I (along with many others) have been expecting/wishing for an MG Exia way before Bandai even announced it. However, the model was cast into uncertainty since the day photos of it came out. You would think I’d be ecstatic at first sight but I was actually more “o___O” than anything. From first announcement to its release date, I felt uncertain about this model. Mainly due to its not-so-MG-Impulse-like proportions, details, and contents. There was no “wow! I must have this!” feeling like I did with other MGs before… and the uncreative boxart sure didn’t help (heck, the regular MG has a more “ignition” feel to it than the above box). Anyway, I picked up the IM model since first batch is cheaper; I like how they even printed “Premium Price” on the box which made it sound like I actually paid more for it xD.
Out of the Box
15 runners. PC runner from MG Strike. Beam saber effect runner from the 1/100 Exia. Shiny semi-soft cloth. Bling bling blades that leave not so bling bling nubs. Weird holographic strips. The clear stickers is the nicest set I’ve seen for an MG model because the borders are thin and close to the actual design of the sticker so that eliminates the need to cut the borders out. The decals, on the other hand, is not even worth the effort. They would’ve been A LOT better off as clear stickers… but then this Gundam wouldn’t come with any decals. No fancy Celestial Being or “EXIA” design decals…just all warnings and caution markings. Lame.
Work in Slow Progress
The overall construction was rather quick and painless but it was very time-consuming to finish the model because of all the clear parts and holographic strips. I have to assemble each part loosely, apply decals/stickers, top coat, disassemble, put in the left out parts, then reassemble the part. Very annoying. I also wasn’t fond of the transparent light purple GN strips… so I painted the backside with Tamiya Clear Blue and I’ll still have the hologram effect.
Exia’s body is different from a lot of Gundams so it has a unique way of assembly… but some steps resemble closely to that of its 1/100 counterpart xD. The body feels rigid once the parts are clamped shut and doesn’t seem like it would become loose from the upper part tilting from side to side. I’m also amazed at the details inside like the chamber for the GN Drive. The neck is molded into the body so it is fixed and thus, head movement is a bit restricted… but given Exia’s head design, it’s not really a big loss but still… >_>
Many parts for the head and quite tiny too. I was under the impression that Bandai included two head for this version but figured out later that you either build one or the other. The yellow cheek vents are a nice detail-up from the 1/100 but they just slot in there… and could actually fall out (haven’t happened yet but I’m just saying it can).
Hmm… guess I forgot to take completed shots of the arm and shoulders ^^;. The arms are very similar to that of the MG SEED line-up in terms of joint design and articulation. Nothing new but it still works. The part that has the three fingers connected together are a lot harder to cut apart for this model because they are almost molded together completely to the tips of the finger. Just gotta put in more effort and make sure the fingers don’t break. The Shoulders are connected to the arms via the holographic strip but I omitted because the paint started breaking up… not to mention Exia Repair will it removed later anyway.
The feet, since it is made of so many separate parts, has A LOT of nub marks around the edges. I think I counted like 10 on the red part alone. The foot has articulation that allows it to bend in many directions… but it’s so slight that you couldn’t really make any use of it >_>.
The Legs only have a 3/4 of a complete inner frame since the backside is opened. I don’t know why Bandai chose to do this but I don’t really care since it doesn’t hinder anything (I think) and I have no plans to display its inner details. The leg’s inner design is a bit weird… not sure how to describe it… it’s like part of the upper leg connects to the lower part on the knee so you basically have one inseparable leg (third pic)… meaning Exia can’t really lose the lower parts of his legs without losing half of his knees… get it? o_O
Oops… seems like I forgot completion shot of this part as well ^^;. Quite a lot of parts for the waist. New in this MG is that the pelvis has this vertical sliding mechanisms to allow the legs to do some more flexible/revoltech-like poses. I like how they incorporated the GN sword holders into the hip so there will be no more part swapping but… there are minor issues; the hip caps are a bit on the loose side and can pop off with too much pressure sometimes while pushing the GN Swords into ball socket.
Shield- Nothing worth mentioning here… except that REALLY pointless gimmick of the sides being able to slide outward by 1 mm.
GN Long/Short Blade- If you want to top coat the weapons, then you probably want to do it while they’re still on the runner or before assembly since the bling bling blade will not be so bling bling with some flat coat.
Bandai’s biggest crime against Swords- Making the GN Sword SHORTER and wider than its 1/100 counterpart… nonetheless, this is still a good looking GN Sword. In its MG iteration, Exia can have the GN Sword connected to its forearm without having to hold it thanks to a movable handle.
Hey Bandai… you couldn’t include the other 5 pieces for us so that we can have a completely separate head? C’mon, we have to disassemble the entire head with the exception of the left cheek in order to change into the Repair face!
The cloth was originally ridiculously shiny… and the above is what I’ve reduced it to. I took a 1200 grit sandpaper and just rub the living hell out of it, drown it in matte top coat, then dust it up with a few different colors of weathering pastel. Not too bad I don’t think… but the results could’ve been more noticeable.
