Throughout the course of Gundam history, Gundam has generally tried to stick to a realistic feel more so than anything else. However, around 1994 Sunrise introduced G Gundam, the likes of which has never been previously seen. G Gundam proudly boasts the title of being the most exaggerated and outrageous Gundam series of them all, the sort of series where the decibel levels the pilot’s screaming directly translates into his strength.
The main character, Domon Kasshu, travels all over the world participating in the, “Gundam Fight”, an international Battle Royale styled competition, where each country sends a Gundam to fight and the victor claims control of all the colonies for their country. Sunrise had a lot of fun playing with cultural clichés in the mechanical designs, clearly seen with Neo Canada’s Lumber Gundam or Neo Holland’s Nether Gundam.
In the story, God Gundam is the epitome of Japanese engineering, boasting superior strength and lightning quick speed. In reality, the Master Grade God Gundam is a less than godly. While it is an inexpensive and good-looking MG kit, its dated engineering and quality controls are significant blemishes to the model as a whole.
Features and Accessories
To start on a positive note, the details on this kit are quite nice, proper grooves are everywhere they should be. In addition, the concept art on the original model features some rather ugly feet, which were morphed slightly on the kit to be more aesthetically pleasing. The parts that require stickers on this kit are the black streaks on the ankle guards, feet and shoulders (the vulcans mounted on the head and vents on the back of its legs are molded white, are supposed to be yellow and black respectively, but have no sticker to go with them). The foil stickers included are of simple geometric shapes and are easily applied, thus they pose little problem to those who aren’t picky about complete colour accuracy.
The kit comes with an additional head crest (presumably in case you crush the first one), coloured beam sabers, a small statue of Domon, a series of optional stickers and dry transfers and most noticeably, moulded hands
The hands aren’t constructed as you might be accustomed to – they are made of grey rubber and unarticulated. Aside from a pair fists and a pair of hands for holding the beam swords, there is a pair of open palms and a pair of clear-plastic orange hands better known as God Gundam’s signature move – the “God Finger”
The “wings” on the backpack are able to separate to form 6 separate pieces. The backpack itself is actually a standalone vehicle known as the core lander, which can be separated from the main suit itself. It features a clear, openable cockpit hatch.
The chest also contains an interesting cave-in gimmick that allows the model to cross its arms for another one of its trademark poses. However, while it works to some degree, the arm-guards turn out to inhibit this pose somewhat, which is slightly annoying. It also opens up to reveal Domon’s King of Hearts insignia, which is a tiny 3-D sticker. Two sets of chest vulcans are also hidden on either side of God Gundam’s neck. These can be revealed by opening the white hatches covering them.
The arm-guards are rotatable by swivelling the wrists. They can swing forward to cover up part of God Gundam’s hands for the activation of God Finger. The back of God Gundam’s calves also open up to reveal thrusters hidden within. The bottom of its feet are made of the same rubber material as the hands, presumably for the purpose of better traction and stability for the model.
As we move onto the subject of articulation, the kit begins to face a series of notable problems. The MG God Gundam marks the first MG model with a full inner frame. This was called the Action Frame, and it promised superior articulation when compared to earlier MGs. The Action Frame used fewer polycaps and features a lot ingenious ways to keep the model posable, such as rotation locking pieces on the forearms (much like a bottle of Tylenol).
However, Bandai also instructs you to install little tiny screws in seemingly unimportant places such as the shoulders, elbows and knees, which to this day makes me wonder why they’re there (save for the feet and torso, which actually require the screws since holds two pieces together). My best guess is that they’re there to prevent pieces from becoming too loose, in the event you play with this kit so much that you grind down the hard plastic so that it loses joint strength.
While this is hardly a big deal by itself, the application of the idea is problematic, particularly in the arm and leg region, they want you to use a sort of screw that bores its own path through the narrow plastic hole as it goes down. I could not for the life of my get them to go in straight. The results of one particularly bloody battle with a screw are shown above. After that, I decided to just keep the ones that had already went in somewhat smoothly and leave out all the rest. Perhaps the size of my screwdriver is a little small for this task, but installing these screws was still unreasonably difficult.
In terms of articulation, the MG God Gundam is impressive, especially for a kit of its age. With the help of double joints at the knees and elbows, the action frame is able to reproduce a wide variety of dynamic poses. Sadly, this range of movement is slightly limited by the addition of the outer plating, and especially its tasset, arm-guards and pauldrons. As a result, it can’t quite pull of its high kicks or squats to quite the same degree, but its overall articulation remains on par with modern MG models
Under the Action Frame system, the strength of the joints becomes heavily dependent on the physical mould quality, since solid plastic does not have the same level of grip as polycaps. This is where the God Gundam majorly falls short. The arms and legs all have extremely different strengths compared to each other. Some are extremely tight and stiff, while others are at regular or slightly below. This is probably as result of less advanced moulding/injection technology of the day. Keep in mind that these joints in question are not related to the joints in which I have omitted screws, so the issue of screws is not relevant in this particular case
The MG God Gundam was released nine years ago in 2001, and its age definitely shows. The kit suffers from some questionable design decisions and minor quality control issues, as well as not being completely moulded in the correct colours like modern day Master Grade counterparts. But for 2500 yen kit of a memorable mech from a memorable series, these flaws might be forgiven somewhat. Personally, I can overlook the various flaws of this kit and still enjoy it immensely. You get what you paid for, and the MG God Gundam certainly possess more value than its price.
Mostly moulded in the right colours with decent, simple stickers for the parts that aren’t.
Chest cave-in gimmick allows for specific poses
Inconsistent joint strength
Seemingly useless (and irritating) screws
Armour inhibits articulation