Back on October 16th of last year (2015) I reviewed the first kit from the newest Gundam Anime series at the time, the HG Barbatos. The kit turned out to be highly regarded thanks to the inclusion of an inner frame and the series of kits became more and more popular as they were unveiled while the anime series progressed. Well, you know what they say; ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and so here we are again with a new season of IBO and a new line of kits being unveiled bit by bit. The first of this is, of course, the main MS known as the Gundam Barbatos Lupus.
Overall Look: 9/10
I think, overall, that I like the look of the Lupus better than the original Barbatos. Maybe it’s the shoulders that I like better. Definitely, the two plastic parts to make the emblem is much better than the stickers we saw one year ago.
And he’s got the now (in)famous high heels found on the other versions of the Barbatos.
I guess Bandai is stuck with this design for continuity’s sake. Let’s just say it’s not my thing.
One thing I don’t like so much on the newest kit are the side skirts. I just don’t like long side skirts. Each time I see these kinds of skirts on an MS I know that it will likely limit articulation in the kit. Is that the case with the Lupus? There’s a section of the review just for that so we’ll get there eventually. I do think the Lupus looks more solid than the first Barbatos and there is a reason for that.
Take the colour-scheme of the original Barbatos and add a splash of red found in the extra parts on the shoulders and there you go. Uninspired may be the word to use here however Bandai is usually pretty particular about sticking to their tried and true colours for the protagonist suits. Much of the colour on this kit is found on the stickers pasted on throughout.
At least the first Barbatos had a sword to go with its awesome mace. The Lupus has one long, buster-type sword and that’s it. It does attach to the back of the backpack if you wish.
Hopefully he is able to grab it when he needs its.
But it’s the only weapon he has so he really should be holding it at all times.
He is as articulate as his older brother and in some ways more solid. The legs can splay out quiet far with the feet still able to be flat on the ground. This is due to the design of the ankle joint, which we have seen before in other forms of the Barbatos.
I did find that when bending the knee that the lower leg armour could get trapped behind the ankle.
You’ll need to be mindful of that and make sure the ankle armour is out of the way when bending the knee.
Then you can do poses like this!
I also found that at a certain point those long side skirts will pop off.
This is due to the connection with the poly-cap at the hip. I don’t think you’ll often have your legs out wide enough needing the skirts to move so far but on those occasions that you do be wary of the falling side skirt.
The arm movement in the shoulder is excellent and Bandai has even designed a gimmick into the shoulder where the red piece can be moved further upwards thanks to a rail designed into the shoulder.
Slide it out and up.
And he passes the one-leg balance test (if knowing that is important to you).
Build Design: 10/10
I actually feel this kit is better designed than the first Barbatos. It is more solid and less parts seem to fall off. I remember having some issues with the torso of the first Barbatos, maybe even more so with the 1/100, but the torso is very stable on the new Lupus kit. The connection for the side armour is not just a little peg.
This connection will remain strong throughout the life of the kit, unless handled poorly.
The head also seems more solid with me not yet experiencing the V-fin falling off.
It also has the same gimmick the original had with the backpack coming apart and allowing you to mount sub arms there which can help hold the giant sword.
I haven’t yet felt the need to use these however. I like the backpack as it is.
Fun Factor: 8/10
Despite being a better kit than the first I’ll have to give it the same score when it comes to enjoyment. The kit is probably more fun to play but it doesn’t have the weapons the other did which really made me want to play with it. Building it is mostly ‘more of the same’ so it doesn’t provide the thrills of experiencing something new. It’s like when you own a car and enjoy driving it and then take the next model year of your car out for a spin. Things are mostly the same and you’re not wowed right out of the box. If you were to take a car worth twice what yours was out for a test drive the wow factor would be there right from the beginning.
I also don’t enjoy the hands. The connection at the cuff seems too unstable and they are popping off all the time when trying to pose it. The flat of the armour piece on the hand seems to run up against the armour of the lower arm so if you don’t move the hands they are on there nicely but if you try to move them it weakens the connection and the ball joint falls out.
There are the sub-arms and the extra hands and the stand adaptor. And that’s all you get with this kit aside from a lot of stickers. It’s like a trimmed-down yet beefed up Barbatos package. I would have really liked to see more in the way of extras or even more weapons but this thing is following an anime so it has to accurately represent what is shown on television. Still, that means for a trim package.
If you like IBO then you’ve probably already ordered this kit and you won’t be disappointed. For me it will tide me over until the release of the 1/100 Full Mechanics Gundam Barbatos Lupus. I do like this version of the Barbatos as the best so far. It’s too bad it didn’t come along first.