When I first saw the Avalanche on Hobby Japan (or was it Dengeki Hobby…? but whatever), I immediately love the design. It made the Exia look less naked and more completely without being bulky. At the time I thought I would never see a model for it (Bandai never cared to make the Red Frame Mars Jacket) but guess they want to milk Exia for all its worth. Unfortunately it has to be in the form of a 1/100 though. This makes me a hypocrite for bashing on the original 1/100 Exia and picking up the 1/144 Exia. Oh well… let’s see how this Exia really is…
Out of the box, there’s a total of 11 frames which is around the same or even more than some MGs. This is a lot for a non-MG 1/100. I was unpleasantly surprised… even with all these frames, there’s still a gigantic sheet of foil stickers. That means plenty of places are lacking its actual color details.
Construction was not as much of a breeze as I thought it would be (elaborate on that later). Each body part takes quite a few pieces in its basic (original Exia) form and then you have to work on the Avalanche add-on parts. I was gonna do my typical “screw foil stickers!” but after testing the fitment out, I thought I could actually use it this time and it doesn’t look too lame. Most of the stickers goes on the Avalanche stuff.Plenty of psuedo-MG gimmick on this model like a somewhat inner frame and multi-joint limbs for high flexibility.
What’s nice about this model is that if for some odd reason you don’t want the Avalanche Exia, you can just build the original Exia in its entirety thanks to all of its original parts being included on top of the modified parts to attach the Avalanche. Something of notice is that there’s no instructions on how to build the shield but all the parts for it are also included so I just quickly snapped it together as well.
With the spare clear orb pieces, I painted them in metallic green and silver to see which one looks better. At the end, I ended up going with the metallic green and used it on the INSIDE of the orbs that go on Exia (head and chest pieces). This way, I still get the clear orb look AND a solid color inside. The orbs looked a lot more impressive painted on the inside than covering a dark green foil sticker :D. I also painted the front andback hexagons with two layers of metallic silver (screw the sticker!) and the face vents yellow. This was probably the only part I liked about the construction project.
Here are the complaints… and they are no minor quirks either. For whatever reason that doesn’t make any sense, this model has a $#!^load of THICK gates (the connection between the piece and the frame) scattered throughout the whole thing. With thick gates come thick nasty nubs. It’s on par and worse (in some instances) than the nubs on the inner frames of MG models. I had to use my secondary cutter most of the time and worried I might dull my primary cutter prematurely. The nubs are everywhere… every size, every color, every body part (you might spot a few in some of the photos). This is why the model is not as much of a breeze; it took me quite some time to work out the nubs and to carefully clean it. I was getting quite pissed and just wanted to finish the model and be done with. It’s only a normal 1/100 model anyway… but I mustered through. It’s ridiculous… imagine a 1 mm thick nub in the CENTER of a piece -_-;
There’s also some minor fitment issues here and there… specifically with PC “C”; the polycap would get “crushed” between two pieces and when I snap it together, it’ll make a little split between the parts. I didn’t take pictures of it because I’ll just give it the benefit of the doubt and say it’s just my own model. I super glued the halves to get them to close anyway.
I didn’t attach the Avalanche parts during construction so I can see how the 1/100 Exia (modified for Avalanche) looks like without it. I didn’t put on the original parts to take a look at the original Exia though but this is close enough.
The finished model looks… meh or a little above average. Nothing stunning or stylish. It isn’t bad though. The joints are very smooth, nothing too stiff and nothing even near loose. This is a very solid model. The head has plenty of room to move around… except looking down. Having the chin completely down is basically having it look straight forward. The torso’s rotation has been limited by the avalanche armor in the back unfortunately otherwise it can go just about 45 degrees.
Poseability is superb… easily beating MANY Master Grade models of the past and recent times. Thanks to an indenpent “revolving” part that provides connection between hip and leg, this model can do many dynamic poses with incredible ease. The ankle is also restriction-free as well. The arms are a bit hindered by its armor though but I think it should also be as free-flowing without it. I don’t think I have to talk much about poseability since the pictures can tell you MORE ^_^
and here it is, Gundam Avalanche Exia:
Time for more complaints… This model can use some better proportions. Even for non-MG standards, the proportions on this model are a bit chunky and blunt. Exia looks more sleek in the anime. The arm and legs just doesn’t have that fine slimness here. The body overall just need to look a little more sharper. Also… why are the hands so big? It looks hideous on the original Excia but it’s a bit covered up in this variation thanks to the added armor. The beam saber literally just drop into the hole so its actually not holding the beam saber; if you tilt the hand, the saber or whatever that it is holding will slide right off. I don’t think I’m expecting too much out of a 1/100… I do collect them and built plenty before this one so I should know what and what not to expect out of a non-MG (HG) 1/100 model.
Second complaint… You see that white sheet of paper in some of the photos? It’s there for a reason. This model can barely stand. The legs will gradually (and very quickly) start doing the splits moments after setting it up. I thought it was dust on my glass so I cleaned it but it still slides. I’m guessing this is the drawback of having that “revolving” ball joint that allowed for its dynamic poses. Not to mention that it’s probably relatively top heavy and all that weight is being supported only by polycaps. While standing, this model LOVES to fall face first. I don’t see how it is front heavy as well but it must be bending some law of physics if it ALWAYS fall front instead of back. This is VERY annoying. I would walk out of my room for a few moments, come back and see it flat on its face.
Although this model can do many great poses… it can’t hold them! It can and probably will fall (at least for me). I did have a few successful poses where it held itself the whole time though but it’s hard and tricky figuring out and balancing it.
Last words: This model kit could’ve put many Master Grade kits to shame but alas, it kinda did and kinda failed to do so at the end due to the above mentioned problems (and they aren’t exactly minor). This model has all the MG potential but falls (literally) short due to its HG structure… so that means we should really just wait for the MG Exia xD