The third in a series of Ver Ka kits from Char’s Counterattack the Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka comes eight months after the Sazabi Ver. Ka and a full year and a half after the release of what he can be most closely compared to, the Nu Gundam Ver Ka. Both of those kits were fantastic, minor issues aside, and so many of us have high hopes for the Hi Nu. If you watched the Gunpla TV Live Event for this kit you already have a good idea of what to expect and you even saw that thanks to that huge back pack, this kit can’t stand up on its own, but don’t worry. This review isn’t going to be like that one. (maybe)
Because of the work involved in getting the Hi Nu to stand up I thought I’d take some pictures of him without the backpack attached. To be honest I actually prefer the look of the first Ver Ka, the Nu, when it is naked.
Overall Look: 10/10
There it is without the backpack and just like this it looks great. The proportions are definitely more bulky compared to the leaner, and taller by the way, Nu Gundam Ver Ka, but there is just something about the Hi Nu that holds your attention. It has presence.
And one of the best Gundam head designs around.
When you add the backpack you get a lo…
Oh my god!
It’s gorgeous! It’s beyond gorgeous. It moves you the way works of art do and that got me thinking deeply (more on that later).
Love the scorpion tail!
That’s what I call it, anyways. And those fat calves.
At a glance it appears the Hi Nu Gundam is just white and the purple but there is also the grey/off-white found in various areas of the kit. When I did see the first shots I thought it was a step back compared to the Nu Gundam and its colour scheme but after spending time with this kit I can’t find anything to really harp on when it comes to colours. Purple and white works on the kit both without the backpack and with…
Oh my god!
Stunning! And I haven’t even added the cool effect decals to the funnels yet.
Yes, you’re basically getting Hi Nu’s version of the weapons that came with the Nu Gundam and that’s okay! The bazooka is exactly the same from what I can tell.
But I’m digging the rifle with the details on the underside.
And of course the big shield, though the attachment to the Hi Nu’s arm seems to be of a different design than that found on the Nu Gundam.
You also get three beam sabre handles which is likely more than you need.
Here is where things fall down for the Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka. Literally. With that big backpack on it simply can’t stand up on its own and needs to resort the little stand attachment to hold itself up.
With that, there’s almost nothing you can do with the lower body. Just for fun I tested him out without the backpack.
He actually does pretty well.
The Nu Gundam could stand and move somewhat with the fin funnels attached and I think the Hi Nu could do a lot more if it weren’t for the huge fuel tanks on the back. I did some experiments with the backpack and the Hi Nu balance when I had time with it at home and if the huge fuel tanks were gone then you would be able to do more with the Hi Nu. Luckily we do get a stand so complaints I have can be negated quite easily. But, in my mind, it’s a complaint worth making. But I’ll talk more about that later.
I should mention that the head doesn’t have the same range of motion that the Nu Gundam’s does.
Build Design: 9/10
There are so many similarities to the Nu Gundam Ver Ka that many of us thought we’d be building that again and while that is true for some parts of the Hi Nu Ver Ka build there is enough to differentiate it from its older brother. Like the Nu Gundam it features a gimmick which has parts of the armour open up.
Unlike the Nu Gundam and Sazabi, however, there is nothing underneath to show.
There is a thruster under here but it’s tough to see.
The left arm opens to access beam sabre handle storage.
And the right arm opens to reveal a weapon.
You’ll notice I did most of the transformation and playing with the kit with the backpack off. That was the easiest way.
Bandai also had all the tiny details, mostly circular, molded in a different colour. While quite small they were easy to put in place during construction.
Probably the area of the kit with the most impact when transformed is the lower legs.
But once the backpack is attached, with those huge fuel tanks (and stand), it gets lost.
Bandai also kept the design from the Nu Gundam that allows the LED to be used.
This makes Nu/Hi Nu head swapping a piece of cake, though the backpacks aren’t swapped so easily because the stand needed for the Hi Nu backpack butts up against the rear skirt centre block of the Nu. See a pic of that here.
Now I’ll address the backpack specifically.
It’s huge, as mentioned, but also feels incomplete. You aren’t even given an armour piece to close up the insides.
In this shot (which is upside down, by the way) you can see how the wings attach, via a piece which looks like it is meant to move. Well, what I’ve discovered is there is really only one position for those parts because if you rotate the wings the little tiny peg that sticks out of the ball at the end of that part protrudes past the edge of the main backpack frame.
It’s tough to capture this in a picture but with that little peg sticking out like this you may have a problem snapping the backpack onto the back of the Hi Nu.
The ‘scorpion tail’ snaps into place from above and then pivots downwards.
I call this position The Phoenix.
Be sure to have it down otherwise it can get in the way when you attach the backpack to the kit.
The fin funnels are the same as those on the Nu Gundam (the armour runners are designated Nu Gundam Ver Ka) but the center dark parts are new.
They clip onto the wings quite securely.
For the most part they will stay in place, and I’ve yet to have one fall off, but the attaching piece may grow a little weak over time and I suspect they will swing quite freely in the near future.
Those wings also have a flap that opens to allow you to store a beam sabre handle.
But you’ll need midget fingers to get those beam sabres in there.
And then there are the huge fuel tanks.
So big they come as three parts. As much as I gripe about these things I think they do look good.
When assembling this guy, once the backpack is assembled, Bandai has you attach the stand to the backpack as you attach it to the Hi Nu.
I found this a little tricky because it seemed I had to attach the stand to two different areas at the same time. When taking the photos for this review, I played around with the stand and backpack together before then snapping it onto the Hi Nu. This meant I had the head assembly attached to the the backpack rather than the suit.
It allowed me to do fun things like this.
You can hide that little stand by placing it in between the huge fuel tanks (but not if you look from behind).
Whether you decide to do as the manual states or do it the way I just wrote about, both work. Once you’ve done it once you will be okay. Then you’ll have this.
(Oh my god!)
Some of the complaints I had with the Nu Gundam can be carried over, such as the new light frame possibly being a negative rather than a positive, but my biggest one for the Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka is that they still went with poly-caps instead of opting to leave them out. I’m glad to have poly-caps for the wrists as it allows me to take the hands on and off easily but poly-caps at the hips or knees means that this guy is going to get tired quickly and that stand attachment becomes even more important. I took my Nu Gundam out to compare with the Hi Nu and noticed the Nu Gundam had some stability issues. If Bandai had opted to do without poly-caps and go all MG Sinanju on the design the Hi Nu may have had a chance of standing without any help. Though we will still wonder if it would be as solid as it could be now that we’re using a lighter plastic for frames.
Fun Factor: 9/10
Though the first portion of the build seems very ‘been there/done that’ you don’t mind at all because you’re just having a good time. If the Nu Gundam wasn’t such a great experience then many people wouldn’t enjoy this one but it’s because the Hi Nu builds on the Nu Gundam that you’re smiling and snapping away as you progress through the build. It definitely isn’t one you’re likely able to finish in one day. You’ll get to a point where you have to put it away for the night but then your anticipation will build as you can’t wait to get started on it again. But it’s the final moment, when you finally get that backpack attached and see him standing there that you really appreciate this kit.
You get that stand again!
And you really need it this time!
And an even bigger sheet of water slide decals.
Most of the sheet is taken up by the blue fin funnel decals which are really cool!
And if you care a couple of pieces that were originally for the Nu Gundam.
And a third beam sabre handle! (But, only 2 actual sabres…)
The Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka has caused me to have to rethink how I appreciate these kits. I’m asking myself a very basic question; What is Gunpla? What is a Gundam plastic model? Is it a toy? or is it art? Until now I fell very firmly on the side that views them as a toy. After all, they’re snap-fit, pre-coloured kits that come with moveable limbs and gimmicks. You’re meant to play with them. Those modellers out there with the tools, skills, and know-how can turn these simple toys into masterpieces. Viewing it this way, I could be forgiven for being pretty upset when a kit can’t do something so simple, or essential in my view, as stand up on its own. The Hi Nu Ver Ka comes just like any other kit (plenty of gimmicks), and yet you can’t really play too much with it. But it looks gorgeous! You don’t need to be a pro-modeller level builder to have a work of art for yourself. It’s blurring the lines between toy and treasure, between articulated action fun and emotionally charged visual. Its existence may likely change how I evaluate and enjoy future kits. I still wish it could stand up on its own, though. If that was the case it would definitely be at the t…
Oh my god!