There are also a damaged shield, cockpit piece, and broken GN Sword but I’ll work on those later.
One of the main highlight of MG Exia IM is the inclusion of the two LED units for the GN Drive. Make sure you buy some batteries though since the kit doesn’t come with any. I have problems with my GN drive where it flickers for a bit at first before becoming stable after a few minutes. The connection is just poor sometimes even after I try bending the copper piece as much as I could.
While it might not have the MG Impulse proportions I’ve wanted, MG Exia’s proportions aren’t bad. It has a somewhat lean and muscular stance to it, evoking a sense of strength. Gone are the unusually-large hands and big head from the normal 1/100. Given Exia’s dynamic design, it doesn’t look right just standing there. It NEEDS to be in action!
Testing the articulation. So far so good at this point. For a Gundam that’s designed with mobility in mind, I expect nothing less ^^;
The MG Exia has different details (panel lines) compared to the normal 1/100 Exia but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has more details. I see there are spots where the NG has more than the MG but in general, the two is just different.
The Astraea Type F’s body makes for a better comparison than with Avalance Exia ^^
Seven Swords System
Here is Exia with of his swords equipped.
Personally, I think Exia only looks good at certain angles and a bit unattractive at some.
Closer look at the Exia’s details. The right hand sometimes detaches from the wrist during a pose setup. The only decent decal for this MG is the “CELESTIAL BEING” one on the left shoulder…and sadly, the shoulder won’t be there anyway when Exia becomes Exia Repair. Another thing to note is without the GN strips, the shoulders are loose and just flops around.
GN Drive… Matching Clear!
GN Pistol- Exia’s only not-close range weapon… that gets blocked off once he needs his big Sword.
You’ll notice that there won’t be many ground shots and that is because the ankles are fairly loose where any wide dynamic poses will make the Gundam unable to balance.
Close range is Exia’s specialty…
Effortless sword play. Though I must point out that the connection with the palm’s socket isn’t quite snug and the fingers don’t really help much.
The main weapon. I am pleasantly surprised that the arms can actually hold out the GN Sword despite its weight. I didn’t experience any sagging no matter how I position the sword.
Some annoyances though… The connector to the forearm is not snug at all because it doesn’t stay plugged in; I have to take out the GN Sword from Exia’s hand every time I want to change pose. The handle is very stiff so if I want to rotate the position of the blade (from GN pistol to actual sword position), it often times break out of the hand. This also happens sometimes when I try to plug the connector back into the forearm -_-;.
“Exia… Exterminating the target.”
Note that I’m not even going to bother with the beam sabers for this model since they looked so plain… and I have this ^^.
I am really liking how well Exia can pose… in mid-air. Can’t do much on the ground thanks to the weak ankle but it can more than make it up by holding itself in various poses without fail. No obstructions. No restrictions. No fail.
GN DRIVE ACTIVATED!
It seems that I have a better chance of getting the LED units to stabilize after plugging it into Exia…
The LED units are so bright that you can’t even read “Celestial Being” on its chest ^^. After this review, I don’t think I’ll be turning the LEDs back on any time soon…
Obligatory “Ore wa Gundamu” pose…
It would’ve looked better if the whole orb lights up and not just the slit in the center… though I supposed I could’ve cut out the inside but LEDs are one-directional…
At an angle where you can barely tell that it is lit up…
Gundam Exia Repair… The name is quite an oxymoron in the case of the model xD…
So to “repair” Exia, you swap most of the parts in the head, remove left arm, swap a perfectly fine sword for a broken one, take out all the beam sabers and GN blades, change cockpit hatch, remove right knee and ankle plate, remove the GN strip, swap white shield piece (which I left off), remove one of the chest vent piece, and give Exia a cloth. I went just a bit further and actually cut off the pegs on the right legs (now it is permanently stuck in Repair Mode), and added scars of my own here and there (cockpit hatch, v-fin and some on the legs) since the pre-molded “damages” on the parts were just… lame. The weathering pastels used were burnt blue, red, gunmetal and oil stain. The Face is drybrushed with Gunmetal and weathered.
GN Broken Sword- Painted in black then drybrushed with Gunmetal… to be a little more consistent with the bling bling GN Sword.
I probably should’ve added another layer of topcoat to seal off the weathering completely since bits here and there were beginning to rub off even before the photoshoot…
“I’m going to destroy… simply destroy… bastards like you who do things like these!”
The cloth has been giving me Strider Hiryu vibes for some odd reason…
The cloth’s articulation is very restricted; if you want to move the cloth then you would just have to rotate the piece that is connected to the body. The cloth pieces will sag and sometimes come off with you try moving it around too much.
