This is the Wing Gundam redesigned by Hajime Katoki, famous for his Fix Figuration line-up, mech design in Gundam Sentinel, Endless Waltz, and V Gundam among many others. He also used to (or still?) do the proportions for the MG line-up. I respect the guy and admired many of his designs, especially the GP03D and the Ex-S.
Since I already have the MG Wing Zero Custom, I bought this model solely as a learning tool for practicing extensive clear sticker and decal application. In other words, this model was fitting as a practice for the MG Unicorn xD. Having said that, I worked on this Ver. Ka with a different mindset; I focused less on the actual construction and concentrated a lot more on applying the clear stickers and decals.
Out of the box, there’s fourteen runners of parts in total. That’s a fair amount for this simplistic Gundam. Since this is an original model and not a recolor/variant of another suit, all the pieces are used. The white is the same as the white used on the RX-78-2 Ver. Ka. It’s VERY WHITE. As with anything Ver. Ka, you get this enormous sheet of clear marking stickers. It’s like his trademark or something -_-;
Construction is very simple. There’s really nothing complicated or difficult. I could almost say that current 1/100 models from 00 (hello Avalanche) requires more work than the Wing Ver. Ka. For the most part, you’re just snapping halves together. Although this kit is rather easy by itself, the real punishment comes from applying the stickers and decals… … AND THEY ARE RIDICULOUS. It is totally unnecessary and extremely excessive. C’mon… do you need TEN “Caution” labels on each shoulder?! Most of the stickers on this Ver. Ka is basically the word “caution” and “danger blast”. The placements of the stickers also doesn’t even make any sense. They’re just there for the sake of being there and making the Gundam look pretty. If it weren’t for the stickers, I would’ve completed this model two days earlier I bet.
I didn’t like the brownish gray plastic so I was thinking of painting it all dark metal but then realize its shown throughout the whole Gundam so I scrapped the idea. Wing’s orb got the same treatment as Exia’s and loved the result, especially when I compared it to my old MG Wing Zero Custom.
The biggest royal PITA are the armaments… basically only the shield and Buster Rifle. It’s here where applying the decal perfectly is almost impossibly and completely absurd. Why Katoki, Why!? Why would you put a decal placement on an uneven surface? It makes no sense and just begging for the decal to be ruined by inexperienced modelers (me ^^;). I didn’t screw up but thanks to a masking tape accident, part of the “XXXG-01” and “LAGRANGE ONE” decal got destroyed so I had to scrape the former off and modify the latter into “RANGE ONE”. It doesn’t make sense… but none of the markings on this model makes sense to begin with, so it is perfectly okay >_>. As for the buster rifle… there’s oh so little surface area to actually rub the decal on… -_-;
The completed model is gorgeous… Quite colorful too… why is it so bright and colorful? o_0. Even though I might’ve messed up some of the decals, I think I did a decent job on the stickers since I can’t even see the outline of them unless I focus. What makes the effort all the more worthwhile is that the finished model has more details than its GFF counterpart! HA! The one thing I hate is the faceplate… it moves! It doesn’t stay still and I can easily knock it loose and Wing Gundam will have a crooked face!
Poseability… let’s see… it doesn’t have anything. There was so sophisticated joints in its inner frame assembly and everything was straightforward so you can expect basic articulation coming out of all that easy work. Just like the Wing Zero, the Ver. Ka’s legs can easily do more feminine-like stances (think both knees pointing inward) than… what the MG Strike Noir can do. The buster rifle is also unsurprisingly too heavy for Wing to hold. *sigh* But that’s okay… I “improvised” a little to get some buster rifle shots. Also note that this model only has one beam saber. Here’s a funny part… its machine cannons are obstructed by its head; the cover doesn’t open completely. I’m dumb and didn’t figure out that I need to actually push in and slide out the machine cannons.
The photos can tell you the rest:
The Transformation to bird mode was pretty simple and risk-free so I thought it would be nice to see how it looks like…
Between the Wing Ver. Ka and Wing Zero Custom, there’s very little difference between the two (both are virtualy the same model but with different wings). Both have their own fair share of annoyances; Wing can’t hold its buster rifle and Zero having its feathers falling off easily and made basically for one special pose. Both can’t pose well and can’t really look down. Just to name a few quirks. Luckily loose parts isn’t on the list (yet). Personally, I like the Ver. Ka better (after all the effort).
– Painted the inside of the orb, head sensor, wrist thing metallic green
– Painted machine cannon shell dark metal
– Since I screwed up both shield decals, I modified Wing Zero Custom’s decals and use that instead. If you look closely on the shield, you can see that the gray decal says “Gundam Wing System”. I cut off the part that says “with mobile suit operation system Zero”. Although the new decal is more subtle, I like it better than the huge XXXGO1 decal ^^;
– If you’re afraid of this model being backheavy… the Wing Zero is heavier.
As for this model being a learning tool… I’m glad I used it as such. I’ve learned how I can make mistakes and develop somewhat of a steady hand cutting the stickers out.
Lastly…. DAMN YOU, KATOKI! WHY DO YOU LIKE TO SLAP SO MANY WARNING MARKS ON YOUR GUNDAMS!?
UPDATE: TOP COAT
As a test model, the Wing Ver. Ka received the honor of becoming my very first kit to have top coat applied to it. The result? Aesthetically pleasing. The plastic almost have that brittle clay look to it like recent GFFs but still feel very solid. The most apparent difference are on the shield and legs/feet thanks due to the larger/longer surface area. Note this is only a generous light coat and not multiple layers so there’s still some plastic gloss but that’s okay. I’m loving the near-flat shineless look on this kit though you might not be able to see much difference in the photos. I’m guessing it’s an effect one can only see and fully appreciate in person ^^;