The Hi-Nu Gundoom is one heck of a controversial model that shook the Gunpla community when it was released to the world. Words about it came to me about how awesome it is despite being a bootleg. Wait… bootleg? awesome? what? Considered my interest piqued. Instead of just reading reviews to see what the fuss is all about, I figured I’d just review it for myself and everyone to see. Although this MC kit is not a direct or an exact “bootleg” of the HGUC Hi-Nu Gundam from Bandai, it is a mash of conversion parts made by other UNOFFICIAL companies with a rather original twist of its own. This is the fairest and objective description I can think for it. Feel free to call it whatever you like. Or this, taken from Derringer:
The origin of this design: A modified version of the VP 1/100 Hi Nu Conversion scaled down slightly to be used for the 1/144 HGUC Hi Nu by the company OTM. MC took this version retooled it as an injection plastic kit which copies some of the 1/144 HGUC Hi-Nu’s construction and added their own details and proportional changes. It is not a boot leg of Bandai’s kit, but is obviously a modified copy of the resin designs.
Resin kits by 3rd parties are done in a funky scale like 1/72, 1/35, or specified as “non scale” to stay out of Bandai’s radar. B-Club is Bandai’s in-house resin department. This is a non-scale Hi Nu (approx 1/120 if you did the math).
Bandai does not recognize 3rd party products that are not made by Bandai.
OUT OF THE BOX
For something that is supposedly HG 1/144, there sure are a lot of runners. 17 runners in total! Interesting note: the company that molded these runners obviously doesn’t have Bandai’s multi-gate technology that allows for multiple color parts on the same runner.
The original bit of this kit comes in the form of custom made beam sabers (“Soul Cleaver” System HAHAHA!), and a blue pair of “Wings of Light”. I think it is rather awesome in a cheesy way and if you don’t take this kit seriously (I know I’m not). At first look, you might think this kit is similar to a MG model… until you see that gigantic sheet of foil stickers. On the plus side, waterslide decals are also included. The glossy manual has a lot of colored photo pages and even includes the made-up story and mechanics of this Gundoom. You can see some bits and ish of it here.
The body is similar to that of the HGUC Nu Gundam but also a tad different. Maybe it is more similar to the HGUC Hi-Nu? Anyway, a lot of little parts goes into the body almost like a MG and comes out pretty solid at the end. I am missing shots of the head…
Compared to the body, the waist is as basic as it gets. I’m sure you can assemble it in your head just by looking at the photos!
The legs gave me some day ja vu of building the HGUC Nu because the assembly and the design of the inner parts are very similar.
Huh… seems like I forgot to take a shot of the parts for the arms but it is pretty basic. One of the awesome thing about this model is that it comes four pairs of hands. Not just four hands, but four pairs!Now you don’t have to worry about weapon-hand discrimination!
The rifle is probably the plainest part of this whole model and the bazooka is only slightly better. The design of the shield looks cool though.
Unlike the HGUC Hi-Nu, this model actually has a full set of Fin Funnels. Highly detailed Fin Funnels. And as you can see, it can also be very repetitive. Well worth it. Initially, I thought about omitting the propellant tanks because it was plain white and ugly but they are absolutely necessary for the model to stand so… gave it some color and use it.
This is hands-down the best inclusion in the package and I am not saying that simply because they are waterslide decals; the quality of these decals topples the ones from Bandai. Once applied, there was no need to apply any marksetter or marksofter and the decals look like it was painted onto the plastic. You can’t even see the borders! However, these are a bit harder to work with and position on the plastic because they just want to STICK to the surface. All those angles, curves, and panel line gaps on the model? No problem! The decals just lay right on top of it all! I can’t praise these waterslides enough! However, the added decals doesn’t really do much for the highly-detailed Gundoom so I am going to be saving these for other models that need it ^^;.
What a stance…
This model is closer in resemblance to the original design of the Hi-Nu that I came to love than that abomination from Bandai. Note: This model cannot stand properly without the tanks supporting it because the Fin Funnels are very heavy. With the support of the tanks, this model can even stand on one foot!
I accidentally broke Amuro’s insignia on the left shoulder TToTT. Still… look at how embedded the decals are into the plastic! Like the Nu, the Hi-Nu also have asymmetrical forearms. The faceplate goes too far up the head, obscuring the eyes but it doesn’t look bad… you just can’t really see the eyes.
Comparison with HGUC Nu.
Comparison with MG RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. 2.0.
Geared up and ready to sortie!
Its articulation impresses me.
Its articulation really impresses me.
