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RG 1/144 Gundam Mk.II ver.AEUG kit Review
Lucky us lucky us we managed to get our hands on one of the hottest items coming out of Japan right now! After an unfortunate delay we finally have our hot little hands on it--so how is it anyhow?
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the Kit.
This box more than any of the other boxes (aside from the PG boxes) really indicates what you’re getting—not with any flashy drawing showing the MK-II fighting off hordes of Zeon or Titans—but with a very simple and elegant set up. A very large shot of the face and upper body of the real grade dominates the lefthand side of the box, while on the right hand side the MK-II stands posed somewhat dramatically. (It’s Interesting that they chose to use more than just colour to differentiate the Titans from the A.E.U.G. on the box. Titans has the Beam Rifle, whereas A..E.U.G. has the Hyper Bazooka!)While a very simple set up this instantly tells you what this model is all about. This isn’t a ‘toy’ with explosions and space ships all over the box; this is a model kit! This is quality!
Even the sides of the box show this, being all black and simply showing certain areas of detail of the kit, as well as the amazing internal frame. Once again no demonstration of all its gimmicks, they treat this model with a certain regal dignity which is apparent as soon as you see this box.
Inside the box you will discover something else unique to the Real Grade line. There are absolutely no PC’s whatsoever—instead of using PC’s for the joints, the frame itself is (I believe) a combination of PVC and regular plastic meaning that it’s already flexible enough. Furthermore, it’s also already ‘preassembled’ on the runners. Meaning that you can clearly see where the skeletal arm and skeletal legs are—don’t take that to mean there’s no fun to be had building this, however, because for a mere 2500 yen you get 11 runners.
To put that in contrast, I bought two Adele’s for 2400 yen and only got SIX runners. That’s almost double the runners for only 100 yen more.
You’ll also notice in addition to that unique frame that there are some other things that set this model aside from the rest of the pack. Mainly that comes with a HUGE sheet of metallic and clear stickers—this really does resemble a Master Grade sheet, except at 1/144 scale. The only difference being that even Master Grades don’t come with metal stickers like this—these things catch the light and just gleam.
However, there are some other similarities to the MG line. Mainly that the MK-II apparently decided it wanted to borrow big brother’s beam sabers. That’s right, almost comically oversized as they are, the MK-II comes with Master Grade sized beam sabers, obviously this is for cosmetic reasons, but honestly, your guess is as good as mine. Additionally, just like the original and 2.0 version of the Master Grade, the Real Grade also contains fabric cables. Wow, this thing already has me impressed and I’ve barely opened the box!
How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
I’ll be honest—I was hoping to avoid most of the construction on this sucker. In fact I was hoping to not construct it at all (see: Delta Gundam review)! I wanted to build some Adele’s and have my build partner tackle the RG—unfortunately for me that plan went awry and it was with a heavy heart and racing nerves that I cracked open the box and drew out my trusty clippers…. And the second I started I didn’t want to stop.
I can’t honestly say what it is about this build that makes it so incredibly enjoyable—all I know is that I had the most fun building this kit that I have had in my building career. That’s not to say it’s an incredibly easy build, because it’s not (Those fabric cables had me sweating quite a bit! First time I’d ever worked with them) however even when you run into difficulty there’s just something about the MK-II that makes it enjoyable. Somehow with each piece or challenging assembly I had to construct, once the challenge was over, it seemed like the MK-II rewarded me for a job well done--either with a simple movable joint, or just showing such amazing detail, which made me think, "Yes, I made this." Maybe this is just the RG effect, or maybe it’s just because this is my first (and definitely not my last) RG, maybe it will wear off in the future, maybe not. All I know is that I loved it.
One thing that definitely helped endear me to this kit is the absolutely amazing instruction manual which is apparently a staple of the RG Kits. For those of you who haven’t built an RG yet the instruction manuals are absolutely incredible, with colour coded indicators on specific pegs and slots to show where everything needs to go as well as it’s orientation! It makes this somewhat advanced build go together incredibly smooth. In fact, like the previous Master Grade (2.0) iteration of the MK-II the instructions also include a small ‘ruler’ to ensure you cut the fabric and internal tubing just right. This kind of attention to detail really marks the RG line as (in my opinion) the new Master Grades.
Speaking of the Fabric tubing, there are about six different instances of it—so you’ll figure out how to do it really quick! There is one on each side of the upper calf, as well as two on each side of the lower leg—unfortunately these ones are hidden beneath a large armor plate…all that detail and you barely get to see it! Finally there are two for the ‘arms’ of the backpack. Be careful, however, the more mistakes you make with the cables the more they will fray at the edges (and that just looks tacky!); so take your time!
