HGGS Buster Gundam Review

By Loran

Every once in awhile I’ll buy a kit for the “why the hell not?” factor. They usually end up being kits from shows that I’m not too into, or ones that “just look cool”. My modern philosophy with kits is to either start with the main robot and work from there (even if it’s not the first one I’m building), or to build up an army of grunts for the hero to fight once I actually get to it. Rarely do I get side character mecha first unless I’m planning on customizing, but once in awhile, I just say “screw it”.

The Buster Gundam is one of those kits. Originally I was going to get this alongside the Duel Gundam so I could have Yzak and Dearka together, but SD Gundam Online made me just go for Buster for some reason (hey, it was fun to use). I like Buster’s design because while it may be SEED’s answer to Heavyarms, it manages to feel new enough without seeming like a rehash. When I threw this kit together I wasn’t expecting much considering the kit’s age, but I actually found myself pleasantly surprised in a few areas.

From opening the box, I didn’t find anything special at all. Same old polycap runner, three normal frames… nothing out of the ordinary whatsoever.

What floored me with this kit were the hips. From a 2003 HG kit, I was honestly expecting to see the typical “ball-and-socket” joint I’ve grown so tired of. In fact, I got to see the modern Master Grade style that more of these kits need. Yes, the joints with a pivot and a hinge! I didn’t take too many pictures like this because the pegs on my kit are cut down for gluing/painting, but I hope this gives a good enough illustration.

However, there are three flaws with this kit that bug me.

The first is the face, and this is really a minor thing. The eyes are molded onto the same piece as the face, which is going to make painting difficult. However, I might just use the sticker this time around.

The second is the missile covers. They aren’t on hinges or anything and fall off really easily.

The last is the waist… or lack thereof. Because of the hinges the guns come mounted on, this kit has zero waist articulation, which is really counterintuitive if you think about it. Wouldn’t added waist articulation HELP posing with the guns? I mean as cool as the hip articulation is, it doesn’t do much when the kit can’t turn its body…

The guns themselves are pretty cool. They’re a bit fiddly, but I really wasn’t expecting anything else. Really, they’d be more effective if the waist on this kit could turn. They combine with ease, but getting the hands to grab the proper handles is annoying. I’m just afraid of all the paint scratches that are going to occur once I paint it.

In the end, the Buster Gundam is a decent kit. It’s one of those “buy it if you want it, but it won’t blow you away” kind of things. Really, the selling point in my eyes was the hips; I might try to grab some of these for cheap to use for kitbashing. If you want one of your own, take a look at FPNYC for one of your own!

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