Welcome to the review of the Master Grade Full Armor Gundam. A big thank you to HobbyLink Japan (www.hlj.com) for providing me with a sample kit for building and reviewing purposes. For those interested in getting your own FA Gundam, hit up the link here to get it from HLJ. Depending on things, we may see more of ASM meets HLJ type reviews in the future as well.
So on to the review, I’ve changed up my work flow a bit, which you see right off the bat with me starting with the review first. I’ve done an initial snap-fit build for testing and reviewing purposes, and depending on how I feel, I may go back for painting/modifications. I’ll be going over four areas overall
The build – Let me just say this, the Gundam 2.0 frame is a joy to build. It goes surprisingly fast, the overall build of the Gundam frame, minus the full armor parts only took roughly six hours or so. Of that, maybe an hour or so was spent for basic gate/nub cleaning. I can see why GaiGun said in the past that the frame is great, but it’s a shame that it gets covered by the armor.
For all of this, they still managed to let you put the Core Fighter in the torso if you like. The core fighter itself has some amazing engineering, but tiny parts made me afraid I would break something. The downside is there isn’t much waist movement, regardless of if the core fighter is there or not.
So when all is said and done with the initial build we get this boy.
At this point, I find this Gundam pretty impressive just for the coloring scheme. Downside is there are some fat nubs on some of the green pieces, which means you’re going to have some gate damage that will stand out no matter what. With the normal color scheme, it’s pretty easy to hide with white pieces, but not this time around. But the draw isn’t just the color scheme. Next we look at the…
Gimmicks – Well, you already know what the gimmick is by the name of the kit. That would be that set of Full Armor. As this Gundam (RX-78-1) is part of the FSWS project, it comes with a Full Armor System & Weapons System. Snipping these out and cleaning them up added another couple of hours to my total. This Full Armor kit uses a new idea to attach the armor to the Gundam, that being gel sheets. Basically, the gel sheets function as double sided tape, which means you should be able to take it off and on easier.
Unfortunately, the gel strips don’t work quite as well as advertised. For the most part, a majority of the pieces are a simple snug fit over the top of the original armor, but for the pieces that use the gel strips… well they spent more time falling off then staying it felt. A solution would be glue or something stronger, but that’s an end all solution. Other than that, comes the big cannon, and when it all comes together, it that looks something like this.
Compared to another Full Armor kit such as the FAZZ, the difference is night and day. The fact that you can pose the Gundam, have good articulation, and take it off the full armor without worrying about breaking something made me like this kit much more than the FAZZ. The FAZZ still gets points for simply being big and menacing though. Finally, before we get to the final pictures, lets talk pros and cons.
- Articulation is superb, even with the Full Armor attached.
- Color scheme looks good, but I’ll be interested in seeing what schemes modders come up with.
- Its a fast build.
- Gel strips means you can take the armor off freely.
- Gate/nub damage will stand out on some pieces, due to the darker color scheme.
- Doesn’t come with the standard armaments, so no beam rifle, bazooka or shield.
- Gel strips don’t work as well as you would think, meaning some pieces will continually fall off.
Overall, the FA Gundam is fairly easy build, and recommended for those who are looking for an easy kit with great articulation. There is a lot of potential for some great color schemes as well. It still does have it’s frustrations, with the gel strips in particular, and some fairly big nub damage that will stand out. For those who may to try out a Gundam 2.0 kit, but aren’t fans of the anime colors, then this could be your kit. So the pictures? I’ve got a few of those, and so that will be coming up in the photo gallery in the next post. But just to get you started…
Ready for the gallery? Click away!