I personally managed to make it through a leg and an arm before my build partner was ready—and let me tell you these three things:
1. The joints are TIGHT. You might be concerned at times about breaking pieces because they don’t seem like they’ll move—I know I sure did!
2. Because of the softer plastic of the internal frame the pieces aren’t as unforgiving as usual. When I was building the MG Banshee, for example, if I put a piece together improperly then I had to fight with it to break the piece back to its components. On the RG MK-II the connections are tight, while still being forgiving enough if you make a mistake. Much appreciated!
3. Especially In the arms there are pieces you will need to twist and turn in order to put them in the proper alignment. This may terrify you as much as it did me. I thought for SURE something was going to snap, but luckily enough nothing did. Either way, exercising caution is recommended!
At this time my build partner was ready to go—and we discovered something else about this kit. It was so much of an enjoyable build that we were literally fighting over which parts we got to build! Unlike our experience with the which had us pushing unfinished components at each other just so that we didn’t have to do it, the RG MK-II had us debating, bartering, and using the Sneakiest, most underhanded, conniving, dirty and just plain rotten tactics in the book to build certain sections. Unfortunately I lost out and he got to build the head. (I did get to put together all the weapons, though!) Delta Gundam
We also found that while an incredibly fun and decently complex build, it really didn’t take overly long. With us alternating the build (and at times building incredibly slowly) it only took us about three hours total to put together this kit.
I will also say at this point that unlike the Titans version, the A.E.U.G. version does NOT come with the extra ‘test type’ components, so there was no extra build there!
As for once it was together…?
Straight out of the box, what is the kit going to look like on your shelf?
To put it bluntly, it is my humble opinion that the RG line is going to take the place of the MG line (perhaps with the current MG line ascending to the role of PG. Who knows?). The MKII is a testament to that. Standing no taller than a standard 1/144 kit, it just oozes style and class. This is the kind of kit that you can just leave on a coffee table and have people instantly make comments about it. It is a centerpiece in your collection. The engineering and design are nothing but first class, and it really shows in nearly every way.
To start, unlike (in my opinion) some of the previous RG kits, this kit is not ‘over detailed.’ While some of the others have felt like they had detail simply for the sake of detail, the MK-II manages to strike a balance between elegant simplicity and amazing detail that’s really hard to put into words. I think one of the main reasons for this is that there aren’t really a lot of panel lines (which is thankful, as the design doesn’t lend itself to them) instead there are lots of different recesses, or layered pieces of armor which, when combined with the multi-shade colouring process just make this kit stand out from the rest.
And that’s before we put any stickers on it!
Speaking of the multi-shade colouring—in my opinion this kit is one of the best instances of it. There’s a cool grey shade, as well as a slightly tan shade, neither of which are incredibly noticeable at first. However they still manage to add a certain flair and significance to it that would otherwise be lost. In fact I personally prefer it to the shades used on the Titans version (And I love the Titans version!)
As you may have noticed from our pictures, however, we did put on one set of stickers—and those ones quickly became our photographers favourite. You may notice that in every set of pictures the eyes of the RG are very noticeable—and that’s not due to any photoshop trickery! Unlike many eye stickers before it, the MK-II’s eyes catch the light incredibly well and literally gleam. In fact they look even better when you look at them through a camera’s viewfinder!
Naturally due to this trifecta of incredible detail, colour separation, and the best eye stickers I’ve ever seen—this kit stands out…by literally just standing there. However it certainly doesn’t hurt that try as I might, I have yet to find a pose where this kit does not look good. Due to the sculpting and overall design this bad boy really does look like a piece of art in every pose, which is great because you can get this kit into nearly any pose with the amazing internal frame technology they designed. We’re not just talking about one legged poses, but even poses where the weight is shifted forward and the kit isn’t entirely solid on its feet. Heck, this thing can sit cross-legged! Plus the stiff joints really help out in this regard as well.
The one con to this is that due to the design, the waist restricts movement, meaning that you won’t be able to pull any G-Bouncer fully body twist poses with the MK-II. Too bad!
Even when its weighted down with weapons this thing looks great—speaking of which, what kind of loot does this guy come with?
Accessories and Features
From Buster Rifles, to beam sabers, to shields and extra hands. This section covers whatever little bits will be getting lost in your room soon, As well as any special features this kit may have.
The MKII while lacking on the features (justifiable, it’s not a toy, it’s a feat of engineering.) has so many different accessories it’s amazing that you get them all for only 2500 yen!
You get one Hyper Bazooka, which continues with the awesome colour separation and detailing of the main suit, plus it comes with a removable ammo cartridge—which comes with removable ammo itself! There is also a second ammo cartridge which can be attached the the MK-II itself.
There’s also the two beam sabers you see attached in the racks behind the head (Which have a very neat holding system, I have to say) which as previously mentioned come with MG size beam sabers.
