To say I was excited about the Master Grade Epyon would be an understatement. It really came out of left field. Yeah, Bandai was doing the Wing Ver Ka Master Grade last year, but I doubt anyone expected a new design to come out of it, especially before the Tallgeese (which, by the way, Bandai needs to do badly). It’s nice to see a Master Grade get made that was done almost specifically for this line, especially of such a great suit. I WAS going to wait until after I finished the five Wing Gundams to make this, but hey, I got a good deal on it and just had to go for it.
Epyon casts one hell of a silhouette in its new design. Not to say it didn’t before, but damn, now it just cranks all the dials up to 11. I’ll never understand why so many people out there hate Katoki. I just love his crazy sharp, angular designs. Sure, they can be odd, and he does make suits with bizarrely long legs sometimes, but overall, I’d say he’s one of Gundam’s best designers. Plus, he knows how to make designs that look nice in animation AND model/kit form. You can’t say that for SOME people *coughcoughOKAWARAcoughcough*
First… the wings. Oh man. Remember how the wings on the old kits were just plastic sheets? Well, I’m pretty sure these wings together have more parts than some of the old Epyon kits. They have sliding mechanisms that allow them to spread open. This makes assembly and painting hard, but my god is the final result completely worth it.
A very thick wire is used for the cable on the beam saber. I’m still not sure I like it more or less than the old tube. On one hand, it’s very sturdy, but on the other, it’s a little harder to pose with. Still, the blade at the end of that thing is preeeeetty cool.
Well, the good news about the whip is it’s a LOT easier to build than the old 1/100. The bad news? It’s very fragile and still really hard to paint. Each segment is its own piece now, and I’d advise painting the joints before assembly. The end result is a far more articulate whip. Just don’t play with it too much; it’s not the most structurally sound.
The transformation on this version is so much more fluid than the old 1/100 and doesn’t flop everywhere. My favorite little touch is easily the “teeth” on the dragon heads. Yeah. That’s pretty awesome. Like the Wing Gundam, clips are included to mount this kit on an action base in either mode.
One note of caution if you’re going to paint this kit: for the spikes on the knees, make sure you don’t assemble them before painting. When I did my dry-run, I obviously had to take them off for painting. This created some nasty stress marks, which prevent them from staying snugly on the legs. Be careful!
While I’ve definitely built better kits this summer, I have to say, Epyon was a pretty damn good one. It was a really fun build (I just love using British Crimson) and the final product is one badass looking Final Boss Gundam. If you ever see this at FPNYC and you’re looking for a new Master Grade to do, go right for it. If you don’t, well, I’ll judge you. Harshly.