When starting on the arms the first thing you have to do is take the flexible frame apart. But don’t throw anything away!
What you have to do is pull the top part of the frame off. This part is actually going to be used in the assembly of the shield later on so keep that piece handy. Very ingenious of Bandai if you ask me.
This will leave you with the arm frame which, much like the leg frame, has some fragile areas that need to be handled delicately.
The next step is to put on the gold foil sticker (or water-slide decals if you prefer them) onto the elbow frame piece before putting on the armor. I opted instead to use a Gundam marker here because I found the foil stickers to adhere ineffectively and the water-slide decals to be slightly too wide and a little difficult to work with.
The arm assembles just like the leg using many different sizes and shapes of armor pieces in two different colors.
Once the arm is assembled you get a new appreciation for the design and engineering Bandai came up with for this Real Grade.
The shoulders come as one piece of frame with many smaller armor parts placed overtop. If you don’t sufficiently remove the gate marks from the frame pieces the armor parts will not stay on and you will find yourself searching around your workbench or floor for them often.
With the shoulders finished your Real Grade Gundam will now look like this.
Something’s missing. That’s right! The head.
I found the head to be the most enjoyable part of the build. Bandai really did a great job of making this Gundam look like the 1/1 Gundam which, in my opinion, is the best looking RX-78-2 I’ve seen.
Bandai gives you two options for the eyes. You can place a yellow-eyed sticker on, or you can place a blue-eyed sticker on and put the two smaller yellow eyes on over top. As I went with the yellow-eyed sticker on the Real Grade that was built for Gunpla TV, this time I went the alternate route. It does give the eyes a bit more depth but because of the model’s small size it’s not really noticeable.
Even for just the head, there are a lot of pieces used in the construction.
Put the face armor on first followed by the sides, rear, then top.
Look at the detail on the part for the back of the head!
The final armor piece comes with some unsightly gate marks.
Use the edge of your knife to cut it down and scrape it smooth.
Put the V-fin on and you’re all set.
This is where you would be assembling the sections to make a complete model, however, because I have panel lining and decals to put on I am going to leave him as he is for now. Next up, the already mentioned panel lining.