I remember the day this kit was first announced. I was talking with my friend Keith (who used to write here) at the time, and he just starts messaging me with “CROSSBONE GUNDAM MASTER GRADE” and whatnot. I also recall the word “Crossboner” being used. Oh, Keith. In all seriousness, this was the type of release that I never thought would happen, even after the Gundam FIX releases. My best guess is Bandai wanted something to go with the then-recent Gundam F91 Master Grade, and since nothing else from that era is popular, they opted for Crossbone X1, in good ol’ Ver Ka style.
Initially I was planning on doing something else after the Zeta Gundam, but my plans got shifted around when I realized that if I were going to do the Nu Gundam Ver Ka, I’m probably going to need some practice with the crazy decals he uses. I opted for the regular version of Crossbone instead of the Full Cloth for three reasons: price, style, and the Peacock Smasher. I don’t care much for the more cartoony style, which grates against the whole Katoki aesthetic; and the Peacock Smasher, as awesome as it looks, doesn’t stay in the hands very well. Besides, sometimes it can be best to opt for the simpler release.
Being a smaller suit (coming in at roughly 15 meters, which will make the finished kit a full centimeter shorter than any of the Wing Master Grades), there obviously isn’t an abundance of parts here. I think this is going to be a great change of pace after the massive assortment of parts included with the Zeta, including all of its weapons and terrifying transformation gimmick.
The pilot figure is… amusingly pudgy. I guess it was done to emulate the art style of the manga?
One of the big defining factors in my choosing this version was the skulls. These ones are more “realistic” in style, as opposed to the almost Matsumoto-esque ones from the Full Cloth. Full Cloth includes these skulls, too, but I just felt it would be kind of wasteful.
You may have noticed already, but this kit actually has no polycaps. In 2007, Bandai was experimenting with a “no-polycap” frame in that time period and… it didn’t last long. If I remember correctly, Crossbone and F91 were the only kits to use it, and from my experience with the Gundam F91 Master Grade, it could have been much better. Hopefully this one will be a little more stable.
Yep, I purchased some water slide decals yet again. The cool thing about this is the inclusion of decals for both versions of the kit! Always nice when Bandai actually SAVES us money. The decals are also primarily numerals, so I won’t have to search high and low on the sheet looking through a ton of hiragana.
Crossbone also comes with a freaking cape. It’s probably not going to be the best or most stable thing in the world, but hey, it’ll be cool to have for some poses. I think part of it has to be cut, though.
The paint guide and decal guide are one in the same, which is going to make decaling MUCH easier.
Crossbone X-1 is shaping up to be a pretty fun project. I blame Super Robot Wars Alpha 2 for finally getting me interested in this series. It’s a shame Bandai never gave us X-2 and X-3, though. I would have LOVED to make X-2. But if you want to get started on your own Crossbone kit, make sure to take a look at FPNYC’s stock!