Tagged: Master Grade

Master Grade Nu Gundam Master Kai Build Log Finished

So close, it’s just so damn close!

Never before in my life have I built a more satisfying kit. The Nu Gundam Version Katoki Master Grade is an engineering marvel, and it looks damn impressive too. It comes so close, so COMPLETELY CLOSE to being perfect in every way, but there is one critical area that it fails in, and while it can be fixed without TOO much effort, it’s annoying enough to honestly shave a few points off this kit, especially since it’s something that so easily could have been avoided. But it certainly doesn’t make it a bad kit.

Nu Gundam has quite a profile, largely thanks to the Fin Funnels. The final kit comes covered with well over 100 decals, all painstakingly applied, and I don’t think I missed any. At least, I hope to god I didn’t miss any. Some people were bothered by the inclusion of waterslide decals, but honestly, they work so much better than dry-transfers do. Remember, whenever you’re using these, make sure to topcoat your kit afterwards!

I figure I should talk about the Fin Funnels now, since they’re the kits key flaw. While they look AMAZING, they just don’t work like they should. The new mechanism is great in theory, but it just doesn’t work. All of the funnels are identical, and have interlocking teeth to keep them in place. The problem is, they aren’t strong enough, and fall off at the slightest touch and lean forward. I hear you can fix them just by cutting out some internal plastic and adding a little brass rod, however.

I hear the Double Fin Funnel configuration is more stable, but I was never a fan of that so I’m not building that for mine. Sorry guys!

That said, the rest of the kit is absolutely fantastic. The new mechanism for the hands works flawlessly with the weapons. They’re essentially the same as the Real Grade hands, but far more effective. A dual peg/slot system not only allows the hands to grip the weapons tightly, but it also makes weapon swapping easier.

Both beam sabers are included; the standard lightsaber one and the crazy one with the tiny bit coming out the bottom. I have to say, it can really reach for its sabers!

For the bazooka, I actually didn’t paint the inner mechanism because otherwise, it would just be paint scratch city. Not like it matters after it gets topcoated, though!

The shield is a lot of fun, too, and I painted some gray details on it to enhance the appearance. It’s even mounted on a ball joint for more articulation potential.

The final destroy mode is a sight to behold. I actually forgot to take a few pieces off when I took the pictures for the last review, whoops. That would explain why I had so much trouble with the back of the legs! But honestly, just look at this thing–whether you like the concept or not, Nu Gundam in Destroy Mode looks freakin’ SWEET.

The stand is very effective, too, including six poles for all of the Fin Funnels. I’m keeping mine with half on the back and half deployed, since with only half on its back, they’re actually stable. The full stand design can allow for some really impressive poses.

Do I recommend this kit? You’re damn right I do. Is it perfect? No way. It comes close, so VERY VERY CLOSE, but the issue with the funnels is far too annoying to ignore. They certainly aren’t a dealbreaker however, and I have to say, the rest of the kit is still worth it. It still comes highly recommended, and I certainly suggesting buying it on sight if you see it at FPNYC!

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Master Grade Guncannon Review

Well, that was easier than expected.

Honestly I can’t say I’m surprised. As a much older Master Grade, it was pretty clear that it was going to be much simpler than the Nu Ver Ka, but I wasn’t expecting this. Maybe it’s like a video game, and the Nu just caused me to go up several levels. Either way, the Guncannon was a pretty welcome change of pace after that, with its minimal white parts, enormous chunky pieces and sparse decals. It couldn’t be any further away from the Nu Gundam if it weren’t a Gundam kit!

Like the Hyaku Shiki, there is little different between the Guncannon’s Master Grade and High Grade counterparts. Back then, Bandai didn’t really make distinctions between the designs of High Grades and Master Grades, which honestly kills some of the appeal of the older kits to me. I like my kits to have some distinct style so they feel like their own independent kit, not just an upscaled/downscaled version of another. I think that’s why the SEED Master Grades appeal to me so much.

But I’m getting off topic.

