|"Victory is the greatest tribute we can pay those who sacrifice their lives for us! Rise, our people, Rise! Take your sorrow, and turn it into anger!" - Gihren Zabi|
Last month, I rediscovered the world of Gunpla when I built a MS-07B Gouf model created by Bandai. It was a fun learning process, one that resulted in a nice looking model with relatively little time investment. The Gouf was one of Bandai’s cheaper models, a High Grade (HG, 1:144 scale) kit with relatively few parts. Taking what I learned, I wanted to try to build one of their more complex kits, seeing what sort of articulation and color differeationation the kits could have. This led me to their Real Grade (RG) line of models. RG models maintain the 1:144 scale of their HG counterparts, but have an increased part count and many have an internal skeleton underneath the armor plates, reminiscent of the larger Master Grade kits (1:100). I found one of the original RG models (circa 2010), a Zaku II, and wanted to let you know what I think of it.
|Pictures of the Zaku’s leg, with a diagram of how the skeleton flexes underneath the armor.|
|The leg cables on the Zaku are built on top of a spring, allowing it to be very flexible.|
|The assembled and weathered Zaku II.|
|The completed model has an impressive amount of articulation in its limbs and torso, allowing you to spend a long time experimenting with different poses.|
|The included machine gun and bazooka for the Zaku II.|
|The Zaku II holding its machine gun.|
|An MS-07B Gouf next to the MS-06F Zaku II.|
|A Primaris Space Marine next to the MS-06F Zaku II.|
The RG MS-06F Zaku II was a real pleasure to build. It was exciting to discover all of the clever molding techniques Bandai used to create the model, minimizing moldlines, and creating a convincing final model, even without paint. I was extremely impressed with the internal skeleton, and how much color varion was present within the various armor panels. Although I didn’t fully paint the model, I am quite happy with how well the acrylic/ethanol method worked. It is something that would come natural to anyone who has worked with oils on scale models before, but still easy even if you have not. Although I have not built too many Gundam models, I really like the RG line so far, due to its detail and fidelity to the source material, but also their small size. With that said, I should try to build one of their Master Grade kits, at some point! Let me know what you think about the model, or any tips you have discovered when building Gunpla!
- Eric Wier