After the craziness that was the transforming RG Zeta the 1/144 RG ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam seems like a bit of a return to the RG ‘roots’ similar to what we’ve seen with the RG Justice and Freedom kits. How does the newest Real Grade stack up to those and the rest of the series?
Overall Look: 10/10
I haven’t built the Master Grade version of the Destiny Gundam mostly because I usually have two or three kits on the go at any one time so no real room for more, but also due to the fact that the look of the Master Grade Destiny never really appealed to me. However, oddly enough, the RG version of the Destiny totally gets my attention telling me I can’t afford to pass it up. And while it looks great in a neutral pose, check out how it looks with the wings out!
And you know what might just be my favourite part of the kit? Dat face.
While the Destiny is the standard White, Blue, Red with some Yellow they certainly work on this kit and remind me of another kit I like the look of, the Force Impulse (another kit I should really get busy building). While the wings are predominantly red the large black parts actually make the wings look more imposing than just a solid color would. I like ’em. The two main weapons molded in those rare, for gundams anyway, colors really add to the overall look of the kit when it’s all decked out.
The Destiny has some unique weapons and Bandai has done a great job of producing these in the 1/144 scale but with the design quality we’ve come to expect from the RG line. The rifle is pretty much the same as that found in with the Justice but that’s actually the least impressive of the lot. The MMI-714 ‘Arondight’ Anti-Ship Sword and M2000GX High-Energy Long-Range Beam Cannon are both designed to fold up and fit onto that backpack but that gimmick doesn’t take away from the solidity of both designs.
They can be used freely without worry of having them come apart or break and, well, they just look awesome.
This is the part where I talk about the shield and, more importantly for many, the beam effect piece or lack thereof. The shield is a simple construction but it can open.
Bandai making the beam effect piece from clear plastic gives the builder, should he/she choose to do so, to paint the effect part in any color he or she wants and before this we were unable to do so. This is pretty cool, however, the alternative to this sees the builder having to use stickers to complete the beam shield and while the stickers are perfectly sized and cut it does mean that you’ll have to put four large stickers into the perfect position to get it right and if you’re out of alignment on one sticker somewhere during the process you may end up with a less than stellar result.
I can’t imagine the number of people who wanted to paint their shield outnumber those who would go with it out of the box so for the majority of builders this new idea from Bandai just makes people spend more time stickering a kit already heavy on markings.
Despite having much the same design as the Aile strike and most other Real Grade kits the ability to pose the Destiny is hindered mostly in two areas. The first is of course that huge backpack which adds quite a bit of weight to the back of the kit but the other area which obstructs movement is the side skirt armor which can’t move far enough to allow the Destiny’s legs their full range of movement.
If you move the leg past this point the side skirt will come off. That said, you can still get some pretty great poses out of this guy!
And the movement of the arm is in no way hindered by the shoulders.
Just be careful when you’ve got the weapons on the back as it adds even more weight back there.
Build Design: 8/10
It’s an RG so it’s great, right? Well, actually, that is true and because it shares so much with its predecessors I don’t need to go on about the frame so I’ll go right to the things that belong to Destiny alone the biggest of these being the wings.
I love these things! I was a little apprehensive before starting this kit as my experience with the wings on the RG Freedom has been both good and bad but the wings on the Destiny work perfectly. They are easy to assemble but that doesn’t mean they are lacking in detail or function.
They are quite sturdy and stay in position, though that may change as much time passes. I like the inclusion of the small frame parts inside to give them some depth.
Another good design to be found on the Destiny is that of the weapon mounts on the backpack.
The weapons actually slide in from above and are held in place by little tabs or grooves on the weapons catching on something on the inside of the mount.
You just have to drop the weapon in from above and it will stay there until you lift it out. It works really well.
The blade handles are easy to remove from the shoulder and return when not used and fit tightly on the beam effect parts.
The shield also fits easily onto the armor part for the hand.
And while we’re talking about hands, the hands molded with the fingers are true to the Destiny Mobile Suit Design.
One area I had a little trouble with was that of the head. When I put the two side armor parts on I couldn’t get them to meet in the middle leaving a noticeable gap.
Anyone else experience this?
Speaking of gaps I should thank everyone who pointed out that the issue I found with the lower leg isn’t an issue at all. The armor on the lower front of the leg is meant to slide up and down as the joint at the bottom of the lower leg is bent, however I still find that gap unsightly. While other RGs had the same design, such as the Freedom, the side knee armor was designed in such a way to cover the majority of that gap. In the end this isn’t a detriment to the design of the kit so I can’t really deduct marks for it.
I do however want to mention that I have a bit of a problem with the feet. Well, not really a problem so to speak but something that does irk me particularly when it comes to posing the kit. The kit has that large backpack and one should expect that to factor into how well the kit stands but I’ve found that due to the design of the RG frame the large armor parts that make up the heel of the foot aren’t really used when it comes to supporting the kit as it stands upright. To get it to stand you need to lean the kit forward a bit to compensate for the weight of the backpack and that makes the heel come off the ground slightly. I wonder if they had designed the feet frames slightly differently if they could have used the entirety of the foot to support the weight of this bad boy.
This leads me to another point I’d like to make. While the frame design is exactly the same as that of the other recent SEED RGs such as the Freedom and Justice in fails a little it one area due to having to hold up those large wings. That area is the point where the torso frame plugs into the skirt frame. The RG frame being so thin and light doesn’t have the strength in the connection, I have found anyway, and often my kit may lean in one direction or another. With the extra weight on the back from the Wings, and the weapons, maybe a slightly different design was needed there.
Fun Factor: 8/10
Being so similar in design to the Justice and Freedom kits I can understand builders getting a little bored of this design by now but the construction of the Wings revitalizes the RG design and makes you forget that you’re basically building the same frame again and again. Add to that the weapons which are unique to the Destiny and you’ll be spending much of the Destiny build in unfamiliar territory. It’s great to be back on the RG train and if you’re like me you will feel it’s been too long. Which it kind of has. The Zeta came out back in November!
Like the Justice you get the beam effect parts. Actually, you get even more! On top of that you’ve got the extra set of Destiny hands complete with all the armor parts you need to complete them (no swapping).
Of course, you’ve more than enough markings, too. Ha!
There are so many good models in the Real Grade line and I would still put the Destiny near the top. There is something about it that has won me over and I just hope that the GP01 kits coming in the near future can continue to give me the same kind of enjoyment the Destiny has. I’m eagerly awaiting my Wings of Light. It’s a good time to be a Gunplar.
Epic shot is epic.