I remember hearing about Bandai’s plans to release the GP01 as a Real Grade and I remember clearly being instantly excited. It was good to see them departing from the SEED RGs and working on something else. The last time they did that was when they released the two Mk II Real Grade kits which both turned out to be fantastic so I had realistic expectations that the Zephyranthes and its brother, the Full Burnern, would also be stellar kits. Now that the release day has come and gone I am now happy to sit down to write a review of the 1/144 RG RX-78GP01 Gundam GP01 Zephyranthes. I’m going to purposely not compare it to the other GP01, the Full Burnern, because I consider the kits to be vastly different in certain areas and not two of a kind.
Overall Look: 10/10
The GP01 is one of those Mobile Suits that I’ve always liked the look of and have been interested in even though I wasn’t too sure of its place in Gundam lore. It seems much like the original RX-78-2 but beefed up and more imposing. With curves added to certain areas like the wrists and knees it has nice contours right in a good place between straight lines and flowing curves. The Zephyranthes definitely looks the sleeker of the two GP01s and fast. Even the Core Fighter II looks like it would be a force in the hands of the right pilot.
It’s important to note that the looks of the Real Grade version of the Zephyranthes aren’t compromised by the Core Fighter II being an important part of the suit. Often making something transform requires concessions in looks or other areas but that isn’t the case with the Zephyranthes. And it’s got sexy legs!
And panel detail all over.
And who can deny that the GP01 head is one of the best in all of Gundamdom.
Standard Gundam colors, sure, but you can’t fault a suit like the GP01 for that. At the time the anime came out it was important to maintain the status quo for hero suits. A kit this good looking could be any color and still look fantastic. It is a little difficult at times to notice the color separation of the white armor parts, which was never a problem with the original RX-78-2 RG and now the new MG 3.0.
Rifle, two Beam Sabers, and the big shield. While it may not seem like a lot compared to some other kits what you do have is pretty sweet. The shield is enormous and gives off the old-school vibe and it does have two different looks it can give you.
I would have liked some color separation on the rifle, though. That seems very un-RG-like. Interestingly, if you count the Beam Saber handles built as part of the Core Fighter II you have four of them in total though unfortunately, only two Beam parts.
This kit can do anything. It’s a great time playing with this guy and seeing what he can and can’t do. He’ll provide a lot of enjoyment when it comes to photography and action shots. Being the streamlined of the two GP01s there is almost no limit to what he can do.
The shorter front skirts are never in the way allowing the legs to splay out considerably.
Whatever the RG MkII can do, so can Zephyranthes!
Build Design: 10/10
After coming out in the review for the MG AGE-2 Double Bullet where I admitted that I didn’t like transforming kits I was prepared to be let down by any issues that the GP01 and its transforming Core Fighter II would have. Something so small being such an important component of the kit could have turned the GP01s into a disaster if it wasn’t engineered correctly. Even the great RG Zeta had some problems with trying to do the transformation as part of an RG design but Bandai nailed it with the Zephyranthes. Let me state that again. Not only because it’s important but also because perhaps I can’t believe it yet. There are no problems with the design of the Zephyranthes and its transforming Core Fighter II that makes up the core of the Mobile Suit. That doesn’t mean it’s simple, however. When you stop to think about it, there is not much holding this kit together. The transformation of the Core Fighter II itself is quite simple as you’re more or less just tucking in wings and folding it in half.
The Core Fighter II sits on the lower torso using only a couple of small, but movable tabs.
These tabs being movable can make it tricky to get them lined up and inserted into the openings on the underside of the Core Fighter II.
Once you have done it a couple of times you’ll know the sweet spot.
C’mon. You gotta admit this is cool.
The upper half of the Suit then goes onto the Core Fighter II in pretty much the same way. Tabs on the underside of the upper torso fit into openings on the top of the Core Fighter II that are exposed when you open up a hatch.
When assembling the three sections (Lower body, Upper Torso, and Core Fighter II) that make up this Mobile Suit there are a few areas that can be frustrating such as getting the little white armor part on the front of the upper torso to line up properly.
I found it easier to half push the frame part into the blue part and then position the white part while pushing the frame part in the rest of the way. Anybody familiar with Gundam models knows that sometimes what the manual shows isn’t quite how it works.
The really great thing about this design is that Bandai didn’t have to give up anything to make this kit work. The cockpit hatches still open as they would on any other kit, the articulation is all there in the arms and legs, etc.
If I did have one issue with this kit it might be in the design of the lower torso. The frame for that section is made of two parts connected by a peg in the male/female type of connection. Yes, this allows the lower torso to shift side to side, something that gives it that extra bit of articulation, but the downside of that is if you mount that monstrous shield onto Zephyranthes and then start to pose him a bit, the lower torso will lean in that direction because the peg connection can not hold the shield’s weight. If they left it as one solid section that didn’t pivot it would stay upright and hold the shield better and not much would have been given up in articulation because the hips work so well.
Other cool design elements in the Zephyranthes include the movable antennae on the head.
And the yellow vents in the chest can be flipped around when you transform so you have two looks.
It isn’t difficult to pull off the white parts and flip the yellow parts around but given the size of the parts I’m not likely to bother flipping the yellow parts. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
Speaking of yellow parts, I found one of them on the Core Fighter II tended to pop out quite easily.
It kind of just sits in there and you need to have the gray armor parts pushed completely into place in order to keep the yellow part from moving but that’s such a minor issue it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the Zephyrathes at all.
One issue that did crop up after the build was complete was the connection for the shield to join the back of the arm. It occasionally would just come apart due to the weight of that big sucker.
You’ll also notice that you don’t have to use that RG frame torso part that is part of every build.
Nope, that stays on the runner.
Fun Factor: 10/10
Love this kit! Not only because it’s a Real Grade which are predisposed to look awesome, but because it works and works so well. Before the GP01s we hadn’t had a three-section, transformer Core Fighter Mobile Suit and now here it is and it rocks your socks off. I’m getting excited just writing the review for this kit.
You’re getting some welcome extras in this kit such as the landing gear parts you can use should you wish to display the Core Fighter II in its flight mode.
You will also have a set of the RG hands to use should you want to.
A stand adaptor, though I don’t see myself putting this guy on a stand. He don’t need no support.
Bandai’s also thrown in a small beam part that goes on the bottom of the rifle.
All those markings. Is it just me or does it seem like more than usual?
You also get what I thought was a fantastic extra the first time I saw it on the runner. A handle for the shield that had a hand molded onto it.
This would mean that you don’t need to build a hand around the handle, nor fiddle with those RG hands. It would also give the shield more support making it less likely to fall off. Unfortunately, the hand is molded facing a certain direction which only really gives you one option when it comes to using the hand and posing the kit.
If Bandai had made the hand facing the other direction or, better yet, included another hand giving you the choice it would have been the whip cream on the cherry on the icing on the top of the GP01 cake.
I could gush more about this kit but I’ve got it standing on my desk as I write this and I just want to stop what I’m doing and play with it. It’s that good. I’s one of the best.