First off, if you’re planning on getting this model then buy yourself a bottle of gold paint of your preference. The hard plastic gold pieces the model comes are on the bronze side instead of actually being gold. For a RX-78-2 Gundam with a samurai armor, this model comes with a lot more pieces than I expected and it is no breeze… unless you don’t care about making it look nice and just want to get it over with. The whole thing took me at least 24 actual hours to complete plus a few more hours to take all the photos. Since this was such a huge kit, I’ll break down everything in portion for easier reading. Take note that I know NOTHING about the Shin Musha Gundam ^_^;
Bandai didn’t have the courtesy this time around to make the connection point on the runners on more obscure areas so you will have to be careful. If you snip off a piece poorly, there’s a good chance it will be readily visible on the completed model. The main issue with this are the gold pieces since the bulk of them protrudes from the Gundam. One thing I noticed is that this model also uses parts from two different models; the RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. 1.5 and RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. OYW so you might feel some similarities if you’ve built the previous two. The shared frames are E, J, and I. I think they’ll be great for spare parts since one of them actually allows you to assemble the GUNDAM HAMMER! :D
Head- From what I can tell, this is the RX-78-2 head with a slight modification on the side to slip in the red armor pieces. The red armor pieces around the head looks so tacked on that I can’t even notice it on the head; I can take it off and I probably don’t notice that it’s not there. Note: Please leave off the foil sticker. It looks disgusting on the head. I ended up removing it and panel lining it instead and LOVE how it looks afterward. When connected to the body, the head is very free moving. The head can “slide” and tilt in all directions with no problem.
Shoulders/Arms/Hands- Shoulders and arms aren’t anything special… You build the inner frame then you slide the outer armor pieces on. Easy. One thing I hate is the forearm armor pieces can easily slide off the inner frame since…well, it just slides in and not actually connected through pegs. Great range of articulations and being able to twist from the shoulder is a plus. The hands are your standard two individual fingers and three connected fingers setup and a peg to hold the weapons securely.
Body- The body’s construction is a solid and rigid one. There’s just layers and layers of pieces going on top of each other. I like that it can tilt and twist but it does not allow the shoulders to move front/back which is a bit disappointing.
Torso- Nothing too special here either excep it takes longer than your average MG torso since the front skirt amror are in multiple pieces and I took quite the time to get the dark detail effect that I want. Other that this.. this piece might only take five minutes. Everything connects and holds up pretty well. Okay… one special thing; the part where the legs connect to can slide up front and slide back. This helps a lot in dynamic poses.
Legs/Feet- The legs… the legs… they deserve a very special mention. Why? Because it’s the only part of the model that almost made me put off this project for like a week or so and it’s the only part that made me spent more than an hour on. Covering over two and a half pages of instructions in the manual, each leg/foot assembly is comprised of about 50+ pieces. It’s just pieces after pieces connecting to each other and going on top of one another. The hardest part that takes up the most time and work is at the very beginning; the one-piece leg assembly from the Ver 1.5. I really hated that part… I didn’t count but I’m guessing there’s 30+ connection points on it to the runner and there’s little to no clearance for my tiny cutter to reach in and snip off. After taking it out, there’s still more pieces from the slots to take out. The feet doesn’t have any noteworthy gimmick. After all is done and detailed, the legs aren’t notably articulated since the part connecting to the torso can’t twist but it is quite solid though and holds up the model nicely.
Gauntlets/Shields- These parts are an addition to the shoulders and arms. Both of these are just for looks and completes the whole Musha package. I thought the shields would be problematic and fall off during dynamic poses but they are VERY workable! They stay on snug yet moves around freely and doesn’t obstruct other parts.
Weapons- The weapons are really coolsome and unique among Gundams and it’s the first time seeing the return of mirror coated pieces for the blades. All have slots to go in the hands’ peg except the long spear. I especially love the trident!
The fun part after completion… Posing! There are Gundam models that looks great just standing but can’t pose (ex: MG Nu) and there are Gundam models that do great poses but looks awkward standing (ex: MG God and Strike Noir). On rare occasions, there’s some that can do both. The MG Shin Musha Gundam is one of them. Just standing there, the model is a beauty to look at and definitely quite the attractive piece among the others. It is about the same height as the MG Hyaku Shiki so it also towers a bit above the average 1/100 yet it still manages to look slight even with some bulk.
Dynamic posing abilities are on par with the MG Strike Noir; wide range of motion, versatile and all-around great stability. Best of all, it’s actually fun. Though for some odd reason, the model tends to fall front if it needs to fall. I’m guessing it’s due to the sliding mechanism in the torso. The Gundam looks so natural and smooth in its dynamic poses! Nothing is forced except me pushing the joints to the limit. The fingers are a bit on the loose side but it still manages to hold the weapons though the katana and trident will usually bend down a little thanks to gravity on its side. Even with its lack of “specialized” articulation points, the MG Shin Musha can pull off stunning poses with ease.
The reason I took so long on this model is because I slapped just about EVERY decal and clear markings I could on it. There’s more on my version of the model than the ones in the manual! I think it looks great and not cluttered at all. This is my patience practice for the MG Unicorn.
I see no reason not to pick up this model unless you absolutely hate the Shin Musha Gundam’s design.
Here’s the gallery. There’s a few multiple angle shots and whatnot but that’s okay because this model is just stunning and looks gorgeous from every angle ^_^;