This is the Sazabi-like mobile suit piloted by none other than a Char in the Gundam Unicorn novel. It was love at first sight with me for this MS. Oh how I was so happy when I first heard that the Sinanju would finally be getting the MG treatment… until I learned that my worst fear came true: the gold trims are all foil stickers. The offensive gold foil sticker for Unicorn’s v-fin was understandable but foil stickers all over Sinanju’s body is a felony! Damn Katoki and Bandai for not willing to fork out the extra plastic for actual gold pieces despite the rather hefty price tag (~6000 yen). Nonetheless, I was determined to paint this model because I know the foil stickers will not do for me so I started on it soon after receiving it.
- Paint used: Tamiya Gold Leaf, Clear Red, Flat Red, Dark Gray, and Clear Green. One bottle of gold is plenty enough. Everything is handbrushed.
- Top coat is Mr. Hobby Flat Coat
- Sinanju does not come with a stand.
- This model can cost you between $65-$75.
- You can buy everything at rainbowten.co.jp, hlj.com, or 1999.co.jp.
- Any procedure questions, refer to “My Tools” page please.
- For painting tips, refer to this post.
- For convenient comparison, here is Dalong’s Sinanju Review.
Out of the Box
22 runners in all. Most of them are doubles of the same runner and some are just dedicated to one smaller part of the model so it’s really not that overwhelming. Springs are included for the power tube gimmick. There are NO CLEAR STICKERS in this kit so you will have to rub on each and every one of the marking decals :D (if you don’t pick up a set of water transfer decals). As you can see, that hideous gold foil sticker sheet is also disgustingly huge.
See… that’s just ridiculous. Just the wrist itself has five different foil stickers. Also imagine rubbing on every marking on that decal map ^^;
My brush and gold paint of choice. A bunch of skewers, cotton buds, and rubbing alcohol will come in handy too for obvious reasons.
As you can see, masking tape isn’t very effective for the parts that need painting. The raised parts are just too subtle to mask. Just gotta make do with painting as neatly as possible then clean up afterwards. If you really are that good with micro-masking then by all means, go for it.
This runner pissed me off a bit. The pieces on this runner are supposed to be gold but Bandai gives it to you in yellow. So if you use the gold foil route, you’ll have this mix of yellow and gold trim on your Sinanju… which brings me back to the question of why didn’t they provide the rest of the should-be-gold parts in yellow as well? Anyway, you can basically dip or spraypaint this whole runner in gold. Nothing is yellow on the Sinanju.
Forgot exactly how long it took me to paint that emblem but it was LONG… and the rest of the pieces that need to painted gold also took just as long! Just be patient and go slow so there won’t be so much to clean up afterward. This is the first step of a long and annoying journey. The other annoying part is cutting off those little tube pieces and cleaning off the nub marks (they are big). Assembly is straightforward.
Painted in the vulcans on the front of face with Tamiya dark gray. Easy part and luckily, no gold. Unfortunately, there’s one atrocious nub in the middle of the left side of Sinanju’s horn. You won’t be able to hide that thing just by sanding; you need to paint it away. I painted the eye but realized how pointless that was because you can’t see the eye anyway.
Arms and Hands
The engineering in the arms is worth praising. No nonsense. No unnecessary parts. All the sliding parts are simple yet actually serves a purpose. The arms are probably the most articulated in the MG line-up thus far. The wrist and forearms also extends. While all the fingers can bend, the last three are attached to each other. It doesn’t limit hand posing much so I didn’t bother cutting them apart. You can make the wrist look silly with five different gold foil stickers or paint it in. The latter is relatively easier compare to other parts.
Good part: Quick and easy assembly. Bad part: the nub marks are on the front of the shoulder where it curves! It’s so hard to clean it up without damaging the actual piece.
More to praise about the engineering here. Pull out the thrusthers and the “shells” open up with it. Simple yet gets it done. The fuel tanks are so long that it leaves a very visible seamline… wish I could fill it in and sand it away.
Sinanju’s waist is more sophiscated than your average MG waist. The sliding mechanics is similar to that of the RX-78-2 Ver. OYW/Shin Musha Gundam but this one allows each leg to individually slide forward and back. Nice! Not so nice: damn tube pieces again… so tedious…
Legs and Feet
In terms of assembly, this part is the most time consuming (just look at the number of parts). Like the arms, the legs are also straight to the point with its mechanisms. I can see how articulated the legs are just from assembling them. While the feet can’t really bend forward or backward, the ankles can roll free enough to still allow the feet to stand flat even in wide ground poses.
