Sometimes, I can get extremely motivated when working on kits. Usually it happens when it’s something I’m really excited to build, like the Nu Gundam ver Ka MG. Others, it’s because of what it isn’t. You see, the past two projects (the G-Armor and the Sinanju) have both been incredibly draining, from the gigantic pieces, to the breaking pieces, to the slew of tiny and long decals. After a couple projects like those, it’s nice to kick back and relax with a simply Gundam-type mobile suit. Some people may not care for the Duel Gundam’s design, but I personally think it’s great.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Duel Gundam utilizes the same common frame as the Blitz Gundam. As a result, pretty much everything I’ve said about that kit rings true here. The frame represents much of what Bandai seems to be doing with their Master Grade kits these days: simpler and more stable. It seems that all the crazy details and functions go into the smaller (and more complex) Real Grade kits, with the Master Grades take a more “action figure” approach. Given my personal philosophy with toys these days “big, detailed, and stable” is pretty much the ideal combination.
The decals I’m using for this kit are by SamuelDecal, which they pretty much always are when I can’t get ahold of the official sheet (or the kit doesn’t have one, like this). These ones are great, and much sharper than the ones the Blitz Gundam had. Unfortunately, these decals aren’t lettered/numbered, so I’ve had to match them up with the ones on the included sticker and dry-transfer sheets. It’s gone a bit better than I expected, though I may have messed up one or two. That said, I love the silver on some of the decals.
The face on the kit looks great, and has that great “prototype” look the Duel Gundam rocks. For whatever reason, I love orange as a prototype color. I guess it just screams out “safety color” so they can monitor the suit from far away or something, I don’t know. Interestingly, almost all of the colors I’m using for this kit are actually straight from the jar. The only ones that aren’t are the color you’ll see on the weapons, and the orange. It’s nice when I don’t have to mix a lot of colors for once.
The articulation is excellent and smooth. Many of the joints have extra pistons on them to make them look cool, and thankfully, they actually work. They add some depth that wouldn’t be there already. It has the proper level of articulation I’d expect from this grade. It also has a pair of auxiliary waist joints for added articulation!
One awesome feature on this kit are the shoulders. They’ve been redesigned so they can accommodate the Sword and Launcher packs from the Strike! Unfortunately, I don’t have those yet sooo I can’t exactly demonstrate this…