REVIEW: HG FX-78 FULL ARMOR GUNDAM [THUNDERBOLT VER.]

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The High Grade FX-78 Full Armor Gundam from Gundam: Thunderbolt.

A while ago when I first saw the design for the FX-78 Full Armor Gundam from the Thunderbolt series I didn’t really think anything of it and thought it kind of looked a bit dumb with too many shields.

Recently, I was really impressed by the High Grade Zaku I kit from Thunderbolt and thought I would give the anime show a shot. I absolutely love the  anime show and with it I got a real appreciation for the design of FX-78, and of course it’s pilot who seems more the villain when compared to the other characters.

Suffice it to say, I purchased the HG kit of the Full Armor Gundam and I’m glad I did.

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The High Grade FX-78 Full Armor Gundam from Gundam: Thunderbolt. Some heavy duty weapons the Gundam is holding, but rest assured the arms and joints can take the weight.

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The stand the kit comes with is a must if you want to get it any type of dynamic poses due to the giant backpack that weighs the kit down.

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Absolutely love the mechanism in the backpack that allows the two extension arms to move the extra shields around. This Gundam is going to need all those shields in the anime series.

First let’s get to the subject that detracted me in the beginning off the table. The kit comes with four shields, two of which you can attach to the arms while the other two can be held by extension arms connected to the backpack. The system involved in moving those shields is pretty nice and allows a variety of positions to move the additional shields from protecting the front portion of the mobile suit to the sides.

After seeing the shields in action in the anime and having the kit and shields in my hands, it’s probably the best accessory gimmick on the kit; I’ve spent a lot of time adjusting the shields to different positions to make the Gundam look more formidable.

The kit also comes with a heavy duty backpack with missile pod, a large beam cannon and two propellant tanks attached. Having all that equipment in the back portion of the kit means it’s nearly impossible to have a dynamic pose without a stand which is provided with the model.

The Gundam’s main armaments are comprised of a twin beam rifle on its right arm and a five tube missile pod on its left arm. In addition, the weapons are attached to a shield. Even though each of these weapons are a bit heavy, the arms had no problem holding the weapons forward; the joints are pretty tight for this kit.

The rest of the weapons (like it needs anymore!) are two beam sabers which nicely compliment the mobile suit.

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The HG FX-78 Full Armor Gundam from Gundam: Thunderbolt armed with beam sabers. Really love the look of the kit with the additional shields.

The HG FX-78 was a fun kit to put together, and just like the Zaku I it’s got a ton of stickers. I’m a big fan of stickers so that’s a huge plus for me.

After completing this grand kit, I realized that this needs to be a Master Grade. I’m sure it’s going to become one in the future, after all it’s the main Gundam in the series.

But the High Grade model is no slouch.

Even though it’s not as poseable compared to recent High Grades, especially in the knee and elbows, it’s adequate enough to position the kit in dynamic poses armed with its heavy duty and well designed weapons. The level of detail with the assistance of decals just boots the quality of the kit to a higher degree.

I know there’s only a couple of episodes left in the Thunderbolt anime series, but I hope there’s other kits in the future if the Zaku I and FX-78 is any indication of the quality kits on the horizon.

HG FX-78 FULL ARMOR GUNDAM [GUNDAM THUNDERBOLT VER.]

+ Sleek and different design aided by multiple shields which can be positioned in a variety of ways

+ Some awesome weaponry which can be posed with ease due to tight joints

+ Details and stickers give the kit a more stylized look

– Some limited movement in the elbows and knees when compared to other High Grades

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Shields protecting the upper body and backpack armaments.

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Lifting off to kick some Zeon butt.

REVIEW: HG PROTOTYPE GOUF [MOBILITY DEMONSTRATOR BLUE COLOR Ver.]

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai fully armed with machine gun, axe and shield.

The HG Prototype Gouf -Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Version- is a limited kit made by P-Bandai based on the regular release of the HG Prototype Gouf Tactical Demonstrator. Both of the kits are produced under the Gundam: The Origin series, but have not appeared thus far in the anime series and doubt they will since they are regarded as Mobile Suit Discovery kits which are experimental variations.

The main difference between the kits is that the regular regular release has the interchangeable arms and hands which include the beam whip, machine gun hand, and regular hand.

P-Bandai’s kit has regular arms and hands (2 fists, 1 open left hand, 1 trigger right hand), and includes a machine gun, a shield and two beam axes (a deactivated axe and an activated one). The design of the kit also has some notable difference in the inclusion of white parts in the arms and legs, as well as some nice white decals that line various areas of the body. Among the other stickers included is those denoting the number two which are displayed on the feet, lower chest and shield.

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai with beam axe.

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai.

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai.

This is my first Gouf kit and I was overall pleased with the design of the kit especially the big bulky shoulder armor and the head. The big cables throughout the body give the mobile suit a bulkier aesthetic, although the cable in the torso does limit significantly the movement of the area; the kit can slightly turn right and left.

Other than that issue, I found the poseablity to be pretty standard for a High Grade kit. There weren’t any real problems that I encountered. Even the shoulder armor has a mechanism that allows you to move it to allow greater movement of the arms. The head can be turned but not quite all the way around due to the large nose and cables.

