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    scandalousmess:


    PG Gundam Exia (non-lighting ver.)

    Best perfect grade kit so far? Quite possibly so. Almost every review online covers the “lighting” version of this kit, and I too was keen on getting it, until I found out that the non-lighting version costs about half the price. Furthermore, I got mine at an even lower deal that was too hard to resist. This version is for those who can’t justify paying double the amount for a feature that they’ll admire only ever so occasionally once it’s set up and on display.

    Build process: 10/10

    Apart from the “hi-res” 1/100 Gundam Barbatos, this is the only kit I’ve encountered where the entire inner frame had to be constructed before layering on the armour pieces. I find this somewhat a more refreshing and enjoyable build compared to assembling the entire torso, limbs, and head separately before putting them together. In a sense, it might be more realistic when we imagine how mobile suits are built in reality. This method also allows us to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the inner frame. Since there’s no wiring up in this kit, building it was generally a breeze.

    Design: 10/10

    The only other Exia I’ve ever built and owned was the RG Exia in early 2014. I placed both the RG and PG kits side by side and really got to appreciate what each grade had to offer. The proportion and details on the PG is immaculate, and phenomenal. There are 2 shades of blue and white on the PG Exia and the blue appears to have a more purplish hue compared the RG (and presumably the MG) version.

    Just like some of the earlier PG kits, this kit also features an open hatch “gimmick” showing some parts of the inner frame and so provides us an additional option to have this model kit displayed. I did also notice that parts of the GN condensers which are visible on the inner frame of the upper arm and thigh areas end up being covered by the armour parts. This might be a minor issue for those building the lighting version as the number of possible lighted areas become obsolete when covered up.

    As for the accessories, while the RG Exia had its GN sword and blades in a mirror-like chrome finish, the PG Exia’s blades have a more subtle matte-silver finish. Some may prefer one over the other but I find the matte-silver choice looking really good as well.

    Articulation: 9.5/10

    Almost perfect score here, let’s see why. The good: great range of motion in generally every joint. The elbows and knees are double jointed, and there’s no need to worry about breaking or squeezing any of the LED cables when fiddling with the joints since there are no electronics to deal with in this case. I did find a couple of minor issues with the articulation in the shoulders and upper-leg-hip joint. I found The shoulder joints particularly tight, which can be both a good and bad thing. As I tried raising the arms up, I noticed that the the upper arm area of the inner frame looked somewhat stressed and slightly bent and I was concerned that it would snap. Raising it up and and down required quite a bit of force and care. As for the leg-hip ball joint, I thought it could have been a little tighter. While posing the kit with its legs slightly apart, the upper torso started to weigh it down a little causing the kit to do a mini split before it stabilised midway. Nevertheless, these are minor issues that can be easily overlooked. What I really appreciated was the use of multiple hand options for different poses that can be easily interchanged with one another, without being loose in any way.

    Overall: 10/10

    Great kit, highly recommended for gunpla or Exia fans as this piece would surely stand out as a mech display centrepiece.

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    Assembling the PG Gundam Exia this week. Got the non-led version for a good deal, but kinda envious whenever I see the lighting version from reviews online.

    ​The lighting effects are really beautiful but I can’t justify forking out double the price for a feature I’ll only admire once in a while.

    I’ll most likely share my reviews when I’m done. I’m really excited to see what poses I can do with this kit, compared to the PG Unicorn.

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    scandalousmess:

    Prior to the announcement and release of the Real Grade Gundam Unicorn (”RG Unicorn”), I’d often shoot down people’s comments and hopes that Bandai would produce the said gunpla kit. Having built the Master Grade Unicorn (”MG version”) a few years back, the MG version was finicky in its transformation especially around the knee and ankle area. Due to its slightly elongated proportion and weak joints, the MG version wasn’t capable of many dynamic poses in its destroy mode form. Given this past experience, I was almost certain that it would be impossible to engineer an even smaller 1/144 scale, fully transformable Gundam Unicorn - but I was proven completely wrong.

    Design: 10/10

    Some of you might not agree with me on this since matters of design are largely subjective. That said, I will admit that the Unicorn Gundam is my all time favourite mobile suit from the Gundam franchise. The proportion of the RG Unicorn is true to the anime and close to that of the Perfect Grade version (”PG version”). It doesn’t have awkward, longish legs like the MG version. Also, in true Real Grade fashion, the armour comes with both white, and some off-white parts, even though the mobile suit itself is supposed to be almost entirely white. There are tonnes of decals as usual, which is up to the individual to decide how many to use, to give it a more “realistic” look. There are also lots of panel lining opportunities, in positions almost identical to the ones found on the PG version. If there was just something I had to nitpick, it’s the use of gold foil stickers for the V-fin. Use of the default gold foil stickers hides those line details that are found on the surface.

    Articulation: 9/10

    One of the main weakness of the MG Unicorn is the relatively limited range of motion found at the knee joint. There were hardly any issues on the PG version, and also, you’ll be able to get close to a 180 degree bend on the knees of this RG version. Most of the other joints do bend fairly well without any loose pieces coming off. Perhaps instead of focusing on the strengths, I should highlight a few of the weaknesses, so as to explain why I docked a point for the articulation. The rotation around the head and ankle areas are rather limited. Consequently, these limitations do reduce the variety of dynamic poses that can be done with this kit.

    Stability and transformation: 10/10

    This aspect of the RG Unicorn has truly taken me by surprise and has far exceeded my expectations. Loose joints? Armour parts falling off? Balance issues? While these issues had plagued the Real Grade Sinanju (a beautiful but unfortunate kit) a year ago, thankfully, none of those problems were present with the RG Unicorn. This time, Bandai did not re-use an earlier Real Grade frame from a previous kit (which is something they’ve done on numerous occasions before), but instead redesigned the frame entirely for this 1/144 scale. The result is a wonderfully solid kit where the shoulder and elbow joints are strong enough to hold up its weapon accessories without being a victim of gravity. While the transformation from Unicorn mode to Destroy mode is not free from difficulty, it is MILES easier than the PG or MG versions. Take for example, the part where the knees pop out, the connection between the white armour and the red psychoframe connects easily and unlike the MG version, it does not fall off. Expanding / transforming the forearms and upper torso is also A LOT easier on the RG than both the MG and PG versions. You’d have to try them to really understand the difference. Transforming the head, while easy, is also a little different here. Instead of flipping the outer mask downwards to reveal the typical Gundam face, both sides of the face are built on the same little “cylinder” facing opposite directions and are rotated depending on the mode you choose to display it in.

    Although we are given 3 options for the horns/v-fins (fixed open, closed, and foldable), I’d recommend the foldable option without hesitation. I was really impressed by how the closed V-fin (foldable) is able to fold neatly into the unicorn mode without any gap or misalignment. In comparison, even though the PG Unicorn’s V-fin has magnets meant to hold them securely, the gap is still clearly visible.

    Whether it is in destroy mode, or unicorn mode, fiddling around with the kit does not leave me feeling as if I was about to cause some parts to fall off or break. I’m really not sure how Banai did it this time, but the engineers have finally worked their magic. This might be the best Real Grade kit that I’ve built so far.

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    That is one powerful scene

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