The Guncannon is very blocky, and I’m not sure if I mean that in a good or bad way. When the HGUC Guncannon was released, in some ways it was the pinnacle of 1/144 engineering at the time. The Master Grade just doesn’t have that feel. I know it’s old, but it doesn’t have any special feel to it. It just feels like a kit that was made because they had to do it, and that’s kind of sad. I’m not one of the types who thinks every inferior kit needs a 2.0, but this one certainly does, especially considering that the Gundam 2.0, GM 2.0, Guntank, and G-Fighter are all based around the same Core Fighter. Poor Guncannon is just the odd man out.

Speaking of the Core Fighter, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. I’m using the standard cockpit block instead because, well, I worked on this damn thing so I want it to be seen!

For mine, I painted the area behind the visor in aluminum. Yeah, I almost always do this, but for some reason it REALLY works on this one!

The articulation is nothing special. Honestly, it can’t really do the “cow pose” properly. However, I did use the resin hands I had for the fists, and they’re fantastic. Now my Guncannon can punch stuff! I used one for the beam rifle, too, which is much more stable than the included hands.

Like always, a pair of spray missile launchers are included as replacements for the standard cannons. I was never a big fan of these, because they always look like they aren’t really on properly. The standard cannons look great, however.

The kit also includes a pair of hand grenades, but I forgot to film those (oops). All the same, since I haven’t built the hand needed to properly hold them.

For the decals on mine, I used a few leftover decals from the sheet I bought for my Hyaku Shiki, and some I won’t need on my Real Type Gundam. The color scheme looks fantastic, especially the finish over the red.

Really, I’m not sure if I recommend this kit to the casual Master Grade collector. I’d say go for it if you want all three V Project suits (but make sure to build it first), or if you’re used to Master Grades and want to make the foray into MGs. Recommended, but with reservations. If you want your own, make sure to check FPNYC for one!

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MG Destiny Gundam Build Log Part 2

I don’t know why, but I’m just on such a crazy Master Grade kick lately. Part of the reason I make HGUCs is because of the variety, and I’ll only do MGs of stuff that doesn’t look as good at that scale. But also, most of the Master Grades I do are from Alternate Universes… which tend to run on the shorter side, so a larger scale is a better option. Also, the 1/144s from those series just don’t look as good as the HGUCs do, which, these days, are near MG-levels of detail.

So for this article, I’m giving a bit of an update on my Destiny Gundam. It’s not 100% complete, since I’m still waiting on my decals, and I won’t be covering everything here, just the parts of the body I haven’t covered already. I have all the weapons finished, but I’ll be covering those in a later article, probably with all the “Extreme Blast” parts. Most of them needed paint touchups when I was taking these pictures…

Now, a kit with crazy wings like these is going to have a lot of balance problems. Many kits have different ways of dealing with this, but I found this kit’s way to be kind of interesting. I kept noticing my kit falling backwards, and I was wondering why it did that. Then, I realized this silly little red piece I on the waist that was the key to everything. Moving this thing up and down affects how well the kit stays stable.

In addition to that piece, there’s a little slot on the underside of the crotch that controls the legs. Moving it all the way back and locking it into place spreads the legs out, this makes for some great posing. I tried leaving it in the other position, but the legs just spread out anyway, so I left it clicked back. Besides, the “standing at attention” look on robots just… Continue reading

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HGUC Nemo Review

Like I’ve said many times before, Gundam Unicorn really opened the doors for a lot of mobile suits to get kits. But this one here is one that’s always been a bit of frustration in HGUC form for me: the Nemo. It has the bizarre distinction of being the only suit from Zeta to get a Master Grade before some sort of High Grade. Not only that, this isn’t even the one from Zeta! I guess Unicorn opening the door for more unloved/obscure HGUCs to get made has a bit of a bad side. At least this one isn’t covered with all the silly Sleeves emblems.

The Nemo isn’t one of my favorite Feddie grunts. It isn’t my least favorite, either. It’s just… there. Don’t get me wrong, I was sure as hell excited when this thing got announced, and as you can see I bought it pretty fast, but that was mostly the whole “Unicorn Episode 4” rush. There’s a bit of irony to this, too; I’m always complaining about my collection’s lack of AEUG mobile suits, and Bandai finally goes and makes another one, and it’s in Federation colors. Oh well.

