Gaijin Gunpla

Looking back over the last several months of Master Grade releases from Bandai the majority of them are the larger, plenty o’ plastic kits with tonnes of gimmicks and even transformations. Then along came the 1/100 MG Jesta which is a step back to the smaller-boxed, finish-in-a-day type of kit, much like the Tallgeese I EW which came smack in between the releases of the Nu Gundam Ver Ka, Banshee Titanium and the Sinanju Stein Ver. Ka, ReZEL C, and Sinanju OVA kits. The Jesta shares almost nothing in common with these higher-priced kits but how does it stack up Plamo-wise?

Overall Look: 9/10

I actually really like the look of the Jesta and that surprises me somewhat. As a grunt suit the Jesta has more in common with Mobile Suits like the GM which don’t do much for me, yet for some reason the looks of this kit has grown on me. From the angles of the armor on the bottom of the knee to the way the upper leg armor doesn’t line up the more time I’ve spent with the Jesta the more I like the look of it. I wouldn’t call the look of the Jesta ‘eye-catching’ but if you take the time to look over the details of the suit there are a lot of little things which add up to a good-looking kit. Some of these will be mentioned later in this review.

Someone asked me to take a comparison shot with other Gundam UC kits so here it is beside a ReZEL.

You can see that it is almost the same height which isn’t something I expected when I first opened the box.

Colors: 9/10

Probably the closest Suit to the Jesta in terms of color is the Delta Plus and I feel much the same way about the colors on the Jesta as I did for that kit. The subtle colors really work well and are a nice change from what we’ve seen recently, though a lot of details will tend to get lost as the tones for the two armor colors are quite similar. Perhaps some other, brighter color (used sparingly) would have added to the overall effect.

Weapons: 8/10

The Jesta isn’t loaded down with armament as many of the other Gundam UC kits but you shouldn’t really be expecting that for a grunt suit. What they did give you works really well and I’ve grown fond of the Jesta’s rifle because it is one of those that looks like something I see in use in militaries right now. The shield is also a step up from the standard grunt-suit shape and that arm! (more later)

Kudos to Bandai for making the yellow emblem an actual plastic piece and not a foil sticker.

Articulation: 4/10

It’s actually not very good.

With all that armor on the bottom of the leg (which I love the look of) the amount of movement allowed to the knee joint is minimal.

You’re only going to get about this much bend to the knees.

Just Kidding! 9/10
Thanks to a great frame design for the lower leg you can actually extend the leg downwards moving the armor away from the knee to give yourself a larger range of motion. Normally it’s like this.

Just pull down on the bottom of the leg and create the extra space.

Now look what it can do!

This was a great idea on Bandai’s part when you think about it. If they designed this suit to be accurate to the what you see on the anime then they could have left the knee as is and we builders would have just had to deal with it. Instead they design a whole leg with the idea of giving us that extra movement in the knee joint for when we want to pose this guy. If this is something we see pop up again in upcoming suits I, personally, will be delighted. We will talk more about this in the Build Design part of this review (which just happens to be next).

Build Design: 9/10

Continuing on with the knee design for a moment I’d like to point out that Bandai took the time to design that knee/lower leg gimmick to incorporate the moving parts we usually find in Master Grade kits, namely parts representing mechanics such as pistons, etc. The Jesta has these as well and when you extend the leg the piston parts slide down little grooves and move with the leg. It’s well done even though it wasn’t necessary at all for Bandai to make it that way.

Now let’s talk about the other real cool piece of engineering that can be found on the Jesta; the shield arm.

The shield arm, as I’ve taken to calling it, is a positionable arm that connects the shield to the backpack and can be expanded and contracted allowing you to position the shield in almost any way you can imagine. I played around with this quite a bit when taking photos (check the gallery at the end of this review for more) and I was delighted to find that the connection to the backpack is secure enough to hold the shield in whatever position you put it in but also fairly easy to remove if you want Jesta to go naked. I should mention here though that that the connection of the arm to the back of the shield is not undone so easily and it’s probably best to leave it as is rather than stress any plastic.

Other areas of the Jesta design worth mentioning:

The Backpack:

I mentioned in the third part of the WIP that the backpack frame has two swinging arms that clip onto the main backpack frame and hold the thrusters. This gives the Jesta the ability to tilt the thrusters up a little bit and the design even has small frame parts that go with it. It’s a subtle difference in the look when they’re moved but it definitely adds to the kit.

