The first in Bandai’s newest Gunpla line-up, the Real Grade RX-78-2 aims to replicate “the real thing” with all the fine details and abundant colored parts. Or so the box claims. Many likens this new line-up to be something along the lines of “MG 1/144″ of sorts and I can agree with that point of view but I think this line also takes it further than that. Seeing how EVERYONE has one, I thought I should give one a try too. Since the RX-78-2 is the first model of this line-up, I figured I should build it and detail EXACTLY according to the manual specs. This meant applying EVERY decal/stickers included solely for the sake of the RG experience.
OUT OF THE BOX
Nine runners in total. One sheet of clear stickers (half of which is the “realistic decal”) but no foil nor dry-transfer decals. The beam saber is the same length as the MG beam saber. Advanced inner joint runner. Inner frame runner. Manual. There sure are a lot of minute details and steps you need to follow while assembling. Marking map. Surprisingly, this model doesn’t use any PC parts.
The legs remind me a lot of the MG RX-78-2 OYW with the Ver 1.5 one-piece leg. This isn’t as tiresome to cut out from the runner but all the little pieces and stuff makes it just as bad. You gotta be patience and not think about how long it takes to clean the nub off of every piece (oh it will take awhile…) and just hack away at it. I read up on others’ reviews that the advanced MS joints can break easily due to stress… so I loosened them. Before assembling, just bend the knees over and over and over again till the joint is smooth and all should be safe.
Even for what is probably the most basic section of the model, there are still a lot of parts to this! Initially, the inner frame is connected to the body frame as well on the runner so you have to detach the two. The moment I put on the front/rear skirts, I instantly realized something is going to suck; you see, there is no *pop* noise when you plug the skirts into their socket… which means they are unsecured. At the flick of a finger, I can knock out the skirts with ease. Damn. For sure, the waist is going to suck.
The arms are easier than the legs due to having less parts to clean and the pieces are easier to hold. On the right advanced MS joint arm, the shield handle is connected to it so you have to remove that before you can continue. The model comes with a pair of closed fists, and the standard MG-style hand (thumb and index finger separate, rest together).
You know what’s awesome about this model? Even though its’ primary colors are RWBY, there are different shades of them used throughout the model. Two shades of blue, two shades of red, and white, gray and a light beige. There are 8 different colors of parts on the Gundam’s body. Impressive. What’s more? The core block is also functional too… but I don’t care about that ^^;.
The head has the least amount of parts but I also find it to be the most miserable to clean and assemble. All the parts are irregularly shaped and tiny so I couldn’t get a good grasp to slice off the nubs. Also you should leave the top half of the head off until you’ve topcoated them and put the eye stickers on first because the upper half “clips” on so it would be very risky and difficult to remove afterwards.
Basic set right here: Beam rifle, Hyper Bazooka, Beam sabers, and shield.
I didn’t really want to bother with the core fighter since I’m not going to use it anyway but for the sake of the review, I thought might as well… I forgot to snapshot the parts though ^^;.
There is a total of 120 numbered stickers on the clear sheet, many ranging from 2-8 (for left and right)… so I think it’s safe to assume there is at least 160 stickers on this model. 160+ stickers. On a 1/144 model. Katoki must’ve been pleased.
Just like this, the model really looks like a MG shrunk to palm size! Like an updated RX-78-2 Ver. OYW. This Gundam looks gorgeous! Almost like the real thing!
A closer look at the details. Oh there are LOTS of details. Panel lines, panel gaps, shiny stuff, bolts, different shades of the same color… it’s all there. Nothing is painted! If you look too closely, you can see the borders of the clear stickers but if you look at the model as a whole, you don’t notice them at all. There were many stickers I wanted to opposed to applying but like I said earlier, I want to follow the manual exactly so I can see this model in its entirety OOB.
In case you want to see it…
Its kneel is not as good as some of the MGs like the MG Gundam Ver. 2.0 and I have to remove one of the front skirts to get the shot above otherwise the thigh is obstructed.
For good times…
The quintessential Gundam weapons: beam rifle and shield.
The scope on the rifle can rotate and the shield can be adjusted higher or lower on the arm.
It has all the show, but does it have the go as well?
With so many points of articulation on its feet, it could take a little playing around to get the Gundam planted on the ground. So far so smooth though.
I like how the legs and arms are still solid despite me pre-loosening them before assembly. It was actually a good idea because it makes the model easier to work with.
Replicating memorable poses and scenes should be no problem with this Gundam.
It can reach the hilt!