In terms of its structure, the Nemo shares a lot of similarities with the GM II and GM III HGUCs, mostly the former. However, despite this, there aren’t any shared runners between the two. It’s a little surprising, really. The two do share the same polycaps and joint structure, but it seems as though that one is becoming standard for kits these days. Not that I’m complaining, though; it works and moves great.

Still, this frame just isn’t as good as the 0083 GM frame to me. There aren’t any double-jointed elbows, and the knees don’t have much movement, either. It’s unfortunate, because everything else moves so nicely.

However, it does have an extra joint in the shoulder that I really like. I hope we see these more often.

Once again, crystal visor with silver paint behind it. A delicious combination.

Now, I enjoy this kit quite a bit, but it has two glaring problems. The first is the color distribution. It’s pretty bad. This kit has a lot of yellow details that aren’t molded in any way, and are a REAL pain to paint, especially on the dark blue pieces. I can understand needing stickers for some parts, but for a High Grade kit, this one needs a LOT. Continue reading

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Build Log Master Grade Gundam Endless Waltz Version

By Loran

It’s an incredibly well-known fact at this point that Master Grades and 1/100 scale kits in general just aren’t my forte. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s more than I got into 1/144 scale first, plus that scale has more to offer that I like. But from time to time I make exceptions, be it for a display piece, a swank limited edition, or a “hey, it was cheap” purchase.

But this time I had a different goal. See, as a kid, I never got all five of the Gundams from Wing in the same style or scale. At least, not at once. So right now I’m working to get all of the Katoki Versions of the Wing Gundams, in Master Grade, one at a time. Here’s the obvious first, Wing Gundam.

…who is still being worked on right now. Not only is this the first Master Grade I’ve built in three and a half years, it’s also the first one I’ve properly glued and painted. As such, I’m out of my element here. I’ve also been extremely busy lately so I haven’t quite had the time to dedicate to this project.

This is the “Endless Waltz” version of the Wing Gundam, which is identical to the Version Katoki that was issued back in 2004. The only real difference between the two is the inclusion of two mounts for use with Action Bases, as demonstrated here. One works for MS mode, the other for bird mode. I’ll get into these in greater detail once I finish the entire kit.

My biggest frustration with this kit comes from the color distribution. This thing is tacky. The wings were probably the most time-consuming part of this kit and I still need to do some touch up work. It needs to be done in phases and there are just… so many colors. I was expecting the shoulders to be the hardest part, but I guess I was misled by the large size of the wings.

I’m not sure how I did it but I somehow managed to BS a light, metallic green for all of the transparent bits. I always hated how this was done, but I can see why. It allows for more customization options, but you need to be careful with what you paint it with if you use for paint if you want to retain some sense of translucency. I used a semi metallic green for the top and painted silver underneath. I think it looks great.

One thing I’m really not sure about this kit from a design standpoint is the knee joint. It just looks… off to me. I think that’s largely due to the transformation gimmick, but it looks incredibly unnatural to me. Well, as unnatural as a model of a giant robot can look, anyway…

I figured I would have a much different perspective on this kit if I made one entry while I was building it, and covered everything else once I have the whole thing completed. Despite some overcomplicated, tacky pieces, this has been proving to be a fun project, and I can’t wait until I have all five (or six… or seven) done.

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End of the Year Gunpla Releases

By Loran

With episode of four of Gundam Unicorn just around the corner and Gundam AGE having just premiered a few days ago, it’s time to look at some new upcoming kits! Let’s see what we’ve got this time around…

First off, we have colored pictures for the GM II. I’m a bit sad that they went with the Titans colors for the GM II first, since the AEUG colors are WAY cooler and they’re still kind of outnumbered in terms of HGUC kits. But hey, that’s what paint is for.

It looks like Gunpla Builders is going to be continuing in some form or another, though I haven’t heard anything about a new OVA. The first of two new kits is the Beginning D Gundam, which I really, really like. A lot of people didn’t like Beginning G, saying it looked too “kiddy”. I didn’t mind it that much myself, though it was far from perfect. I like this take on it because it has more of a hardened real-robot “Commando” look to it. I’m really not sure what the color scheme for this thing is, though. It’ll probably end up with the traditional Gundam pallet, but I think it deserves better. Continue reading

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