( Chris here-FPNYC IS CLOSED TODAY, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO COME TO THE STORE FOR ANY REASON!)
One project down, god knows how many more to go.
I’ll have to admit to not doing many custom Master Grades. The only reason I did that cool Qubeley over the summer is because I saw one in a similar color scheme and wanted to try my own. I also did a custom F91 which I haven’t covered here, and I only did that because I was using the Harrison’s colors version, and I did not feel like painting yellow on that dark blue. I still wonder if I actually would’ve done this if the HD version of the Hyaku Shiki were readily available.
Now, a problem I’ve been having with this kit is well… its age. It’s easily the oldest Master Grade I’ve built this year, coming out five months before the Qubeley. Heck, I remember when this was new back in 2001. Back then, in many cases, there wasn’t much distinguishing a Master Grade from a High Grade. The only kits that really were on that “master” level were the Ground Gundams/GM, Dom/Rick Dom, Sazabi, and Nu Gundam. Some kits like the Gundam ver 1.5 experimented with internals for the legs, but most of the kit was still the same.
I point this out because of the hip joints on this kit. Modern Master Grades (and even some High Grades) have hip joints not unlike Marvel Legends. Older Master Grades just use the traditional ball and socket joints. This kind of hurts the Hyaku Shiki, in my opinion, since I like having suits used by Char/Quattro with the ability to throw a nasty kick. That is, unless we’re talking about the Zeong…
One thing that was used to distinguish Master Grades from High Grades was the use of pistons and the like. Thankfully, the Hyaku Shiki has… one; and it’s not that impressive. It’s just located around the ankle, and doesn’t move much. Still, it would’ve been silly for Bandai to not take advantage of this.
I was a little concerned about the weapons because of the selection of hands, but it turned out mostly positive. The rifle stays in the hands much better than the bazooka does. The hand just doesn’t grip it naturally, and there aren’t enough joints in the arms to give it a pose that isn’t awkward.
I was very concerned about how the beam sabers would fit in the hands, as older Master Grades tend to not hold sabers very well. Usually, they just flop around in their hands. This kit actually manages to hold them pretty tightly without the use of a palm slot; so well in fact that it can hold each saber in a different direction! Just as planned.
As for the ballute… I won’t be assembling that yet. I’m going to save the adaptor parts for a regular colors Hyaku Shiki (you can see that I almost started painted on piece by accident) and the ballute will likely go to a Marasai or a Nemo. I’ll cover that in a different review later on.
While the kit is very dated by today’s standards, it’s certainly worth checking out. The Hyaku Shiki should be included on ANY Zeta Gundam or Char/Quattro shelf. Make sure to get yours when you come in to FPNYC!