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1/144 RX-0 Unicorn Gundam Banshee (Destroy mode) Kit Review
From the design of the box to the instruction manual, these are the first things you see before building the Kit.
Let’s be honest, you’ve already seen this box a hundred times, but let’s look at what it does well: Quite simply, it catches your attention and doesn’t let go. Right off the bat you’ve got the Banshee glaring at you while surrounded by the red glow of it’s Armed Armor BS (Big gun). Additionally, as this is the Destroy Mode, its golden Psychoframe is glowing quite brightly—another attention grabber (And as a welcome surprise, it’s actually incredibly close to the actual plastic colour). After that your eye will slip over to all the relevant details posted on the box.
Upon opening it my first impression was “That’s a lot of parts for a small 1/144 kit” In fact, this “small” HG 1/144 has EIGHT different runners, not including the polycaps. If you haven’t bought an HG Kit since the SEED era then this will quite the shocker to you. HG’s have evolved quite a bit.
How fun is it to build and how easy or challenging is it?
When building the kit, there are certain nubs which are fragile and can break very easily. Much easier than other kits that I have worked with, I believe this is because they’re constructed from a more brittle plastic. The Psychoframe, being a metallic colour, is especially guilty of this. Another good example would be the nubs which hold the beam sabre hilt on the backpack.
Unfortunately the back of the knee joint has a small problem (which frustrated me when I was constructing it) the pieces fit together fine, but one piece raises noticeably from the other. It’s something that isn’t immediately noticeable, but will drive you crazy once you know it’s there.
There are a lot of pieces which will require painting (If you’re a painter and not a snapper. Luckily stickers are included for everything important) and are somewhat separated for easy painting. Which means there are thankfully few seam lines to worry about, however, for certain parts taping or hand painting will be a necessity, such as the big honking V-fin like structure, and the shoulder vulcans.
There are a few of intermediary constructions (For example the knee joints, which once placed in the lower legs require deconstruction to remove) which can be a painting nightmare to some people. Also the elbow and hip joints are a bit loose and can come off easily. Some parts which snap together and are supposed to be a tight fit are sadly loose, this really shows up in the back skirt Psychoframe/armor. Obviously in cases such as this, you need to handle the pieces delicately, or they will fall off.
Once kit is completed, there are some leftover pieces from the Unicorn 01—however, as they’re simply parts left on the runner there are no further instructions for building the shield and Beam Magnum. There are also extra pieces which you can switch out if you want hands instead of weapons, as well as the Unicorn 01’s original collar piece. It’s a great bonus to get in a kit, but don’t expect any additional instructions.
Straight out of the box, what is the kit going to look like on your self?
Let’s not mince words here, this thing looks intimidating, imposing, and just plain scary. It has a mega beam rifle (Armed Armor BS) for the right arm and a gigantic claw (Armed Armor VN) for its left—In fact, with the gun replacing its arm it kind of looks like Megaman. Just with spikes and sharp angles instead of his usual rounded shapes.
The stickers add a splash of colour that would otherwise be missing, and definitely help make the kit. However for the hardcore modeler there are so many small areas to add detail that a sticker just can’t compete with. (Besides, you all want to paint that Psychoframe in a different golden shade) I will say though, that the bright yellow-orange shade of gold that Bandai chose to use contrasts well against the darker navy-blue of the armor (Yes, it’s not as black as you may have been led to believe)
The kit will look great on any shelf, with or without paint, however I found myself disappointed with the posability. The knee joint only goes to 90 degrees maximum, which can definitely impede getting some poses out of this bad boy. Additionally there are two points of rotation on the arms which can make things look a little odd.
The feet have nice motion, which can support many standing poses, and as is standard by now, there’s a hole for mounting the kit on an Action Base of your choice. What’s a little unorthodox is that there’s no ‘bonus’ cover piece, like was found in a lot of the first season 00 kits.
This is a pretty decent kit, as always it would look much better painted (especially the gold, to really make it contrast against the armor) There are unfortunately some minor defects in the plastic which need to be filled and sanded--but what’s really disappointing about it is that some of the plastic defects are near detailed portions of the part. IE: a panel line, or indent. Careful sanding is required to get it right.
Because of these reasons I have two different ratings.
If you’re a snapper and just want a quick kit up on your shelf—this is your kit. It looks powerful, intimidating, and just plain awesome straight out of the box. Especially because it’s such a departure from the standard Gundam colour scheme—I’ve already received some comments on mine. (Which is only snapped as of now)
If, however, you plan on doing work on this kit—I have to err on the side of caution and recommend this only to intermediate and advanced builders. Due to some of the defects and intermediary constructions this will be a difficult kit to work with. Beginning modelers beware.