Trying to kneel again…
While the the beam is exactly the same as the standard MG beam, the connection point is actually smaller so the beam wouldn’t work for other MG kits and vice versa.
You can even pull off Gundam Musou-style stuff with this model!
Sword x Gun
Oh yea, I forgot to mention that this model comes with four beam sabers. Two for display purposes (on the backpack) and two for actual use (peg on the hilt). The peg doesn’t help much since it barely goes all the way into the palm since… well, it is obstructed by the palm’s design -_-;; (those who also have this model will know what I’m talking about). Kinda funny actually…
What’s so “hyper” about it?
I’m pleasantly surprised it can hold the bazooka so well since it doesn’t have any palm pegs for support.
It’s a nice looking bazooka and not awkwardly small like the MG Mk. II 2.0′s…
Bandai doesn’t want to include the Gundam Hammer as well? fine with me. Good thing I have a few laying around… Sadly, the Beam Javelin doesn’t fit on the beam saber hilt.
No RX-78-2 is complete without the Gundam Hammer…
WANT A PIECE OF ME??!!
PROS AND CONS
Oh man… there is so much to talk about…
- The Details! The panel lines! the colors! It’s all over the body! There is absolutely no need to paint anything on this model since EVERYTHING comes in its correct colors!
- I don’t think articulation is actually a top priority for this line-up but this model has enough to rival many of the better MGs out there; you won’t have problems getting the pose you want.
- The model is quite the looker when fully detailed. Heck, this model has more details than most out of there even if you don’t apply the stickers.
- All of its armament (what little it has) can be attached or held by the Gundam so nothing has to back into the box.
- Most of the clear stickers are cut to the shape of the area it goes on so no need to always eyeball the alignment every time. Saves time!
- Despite all the tiny pieces, this model is actually more solid than you would think!
- The front/rear skirt armor. I hate it. Damned thing falls off at the slightest knock. With sections like the legs being so well-engineered, you would think the waist would be flawless but no… it’s actually very annoying. Not only does it fall off easily, it also obstructs the body from turning and the thigh from bending higher!
- The thrusters on the backpack. I hate them. Same reason as the front plates because it also uses that same stupid ball connection that doesn’t hold well.
- The shoulders also have a thing for breaking apart if not careful. Not as annoying as the above two though.
- The so-called “realistic decals”, which is actually a cross between a foil sticker and clear sticker, are kinda lame. I kinda like it and I kinda hate it. It does more for the details than what the plain clear stickers does but they are still stickers. They go on any flat surfaces just fine but around any corners, bends and whatnot then they start losing their adhesive down the road. I figured this would happen after topcoating so I made sure every sticker is tight and snug… but nope. Doesn’t work. I’ve already peeled off the bronze strips on the elbows and behind the knees because it looked so UNREALISTIC with the stickers already coming off on the model. Lame.
- This is an extension of the previous con: the stickers for the eyes. This is where I wish I have foil stickers instead. The stickers for the eye cannot stick to the eye piece (which has all sorts of bumps, bends, corners, and curves) at all. It just keeps coming loose and I have to open the head repeatedly to fix it, then I just end up using glue to hold it in place. Sigh.
- Just a minor design quirk: the camera on the Gundam’s forehead (and the back) is solid red. I think it should’ve been in the correct clear color or just plain clear+ sticker. It just looks kinda off considering MGs and even some HGs have always been using clear parts for such things.
- Lastly, I wish the head can tilt down…
At the end of the day though… none of the cons matter to me because the Gundam is going on the shelf just like how you see it above and I won’t ever have to touch it again ^^;. It looks great!
ABOUT THE ASSEMBLY
Before I got this model, I was worried about how tiny the parts were and how hard it would be to clean the nubs and all that. Yea… the parts are tiny and arthritis-inducing no doubt. My fingers felt uncomfortable after assembling the legs, arms, and the head from holding those tiny pieces for so long. Even though this is a 1/144 model, it does require the patience and time of a MG kit. Maybe even slightly more.While the assembly has its difficulties, I also found it to be quite enjoyable and rewarding. It’s certainly a new experience alright. In short, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
So this is what a Real Grade is all about eh? There’s no doubt that this model looks fantastic and this is “only” the RX-78-2! Its aesthetics are top-notch and the negative stuff won’t matter to me at the end of this review so I’m more than satisfied with this model. Honestly, there’s really nothing to complain about. While MGs are slowly creeping up to three digit price tags, this RG should be considered a bargain for a mere ~$25-30. This is my first RG and it certainly won’t be my last.