My very first MG- The RX-78GP03S “Stamen” designed by none other than Hajime Katoki. I chose this Gundam back then purely on its design. I loved the mechanical look and the color scheme. I had no idea which series it was from nor anything else about it. It looked good so I bought it. This was also the last model I bought before moving out of NYC. After eight years, I’m building it again to compare to the original.
Out of the Box
Depending on how you want to count it, there’s 11-13 runners and two obsolete bits for the ankles that does absolutely nothing. I shed tears of joy at the little amount of decals and stickers there are to apply.
I guess you can consider this a b0nus. The core fighter never made it into production of the real GP03S from concept because the GP03S’ sole purpose is pilot Dendrobium (so Stamen IS the “core fighter”). In the event should a strong enemy destroyed the Dendrobium, the Stamen alone would have no chance anyway so it would retreat, making it redundant to have a core fighter. I actually prefer this core block on Stamen over the one it actually has.
The body and waist. If you have been building old HG 1/100 models then this is nothing new except maybe a fancier appearance. Quick and easy snap fit.
Shoulders…probably the plainest I’ve seen since the RX-78-2… oh wait, they’re from the same RX line-up >_>
The arms are impressive but nothing confusing. Just a little more work on snapping the many pieces. Love the manipulator arms! Three pairs of hands are included instead of the usual multi-purpose hands MG come with.
I really like this Gundam’s head design. It is pronounced and detailed. The face is that of a mugshot. V-fin is incredibly thin and fragile.
The real core block. Just a bunch of half pieces with polycaps in between. The white pods are where the beam sabers are stored.
The wonderful internal skeleton was the big “o0o! ahhh!” back then for MGs. Despite how it looks, it builds exactly like HG 1/100 legs. This is more for detail purposes than actually serving a model function. Like I said earlier, the screws do nothing to help support the model in any way; the ankles can support the Gundam perfectly without it.
Love the unique design of these fin thrusters.
Beam saber and beam rifle. The beam effect parts are your generic MGUC pink beams. Painted clear scope part with Tamiya Clear Red. Love that “anaheim electronics” decal.
As you can see from the photos, construction is pretty straightforward and simple. There’s not much I need to talk about. If you’ve built 1/100 Gundam X or Gundam Wing models then this model comes with no surprises. It is basically a little more of the same. All the joints rely on polycaps (PC parts) so the connection tends to soften up over time. Bandai wasn’t so courteous with hiding nub marks back then so you gotta take some effort into cleaning them off or they will stick out pretty bad.
You can swap between either core block system. Doesn’t look that much of a difference.
What can I say? This is a great looking model. I thought it looks awesome back then and I still think it’s beautiful now even compared to other models. Its proportions doesn’t offend anyone and I think it’s just right. It has a solid and flat stance to keep it planted on the surface.
This Stamen comes with so few decals and stickers that even applying all of them, it would still look “incomplete”…. so I only bothered with the main markings and skipped the minor ones ^^;.
Comparison: New vs. Old
See how a little panel lining and nub cleaning helps a lot? One of my main reason for building this Gundam again is that I want to see this comparison of my own modeling skills. I didn’t want to clean up the first model because I want to keep it as a reminder of how I was when I first started and this is how I am now. I wanted to do a lot more detailing with the second model but decided I wanted to use it to demonstrate how even the most minimum effort can make a huge difference in aesthetic appeal :D
RX-78GP03S Gundam “Stamen”
The Stamen is about the same height as the RX-78-2 so it is fairly average in size.
I’ll say it right now: Don’t expect this thing to do any sort of motion poses. It can’t. Its articulation is equal to or worse than that of GFF so that’s saying a lot. While it can’t perform even basic shooting poses, it does an excellent job of just standing there to look good. Action shots are limited because there’s only so much (little) that I can do with its lack of range of motion. The worst offender is that the waist barely turns and the legs can’t split too far apart for that dynamic look. Heck, I can’t even make it look like it’s drifting in space properly! Forget using action base with this model because none of the holders really do a secure job of holding Stamen in place.
The arms aren’t weapons but this is the coolest (and only?) gimmick this model has. Stamen uses it to pull Bazookas and stuff out of the GP03D.
Stamen can’t hold the Bazooka correctly and it tends to fall off with the slightest tilt. Luckily, it can still look good just holding it while standing there :)
Yea… I can’t do any more than that with the beam sabers. It looks good just holding it though! XD
This is probably one of the easiest MGs anyone can pick up and go at it. You’re getting this MG solely for the Gundam, nothing else. Its looks is all it has going for it and is more than enough to make up for its complete lack of articulation. I usually rage about bad articulation but remember, this model came out almost a decade ago and wayyy before Bandai started emphasizing development on better articulations. This model would definitely make a great MG starter. One last time, it just looks so damn good just standing there xD. Now Bandai… how about that MG Dendrobium eh?