Having just come from the 52nd All Japan Hobby Show my head is full of plamo. This is the most excited I have been for upcoming Plamo that I can remember. October sees the release of the MG Aegis, November hits us with the Real Grade Zeta, and December closes out a good plamo year with the kit I am most looking forward to; the MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. In fact, I’m so excited that I want to write a post about how excited I am. Having seen the presentation for the Nu Gundam Ver. Ka I came away thinking that.. wait for it…
MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka has the potential to be the greatest Master Grade kit so far.
What do I base my opinions on? The disputed current greatest-kit title holder, the MG Sinanju.
So let’s back up a bit. Before the hobby show I had a passing interest in the Nu Gundam Ver. Ka, but that goes without saying as I have a passing interest in almost every Gundam that comes out. I mean, the Nu Gundam has already seen an MG release. The RG Zeta was actually atop my list of must-have kits, but when I looked through the latest edition of Dengeki Hobby, my feelings started to change.
Yes, we all know and love Hajime Katoki and his designs so the proportions and lines we can see in the test shots clearly don’t disappoint. Even so, not much info was included in the magazine, so I didn’t know what Bandai was planning with this release. Then came the 52nd All Japan Model and Hobby Show and the Nu Gundam Ver. Ka presentation.
So why do I think this upcoming kit can compete with the mighty Sinanju? I think there are too many similarities between the two that can’t be ignored. The first is the release date. The Nu Gundam Ver Ka is coming this December, the month Bandai unleashes its best plamo kit of the year. Last year we saw the MG Full Armor Unicorn Gundam Ver.Ka as Bandai’s big gun but, let’s be honest here, it was basically the OVA Unicorn with three of the, already released as Gentei, Gatling Guns, a couple more shields and rifles, and a base Jabber. It was cool and everything but we must admit doesn’t reach the level of the Sinanju. The year before it was the PG Strike Freedom. The Sinanju was released in December of 2008 (That long ago already?) and when it released to much hype there were some notable design elements that helped to make it great. Notably the lack of poly-caps. The Sinanju, being very big with large heavy limbs and backpack, needed a strong frame to be able to allow it to support its own weight. Bandai pulled this off wonderfully. When looking at the Nu Gundam Ver Ka. I saw some similar design elements. I also see similarities with the Real Grade line of kits, especially that two tone armor. Katoki’s design lends itself excellently to something I’ve come to love about the RG kits.
The Nu Gundam is going to be tall and have those monstrous Fin Funnels. It needs the Sinanju type frame and I think that’s what it’s going to get. Interestingly, the suggested retail price for both kits is 7,000 yen.
Another similarity is the markings. Both kits are Ver. Ka kits so both will have an abundance of markings and for this big release Bandai has announced the markings will be water slide decals.
(I’m lifting images from other sites in much the same way that my facebook posts and images were circulating the interwebz within minutes of me posting them. I think I gained about 15 facebook fans/likes in the course of an hour when I started posting the hobby show pics. Welcome, new folks!)
The Sinanju came with Water slide decals but that was only for the gold lining. The other markings were your standard stickers and dry transfers but due to the contours on the curvy Sinanju the dry transfers were difficult to apply and so many people went out and ordered the water slide decals. These decals are still sought after and not easy to find. It seems that Bandai has given up on producing water slide decals for its newer kits so rather than not produce aftermarket decals Bandai seems to have decided to make the included MG Nu Gundam markings water slides. I couldn’t be happier.
Then there is the size of the kit. We already know how massive the Sinanju is but I was surprised to see just how big the Nu Gundam Ver Ka is. It’s massive. With those fin funnels on the backpack Nu Gundam Ver. Ka may be just as tall or taller than the Sinanju and will command attention wherever you have it in your collection.
Then there are the engineering feats that Bandai calls ‘gimmicks’. The Sinanju saw some interesting engineering with its massive shield and beam axes. You could flip the handles around and the beam axes could change position on the shield. Sinanju had the opening wings on its back as well as rotating leg armor allowing you to point the thrusters in various directions. The rifle and shield could be combined, etc. But the Nu Gundam Ver Ka looks to surpass the Sinanju, in the area of gimmicks at least, in every way.
Here’s the list they had at the show.
We’ve already mentioned the slide markings and you can see it states ‘No ABS used on body parts’ which means that the frame is going to be quite sturdy. There will be a special base similar to that released back with the MG Hi Nu Gundam.
This looks really good and makes those fin funnels more than just a backpack decoration. I listened to Kishiyama-san talk about the design of the Nu Gundam’s Fin Funnels and how they connect together and it reminded me of the connections found on the great HG Nu Gundam kit. There are little parts that stick out from the side of each Fun Funnel that can interlock with the same kind of piece on the next Fin Funnel. Apparently, the position can be changed slightly up or down depending on how you want the Fin Funnels to look, but don’t take my word on that because it was quite noisy at the booth and I didn’t get to hear Kishiyama-san’s explanation clearly.
Then there is the LED. We’ve seen the LED used in the MG Qan[T] and MG 00 Raiser and even the MG Jinx before that so this gimmick isn’t new, but to see it used on a kit that’s not 00 is a nice surprise. And it looks amazing. When I saw how it looked on the Nu Gundam I thought about how it could be used the same way on the MG Sinanju if only its torso were designed a little differently.
And what could turn out to be the greatest aspect of the Nu Gundam are the hands or manipulators as Bandai calls them. These are going to be molded as one piece on a special flexible runner similar to previous PG hands and also the RG hands.
Kishiyama-san made a point of saying how these hands are actually better when it comes to articulation and movement than those found on a Perfect Grade kit and the display hands certainly seem to indicate so.
And there’s still some things we don’t know about the Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. Bandai has stated that there is a SECRET (to be revealed in Gunpla Expo Japan 2012). Any guesses as to what it is? I can’t wait for the Gunpla Expo and I can’t wait until December!
MG Hi Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. The greatest MG of all. You heard it here first.
So am I crazy?