There can be no debate regarding the greatness of the MG Sinanju Ver Ka kit. I love it. You love it. Every Gunplar who has built it loves it (pure conjecture on my part). So more Sinanju can only be a good thing, right. That’s what we are here to find out as we discuss the 1/100 MG MSN-06S Sinanju Stein Ver. Ka.
Overall Look: 9.5/10
Where the Sinanju sports curves the Stein has edges. The Sinanju Ver Ka’s look could be called ‘organic’ whereas that of the Stein could be described as synthetic but even that might not tell the whole tale. If the Sinanju Ver Ka is analog then the Stein is digital. While their respective looks are contrasting (mono-eye vs two eyes, etc) they both look fantastic and the Sinanju MS suit design is a winner either way.
But doesn’t this section look like a bird?
And this gap just doesn’t sit right with me.
While the Sinanju Ver Ka suffered in this reviewer’s eyes due to the bland Bandai yellow used for the trim, Stein also takes a slight hit for not having any trim at all. While the White, Dark blue, Gray, and Red in the thrusters work great together, the huge amount of surface area on the Stein lacks something to break it up. Still, for an almost all white suit, I can’t really complain.
Like its red MG predecessor the Sinanju comes with its large shield and rifle. When you think about it, it seems the emphasis for these weapons has switched. For the Sinanju Ver Ka the shield was overwhelmingly large while the rifle was sleek and slender. The Stein’s shield is noticeably smaller than that on the Sinanju Ver Ka but the rifle is over twice as big!
Some nice detail can be found on that enormous rifle, though.
And let’s not forget that it is designed to work with Bandai’s new type of MG hands.
There’s also that Bazooka, but we’ll get to that later.
As this is the same frame as found in the Sinanju Ver Ka it’s only fitting that it gets the same score in this category. Here is what I wrote about the Sinanju Ver ka in it’s review:
“For such a big kit the Sinanju articulates really well. There is a lot of movement in the hips and knees and the only thing that hinders the movement of the lower body are the ankles. They flex forward quite far.”
Yup, no problems there with the Stein.
Though the side and front armor parts will hinder the leg movement which is an issue I don’t remember having with the Sinanju Ver Ka.
Regarding the arms I wrote,
“The arms articulate very well but of course will be hindered by the spiky armor part underneath the shoulders.”
While the Stein lacks the spikes found on the Ver ka shoulder piece the range of movement is pretty much the same.
And yet… Well, I can’t praise the Stein the same way I did the Sinanju Ver Ka. There are certain aspects of the kit that work against it which is exactly what will be discussed in the next (and arguably the most important?) section of this review.
Build Design: 8/10
For the Sinanju Ver. ka, I wrote this:
“This is probably the most solid Master Grade kit I have ever assembled. I really can’t find any fault in the design. The decision to do away with poly-caps for the Sinanju’s frame and go with tight-fitting ABS can’t be overlooked. This kit is massive and poly-caps wouldn’t have been able to hold the weight of the arms, weapons, backpack, etc. After I finished assembling this, my second MG Sinanju, I was reminded just how solid everything is with this kit and that shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
This statement doesn’t seem to apply to the Stein and I’m thinking it comes down to one thing; the new type of plastic used for the frame. For some reason, the Stein just doesn’t seem as sturdy. While I was posing and enjoying my time with the Sinanju Ver Ka, I found myself having problems getting the Stein to stand up in various poses. Even trying to get the feet flat on the floor sometimes were an issue.
The Stein doesn’t sport a backpack as massive as the Red Comet’s but I still faced difficulties in him falling in one direction or the other. Perhaps it is because the frame is just too light? And while we are discussing the backpack, I really don’t like the design of the Stein’s.
I love the look of it, so aesthetics aren’t the problem. The issue comes from the design of the backpack itself. The Sinanju’s backpack was massive, had the opening wing gimmick, but even so was pretty simple when it came to connecting the wings to the center. When connected the wings could pivot up or down at the connection point and also swivel side to side where the wing itself connects to the peg used to attach it to the center. The Stein’s backpack construction is almost entirely different and instead of pegs uses ball and socket connections and this is, in my opinion, the problem.
Here is the connection for the part of the backpack used to hold the fuel tank.
You can see the ball and socket clearly there. When in the proper position, it lines up like this:
However, when you start moving the piece around (voluntarily or no) because the plastic is less dense with more give that connection can start to come apart quite easily.