While the model might need the tanks to stand, it doesn’t really need them for dynamic poses but you can use them to make “aerial” type poses on the ground. Now that’s versatility.
While its articulation is high up there and can dish out poses without much effort, there are some obstructions on its body. For example, the rotation of its body is blocked by the front and rear center of its waist which is a bit lame. The head is also slightly obstructed by its collar… why is this such a common problem in Gundams? Thankfully, we have panoramic cockpits.
NU HYPER BAZOOKA
Thanks to the swiveling handle, the model has no problem wielding this bazooka over its shoulder or under the arm.
Thanks to the extra trigger hand, Hi-Nu can dual wield either two bazookas (from Nu) or with the beam rifle.
The rare instance that you can see its eyes…
This is where the fun begins…
There are just so many ways to combine and arrange the beam sabers! Regular, short end, long end, Darth Maul style, on the forearm… you get the point. Speaking of point… the beam effect parts are actually POINTY! It won’t pierce your skin but it is hard and pointy enough to hurt… hmm… I need to reword that last sentence better…
Without a dedicated display to hold up the Fin Funnels, it is hard to take decent photos of them in action. For some strange reason, all my Tamashii Stage bases disappeared so I couldn’t display all the Funnels at once… orz
GO! FIN FUNNEL!
“SOUL CLEAVER” SYSTEM
Here’s the first of two original twists this model has going for it… the SOUL CLEAVER beam saber/sword thing. Hahaha… it’s just so awesome… Hi-Nu with a giant beam sword.
Since the “cleaver” is just one giant beam, it is not very heavy so the Gundoom can wield it freely with either one or both hands.
Shinn won’t stand a chance!
Some poor soul is gonna get cleaved…
Wish I have two Soul Cleavers instead of one… but hey, better than none.
The second of the two original twists and this one is even more peculiar than the first… it’s them wings of light. I mean… why is it also coming out of the propellant tanks too? xD
Forget about setting this model back on the ground if you have the wings attached because the wings are HUEG. The increased wingspan is wider than… well, just about anything that I can think of. Luckily, the wings are just plastic sheets cut out to look like such so it’s not like they can break or anything. Actually, the wings already came very scratched and dusty out of the package. Still, it looks nice… albeit on a cheesy level xD.
Swords and Wings… goes so well together.
The wings might be just sheets of plastic but their size makes them very heavy on the backpack’s PC joints. It was actually kinda hard to keep the backpack up at an angle like that!
PROS AND CON
- Highly detailed for its size.
- Good range of articulation.
- Very few and minor obstructions (most notably the waist). Nothing serious.
- Waterslide decals are higher quality than Bandai’s.
- Looks better than Bandai’s Hi-Nu.
- Four pairs of hands.
- Decent amount of extras (wings, sword, decals)
- Requires liberal use of either paint or the foil stickers on many areas.
- Poses could’ve been better if waist wasn’t obstructed by design.
- Many PC joints.
- Can’t really see the eyes.
- Backheavy; cannot stand without the tanks.
- Front skirt is loose… just flops around.
BANDAI VS. MC
It seems that the biggest problem people have with this kit is not with the kit itself but with what it is not. Not from Bandai, not from Japan, not official, not… Gunpla. I must admit though… for something that is not all of the above, I had such a blast playing and reviewing this kit that I entirely forgot where I got it from. Quite frankly, I don’t think it matters at this point. In terms of fit and finish, I think this kit is *almost* as good as Bandai’s stuff; there are no major flaws or gaps that caused eyesores but it’s just not at Bandai’s standard… which is understandable. Plastic quality feels about equal to (and even greater than in some parts) Kotobukiya’s model kits so it is below Bandai’s. If Bandai is 100% then this is about overall 88-90ish but paint it or topcoat it, then you won’t even be able to tell the difference. While Bandai’s HGUC Hi-Nu is actually the less expensive of the two, I think this Hi-Nu is the better deal.
I bought this kit for the lolz and out of curiosity to see what’s the big deal about it. I approached it with even more skepticism than I do with Kotobukiya’s kits but it turned out to be a rather lighthearted ride and I got my fun out of it. And no, I will not review any more non-Bandai Gundam models. This is my first and will be my last.
Those who refuse to buy bootlegs will not buy this model regardless of how much better it is than the original, and those who wants one will pick one up. Either way, I don’t need to recommend this model; the Gundoom sells itself. However, I’ve satisfied my own curiosity and I hope this review helped satisfied yours as well.
REVIEWS FROM OTHERS: