As I wrote in this post after completing the RG Sinanju I wasn’t ready to write the review. That isn’t exactly true. I was ready to review it in that I had everything prepared. All the pictures were uploaded and accessible. The issue was that I felt I didn’t really experience the kit as it should be. I didn’t want to write a review based on a false impression and do a disservice to both the kit and to the readers who come here looking for information. So I built a second kit. And I tore down the first one and rebuilt it. Now I feel I know the kit very well and can write about it. Some of the pictures you’ll see in this review come from the batch I uploaded first while most others were taken after I rebuilt it. Because of that you may see some inconsistency in the images but it’s the text and explanations that are most important here.
Let’s review the latest Real Grade model from Bandai, the MSN-06S Sinanju.
Overall Look: 10/10
It’s the Sinanju. Possibly the most impressive, if not gorgeous, looking Mobile Suit there is and Bandai has captured it perfectly in 1/144 scale for their Real Grade release. Many have claimed it to be the best mono-eye suit out there but I would say it is up there among the best of all of them.
This suit is designed as an extreme example of a elegant fighting machine and as such has armour over top of its armour. I refer here to areas such as the back of the arms and the sides and back of the legs.
There is a lot more I could write about the looks of this kit but those need to be addressed in the other sections of the review so I’ll just end with a couple of cool shots showing how great it looks.
Dear Lord, that backpack!
Maybe the biggest reason this kit looks so good is because of the mekki parts used for the gold areas instead of foil stickers which were everywhere on both the HG and MG kits. If you handled those gold foils correctly you could have a decent looking kit and until this RG released that was the only choice you had for your own Sinanju. This Real Grade release changes not only how we feel about the Sinanju but also how we feel about the older HG and MG kits. How many comments have we seen in the last week and a half saying something like, “MG Sinanju 2.0?” Yes, in some ways, this Real Grade now overshadows one of the best Master Grade kits out there and the biggest reason in the gold. It’s gorgeous!
Just that plated gold is enough to put this kit ahead of other versions but that’s not the only difference Bandai made. They also released this kit in a glossy finish, a rarity when it comes to standard release kits. The light bounces off of all those curves and is quite eye-catching.
Being an RG there are some foil stickers on to be found placed throughout the MS. The brass foils appear mostly on the silver parts that are mostly hidden under the armour to be revealed at your leisure. I’ll write about these during the Build Design section because that’s where discuss gimmicks and the like but I’ll show some of the silver ones here. You’ve got on under the flap on the back of the skirt.
The middle red piece can move to reveal it, something the MG and HG kits can’t do. Another is found on the shoulders. Here you open up one section of the armour.
Again, the HG and MG kits don’t do this.
Another aspect about the colors on this kit that I like is found on the end of the fuel tanks.
Here the grey is done by parts inside the fuel tanks. The HG and MG kits’ fuel tanks were just solid white.
No, there is no bazooka but one should keep in mind that the original HG and MG kits didn’t have it either. The MG Bazooka was released together with a comic back in 2009 before being included in the OVA version of the MG. The HG version of the kit didn’t see a bazooka until it was bunched in with the Sinanju that came with the Neo Zeong.
What you do get is pretty impressive starting with the shield. The shield of the Sinanju is very intimidating and all versions look great but the RG has that beautiful gold trim.
The shield can attach to the Sinanju’s lower arm by sliding down over top of the large armour part on the back of the arm.
Like with the MG kit you also have the option of mounting it underneath the shoulder. On the RG this is accomplished by inserting the part that came off the B frame runner into a hole found in the silver assembling underneath the shoulder.
It’s actually quite secure here though I don’t know if I prefer this look.
You get two beam axe handles as well.
These can connect together and be used Darth Maul-style.
Or they can be kept separate.
You can also reposition the head on the handle by putting the handle into one of three slots.
But I think most people will be using these attached to the shield.
These secure in place by dropping onto a little tab.
They can be repositioned to the bottom by spreading the heads out and flipping them over.
There are tabs here as well to hold them down.
Attach the effect parts here and you are good to go.
You’re also given two beam saber handles.
I have to be honest here. I don’t normally try to pose a kit with Beam Sabers if it has a massive rifle and shield but I really wanted to replicate one of the images in the instruction manual.
Sinanju is so badass.
On the MG kit the Beam Saber handles can fit inside the armour assembly on the back of the forearm. The RG lacks the ability to do that so instead Bandai incorporated a small red piece to look like the end of the handle. You can plug the blade in there.
For me, the rifle is gorgeous as well, but maybe some of that is nostalgia as I put a lot of time an effort into my Ver. Ka rifle.
Part of the scope can move, like the MG kit’s rifle.
And the under-mounted grenade launcher can come off and be put on the underside of the shield if you prefer.
This picture above doesn’t highlight enough what the kit can do standing but that is because I was having problems posing the first kit when I was taking pictures for the review. That was due to issues I had with the design (more details on that later) that may have been builder error. When I rebuilt it and went back later I put it on the stand right away and could show off the nice range of movement in the legs but neglected to get pictures of it standing. My bad.
You’ve got nice articulation in the feet so the toes can point down to give it a nice flying look.
The neck has nice movement up and down to add to that flying effect.
Should you need it the front lower leg armour will move out as you can bend the ankle forward more.
You don’t get much movement in the shoulders as all, however. This is due to the frame Bandai had to design for the arms. They seem set into one position and if you try to move the shoulders down the frame piece on the shoulder will bump into the side of the torso and you may find your shoulder comes off.
Fortunately, you can rotate the arms 360 degrees at the connection at the top of the upper arm and bend the elbow completely so you can work around the shoulders to get the poses you want.
I took eight pictures of this pose from this angle. I want to use them all if possible.
Build Design: 9/10
Let the debate begin! It is no secret that this kit uses the RG frame that we first saw in the RG Mk-II Titans. This wasn’t shown until its release so it was a surprise.
It seems like you could look at the design of the RG Sinanju, and its use of the Mk-II frame, in one of two ways.
1) Bandai are really lazy and/or cheap and didn’t want to engineer a new frame for the Sinanju.
2) Bandai are geniuses for coming up with a design that gives us a Sinanju using a standard RG frame.
I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle so while we are discussing the frame I’ll put up some images of it.
The frame is quite poseable with the armour off.
Personally, I lean towards number 2. If Bandai used the Mk-II frame and the Sinanju featured almost no detail or gimmicks of any kind because of the limitations from using a frame for another MS then this kit would be a disappointment. Instead this kit is worthy of the RG tag and in some ways is better than its MG big brother.
On the RG kit you’ll find gimmicks not found on any other Sinanju kit. I’ve shown some above but I’ll list more here.
Those giant thruster housings on the outside of the legs can not only rotate, like on the MG, but they open to reveal silver frame underneath.
This is where the brass foils come into play.
The side skirts also elongate revealing silver frame and brass foils.
On the back of skirt, just underneath the black part is a little frame piece that looks like a vent. It can move.
There is silver frame, with the accompanying brass foils, underneath the shoulder which can be exposed.
You know what this reminds me of? The MG Sazabi Ver. Ka. Just sayin’.
That gimmick repeats itself all over the kit. You’ll find them on the backpack as well.
While I am showing the backpack I will mention that you can pull back on the thruster housing and extend them slightly.
I did find, however, that on one of them even if I pull back with great care it will come off completely.
In some ways the RG Sinanju could be considered a step up from the MG.
This kit is not without issues. There are certain areas where problems occur. Some of these I experienced and dismissed as shoddy building on my part so took great care on the second kit, saw better results, only to have the issue pop up again.
The first of these is the toe assembly. You slide the black toe piece after you’ve assembled the front of the foot. On the first kit the toes came off a lot, so with the second kit I put that part on before putting the armour on. It worked better. Until it came off.
The connection just seems too shallow to support that long part.
This exact thing happened again with the red part on the knee. Build it once, experience it come apart, build it again taking greater care, have better results, have it happen again.
Again the connection is just to shallow to hold it securely. It will be fine until you apply pressure on that piece at an angle that isn’t straight on. That is when it will loosen and be prone to coming off.
The next area that caused me such frustration, and I’m happy to report that it was mostly my fault, is the wrists.
The cuffs are made of two parts, one going on from the front and the other from the back. On the first kit as I was posing it for pictures for the review, the cuff would come apart. I experienced this on both arms.