With ball and socket connections used to connect the wings to the center of the backpack and also the top armor piece to the top of the thruster assembly if you’re not careful you can find yourself with a backpack that looks like this.
There’s just far too much movement allowed to pieces whose connections aren’t as secure as they should be. This is also evident in the fuel tanks and their connection to the backpack.
This ball joint only partially plugs into the hole meant to hold it and will easily come out. Where previous MG kits and their heavier frames would give a satisfying ‘click’ when things snapped into place, that’s a sound you almost never hear on the Stein with its lighter plastic.
And while we’re on the topic of connections, there’s a terrible one found on the back of the Stein’s legs.
Here is the fin hiding the thruster on the back of the leg. Normally it’s in this position but it is designed to open.
The problem however is that the connection is this type:
That little rod of plastic fits into a semi-circular groove and the rod can turn which allows you to open up the fin. The issue with the Stein’s design is that, due to the thruster being under the middle of the fin, if you press on the bottom part of the fin (and you will!) the connection comes undone at the top.
There is a piece of armor that fits on over top of this connection but it doesn’t touch the plastic rod at all and doesn’t hold it down meaning there is nothing stopping the connection from coming undone. And this happens a lot! If you’re like me you start positioning your kit by first holding the lower legs. They are the biggest part of the kit and once the legs are in the desired position and the kit is standing you can then position the arms. When you handle the Stein you have to be mindful of this the whole times you are positioning him and there will be plenty of time you have to reconnect that lower leg fin part by gripping the bottom of it and pushing up and in.
Such a simple thing and yet it has caused me lots of frustration. So much in fact that I stopped trying to pose the Sinanju for pictures for the review and just went with what I had.
The next design thing I need to complain abou.. I mean mention are the hands. Yes, they are the new type of hands as found on the Nu Gundam Ver Ka and of course they look just as amazing, however, because Stein has that enormous rifle, I expect the life expectancy of these hands (for lack of a better term) to be fairly short.
There’s just no way it will be able to maintain this type of position for any length of time. This was an issue with the Nu Gundam and now is an even bigger one with the Stein. We need a hybrid and I already suggested what it should be – use the new type of hands for the movable digits but the old type of wrist connection, like that of the Sinanju Ver Ka.
I also found that I had to remove the whole wrist section to be able to get the tab from the weapon into the hand.
There’s also the design Bandai used to to house the Bazooka. This little hunk of plastic…
Fits into a hollow in the bottom of the opening on the back of the skirt.
Not quite. While you can get it in there, the connection is so tenuous it won’t really stay.
Because the backpack tends to droop thanks to those previously-mentioned ball and socket connections I found it easier to remove the backpack when trying to fit the bazooka into its spot.
But it’s not all doom and gloom with this new plastic frame. I’m happy to report that the issue with the torso peg that caused much dismay with the Sinanju Ver Ka is a thing of the past.
That more giving plastic means you can put it together without much effort and take it apart just as easily.
Stein’s head is also great too, kinda. The vulcans are separate parts (yay!) but you need a sticker for the chin? (boo!)
Fun Factor: 9/10
It’s the Sinanju design so it is awesome and it was quite fun to fit on the industrial-type armor and watch it take shape, but with there being no gold trim stickers to apply nor those armor collars to fit around the torso/skirt it felt like Sinanju-lite. A few more parts for trim would have made the Stein look better and also provide another level to the build.
The Stein comes with waterslides which is something you needed to purchase separately on the Sinanju Ver Ka so thanks go to Bandai and while the Stein lacks all the effect parts that came with the Red Comet, it makes up for it by including that special item that was previously only available to those who managed to buy the Gundam UC comic #8, the Bazooka!
This thing is almost a kit unto itself and is a fantastic addition to the Stein. If only they’d do something about the connection to the back of the torso. Bandai did, however, include a new grip which allows the new type hands to easily secure the Bazooka which is something the previous Sinanju had issues with. And if you want to count the unused old Sinanju hip parts as extras we can! It’s actually cool that these weren’t left out because it means that people who have bought both the Sinanju Ver Ka and the Stein have a way to fix any torso peg problems.
I would have liked the Stein to rank higher and many of my gripes could be called minor but compared to the greatness that is the Sinanju Ver Ka the Stein seems like a step backwards. However, if we use the Stein as an indicator of what to expect in the upcoming Sinanju OVA version kit, it’s likely that kit will end up being the best of the bunch. The old Sinanju look/design with all those effect parts, but with Stein’s new type hands, torso peg, rifle and bazooka and the tabs used to grip them. I’m actually excited!