The shield is THE most troublesome part to paint. The edges are on the red part are rounded so it’s very difficult (see: impossible) to paint or clean neatly. Not to mention it curves, so masking will also be a nightmare. What I did was just paint the gold foil in my gold for the red part and stick it on (this is the ONLY part I used foil stickers on). The gold on the black isn’t as annoying but can still get on your nerve after awhile. It’s also easy to miss some spots too as the shield is curved so I had to look it at from different angles to make sure I covered everything.
While it’s nice that Bandai finally starts providing the clear parts in the right color, I find the green to be too light so I painted it a darker clear green ^^;. There aren’t many pieces to the Beam Rifle and grenade launcher(?) but more than the usual two-halves beam rifles. As expected from katoki’s design, Sinanju’s beam rifle is sleek and beautiful but I prefer Unicorn’s beam magnum more ^^;. What’s with the double scope?
The Getter Sinanju’s Tomahawks are the simplest to assemble, barring the beam saber hilts (which you just snip them out from the runner).
Second Project- Water transfer decals
I STRONGLY recommend picking up Sinanju’s water decals and a bottle of Mr. Mark Setter (it “melts” the decal to the plastic). It saves a ton of time and more importantly, headaches. I don’t know the exact number but I’m sure there are about 250+ decals to complete the whole decal map in the manual. If you screw up a dry transfer decal, then that’s the end of it. With water decals, you can play around and adjust it until you find it perfect. Still, it’s not that much easier even with the water decals. You see… Sinanju’s entire body is either rounded, angled, bent or curved- basically anything but straight. There are no real flat spots so making sure the decals are straight, leveled or symmetrical is a real pain in the buttock. I can see those with Gunpla OCD going insane making sure the decals are uniform together… or banging their head on the desk after spending a lot of time to make sure the dry decal is applied perfectly just to see that it’s misaligned with the other one afterwards. This is how the sheet of water decals looked afterwards…
Note that if you plan on spraying top coat on your model, you should really make sure the water decals are completely sticking to the plastic. There shouldn’t be any air bubbles and whatnot (you can see it). Air bubbles aren’t an issue with tiny markings but could happen in bigger ones. Mr. Mark Setter helps in making the decal stick but there’s still a slight possibility part of the edge is not sticking and top coat can get in. If you spray top coat on some markings that has air bubbles or opened edge, the top coat can wrinkle or break the decal. It happened to a few on my Sinanju but I was able to replace them with the dry transfer.
This is the top coat (Flat/Matte) I used on Sinanju. For a thorough job, I say Sinanju alone can eat up the whole can. If you want to make sure you’ve every corner covered, I recommend that you spray each part layer by layer (example: spray inner frame of arm, put armor on then spray again, put whatever is left and spray again). Yes, this is more time consuming and waste a lot of the precious chemical but it’s worth the effort. Sinanju has a lot of overlapping armor parts so if you just spray the entire part at once then you’re bound to miss many spots. I know this sound a bit crazy but… I think Sinanju would look better with Semi-flat top coat than completely matte. Sinanju’s red is rather vibrant like it’s meant to be a little glossy (and I don’t mean plastic gloss) and flat top coat just seems to make it look dull. I’d say semi-gloss would do a better job of bringing out Sinanju’s true beauty. Also, I don’t know how it does it but it does… the flat coat makes the Gold look VERY NICE and solid! Can’t really describe that part but the pictures below can show you ^^;.
SD Sinanju Ver. Kamina
Just messing around :)
Sinanju before decal work and top coat
Shiny isn’t it?
Sinanju- The completed model
The decal job took me almost a whole week (a good few hours each day) to complete. I wonder how exactly does Katoki expect the average gunota to apply some of the dry transfer decals perfectly. Just look at the white stripes near the ankle and thrusters- they go around curves! Some even goes right on top of a bump! It just seems VERY obnoxious. I bet you Katoki never tested out the placements of the decals he designed for this model…
Can’t say I’m too satisfied with the final result given the work I’ve put in. Not on the model’s part but rather on my lack of experience. It didn’t turned out as clean as I wanted it to be. The top coat exposed some of the blemishes on parts that I cleaned up after painting and the residue of excess Mr. Mark Setter. I also screwed up when spraying the top coat because it was so cold outside that some parts frost up. I cleaned it off with rubbing alcohol and reapplied the top coat. You can see it only if you try real hard to look for it (at that point, you’re not really looking at the model). Some decals were eaten away by the top coat so I had to reapply them with the dry transfer but luckily, that turned out well. Many first time mistakes but overall, nothing that really wrecks the final result to the point where I want to redo the entire model ^^;. The pictures can speak about the details and proportions for itself ^^.