The Arms:
The gimmicks Bandai built into the back of each arm work really well and make playing around with the Jesta more enjoyable by giving you options. The left arm houses the beam saber handle.

Whereas the right arm houses the three extra ammo magazines. Both are easily removable when you want to use them.

And while we’re talking about the arms let me show you the elbow joint.

Yes, it’s only a simple molding thing but I really feel these kinds of design elements add greatly to the overall look of the kit. Just look at the Nu Gundam Ver Ka and what you could do with the elbow frame parts to enhance the kit.

Side Skirts:
These contain missile storage units that can be opened.

But, um..wait a second. What shoots these missiles? Jesta only has a rifle and already has extra magazines.

Rear Vent/thruster:
I’ll be honest when I say I don’t really know the purpose of this thing. Bandai has designed this unit to move slightly though I see no reason for it to do so.

One thing worth noting is that the little armor flap at the bottom can come off if you’re not careful.

Rear skirt:
Here’s another fun gimmick that we see in so many suits and it’s nice to see it not left out on the Jesta. Open the rear center block and you can store your weapon.

The design is actually quite tight in that there is just enough clearance to allow that door to open but you shouldn’t have any problems with it unless maybe you have gigantic sumo wrester-sized hands.

Cockpit hatch:

I like how the cockpit hatch opens and I normally don’t pay much attention to this area of any MG (except for the AGE-1). First pull out the bottom door then open it downwards.

This leaves enough space to pull out the top door slightly and move it up.

I’ll speak here about the decision to go with the new type of hands which were previously used for the first time on the Nu Gundam Ver Ka. I’m still up in the air about whether or not these hands are a good idea. They look great and you can get them into all the hand forms you previously needed several interchangeable hand parts to get but I still find them really fragile and difficult to work with. The use of the tab in the palm is a great idea but in the case of the Jesta the lower arm is so big that trying to get the tab of the rifle into the hand while getting the right angle to keep the rifle butt from jamming up against the lower arm is quite time consuming, though it looks good once you get it done. Another thing to consider is if they use just one mold for future master grades we may end up with hands that are out of proportion. The Jesta is shorter than both the Nu Gundam Ver Ka and the Sinanu Stein yet has the same size hands. Hmmm. I will ponder this further.

And it would be a sin if I forgot to mention that this guy is designed to use Bandai’s LED.

This design is the same as the Nu Ver Ka and works just as well on this kit as it did on that one though several times I felt that I couldn’t get the neck frame/LED housing piece firmly back into position after I had removed it. Right now only the green LED is available through normal channels but it looks like the Red LED from Bandai’s online shop (sorry non-Japanese residents) is making a return in July. Whether that means a normal release in the future to go along with the just announced MG Geara Zulu only time will tell.

(No head. No life.)

Fun Factor: 8/10

Despite it being far less extravagant than pretty much all Gundam UC Master Grade kits it still is quite an enjoyable build and fits perfectly into the ‘I’ve got a day off so I’m gonna build this kit’ category. It’s got enough gimmicks to keep the build fresh while not being overly complicated and you shouldn’t experience any of the frustrations you get when, for example, trying to transform a ReZEL.

Extras: 7/10

There’s really not much here and I can’t say that is surprising or even disappointing as the Jesta is pretty plain-Jane when it comes to Mobile Suits. Of course you get the markings.

And an extra Beam Saber blade though that’s only because Bandai considers the one runner with two blades as one part. The three extra ammo magazines are sweet. I would have liked to see something done with these, though.

These are obviously something that is stored in the shield and meant to come out at some point. It would have been a nice plus from Bandai if they included extra parts that could be used stand-alone.

So after building this kit, playing with it, and writing this review up until now I’m still not certain where the Jesta fits in. It scores really well but it is not going to compare with kits such as the Sword Impulse, Sinanju, Infinite Justice, etc. If you were to give me a choice between a Jesta and let’s say the Nu Gundam Ver Ka for example, I’d go with the Nu Gundam probably every time but that kind of does the Jesta a disservice as it is a superior kit to other 3,800 yen kits such as the Tallgeese I EW, in my opinion, and better overall than most of the Wing MGs of last year. Perhaps the best way to express how good the MG Jesta is is to say that Jesta fans will definitely love what they get in this kit and no one will walk away disappointed. That sounds like a great kit to me.