Speaking about the head, one thing that I found a bit frustrating was there was no outline on the kit itself to place the eye decal. I think it would have been nice to include on not just the eye but for the outlying stickers found on the bottom and sides of the feet, at the base of the horns and around the skirt armor. The eye decal wasn’t much of a problem once I got it centered, but the outlying stickers proved to be a problem. I’m clearly biased since I recently purchased the HG Zaku I Thunderbolt kit which does include outlines on the kit for a good portion of the stickers including the eye.

However, once you get all the stickers on the kit it adds more depth and a better contrast to the regular release which I’m still planning to purchase in the future.

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai armed with beam axe.

Overall I really like the design of the this kit and has me itching to purchase more variations of the Gouf.

If you’ve been a fan all along of the Gouf, I would probably recommend getting the regular Origin HG release due to it having a bit more interesting and varied accessories, this kit’s accessories were adequate and a given (the axes).

The kit itself though has a fantastic design and has made me a fan of the Gouf.

HG PROTOTYPE GOUF [MOBILITY DEMONSTRATOR BLUE COLOR Ver.]

+ Interesting and varied design of the Gouf

+ A nice contrast compared to the regular release with stickers and some color variations helping to note difference

– Adequate accessories, but feels less interesting compared to regular release

– Cables significantly limit torso from moving side to side.

– No sticker outlines for eye and line decals

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai with bazooka from System Weapon 006 from Bandai.

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HG Prototype Gouf [Mobility Demonstrator Blue Color Ver.] from P-Bandai

REVIEW HGUC GABTHLEY

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley model from Zeta Gundam.

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley model from Zeta Gundam.

The High Grace Universal Century RX-110 Gabthley Gundam model came out in the winter of 2005 and is based on the mobile suit featured in the 1985-1986 animated series Zeta Gundam.

The Gabthley was piloted by Titan pilots Jerid Messa and Mour Pharoah, and was featured in several episodes mainly near the mid-point of the anime series.

The mobile suit is notable for being one of several transformable mobile suits in the series; transforming from its mobile suit form to a “mobile armor” which resembles an insect.

The HGUC model retains that aspect with the Gabthley able to change forms.

The Gabthley model comes with a Feyadeen rifle, four beam sabers that are placed within sockets in the arms, a pair of hands that hold the sabers, a hand to hold the rifle and a stand that holds any pieces the model is not currently using.

The HGUC Gabthley armed with its Feyadeen beam rifle/saber.

The HGUC Gabthley armed with its Feyadeen beam rifle/saber.

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley armed with two of its beam sabers.

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley armed with two of its beam sabers.

HGUC RX-110 Gabthley with Feyadeen beam rifle/saber

HGUC RX-110 Gabthley with Feyadeen beam rifle/saber

HGUC RX-110 Gabthley with Feyadeen beam rifle/saber.

HGUC RX-110 Gabthley with Feyadeen beam rifle/saber.

The design of the model is amazing and one of my top five of all time for Gundam.

Zeta Gundam is known for its strange designs, and although it’s not an over the top design (like The-O or Messala), the Gabthley doesn’t look like your ordinary mobile suit with its slimmed down sleek look and insectoid influences, especially in its mobile armor form.

The model’s poseability is pretty decent for a 2005 model. It’s good, but nowhere near where Bandai has pushed the capabilities of today’s HG kits. I was pretty surprised that the arms were very flexible to the point you can do a bicep curl.

The weakest part of the model is definitely the hand that’s supposed to hold the Feyadeen beam rife/saber, made up of two parts. It falls apart very easily, and I was not able to get the hand to hold the rifle.

I specifically bought a third party pair of hands (Hobby Base’s mechanical hands for 1/144 models) since I knew beforehand about the problems.

Hobby Bases’s hands are similar to Perfect Grade hands miniaturized for High Grades. Although they are somewhat big for the HG Gabthley, they’re pretty tight and were able to grasp the rifle. It took me a lot of patience and time to put Hobby Base’s hands together, since the parts were so small, but it was well worth the effort.

The other pair of hands that come with the Gabthley perfectly hold the sabers. There are four sabers that are placed within the arms of the model.

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley in mobile armor form.

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley in mobile armor form.

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley in mobile armor form.

The HGUC RX-110 Gabthley in mobile armor form.

The mobile armor form of the model looks exactly like an insect complete with its circular eyes and feet which are grasping claws that look pretty neat and can be also used in the Gabthley’s mobile suit form.

It almost looks like a robot from the Transformers series. The mobile armor form looks good, but I doubt that I would leave it in that form since I think the mobile suit looks much better.

The HGUC Gabthley is a very strange looking but interesting model. I really like the mobile suit design, and even though the model isn’t really up to par in the poseability department, there’s still a lot of various poses you can get the model in.

Just don’t count on getting the hand that’s meant to grasp to the rifle to work. I highly recommend third party hands to get any type of decent poses with the Feyadeen rifle.

I would definitely buy a Master Grade of this kit and hope Bandai looks toward Zeta Gundam for ideas for future MGs, especially from the Titan designed suits.

HGUC RX-110 Gabthley

HGUC RX-110 Gabthley

HGUC RX-110 GABTHLEY

+ Unusual and interesting design.

+ Ability to change forms to mobile armor mode.

+ Decent amount of poseability for a 2005 model.

– Hand for rifle comes apart easily. Difficult to hold the weapon properly if at all.