I name this… MG Gundam Exia Repair Ver. Z ^^;
Here’s everyone’s favorite part :D. Before I rant off, let me state a few things. My expectation for this MG was around that of the MG Impulse since they’re both the main Gundams of their respective AU series and have a preference for swords. While it didn’t come with the proportions I might’ve liked, it certainly exceed in terms of playability while still looking great. The only improvement I wanted Bandai to make from the 1/100 was simply fix the standing issues since I know they will improve on the aesthetics department. Anyway, let’s run down the list:
1. Exia Repair- Take note… The Ignition Mode model is not meant for converting one model to another and back (though technically, you still can). What you are paying for is the chance to build EITHER Exia OR Exia Repair. And stay that way. You certainly can change it back and forth but since it’s not meant to do that, it is a bit inconvenient (taking GN strip out from shoulder, changing orb parts, changing the face…).
2. “Front Heavy” – Yes, the Exia seems to be a bit “front heavy” despite not having anything up front. I’m just saying this because if Exia wants to fall, it is always falling front (when standing). I think this is due to the ankles. I put it standing straight, depending on the stance, the model will fall forward… unless I make it stand with its chest bearing out. Again, this only applies to just linear standing.
3. Leg Strength… or lack of it. Every part of the leg- ankles, knee, hip. I am not calling them loose but I think the appropriate way to describe them is that they are much too “free-moving”. Too easy to change motion. Not just the ankles but also the hip part that connects into the waist. The ankle is the worst though- the actual ankle is a separate part from the foot and both connect to it by ball and PC socket, effectively giving the model “two ankles” per leg. So it rolls like no tomorrow. And when the ankles roll, the hip joints move right along with it… and the knees sometimes will as well… and you’ll get the splits pictured above. This is why ground shots are kinda impossible; I cannot get Exia in a dynamic pose on the ground without the legs getting wider apart.
4. Dead Leg- This could just be my model…. after long extensive play. Halfway through the photoshoot (where the GN Sword photos start), I noticed the left leg kept falling off or beginning to sag in the air… then it just drops dead. I might’ve grinded the plastic on the hip peg that connects to the waist a bit too much…seeing as how there was just about no friction between the two. I fixed this with a few layers of paint on the peg.
5. The arms could use some extra range… but that’ll probably destroy the strength it has now to hold up the GN Sword. Just thought it would be nice to be able to pose it grabbing its beam saber from the other side…
6. Decals… are not worth the effort for this model. But the clear stickers are. Now is that wrong or what? >_>
7. This is not really an issue but just a minor feeling. It feels like Bandai didn’t spend enough time in developing this kit like they did with kits like Unicorn, Sinanju, and the Guntank. It almost felt like Bandai just took the normal 1/100 and carve out enough room inside to fit a pseudo inner frame; Some part’s assembly were almost identical to that of the 1/100… namely the arms mostly and bits of the legs and body. I guess… to be fair, there’s not many ways to dissect this Gundam given its plain design.
So should you go out and buy yourself a spankin’ new (or “old/damaged”) MG Exia? If you can still find the Exia IM for the “premium price” or for cheap, then by all means jump on it. Having the extra option to change the appearance of a Gundam model is always a good thing since it is refreshing from time to time. I wouldn’t pay full price for the extra options and LED drive though. The MG Exia might have a few shortcomings but it also brings a lot. It doesn’t have any “Gunpla technological breakthroughs” but that can be a good thing at times since Exia is fairly easy to build…and just as easy to pose around. I think anyone would have a lot of fun with this model after completion. Just don’t expect it to stand. It doesn’t have that kind of look anyway. And you probably don’t want it to stand. Action is what Exia is all about!
“Where are you? Where are you, Setsuna F. SAY YEAH! Seiei?! … … hm?”
“LOLWUT? The Solar Furnace is missing?! Could it be…”
“OH NO YOU DIDN’T!!!”
“OH YES I DID!”
“Gundam Exia. Setsuna F. Seiei. Clearing a path to your doom!”
“ORLY?!” *pew pew*
“why the hell didn’t you just ram your sword into me in the first place?!”
“… Because it wouldn’t be as epic!”
“Let’s end this!”
“You bastard… how.. innovative…” *dies*
“Who the hell do you think I am… ?”
*drifting for no apparent reason* *beep beep* “wut? another punk is coming?”
“I’ve never been so happy to be a Sagittarius! This must be destiny!”
“WTF is wrong with you?!”
“It’s a duel to the death, GUNDAM!”
“U can’t touch this!”
“You aren’t the only one who has switchblade swords!”
“What kind of mobile suit is that?! Such power… but it’s not even a Gundam!”
“Hahaha! You fool! I’ll show you Unicorn’s true power… HENSHIN!“
“ORE WA GUNDAM!!!”
“But… but… I AM GUNDAM!!!”
“Where the hell did that cloth come from?”
“I’ll show you… the true power of GN Particles!”
“THEN SHOW MEEH!!!”
“Two swords is better than one!”
“I’ll defeat you…right here. Right now!”
“Not to a bastard like you!”
“BRING IT, EXIA!”
“Destroy Mode>>>GN Powa. bwahahaha! You too slow!…huh? what the…?!”
“This is the power that the GN Particles hold… combined with a person’s courage! THE POWER FOR ABSOLUTE VICTORY!!!”