HG00 Union Flag Review

By Loran

Gundam 00. So much great promise, so many great designs, so many interesting concepts… and so many letdowns. Personal feelings about the show itself, it was filled with great designs, especially the grunts. It was great to see an Alternate Universe series that not only had a plethora of great grunts, but ones that actually got kits! Gundam Wing and Gundam X got some, yeah, but they’re all expensive Limited Models, and most of the grunts for SEED were just those cheapo kits with zero poseability. I guess Bandai finally realized how much fans love grunts, especially those of us on the other side of the ocean.

Of all of 00’s grunts, the one that stood out to me the most was the Flag. It looks so different from almost any other Mobile Suit we’d seen before in Gundam. It’s elegant, it’s thin, it’s, well, new. It’s so great to see Bandai/Sunrise take a departure from “spiky monoeyed bad guy” for the 10000th time. This is pretty much why I was so upset about the design decision for Age. It’s different, yeah, but not different enough.

I was surprised by how few frames this kit came on: only three. This is typical for a low-priced HG kit, yes, but what made it seem so scarce is the lack of polycaps. This uses all ABS friction joints. I have nothing against this style personally, but I can see why people dislike them. Some of the earliest kits to have them didn’t use them properly and ended up sort of… floppy.

Of course, the beam saber is molded in white. Ugh. I HATE painting saber blades. Still, it beats the kit not coming with any.

This made me smile, however. A silver sticker to put behind the visor! This is a great idea, and the shininess will look even better than one achieved by paint.

The finished kit is a great representation, nice and slim. However, thanks to the “pointy” nature of the design, it has a lot of excess plastic on the ends of the wings and stuff. It’s annoying, and I’ll have to get rid of all of it when I finally get around to painting it.

The articulation on the kit is decent considering its shape, which is a double-edged sword. It’s accurate yes, but so much of it gets in the way, especially with the weapons it has. Really, as much as I love this suit, it doesn’t translate well to plastic form. It’s just so fragile and feels like it’s always going to break.

Its weapons are what you expect: sword, shield, and gun. I have no complaints about the shield, but the gun and sword are just annoying. The sword can’t stay in the hand worth anything—it just slides through, and I can’t find a position for the gun that looks right.

Thankfully, though, the transformation system works as well as it should, and it stays tight enough. It isn’t perfect, but there aren’t any “fake parts” used for it, which is very surprising for a kit this scale. Still, just makes you realize how silly the flight mode is…

Overall, the Flag is one of those kits where you’ll have to really like the design to consider dropping the coin on it. It’s very fragile, but that’s not the fault of the kit’s engineering, just the design itself. Still, if you want one of your own, head on over to FPNYC to look for your own!

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