Sinanju is the next tallest model under Sazabi (not sure now it compares to the Ex-S though). Even with that size, Sinanju can stand bold and proud. Its stance is very solid and well-balanced. This is one of those mobile suits that can look elegant and sophisticated just standing there.
One of the most awe-inspiring pose that Sinanju can do. Simply badass.
MUGEN SINANJU PUNCHHHH!!!
My favorite shot:
GETTER SINANJU TOMAHAWWKU!
SINANJU TOMAHAWK LANCER
Drifting in space…
FULL FRONTAL ATTACK
THE BATTLE CONTINUES…
…swear I’ve seen this sword design somewhere before (Halo?)…
I don’t suppose this can really work like Kyrios’ claws…
More beam saber action
Infinite Justice Sinanju
As you can see, the Sinanju is very well articulated and poses VERY well despite its size. It is definitely one of the most dynamic MG produced by Bandai so far. Its wide range of motion are supported by solid joints that does a fine job of holding the model in its stance. No weight issues either since the backpack is light. The sliding parts in the waist is certainly more useful implemented here than in the RX-78-2 OYW model. The joints are very sturdy; even after the photoshoot, Sinanju is still very solid and there are no loose parts. After playing with Sinanju for awhile, your sense of size might get skewed a little as all other smaller MG feels VERY small afterward. So not only does the Sinanju can look elegant just by standing, it can also be just as impressive by striking a pose. Any pose.
Of course, no models escape without some bashing. Fortunately, Sinanju doesn’t have very much for me to bash on.
-My biggest gripe with Sinanju is its hands. I hate its hands. The fingers are loose and weak; the hands can barely hold any of its weapons with or without them plugged into the palm.
-The beam rifle looks great but the slot on the handle that plugs into the palm is awkward like it sits too far in towards the wrist; it is not easy to get Sinanju to hold its beam rifle and I have to fiddle with the hands most of the time to get it to hold properly, sometimes even needing to remove the hand to attach the beam rifle. Also not to mention the beam rifle is on the heavy side so it tends to fall off of Sinanju’s weak hands. Posing with the beam rifle was the hardest part of the photoshoot.
- While there aren’t really any parts obstructing each other, many parts do tend to rub and grind on each other. Shoulders, elbows, wrist, leg thrusters, knees, ankles and waist just to name a few. They don’t obstruct nor are they obstructed but grinding on other parts can easily (and it does) scratch the top coat and in worst case scenario, messes up nearby decals. I accidentally messed up a few decals from posing but nothing major.
- In general, nub mark placement and coverage are very nice and courteous of Bandai. However, there are quite a few that are just RIGHT THERE and outright hideous. Total opposite spectrum. Such as the big one slapped in the middle of the left side of Sinanju’s horn. Then you have those that sits on a curve like on the shoulder and parts of the leg. Actually, most of the hideous nubs are on the legs… and the power tubes. I’d say nub marks aren’t as much of a concern in this model as there are bigger things to pay attention to.
- What is wrong with the shield?! It doesn’t even clip properly onto the forearm AND damages the part. It’s loose and easy to knock off while posing. Forget about clipping it onto the shoulder piece. It’s absolutely pathetic; the piece from the shoulder can’t even support the weight of the shield so it just flops. Not to mention it doesn’t even have any real functional effect since it gets in the left arm’s way. Add the beam effect parts and the shield can become a little too heavy for the arms.
- The gold foil stickers. ’nuff said.
- Felt forced to paint the gold trim. ’nuff said.
Let me get this out of the way: this model is NOT FOR THE WEAK-WILLED. That is, if you want this MG to look remotely decent then you will have to put in some elbow grease, put up with some frustration, have some patience and shell out a good chunk of time. You will have to paint and apply the decals otherwise it’s not worth it. At least make an attempt before you decide you can’t do it. You gotta believe in the you who believes in yourself. You have to earn the true beauty of this kit. Neither the foil stickers nor the gold water decals will do Sinanju any justice. The MG Sinanju Ver. Ka exceeds the MG line-up as a model but sorta fails in a way in the detail aspect no thanks to it having the biggest abundance of foil stickers than every other model out there (weren’t MG supposed to be… you know, color accurate to reduce the need of foil stickers and the need to paint?). It might not be as big of a deal if you plan on painting it from the start but it’s still noteworthy to criticize. Other than that, this is a great model with articulation surpassing all the models before it. While I certainly did not enjoy the overall progress (mostly the painting part) of this model too much, I wouldn’t mind attempting at another one if given the chance since it provides a new learning experience and challenge in this hobby. I’d say the Sinanju is worth the money (and the effort).
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CHAR’S COUNTERATTACK FULL FRONTAL’S RETALIATORY STRIKE