Gaijin Gunpla

I’ve built Barbatos before. Quite a few of them. And yet, here comes Bandai with another one, in what was for the longest time my favourite grade. The MG Barbatos seemingly comes out of nowhere. IBO the series has been out of the public eye for a few years now and yet it’s popular enough, Bandai feels, to warrant another kit. Does this kit warrant being picked up considering the various Barbatos versions and variations already out there?

Let’s watch! I mean, let’s read.

Overall Look: 9/10

The Barbatos was always a kit known for its inner frame due to its sparse use of armour to protect it. Because of that Bandai needed to make sure details of the mechanical parts were easy to see and replicated what we saw in the anime and I think they’ve done that.

The way the kit is engineered you can assemble it completely without armour first and appreciate the frame details.

However, even though he’s got much less armour than other MS in other series, what he does have here looks quite good.


The frame, though detailed, is rather on the skinny side so it’s tough to appreciate it in terms of looks but where it does shine is in its function. But more on that later.

I would say the MG Barbatos looks better than the all other Barbatos version, including the Hi-Resolution Model. I do think he still is too top heavy but the proportions here are better than other releases.

Colors: 10/10


The MG Barbatos wins where other versions of it had failed. Firstly in the use of silver and gold. All the moving pistons on the Barbatos are done with silver parts and are, for the most part, visible easily.




Even with the armour on you’ll still see a good amount of that lovely piston silver.

The gold used looks better than what Bandai did with the HiRM and easily bests the user of stickers in the 1/100 kits.


A third win for this kit is the transparent pink runner they made work in those areas that were stickers on the HG and 1/100.



So even though the colour scheme is the standard white, blue, red, and yellow, these other popping colours really bring it to life.

Weapons: 10/10

The MG comes with its Sword, 300mm Smooth-bore Gun, and Mace. Let’s look at them in that order.

The Sword is the simplest of the three and is just one long plastic part with a second slid on to act as the guard.

The extra hand part that is used to grip the sword fits in several spots along the Sword’s handle.


The fit is pretty good though the finger part can come off if not attached to the rest of the hand.

You’re also given two adaptor parts which are used to mount the Sword on Barbatos’ back. Just slide the hand guard into the part and then extend the small frame parts on one side of the backpack to create the space for that adaptor to fit into.


Note, however, that it’s not easy to slide those thin frame pieces and you may find that the side of the backpack just comes off completely.

While frustrating it’s easy enough to put back in. In some ways it’s easier to take it off intentionally and then get those thin frame parts out before putting it back.


The 300mm Smooth-Bore Gun folds in half to try to be as compact as possible.

It locks into place rather well and when you’re ready to extend it you simply pull the barrel so the white part midway slides out of its lock.

Then flip it over at the joint at this point reaches it’s longest position.

Then slide the barrel back so it locks back into its new mode.

If you do want to mount it on the back you’ll do so in the compact mode. There is a part that sits atop the body of the weapon that fits in between those small frame parts on the side of the backpack.

No adapter needed.


It is large, therefore heavy so you may see the sections of the backpack separate a bit under the weight.

When it comes time to use that weapon Barbatos doesn’t have to worry about holding that monster up with only his arms. It’s connected to the backpack and the swing arm found inside there.

Pull out and down on the side of the backpack that your Bore Gun is connected to.

The swing arm travels up and down inside there and has the range of motion to easily handle this.


Here I’ve actually got the weight of this Gun supported by the right arm of the Barbatos. There is no way that the backpack section could hold it. The manual even indicates such.

It may be easier, like mounting these weapons, to pull off that backpack section and configure it before reattaching.


It is simple enough to keep putting back in but I admit to being a little flustered that this seems to be acceptable for this kit.

The weapon is a beast, though!

Bam!

Bam!

Bam!

The Mace is more like the Sword than it is the Bore-Gun. You’ll only need that same hand part you used for gripping the Sword.

And like the Sword the hand can be fitted in several places along the shaft.


But seriously, choke up on it.

It has an interesting feature where the spike at the Mace’s center can extend.

To do this you push the handle in to push out the spike and then pull the handle back to its original position.

But for this MG Mace you have removable blades!

These can be gripped in the hand but I felt that was underwhelming compared to him gripping the full Mace.

The Mace will mount onto the backpack the same way the sword did, using the adapter. But I’m all about the Mace so I kept it in his hand.

Articulation: 10/10

I love the articulation this kit has and it’s even more impressive, to me, that Bandai could do it and still make those moving pistons a big part of the build. I had a lot of fun seeing how the piston design worked when moving the limbs of the kit around.

Here’s the articulation of the shoulder area which each have two pistons.


He can bend forward exposing how the two pistons in the back are involved.


He tilts to the side which actuates the lower torso pistons.

He’s got full bend in his elbow but only one piston is involved there and it is fully extended halfway through the bend.

He has excellent bend in the knee and also lateral rotation of the ankle.


When the knee is bent the piston will slide inside of the frame so as not to interrupt or halt that bending motion.

Yes, it is that good.

With the armour on he’s just as flexible and one area I really wanted to highlight is the excellent wrist design allowing him to flex the wrist for his slashing motions.


As a guy who knows the importance of wrist flexibility when it comes to using weapons, I approve!

Build Design: 10/10

I believe I’ve already highlighted just how well this kit is designed in the previous section and I don’t have much to add here. I do think that Bandai may have set the bar quite high for themselves because now I want moving silver pistons in all my MG kits. I do have a gripe about the side backpack section always coming off but it is simple to put back and there’s no damage to the kit if it happens so I don’t feel it’s worth docking a point over.

Fun Factor: 9/10

Here is where things may take a hit. It’s a really well conceived kit and I had a lot of enjoyment from putting a frame like this together however, at the end of the day, I was still building a Barbatos. Again. That did kind of suck some wind out of my sails. I don’t know what Bandai had in terms of options for its release, however. If they did release it a couple years ago would it have been designed like this. And, if so, would it have killed the 1/100 releases. I can imagine I’m not the only one feeling a little bit of Barbatos burnout.

Extras: 10/10

You can see here the extra hands, the pilot figure and Action Base adapter.


All standard. No complaints there.

What I do love here is the Marking sheet.

It’s quite large for an MG kit. How can there be so many markings when there is not much armour? By putting stickers on the frame as well.

Almost half the page of the marking guide is for the frame markings. The other portion is the armoured kit and weapons.

That’s a lot.

The MG Barbatos isn’t my favourite MG simply because it’s not my favourite MS but it is one of the best Master Grade kits released. Bandai should be commended.

The MG Barbatos towers above the others!

5 Responses so far.

  1. Raymond Serville says:

    This will be my first Barbatos kit, when i eventually end up buying one, so no burnout for me, the only other IBO kit i have is the FM Vidar, which i did have fun building. All the reviews say it’s awesome, thanks for sharing!

  2. Ferdinand Gunawan says:

    I heard that the Inner Frame of the MG Barbatos is labeled as ‘Gundam Frame’ instead of ‘Barbatos’ (Just like in case w/ MG Dynames). With this year’s MG Kyrios release, will there be more MG IBO kits in the future?

    • Cloudrunner62 says:

      It was called the Gundam frame in universe. Aside from barb variants, I’d rather Bandai focus on other series. There are enough IBO kits out there in multiple grades. And I’m personally as sick of them as others are of unicorns and I’ve never even built one.

  3. Jango says:

    for holding the rifle you have to rotate the subarm around so that the arm bends forward.

  4. Moon says:

    Awesome! Now let’s just wait until they miniaturize all this and release a RG Barbatos.

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