Then you’ve got the Mark II standard beam rifle, which is moulded in two different colours, but can be dissembled for additional mechanical detail, and features a flip up/flip down scope, AND comes with three additional ammo cartridges: One to be attached to the skirt, and two to go behind the shield. The entire gun can also be attached to the Side skirt
Naturally this also leads us into the Shield, which is somewhat of a marvel of engineering, being compact, relatively light, moulded in almost all necessary colours, detailed up the ying-yang—and still able to fit in the necessary gimmicks of arm attachment, opening and closing, and storing ammo. They even threw in a new weapon from the Zeta movies!
There’s also the head Vulcan attachment—which looks all kinds of cool. However it also kind of restricts head movement. C’est la vie!
For some reason you get an additional face plate (just in case the first one gets dirty?) and you get a piece that attaches underneath the Mark II’s waist to help it go on an Action base—I wish we had read that part of the instructions! It sure would have made things easier.
You also get a tiny little 1/144 figurine of Kamille Bidan (I think?) in his pilot suit. It’s a neat little extra and really helps to make the MK-II stand out from the rest of your 1/144’s. (Unfortunately the figurine is the same as the Titans version.) Give me an Emma Sheen!!!
Finally you get hands, lots of hands. In addition to the two already on the kit, you get one open palm hand, one ‘trigger’ hand, and two ‘MG’ hands which has the forefinger and thumb on separately articulated joints, and the remaining three fingers on a single joint. They don’t look bad—unfortunately it’s tough to get them to hold things very well. a definite con, but then again, we need to find at least one con.
So with all of the goodies you get factored in—what’s the final verdict?
Our final say on why, (or if) this kit is worth your hard earned dough.
Boiled down this kit is pure concentrated awesome. While I’ve had fun with kits before, and I’ve even had very enjoyable builds before—I’ve never reached the near-amazing level of pleasure that I had with this build, and the finished product. While there are some minor quibbles with the finished product, this is in my mind, the future of Gunpla.
Due to the easy to understand instructions and relatively non-complex build, plus the dynamic design. I have to say that this is a kit that could easily be picked up by even the newest to Gunpla. The only hesitation I have here is with the fabric cables—but even then you have a tiny amount more than you need, so there’s some assurance there. Furthermore, with the sheer amount of stickers, this kit is perfect for you; the stickers will add enough detail to make it stand out and make your airbrushing, advanced-Gunpla making and showoffey friend, jealous
Final Verdict: Highly Recommended.
Due to the simplistic (but effective) colours, this guy is open to colour switches, and the separation makes everything so much easier to paint. Honestly, this guy can be a challenge just to do a perfectly painted OOB. The reason being is because the amount of detail which is scattered all over the kit. There are many instances on it’s armor and frame where tiny elevated details exist, and in order to sand and surface the kit, it will be a challenge in its own right. Never the less, such attention to detail is required of all Intermediates to advance to the final stages of mastery.
Final Verdict: Highly Recommended.
There is so much fun to be had with this kit. So many areas open for modification—I mean all you have to do is look to the Titans Version to see the slightest idea of how to change your MK-II into something unique. Think… modifying a 1/144 Master Grade; There are so many areas where detail can be added, but the only difference is the scale. Instead of the vast size of a 1/100 you are now dealing with a much smaller scale with similar detail. Are you up for the challenge? This kit in so many ways taunts you, “perfect me if you dare!”. And I say go for it! I really can’t wait to see what you do to this bad boy
Final Verdict: Highly Recommended.
Overall grade: A Masterpiece.
Too long, didn’t read? Head here and check out a quick synopsis.
- THOSE EYES
- Incredibly detailed
- Highly articulated
- A masterpiece of engineering and design
- One of the most enjoyable build experiences I’ve ever had
- Tons of weapons and accessories
- GREAT parts to price ratio
- A mastergrade in the palm of your hand
- Amazing colour separation
- Limited waist mobility
- Flimsy back thrusters (They will fall off and get lost)
- Feels very fragile at times, especially the V-fin
- “MG” hands are flimsy, only one gun hand included
What do all those words mean in english???
- Body portion (White) : White(95%) + Grey (5%) + a drop of blue
- Body portion (Grey) : White(90%) + Grey(10%)
- Torso and Shield(Dark Blue) : Indie Blue(45%) + Black(25%) + White (15%) + Red (15%)
- Vents on body and shield(Yellow) : White(60%) + Orange Yellow (40%)
- Feet, Cockpit and Shield Viewer(Red) : Monza Red(60%) + Shine Red (40%)
- Frame + Weapons ( Medium Grey) : Grey(85%) +Black(10%) + Purple(5%)
- Frame + Backpack + Weapons (Dark Grey) : Midnight Blue(85%) + White(10%) + Indie Blue(5%)