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I buy things for strange reasons sometimes — case in point: this master grade Tallgeese. I don’t even like Gundam Wing, and my recent attempt at re-watching it fell apart after only 3 episodes thanks to the infinite charm of Relena Peacecraft. However, it does have a catchy opening. It’s so catchy that my wife and I watch it on YouTube more times than we care to admit. The opening closes with the Tallgeese cleaving off Wing Gundam’s arm and blow off half of its face, which is always greatly satisfying to watch. After a few dozen times of watching the opening over a number of months, I got the idea to buy and build the model.

Despite being the enemy ace’s mobile suit, the Tallgeese is really  just an oversized Leo (the basic grunt unit of Gundam Wing) with some extra boosters strapped to it and an big gun to boot. Compared the the Gundams in that series which are virtually indestructible, the Tallgeese is very much the underdog, which adds to its cool factor.

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I had meant to write a more comprehensive review on this kit, but I quickly dropped the idea after getting very frustrated while taking the photos. The problem lies with the dober gun — the signature weapon of the suit. It’s just a big-ass ballistic weapon that can be stashed aside on the shoulder when not in use — it sounds great on paper and a seemingly practical design in a series full of gimmicky gundams.

However, any notion of practicality is quickly dispelled after a couple minutes with the kit.

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The way Tallgeese holds the weapon is just unnatural. The weapon is attached via a small ball-jointed arm  on the side of the shoulder, but the grip is underneath the weapon. This means the weapon can only be held at an angle pointed toward the left side of the suit. It cannot be pointed forward, much less to the right side.

Furthermore, the hands on the Tallgeese are of the finger part-swapping variety. In order to have it hold a weapon, matching finger part must be first attached to the grip of the weapon, then attached to the hand itself. Irritating part swapping aside, the fingers are also prone to falling off.

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The interesting thing is that Bandai had already addressed this issue before with the Robot Damashii Tallgeese, which features a less bulky dober gun with a grip to the side of the weapon instead of underneath it. Since this “Endless Waltz” version of Tallgeese already differs from the TV version, taking some creative liberty with the positioning of the grip would’ve been good — at the very least there would’ve been more photos in the post.

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After all these complaints you might assume that I hate this kit. Though that may not be true, I don’t exactly love it. I haven’t built a master grade model in quite a while, but there was nothing about this kit that screamed innovation. In fact, I have the sneaking suspicion that these master grade Gundam Wing kits were designed ages ago and only release more recently to coincide the manga.

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Like virtually all master grade kits, the Tallgeese is pretty to look at, and that really is the most important thing to a model kit at the end of the day. For all the clever engineering found in master grade models, they’re not meant to be toys — and the Master Tallgeese is a rather strong reminder of this fact.