I suppose it’s getting a bit redundant to say “I really enjoyed this Bandai kit”, but I really did. I was a bit hesitant at first actually. I’d built the Sniper II kit, from 2017, and absolutely loved it. Then I’d started a Wing Gundam from 1995, and the difference was quite stark in the quality of the kit. So when I saw that this GM kit was from 2002, I wasn’t sure which end of the spectrum I’d be getting. Happily, it’s more like the Sniper II than the Wing Gundam.
While not quite as well articulated as the Sniper II – which, admittedly, is crazy articulated – this one is still pretty good. It features a full inner frame, including an inner torso that can be shown with the upper body armor removed. That part was fun to build and paint.
The build of this kit is smooth – no problems at all. Bandai did a good job of minimizing seam lines, and the few that did remain can easily pass for panel lines.
I used Vallejo Mecha colors for this build’s main parts, with Light Green (69.025) and Dark Red (69.011) being featured. While the cannon colors are a bit closer to primary red, I thought this dark red color would look really nice, and I was not disappointed. The inner frame was primed black, and the Citadel’s Leadbelcher was heavily drybrushed over that.
For panel line washes, Citadel’s Nuln oil was applied, to avoid issues with the Bandai plastic bug. Chipping was of the sponge variety, with Ammo of Mig Chipping color being used for the lighter parts, and light green color used on the dark red. After my chip-happy Barbatos a while back, I’ve really been working on restraining my chipping work, and I’ve found the sponge method of application works very well. I’m still a bit lost when it comes to weathering open areas. On this one, I simply avoided too much chipping there, just to see how I liked it. It’s better, but still not where I’d like to be.
Various enamels and oils were used, again with an eye toward restraint, to apply streaking and grime across the mobile suit. I wanted it to look used, but not worn out. In that regard, I was reasonably happy with the outcome. Some pastel powders were applied around the lower feet to simulate dirt and grime, again with a focus on restraint. A final application of Ultra Matte varnish was applied to dull it all down and lock things in place.
The variety of weapons with this kit is outstanding. It does feature two
light beam sabers, and a beam pistol, but it also comes with several barrel and stock combinations that can be built into a variety of long gun configurations. I’m sure with some modifications, builders who like to do conversions could come up with even more varieties. A large shield is also included. A clear part was supplied to fill in the “window”, but I thought it looked a bit hokey, so I left it off. A seated pilot figure is nestled into the cockpit, but even with the upper torso frame exposed, it really can’t be seen. (So much for painting it!)
The kit only comes with a few bits of foil stickers, and some dry rub transfers. I sourced decals from a variety of Bandai and third party kits. I added a few here and there, but I did not cover the thing in decals. I’ve always thought that a bit odd because of the scale. In real life this object would be 60 feet tall, so most stencils would be almost too tiny to see, as they would be for maintenance crew use… things like “open here for starboard ailertooter access”. Anything really big enough to see would be “STAND BACK FROM GIANT ROCKET DEALIES”. So I put a few one, just to break up the open spaces.
I can recommend this kit to any Gunpla builder. While not as well articulated as more modern kits, and not quite as detailed, it’s a solid, easy to build kit that looks great when it’s all together. I had quite a bit of fun building it!