Categories: Jesta, Kit Reviews, MG Reviews

52 Responses so far.

  1. Zetaone71 says:

    Awesome review Syd. I really like this suit as well and look forward to building it.

  2. jon says:

    Hi Syd,

    Where did you get the MG Geara Zulu? I thought its Geara Doga

    • syd says:

      Oops. I just glanced at that info yesterday in the latest Hobby Japan magazine and didn’t have it at hand when I wrote this review so was going off of my (apparently shabby) memory. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. Kiko says:

    Jesta is not as big as I thought. I thought it has the same height as ReZel, since all I know MG UC kits were bigger than an average MG. So does it have the same height as AGE-1 Normal or Wing kits?


    • syd says:

      I’ll have to put it next to some kits but the wing kits are generally shorter than the average MG so I think jesta would be taller.

  4. anon says:

    I could be wrong, but I think those things on the waist are supposed to be grenades and not missiles.

  5. David says:

    great review, but a few things.

    1) they’re not missiles, they are grenades. they eject into the hand, and are thrown. the jegan has the same thing.

    2) in the shield, the four little pieces, are rockets. again, similar to the jegan, they act as a little bit of last ditch weaponry for the jesta.

    other than that, it’s an amazing review. i’m going to be picking up AT LEAST one of these, possibly more.
    my local gunpla store might be having a launch party, with Korean BBQ, and stuff, so i’m getting one there, and one from HLJ.

    • syd says:

      see. I’m being edumacated.

      • David says:

        WOW i sound like a douche there, sorry.

        i’m really not used to talking to people who have a working knowledge of gundam, mostly the gundam fans i know wear “BE MY HEERO” shirts and such.

        the only reason i know it is because i lurk at the wikia, and write short stories about my kits.

        the height of nerdiness, i know.

      • syd says:

        Haha. No doucheness detected. One if the great things about my readers is that they will step in and correct me when I make an error.

    • PoweredGM says:

      The grenades are never hand thrown. They are always self propelled. Jesta cannon fires all of its grenades at once in Ep6 if you want to double check.

      • David says:

        Actually, they are. the grenades on the jesta cannon are the same as the ones on the FA unicorn, while these are different.

        they’re labeled as “3-slot hand grenade racks”

        the jesta cannon simply uses different weapons on purpose. it’s designed as a heavy artillery unit, with a little bit of mass-fire built in.

        the standard jesta, on the other hand, is designed to have one hand free most of the time, (the shield is controlled separately, by the backpack arm.) so that at any given moment, the jesta can switch from mid-range, to close range, the optimal use for the hand grenades.

      • PoweredGM says:

        You’re right. I do remember seeing them used by a Jegan as rockets one time in a game but that was probably their own inconsistency.
        It is still a rather silly complaint about having them molded together. If you can cut the parts from the sprues, why cant you just cut the grenades apart. Bandai molded them together because most average gunpla fans would just lose them and complain since they are so small.

  6. Bocalt says:

    Hey, thanks for that review, I will get myself one as soon as they start appearing on ebay (which they aren’t right now). Now i can understand your scoring despite all those positives. Its nice to see we are getting value for money with this kit.

    Just got around to building the hguc Jesta Cannon which i love and got the extra parts from the normal edition though I doubt the MG version will feature the possibility to choose between the cannons and the shield like the Hg does.

    Can it properly hold his rifle with one hand or should we like for the hg get it to use both?

    And I wonder if they MG will be able to hold the Cannon’s Gun, I mean its tall, mean and heavy to be…

    • syd says:

      The best thing about those new hands and their design is that once you get that little tab from the weapon into the palm of the hand and vice versa the grip on the weapon is solid. I have had no problem with the weapon coming out of the hand. If they do make the Jesta Cannon, and I’m fairly positive they will, it will include its weapon and likely the handles on it will have the tab to work with the new hands.

  7. Josh says:

    Ahhh now I cannot wait for it! Great review Syd. MG Geara Doga and MG Strike Aile Remaster… we are being spoiled this year mates!

  8. ClayCannonII says:

    Is this kit good enough to buy it again when the jesta cannon comes out?

  9. Adrian says:

    Delightful. I was afraid Bandai was going to screw something up, but from the looks of it, the MG is as fine as it can be. Guess it’s time to save up again.

