When we showed you a preview of the 1/144 Real Grade RX-78-2 Gundam back in July we were unsure what to expect with this new grade of kits and, due to the limited amount of time we had, couldn’t really delve into the build in depth. Well, we can’t let something this unique just go by without further explanation so we’ll be doing a series of posts regarding the building of the RG Gundam and what to expect and watch out for when you build your own. And I hope to take it a step further.
When you start opening the plastic bags and removing the runners the first thing you will notice is that there are quite a few runners for a 1/144 kit. There is also a tremendous amount of stickers. But these aren’t your regular Gundam stickers. These markings are unique to this kit and Bandai has taken it up a notch with the stickers just as they did the kit. We’ll explain more on all those stickers later.
There are a lot of parts on these small runners. Bandai has even gone ahead and molded runners with parts of different colors.
The armor comes on two different kinds of runners with the shade being slightly different, although the picture does not show it well.
Bandai was keen to hype the frame of this kit and as you can see why as this is different from any 1/144 scale kit we’ve seen before. The arms and leg frame are molded as one piece, yet are fully articulate from the outset. The plastic is flexible as well, but this also can lead to breakage if you are not careful.
And the remaining runners consist of frame and weapon pieces.
Right from the start of the build Bandai has something new in store as you need to remove a part of the piece you just removed from the runner. That’s right. There are pieces that were part of the mold process which are not necessary for the build. That said, there are also parts that need to be removed from one part of the frame and then used again later on. So don’t throw anything away!
Flexible feet! The feet, right off the runner, are flexible and bend in two sections. Interestingly, Bandai instructs you to swing and swivel some pieces 180 degrees before continuing with the application of frame or armor pieces. Follow the manual closely.
A normal 1/144 scale HG may have just three pieces for a foot. A bottom half, a poly-cap, and then a top half are pretty standard. The Real Grade is a whole different ball game.
After the feet come the legs and it’s here you have to carefully remove the leg frame from the runner and then cut away the unnecessary parts which are indicated here in red.
Again Bandai has you swinging some pieces around.
Once you swing those pieces around and connect them to the main part of the leg frame those pieces will move. But be careful! My advise is to loosen these pieces by slowly bending the leg back and forth before you apply the armor. You’ll thank me later.
Bandai has accurately recreated the 1/1 Gundam in 1/144 scale so you will be working with some really small armor parts. It’s also important to note that you will need to use your hobby knife to trim the gate marks right down otherwise the armor won’t line up properly.
Here is where I want to shout my word of warning to all who are undertaking this kit. If you are not careful when it comes to bending the leg, you will break the leg joint just above the knee. I broke both of the knee joints on the RG we built for the video so this time I knew what to expect and I want to show everyone how they should go about bending their RG legs.
Normally, when we play with our gundams, we will bend the leg by taking hold of the top portion and the bottom portion as well, like so.
This is a big no-no. If you take hold of it in this way and bend the leg, the front thigh armor will not be allowed to move with the frame and that’s when the knee part of the frame will break. Once again, not like this!
But, like this!
Take hold of the leg at the hip joint. This will allow the armor parts to travel with the movement of the frame.
The amount of movement the leg has is fantastic for a Gundam kit and moreso for 1/144 scale kits in particular. Great job, Bandai!
In the next entry we’ll continue along with the build and show you some other things worth noting and watching for.