I feel really weird building and reviewing the older HGUC Gundam kits these days. I remember when these things were the best kits you could buy at the scale. Back then, the only prerequisites for a “good model” were “doesn’t need glue” and “isn’t from the original 0083 line”. We had no double-jointed elbows, no ABS plastic for joints that wouldn’t work for polycaps, no Action Bases. Things were simpler then. But were they better? Hell no, we’ve gotten so much awesome crap that nobody needs those old kits anymore! When the HGUC series started revisiting the suits that got kits in the original 0083 line, things were changing. It was time for the kits to start getting better and better.
Ah, the GP01. For those who weren’t aware, this suit was designed by Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame. In a sense, this is his answer to the RX-78, in the same way that the Gundam NT-1 “Alex” was Yutaka Izubuchi’s answer to it. This is, of course, the GP01fb, or “Full Vernier” version of the Gundam Zephyranthes, which was essentially the space type version of the regular suit. Originally I had planned to get all of the “GP” series suits in order, but I figured I’d grab this guy to bolster my Federation Space Force.
From a construction standpoint, there isn’t anything too remarkable about this kit. However, it does manage to share several parts trees/runners from the regular GP01 and not end up with a single spare part. I can’t think of any other kit that does that off the top of my head. This kit was engineered during a time where Bandai, possibly to cut costs, produced kits that had identical parts; meaning, instead of building a left arm and a right arm, you build two completely identical arms. I personally found this process to make the building frustrating, like it felt like you were just backtracking through the instructions.
Articulation-wise, there isn’t much to write home about either, but I do have a few complaints. One, the backpack is fixed in its position—it can’t move up and down, which kind of limits dynamic poses. You can’t do a good “blasting off” pose. Second, it has unsplittable skirt armor (without modification). This is what I hate about old kits… Continue reading