  10. Belades says:

    If I’m correct, the reason that it has nothing to shoot the “missiles” on its waist from is that they’re actually (weird looking) hand grenades (the Full Armor Unicorn has these as well, I think it may even be the exact same mold). Which Is why I’m personally somewhat disappointed that they’re molded together (although this is probably to keep them from sliding out of the housing in addition to cutting costs, seeing as it’s a weapon that’s very small, minor and almost never used.)

  11. Ryan says:

    Past designs, like the EW versions of the HeavyArms, have had very similar looking waist missile pods in comparison to this new UC trend of waist mounted grenades. I can understand the confusion, and honestly can’t remember ever seeing a Jegan or Jesta use them in any of the movies.

    • syd says:

      That’s exactly the kit I thought of when I saw the jesta side skirt design.

    • JM says:

      I don’t think that is a new trend. As somebody already pointed out, Jegans already sported these accessories long before UC and Heavyarms came out. What with the Jesta’s being the next line to come out after Jegans, it just makes sense to have them there. Though I would have to agree, they just weren’t used (enough?).

    • PoweredGM says:

      Side skirt grenades are not new. All Jegans in CCA were equipped with them. That movie is 25 years old this year. And they are used by the Jesta cannon in Ep6, self propelled so molding them individually for use in the hand is pointless.

      • PoweredGM says:

        Sorry, normal Jegan/jesta ones are indeed hand thrown. But I have seen them animated as rockets in a videogame.

  12. mykman05 says:

    Great review Syd, as always… Keep it up…

  13. otonashiex says:

    The moving rear thrusters are for the knee bend. They allow for about 5 degrees of extra articulation.

  14. J. says:

    Cool kit.
    I prefer that kind of suits rather than the extravagant ones (with wings or unbelievable weapons). I’m more into the “real robots” approach.
    Nice review, thanks. I put the Jesta on my buy list : )

  15. wallz says:

    hey syd you gunna be doing a custom paint job for this kit?

  16. Jeff says:

    Got my Jesta today after a long wait, and I love it. Much bigger and bulkier than I thought it would be, even though I have a ReZEL for comparison( it feels bigger than the ReZEL). I might even hold off on getting the HG Cannon to wait for the MG because I like the kit that much. Cockpit hatches were a little stiffer than I expected. Not a deal breaker for me, since other kits have more interesting gimmicks there( Sinanju, Duel, Age-1, and Nu Ver. Ka to name a few).

    • syd says:

      I agree, Jeff. It’s a really solid kit and a great build. I’m hoping to get back to it and give it some paint sometimes soon.

  17. ace says:

    does jesta used the same type of plastic for the frame as Nu ver Ka. used for its frame? and will it be able to hold the weight without getting loose too soon?

  18. ditto ary says:

    Is the LED light included?

  19. ditto ary says:

    And how how much money i need to get this kit?

  20. ditto ary says:

    How much the price is?

  21. Stairmasternem says:

    Gotta say, love this review and it has convinced me to get this guy as my first Master Grade. Admittedly, I somehow missed the whole model kit scene growing up which is a SHAME because these things are right up my alley. Love your reviews btw, very informative.

    • syd says:

      Don’t regret getting into Gunpla as an adult. I think adults are more capable of appreciating these kits. It’s a good time to be an adult-sized kid.

      • Stairmasternem says:

        Ah, I’m not regretting about getting into them as an adult – I regret missing them for most of my life. These things are fun and the mechanics of them very much interest me. Although granted, I think it’s a bit better to get into them now as opposed to maybe a decade ago. Judging from the parts produced, the latest and greatest seems to have more technical superiority going for it.

  22. Ron98 says:

    hi syd! thanks for doing this review!

    i recently finished watching Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 and rewatching the MS Gundam Unicorn OVAs. instantly fell in love with the Jesta design (and Jegan ECOAS Type). i got a HG Jesta Cannon which is really awesome, pretty awesome detail and articulation. i am looking forward to buy one of the MG Jesta. can you do a review of the P-Bandai MG Jesta Cannon?

  23. Alias121 says:

    Someday, people will remember the major design flaw that the Jesta had; those missiles on its hip are supposed to be loaded in the shield. You heard right, kids. That shield is a missile launcher.

  24. Leo says:

    Hi Syd,

    I know this is pretty old review but I recently just bought 1 Jesta and I want to customize it with some military guns or hand gunds. Do you know where I can find some? I found Kotobukiya weapon set but they are usually for 1/144 grade. Please advice where I can find them for my MG thanks

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