HGUC 1/144 Sazabi


Ah… the HGUC Sazabi… This is my very first HGUC model. I didn’t have much expectation out of this model since it’s a HG and a 1/144. Its MG counterpart was one of the most disappointing model I’ve ever build. I’ve decided to give this version a shot because I want to believe in Bandai and that they’ve fixed most of  the flaws that plagued the old MG model while still incorporating their recent gunpla engineering methods.

Out of the Box


There are many things to praise about for this model.

-Being a HG 1/144, it has equal numbers of runners to your average 1/100 Gundam. About 9 runners of parts in total.

– Both tones of red plastic have significantly higher quality than its older counterpart. The MG version has plastic that is reminiscence of Kotobukiya’s plastic… but worse.

– No foil stickers

– Semi-internal frame! The runner for it seems to be plated (I can’t even describe the color) so the negative side of this if you clean the nub, you’re left with a black mark ^^;

– Random colored pages in the manual

just ONE minor thing though…


Got no better place to put that nub gate, Bandai?

Upper Body


Quite a lot of pieces for just a body of this size. There’s the psuedo-inner frame thing going on before you attach the outer red layer. Its construction process is actually not that different from the MG model! You’re just spared of inserting the yellow beads in one by one.


There’s “inner details” on the upper arm while the rest is made up of outer halves. Love how the elbow actually have some design to it and not simply PC peg and socket. Two pairs of fist are included: one pair of open fist for beam sabers, one right hand for beam rifle, one left hand for open palm. Gotta love the details on them.



Took my time to carefully clean off the nub on the front of the head. I was scared and though I might messed up. I’d say I only managed to clean it out 90% of the way so it’s only there if you actually want to look specifically for it. Construction of the head is very similar to the MG as well. I didn’t use the sticker for the eye and just painted it metallic green. I like how small the head is on this model ^^. Be careful of its “v-fin” because it is very fragile.

Lower Body


The feet and legs are very simplified compared to the rest of the model. the anchor gimmick on its feet is gone and there’s really nothing going on here. Just put together and go. the waist has a hole to plug the model onto the Action Base 2. There’s quite a large amount of thick nubs here too so I had to be careful with that.



Snap. snap. snap. All done. I’m sure you can assemble all the weapons even without referring to the manual. I had to paint in the lower yellow bar on the shield because there was no piece nor foil sticker for it; the process took about 6-8 layers of Tamiya flat yellow. I like how they simplified the funnels. It’s definitely better than the tedious work of assembling each funnel individually ^^;

MSN-04 Sazabi


The completed model is gorgeous. It definitely looks a lot better than its MG counterpart in terms of proportions and overall elegance. Its stance is also very stable and is neither back heavy nor easily tilted to one side; this Sazabi is very well balanced. A layer of flat top coat would’ve helped dull the shiny plastic a bit but subfreezing weather didn’t permit that ^^;


You can barely see Sazabi’s eye thanks to its “forehead” enclosing right over it ^^;. Painted all the thrusters gold for some effect.


Sazab is actually still pretty tall even in 1/144 scale. It can easily be towering over other 1/144 models.

Char’s Counterattack




This is a GREAT model! Its articulation, with its design taken into account, is amazing. The HGUC Sazabi can do everything that the MG Sazabi can’t. The only part that obstructs other parts is the shield. Everything else moves very freely. Range of motion on the arms and legs are limited given this mobile suit’s bulky design (maybe that’s how the Nu Gundam flew circles around it). I couldn’t display the funnels because there’s nothing to hold them with but I’m sure the clear pipes from the MG Strike Freedom or Hi-Nu could work very well with it. Although the joints aren’t very stiff, I don’t see them becoming loose any time soon. The legs have a tendency to pop off but that’s not too irritating.

I’m very impressed with this model and how it practically beats the MG in every way that counts. Many parts are simplifed for the better. Guess I should’ve expected this out of Bandai’s gunpla engineering and the 8 year gap between the two model. If you want a Sazabi, I highly suggest you pick up the HGUC instead of the MG unless you just want something to take up a huge amount of space.


Hobby Hovel

BD77’s of Figure & Plamos

40 thoughts on “HGUC 1/144 Sazabi

  1. From random talks here and there, it’s just like the HGUC version of the other CACA units- it’s more poseable with a slight tone down of details (this can’t be helped I guess). I’ve messed around with the MG Re-GZ before and I must say… it can’t do anything despite the relatively slim body. Though that’s to be expected since it was also released around 2001.

  2. I guess it’s straight to the HG for me then. I’m actually amazed at how limited my recent MG Freedom felt compared to my Destiny and X-1 in terms of leg articulation. Those new hip joints they introduced in the 2005 line-up really make a world of difference. I wish they’d start using them in the HG’s as well.

  3. Hey Z do you topcoat the entire model in gone go? or do you take apart your gundam kits and spray piece by piece? ex. arms, legs, head, torso, etc

  4. This review made me get this model, I even reviewed it on my blog. Its definitely one of the best HGUC models out, and I think its a better version of the sazabi than the master grade. Btw Z, where do you get those clear display stands you use for the photos…

  5. Hasegawa clear display stand or something like that. Got it from HLJ. Learned about it from Danny Choo back when he actually posts about his own Gundams xD

  6. Did you need to touch up this model if so what colors did you use? Also with the sword impulse is that tamiya spray paint you used for the swords?

  7. I have bought many kits recently due to your reviews and tools as well. I find them really helpgul when I am trying to decide which models to purchase. I am new to this though. I am currently working on the o raiser and the gn-001 exia. I have allot work to do. LOL….

  8. I wonder if Bandai would attempt to recreate the Nightingale (re: Over-sized Sazabi), even in 1/100 PG form…

    Someone PM them right NAO!

  9. Hi, count me in too, because of your review I order it, too bad that I had some problems with Customs and they charged me like $18 in taxes, that was painfull.

  10. My HGUC Sazabi was my first HGUC in almost 5 years, and I was (and still am) very satisfied with it. It’s actually rekindled my interest with the HGUC line.
    I like the detailing on yours, and I will agree that it wins over the MG in almost every regard. Save for size, but that’s not entirely a bad thing.

  11. Well that’s convinced me!
    I was thinking about getting a Sazabi and didn’t know if I should choose the MG or the HGUC.
    I’m glad the HGUC is the one to choose since that saves both my wallet and space in my display.

  12. This maybe a silly question as it was not mentioned in the review.

    *SPOILER ish…*
    Does it have the escape pod like the on in the movie?

  13. Thanks to your review I’m already convinced to pick this up instead of the overpriced MG, also will go well with the HG Nu Gundam I have yet to build. That kit really has much better proportions than the big headed MG. Which is weird since the MG counterparts usually have the better proportions.

    1. It’s a bit unfair to compare their HGUC counterparts with the MG since the models are over a decade apart from each other. Vast improvements have been made by then so better quality and proportions are to be expected.

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