RX-78-2 Gundam

Gundam view.


Kit Manufacturer




Out of Box (OOB) or Modified

Rating (1-10 10=best)

RX-78-2 Gundam


HG 1:144





Gundam vs. Char's custom Zaku IIWhen people mention big fighting robots and Anime, two series tend to come to mind - Macross (whose designs should be familiar to longtime Battletech fans, as well,) and Gundam. The Gundam series started off a long, popular set of shows, movies, and OVA (released only on video) movies, and Mobile Suit Gundam is the series that started it off.

The series starts with the One Year War, where the Earth colonies on the other side of the moon declare themselves the Principality of Zeon, and fight for their independace from the Earth. It's not a clear-cut "good vs bad" story, by any means. By comparison with the later series, the artwork might seem - well, simpler, but it's a worthwhile story that gives the basis for all future Gundam stories.

The main Federation "mobile suit" after which the series is named is the Gundam. Developed in secret on a colony (apparently to hide it from the seemingly victorieous Zeon forces,) it is discovered on a colony after a commando mission in the first episode. The military personnel are killed, and a civilian (Amuro) ends up as the Gundam's pilot, by accident more than anything. Even with his nonexistant skills, the fusion of his desperation and the abilities of the suit led to victory, even a stalemate with one of the Zeon forces' top aces, Char (and his trademark red Zaku, as seen in the photo on the left with the appropriate models.)

What can I say. Check out the story on video or DVD, or cartoon network (who are playing it on Adult Swim saturday nights.)

The Kit

Gundam gunThe kit is one of the High Grade series of 1/144 kits. This gives a bit more detailing and flexibility than the usual 1/144 kits (usually reflected in the price, $14 or so vs. $10.) It is produced in the usual multi-colored plastic sprues (including tinted clear plastic for the "beam saber" blades, a nice change from painting them.) It is of snap-together construction, with poly caps for joints and connection points.

IN general, construction is very simple. I've gone over it in other reviews, but as a quick recap, it's snap-together plastic, usually with poly caps sandwiched between. Parts are typically in the colored plastic they end up in. I didn't see anything that required painting to match the prototype, but with its rather large, solid blocks of color, you will want to highlight panel lines, and possibly "wear" bits and pieces with silver to highlight. (I went over the panel lines with a pen, which brought them out well and gives some definition to the shapes.) You'll also want to bring out the detail on the back of the shield, which is otherwise lost in the expanse of white plastic.

I've decided with this one to treat it a bit more like my "usual" models, which can be a pain in this scale. On the other hand, the largest 1/60 scale ones are a bit too expensive at this point and unavailable around here, so... oh well. I didn't paint this (aside from the panel line highlights,) but did work on the seams. There wasn't much work needed, just care in trimming off the end of the sprue attachment points (which greatly helps assembly,) and sanding the most visible assembly seams on the legs and arms. (There are panel lines on the body, so it's not an issue there.)

Of all of them so far that "don't require paint," this one most lives up to it. The panels on the skirt armor, the neck pieces, the center of the head fins, and th events on the chest are all seperate pieces, not mounted in the base plastic color. The shield, too, is actually made in six pieces - three for the handle, the white back, the yellow "cross," and red outer face. No painting! There are no elaborate shoulder pads to edge in another color. The only thing I'd paint (I used the kit decals for this) would be the face, as the decals just don't like settling down where they're supposed to go.

You're also given the option of hands, two "normal" ones for the shield and/or beam sabres (white handles, clear plastic blades,) and one mounted permanently around the beam gun. They pop in and out securely, but easily.

Finally, this one has a bit more complex torso, with extra flexibility to twist and turn over the lower cost kits. This leads to some interesting pose possibilities (like shown in the top against Char's Zaku.) Gun again

For what I consider one of the more "basic" looking designs, I'm glad I picked this kit up and built it. Build one or two of the cheaper kits in this scale to get an idea of what you need to do in construction, then tackle this one's slightly more complex structure. You'll enjoy it, and get the "daddy" of the Gundam series to add to your collectoin. Reccommended heartily.