Like its younger, better-looking Gundam brother, the GM II has gone pretty unappreciated in the model kit world. There was one plastic kit back in the original Zeta Gundam line, and at least one conversion kit made for the HGUC GM. While I do like its design overall, it’s really not that much different from a regular GM. Even technically, some of the GM II units are just upgraded One Year War stock, and even the new units aren’t that much better than the original suit. Still, it’s a GM, and every series has to have its lovable “redshirt” good guy unit.
Chances are, the average person won’t be able to tell a GM from a GM II if they just saw them in passing, aside from maybe differences in the color scheme. It’s not a very exciting design, especially if you already have a regular GM. Maybe Bandai just wanted to see what the kitbashers came up with for stuff based on the regular GM. Or they just wanted more money for B-Club, who knows.
By and large this is just the GM III kit with a few of the runners changed. Nothing wrong with that, but one thing does end up a bit odd: the hip armor. The hips still have the holes for mounting the missile launchers from the GM III, but there’s nothing to go there. It seems like a bit of an oversight, but maybe Bandai’s planning some new variant that will actually use them. What that variant is, I haven’t the slightest.
As far as articulation goes, everything that was said about the GM II holds true here, so no complaints in that department. However, while the GM III got two four extra hands (two fists and two open hands), the GM II has none of those. Strange considering the GM II is a cheaper kit, but I guess they wanted to make it as cheap as possible.
The weapons layout is the same as the GM III (unsurprisingly), minus the missile pods of course and with one saber instead of two. Curiously, the kit comes with yellow saber blades, probably because it was released as a Zeta Gundam kit (Titans colors), and we all know bad guys in Gundam have to have yellow beams for some reason.
The head is basically a GM’s head with new “earmuffs” and an antenna, with the same new visor style as the GM III. I can dig it.
I love the assortment of stickers here, especially the ones for Torrington Base. It’s like they knew what I was planning… Sadly there are no Karaba labels, which the GM III came with.
Part of my reason for buying this kit was because of a kitbash plan. I purchased two, one for a standard built (I’m going to do it in classic GM colors as per my addiction) and the second will be made into the custom unit from episode 4 of Gundam Unicorn, the GM Semi-Striker. I even purchased a second GM Striker for the task, though I didn’t realize how noncompatible the parts were. I have some GM Kai parts I can use, however, and the shield won’t be much of a problem after the huge disaster with the Full Armor Gundam…
I like this kit overall more than the original GM, and it’s a bit more versatile than the GM III, but it doesn’t really wow me. I do plan on doing some army-building, however it’s not as economical as its older brother the classic GM. I give it a recommendation, though, especially if you have some Zeon suits looking for a punching bag. If your Zeon suits need a punching bag, come to FPNYC and pick up yours!