It’s really no secret that Quattro Vageena was really Char Aznable, I mean, they stated it in the first episode. You know what’s also not a big secret? That gold mecha tend to be awesome. Thanks to his Quattro stint, gold seems to be a recurring color for Char-like characters in Gundam (specifically, Harry Ord’s Gold SUMO in Turn A Gundam and Mwu la Fllaga’s Akatsuki in Gundam SEED Destiny), and they’re always pretty damn awesome. The Hyaku Shiki (“100 Type”) is no exception, in its gold, sunglasses-wearing glory.
The Hyaku Shiki was the fifth kit in the HGUC line, originally released in a VERY shiny chrome like that you’d see on an old Power Rangers figure. As a result, this kit has the same inherent problems I mentioned in the Gundam Astray review a few months back-the parts have extra flash that needs to be cut off. This kit received three releases: The first, shiny-chrome release; a later update with the enormous Mega Bazooka launcher, which had the gold molded in an almost transparent, slightly-sparkly gold (this one is good if you plan on painting); and a third time in the Gryphios War set with Zeta and MK. II, in a shiny-but-matte chrome with extra stickers, which you see here. Personally, I recommend this version if want a nice gold finish and don’t feel like painting.
The head is slightly different from most kits, in that it uses a stick joint as opposed to a ball joint. This is mostly due to the fact that the typical neck joint pieces are used elsewhere in the kit, but I’ll get to that. The stick joint for the neck actually works pretty well here, and allows it to nod and look up.
The torso and waist are rather unremarkable, and they have no additional shoulder joint allowing for forward-back movement. The skirt does not have extra plastic in the middle so in order to split it, you’d have to do some additional modding. There are two neat features on these parts, and those would be the beam sabers and the binders. The beam sabers are both removable, but don’t have a hole to fit blades in. What I also like is the way the binders are attached-they use the two head polycap joints on the polycap runner to stay on. A nice little touch using these parts in a creative way.
The arms aren’t anything special, and adding the little red details can be really annoying if you’re using a chome kit. All versions of the kit include stickers for the “Hyaku” kanji on the shoulders. The hands are just closed hands and one trigger hand, although the trigger hand has a slanted peg joint to allow it to better hold the guns.
The legs, sadly, are more of the same, and they don’t even have a double joint, mostly limited by the design of the knee. However, the way the legs are designed actually prevents gaps from being noticeable, although you can still see them in the feet.
Weapons, no surprise, are standard fare. Two beam sabers (all-clear), beam rifle, and clay bazooka. The beam sabers are the same as the ones from the Gelgoog Marine kits. The clay bazooka has a hitch on it, allowing it to store on the backpack next to the binders.
All in all, the Hyaku Shiki is an okay kit. It’s nothing special by today’s standards, but there isn’t anything particularly wrong with it, aside from the obvious chrome issues. As a very awesome design and a main character’s suit to boot, it’s a mainstay of any collection and should be added in some form or another. While we don’t have any version of the HGUC kit in stock right now, the Forbidden Planet store has several other flavors of Shiki: A vintage 1/100 scale Hyaku Shiki, (that seems to have the wrong picture…) which would make for a fun painting project, the 1/200 scale HCM Pro figure in chrome-a very nice line of figures, albeit small in stature; and the original HCM figure, which is sort of a model/toy hybrid, and a more stable version of the original model kit. You have your choice of three Shikis at three scales, so go grab the one you like the most!