Two years ago I wrote a review for the Robot Damashii GM Sniper II, saying things like, “My god, dreams do come true!” because at the time, I thought that was the closest we were going to get to an actual kit. It’s a good enough figure, but it could have been better.
Earlier this year, I was super excited about plastic conversion parts for the HGUC GM Command that were actually affordable. I was so pumped I bought three. It turned out they were terrible, yeah, but it was better than nothing.
I’m actually glad it took us this long to get this suit made. Since every major animated GM variant save for the Ground GM has gotten an HGUC, Bandai now knows exactly what to do. And trust me, it works. While I would have liked a Sniper II built on the Powered GM Frame, the new GM III frame trumps it in so many ways. But all things considered, I would’ve been fine even if this kit was built on the body of the original GM Command from 1989!
Many of the GM III’s bells and whistles have carried over here, like the double jointed knees and hinged joints at the hips. Funny thing about those is it uses stick joints, not ball joints. Kits in the 80’s also used stick joints, but they broke incredibly easily. Ball joints proved to work better, but the newest design is the sturdiest and has the best range of motion. I guess everything old is new again.
The head is absolutely awesome, with a pseudo monoeye inside the visor, just like in the animation. The Sniper Scope has a crystal piece too, and yes, it does swing down! It’s just… so wonderful.
The weapon layout is, well, what the hell else did you expect. You get the gigantic sniper rifle, the machine gun, two beam sabers, and the shield. The Sniper Rifle looks so great in the kit’s hands, and the only complaint I have is that the rifle doesn’t have a crystal piece for the scope.
To prove that yes, literally every mobile suit from Gundam 0080 has a kit, Bandai included a 1/144 scale Draken-E to accompany the suit! It’s obviously not very poseable, BUT it can also be built as a Petit Mobile! I think I’ll be going with that.
Oh, and before you ask…
Yes, there is a White Dingo version.
Yes, it’s amazing.
No, you can’t get it at FP. Why? Because unfortunately, it’s a web shop exclusive. Not a problem if you’re in Japan, but here, you’ll need a friend in Japan or a middleman service in order to get one. It’s a shame, too. The kit comes with so much extra stuff (seriously it has the ENTIRE RUNNER OF EXTRA STUFF from the Ground War Gundam) and is just… completely wonderful.
So there you have it. Was it worth the wait? I think so, yes. It’s a fantastic kit and I’m certainly not stopping at two. I just wish I didn’t put all that time and effort into those crappy conversion parts six months ago…