I first saw the HGAW Gundam Airmaster tucked into a lineup of Gunpla Build Fighter kits at the last Shizuoka Hobby Show and while it didn’t catch my eye over other kits on display at that event I was intrigued by its ability to transform (cuz we all know that’s cool).
Overall Look: 7/10
I think I like the look of the Airmaster as a mobile suit but as an HG kit it seems kind of lacking. Compared to what we’ve seen recently in the High Grade line this kit looks rather bland like a step backwards. I guess the wings hanging over the shoulders like a cloak is kind of cool (they just attach via a peg),
and I like the look of the head but nothing is reaching out and grabbing me. No wonder it was almost lost amongst the GBF kits at Shiuzoka.
I’ve heard people say that the kit looks rather bland and maybe that comes down to lack of panel lines or details but I actually like the colours used here. If only the kit looked better overall the colours would stand out even more.
Look two Beam Rifles. And that’s it. No wait, I forgot the missiles that sit on the shoulders.
No shield, no beam sabers. Just the guns. And they are only two pieces of plastic stuck together…
I thought that a transforming kit like this with those wings on the back would suffer from balance issues but that isn’t the case. The Air Master stands well in various positions and gets a good range of motion in both the arms and legs. In this category it actually impresses. However, you only get to pose it with its rifles so you’re only going to do so much with it.
Build Design: 8/10
This kit is all about the transformation. It’s here where we determine if the design succeeds or fails. I’ll start by saying that unlike the Delta Plus and other ‘transforming’ HG Kits, the Airmaster doesn’t have any parts swapping. Let’s break down the transformation.
Step 1: Remove the head and chest piece.
Step 2: Flip up the flaps on the shoulders.
Step 3: Swing the wings around from the back to the sides.
Step 4: Bring the wings up.
Step 5: Flip the torso up so the Wings now face upwards.
This will cause the arms to jut straight out so you’ll need to position them downwards again.
For some reason I got a sense of Starscream deja vu at this point.
Step 6: Lay it down and bring that cockpit forwards.
Step 7: Rotate the waist 180 degrees so the legs face the opposite way.
Step 8: Do that thing that we always do with the feet and knees.
Step 9: Add the rifles and put that torso armour part you took off into its new home.
That head never goes back on, though. Poor guy.
And it’s done.
I’ll note here that you can clip the rifles onto the side skirts if you don’t want Airmaster carrying them.
But he really should be carrying them. What else is he going to do with his two hands? (I’ll get back to this.)
Fun Factor: 5/10
I think I enjoyed building this. Actually I was enjoying watching television with a person I enjoy spending time with so it’s likely a good part of my enjoyment around that time came from sources other than the Airmaster. The build is quick, painless, and for the most part forgettable. It took me less than an hour and I can only say I don’t really remember it. That’s probably not a good thing.
For extras, well, there are none. Not even marking stickers. The only stickers you get are for the head and the tiny bit of black trim on the wings. The biggest disappointment? You don’t even get extra hands which I thought were standard on HG kits. Not even one with the hand open like we see in basically every kit released in the last 3 to 4 years and even before then. You get the Airmaster… and that’s it.