Gaijin Gunpla

Shin Shin Matsunaga? For those who don’t the kanji 新 means ‘new’ and is pronounced ‘shin’ when placed with a noun or ‘atarashii’ when used as an adjective. As the HGUC Shin Matsunaga is a new product, a shin-shouhin (新商品) as it were I thought I would take this opportunity for some wordplay. With that lame pun out of the way, let’s get to the plamo!

(It’s an HG so it’s very self explanatory but I’ll add more description where I think it is needed.)


Right away I’m seeing something I don’t recall seeing in an HG build before; this little part with the two ball joints that fits into torso.


You can see at the bottom there. With two ball joints it means you’re getting the rotational movement at the waist but also a little bit of tilt side to side for the torso.


You put on the side armor and also the collar next. But, I haven’t put in the poly-cap that serves as the neck joint yet.


Now that poly-cap drops in from above with a little bit of a push while side frame parts cover the gaps in the shoulder joints.


This unassuming front skirt piece…

…houses four poly-caps.

Put on the back part.

Then the side armor pieces.

Before connecting the torso to the skirt you first must put this thin piece in place.


Now for the backpack. I really like the look of the backpacks found on these custom Zaku. For the HGUC Shin Matsunaga you take this large piece and then apply stickers.


This small sticker…

Goes over the top like so.

Then this longer one…

Goes around three sides of the rectangular box.

Then this small one covers the fourth side.

(repeat for other side of backpack)

Once the stickers are in place you can add the thrusters.

Then you can close it up and attach it to the torso.


Now time for that piping and the manual has some specific instructions on what to do with it.

You bend it? It was at this point I realized that the piping isn’t just a black piece of plastic but actually a flexible blue plastic with some transparency.


So I bent it first like this?

Then like this?

Then you slide it into a small white armor part.

When you attach the front skirt part you notice how much movement Bandai gives you here.

Placing that front skirt assembly onto the suit leaves the ends of the piping just hanging in place at the backpack.

To actually secure the piping in place you put on the backpack side pieces.

Next up, the head!

And Matsunaga’s antennae blade.

Looking at the blade up close you can see a little bit of excess plastic near the top.

I’ll just take my design knife and…

That’s better.

Now to finish the head.

To start on the arms you first build a couple of shoulder joints.

Then you place them in the armor. The part on the left is specific to the Shin Matsunaga HG kit and using it leaves you with an unused normal Zaku part back on the runner.

More joints.

Place these in the armor used for the lower arm.

Then place the side and back armor parts on.

Now for the hands and Bandai gives us a treat. The Shin Matsunaga special hands!

The Master Grade Shin Matsunaga didn’t even come with these. I had to purchase the B-Club hands to get that look back when I pimped out my MG Matsunaga Zaku.

Here’s the right hand.


Looking good. Now for that giant shield.

Now for the left hand… Wait a minute… Something is fishy here.

The manual shows the parts for the right hand come from the E runner.

Yet the parts for the left hand are off of the A runner.

That wouldn’t be a big deal if…

…they were the same color!

Why two different colors?

I’m bewildered. But anyway, now for the fun stuff.


Putting the shoulder armor together is easy enough. But now you have to put on the sticker(s).

So you’re given a choice.

Use only the number 1 sticker which has all three stripes, or use the stickers marked numbers 2,3,4 and 5. If you choose to use the multiple stickers the three stripes running through the middle of the armor are three different stickers.

So, if I understand this correctly, I can place one sticker along this rounded surface or I can try to do that three times with three stickers? Um…

Ya, I went with the first option. You can see the hole in the sticker that fits around the peg for the spike and Bandai also has made the sticker long enough that it goes around to the underside of the shoulder armor.

That was not so unpleasant. It took a couple attempts to get the alignment correctly but once I had it in place I used a cotton swab to smooth out as many wrinkles as I good. Pretty good result.

And I’m half done (the suit, not the stickers).

6 Responses so far.

  1. ClayCannonII says:

    looking good my friend

  2. Tony says:

    Wow, Syd is putting on stickers? What happened to you Syd?! Did someone threaten you? Lol you don’t usually seem to bother with stickers, and just paint things yourself instead. Its nice to see them used here. This is looking like a pretty slick Zaku.

    • syd says:

      Ya, what am I doing? I am fully enjoying this HG experience!

      • Tony says:

        I try to use my HGs as breaks from the more demanding MGs. Sometimes it’s nice to have a kit just come together quick and easy, and with HGs getting better and better, it doesn’t always feel like a total trade-off either.

  3. Alex says:

    That’s hell lot of foil stickers for the backpack!

  4. faltion says:

    I imagine they could have just recycled another Zaku for this, but they went and designed those extra ball joints. It’s great seeing that even with the RG line Bandai is still making advancements with the HG line.

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