I’m not really a fan of the GN Arms (what is it exactly?) and haven’t really done anything where I actually went “WOW!” about other than it getting destroyed pretty quickly. Picked up this model because I wanted to paint the Trans-Am Exia and I already have the original Exia (I don’t like buying duplicate kits). To be honest, I am also not familiar at all with GN Arms design so I was sorta like “buhhh..what is this part?” during construction ^^;.
Something I find amusing was that the instructions for Exia only took up two pages and the rest is all for the GN Arms xD. For a HG 1/144, it has around the same number of runners as a regular MG. It even include screws!
Although it has many runners, this thing still builds like a true HG 1/144. The parts are very big yet are also very detailed; I think I took more time doing the panel lines than actually assembling the parts. There are exposed “internal” details and other mechanic details but nothing like an internal frame (why would it need one?).
As you can see, there’s not many steps to this model and there’s not much going on with it either. the general design of the GN Arms is very symmetrical so all you’re doing is just assembling multiple parts twice, connect it to a center piece, and you’re done >_>. Since this model consists of mostly large pieces, the nub marks are also a bit large and cleaning them off can take a good amount of time. Being a bit impatient and just wanted to get things over with, I screwed up on a few spots ^^;.
What nice things can I say about this thing? Well… it looks clean and the color is accurate even without the silly foil stickers (I didn’t stick any on). I don’t think it require any spots to be touched up with paint. It’s also after I’ve started on this model that I realized it doesn’t have many weaponry, just the claws, two beam canons and pewpew guns. No missiles?
Transformation is faithful to the anime… Just flip some things and you’re done. Very easy but not very exciting. Can’t help but get Gerwalk vibes from it in this form. It also sorta looks like a frog o_O. The thing is not exactly well-articulated so action poses are lmited. For the most part, Astraea fits perfectly in the GN Arms except the back can’t be plugged in due to the shape of its solar furnace. I’m sure any 1/144 Gundam with a plug hole below the groin and use the GN Arms just fine.
Just like any Gundam+armored ride thing (GP03D, Deep Striker, Meteor), there’s really not much playability when completed. It just gets displayed there and try to look cool. Sure, I can move the claws, adjust the thrusters, and point the cannons… but that doesn’t help it do any action pose ^^;.
It’s nice that Bandai actually make a full detailed kit out of the GN Arms and I don’t see anywhere significant where they could’ve/would’ve skimped on. The GN Arms look good enough to be displayed by itself so that’s saying something (the same thing cannot be applied to the 1/100 G-Falcon Double X unit). This isn’t a particularly stunning model, especially not for the price ($55-70) but it is better than average for such kits. I don’t find this kit too interesting but now at least I have something “different” to display along with my other models.