and orage with a wood brown but then again i am weird >.>;;
    but i gotta admit at first i didn;t like the spoiler but its grown on me. just ordered from hlj very excited.

  9. CKai Cydek says:

    This has got to be the HG with the best articulation ever! I used to think the best was the 00 Gundam, followed by the 0 Gundam, but this guy has them both beat, though they both still have great posability for their line. It just makes me excited for what’s to come! Especially after watching the first episode of AGE.

  10. Duncan says:

    just to share some thoughts about this kit after starting the build yesterday.

    i had to do a fair share of “nub management” on the parts (and it easily gets annoying on those non-white parts !).

    fortunately quite a lot those section of the parts gets “hidden” by design when you fit the parts together.

    for some reason, i find it is easier to minimize nub marks but cutting (carefully) ONCE instead of twice as close to the part as possible. then if required just scrape or trim with art knife.

    anyone had similar experience? i was thinking it may be my inexperience or perhaps it’s just my first HG kit build *LOL*

    • syd says:

      I used to cut once as close to the part as possible but over time, as my side cutters wore down, the result became uneven and I couldn’t do a clean job of removing the nub mark.

  11. canopy says:

    I gotta agree that the Gundam Age Has a great range of movement, I like it.
    Some plus points for this kit, even though the overall design is quite simple. 🙂

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