When I was building that area on kit number two I looked hard at this and realized that there was some undergate in there which prevented the cuffs from going together completely. I trimmed those down and had much better results so I touched up kit number one. The angle of the undergate and the light reflecting off of the gold makes it hard to see and if you cut too much you will have a ghastly opening for all to see. Please be careful.
With the cuffs fixed I proceeded to play around with the kits and experienced, on both kits, the whole wrist assembly coming off if I pushed something the wrong way.
The wrist goes on the end of the arm using a frame part that has an opening the size of the end of the RG frame.
It’s only held on by friction so it’s not surprising it comes off. But now, at least it is not coming apart.
Three minor areas I’ll mention as I finish talking about the gimmicks on this kit. The first is that you can mount the rifle on the back skirt by flipping open a hatch back there. It’s really tough to reach so I didn’t bother with it.
A second gimmick is the ability of the cockpit hatch to open. I don’t think I’ll ever have need to do so but I’m glad Bandai engineered it in.
Lastly, you can change the position of the mono-eye by popping off the top armour piece on the head and turning the clear part below.
Two last things that need to be addressed. The first is how obviously fantastic the mekki-plated gold/black insert combination is on this kit. Not only is it stunning to look at but, just as important I feel, it is fool-proof. How many of us struggled with the foil stickers on the HG and/or MG kits trying to get the alignment absolutely perfect? I know I did but I’m a bit OCD when it comes to that kind of thing. If you made a mistake on a sticker on either of those two kits it was usually pretty noticeable. That fear is removed for you on the RG.
Now to talk about the waist connection for a bit. The MG Sinanju had the famous waist peg problem. Although I never experienced this there were many Gunplars who experienced the waist peg snapping when they tried to connect the kit’s top and bottom together. The connection on the RG is completely different. I detailed it in the second WIP post if youwant to go back and take a look.
Instead of dropping the torso onto a large peg which is what the MG had, and what is really quite sturdy despite being prone to break if mishandled, the RG connection between the top and bottom of the kit is built using three parts. The top of this kit is heavy even if you took the backpack off and the connection seems to be designed to give you several points of resistance which can distribute the weight the connection has to hold. I think it works quite well and does also work as a point of articulation for the waist, something not seen on the HG or MG, but those three frame parts can also be weak if pushed against from the wrong direction. Some people have reported breakage.
Just like with the MG Sinanju, you’ll need to be careful with your RG getting the top and bottom connected.
Many people have asked about the undergating on this kit. The gold for the most part is all undergated. The red is not. Most gates are in decent places but there are a couple that could have been done better.
Fun Factor: 10/10
I shed happy tears when this dropped at the Shizuoka Hobby Show in May and I was lucky to start on it immediately when it showed up. I’ve pretty much worked non-stop on two of these kits for the past 9 days.
Usually, for me, the building of the kit is enough. I will put it through its paces for the reivew but then the kit stands nicely on my shelf or desk and I just admire it. With the Sinanju, I really just want to play with it. Let me show you my favourite pose so far.
Man, that is sexy.
(Throwing in the last one.)
Two nice sets of Effect parts accompany the RG Sinanju and allow you to get the most out of it.
You’re given a Full Frontal figure as well as an action base adapter, another thing you really need.
RG marking stickers.
Bandai put in the effort to have these stickers feature glossy transparent areas rather than the matte the comes with all other RG kits.
This kit having that special gloss finish had you needed to apply matte stickers it would have been a shame.
You’re not given the markings to make a Ver. Ka. but I feel what they did provide gives you a really nice look once you’re done.
And when you’re done assembling the kit you’ll find yourself with one extra hand part.
Yup. According to the manual this piece is not used in the build.
This is now going to be where I write my biggest gripe about this kit and I deem it inexcusable. You are not provided with a set of closed-fist hands!
Your default hands are these.
Are you kidding me?
These work fine if Sinanju is holding something but if not he has this half grip thing going on that looks more SD than RG.
On other RG kits you can use the B frame runner hand for your closed fists but because the Sinanju uses the Mk-II frame the size is wrong.
They give you the armour parts for these hands so it seems they want you to use them. Really, Bandai?
Even the HG kit had extra closed-fist hands!
Unforgivable. I will find a way to get the HG kit’s hands to work because I can’t accept this.
I’m furious about this.
I shouldn’t end the review for this fantastic kit on such a negative so I’ll turn my attention back to all the good things this kit has going for it.