Gaijin Gunpla

F91 is one of the first Gundam anime I ever saw and the F91 Gundam still holds a place in my heart. I’ve built the MG many moons ago (5 years!) but was excited to see it coming again as a new High Grade model.

I started on this kit when it released last December but something else arrived in December and poor little F91 took a backseat. When I thought about getting back to it I noticed that the pictures I had taken for the planned WIP were lost so I left the F91 and the search for the pictures for later. When people mentioned they wanted to see more HG reviews on Gaijin Gunpla I immediately thought of the F91 but the lack of a WIP kind of depressed me. Until I changed my thinking that is. For the most part High Grade kits assemble much the same way and because of that maybe a full-blown WIP isn’t needed but instead I can review the kits and in the review mention anything that is noteworthy. This will allow me to work through them faster and get the reviews up in a more timely fashion. High Grade kits, releasing much more frequently than MGs, can pile up if you’re not careful. I want to try to avoid that.

So I am kicking off HG Week on Gaijin Gunpla with a review of the HGUC Gundam F91

Overall Look: 10/10

Badass! That’s what the F91 is. I thought that the first time I saw it. And I still think so. The HG kit looks great, probably just as good as the older MG. However the use of large foil stickers on the V.S.B.R Units (the ‘wings’) can look odd if the builder doesn’t get the alignment correct.

Due to the odd shape of the stickers proper placement can be tricky.

After going through this I recommend building the Units and then putting the stickers on rather than that reverse.

One neat little addition that does help the stickers is how they’ve lined the areas where the F and 91 stickers need to go.

Lining those stickers up is quite easy and you don’t have to worry about having a large oddly shaped sticker stuck on at the wrong angle.

Just to be up front about something. Yes, I did misplace the red part that goes on the front of the skirt.

Colours: 9/10

Standard colours so no points for originality but the F91 is one of those suits that looks fantastic in this colour scheme. I do wish they had given more stickers for areas that needed to be yellow like we see on the MG on the thrusters on the middle of his back.

Weapons: 10/10

F91 comes with a fair amount of stuff for a smaller MS. He has the rifle, one of the coolest looking Bazookas in Gundamdom, two beam sabres and then the V.S.B.R. Units. I think he’ll be okay.

Articulation: 9/10

It’s an HG kit so it’s going to be plenty articulate. With that said, some areas which may normally cause a problems when posing kits, HG or other, aren’t a problem on the F91. I’m talking about the things on its back. Heavy backpacks can be a real detriment to how much you can stretch a kit out before it falls but the F91 doesn’t suffer in this area. The V.S.B.R Units articulate pretty well on their own as well.

The only issue I had when playing with this kit was the arms. I had the arms pop off the torso a couple times and looking at that more closely noticed that unlike most other HG kits that have the ball socket connection with the socket (poly-cap) built into the torso, the F91 has it reversed with the ball joint as part of the torso and the socket built into the arm. The ball joint seems tucked into the torso a little more than it should be, perhaps, and this is why the arm was popping off.

Build Design: 8/10

The shoulder joint I just mentioned might be the only drawback to how this kit is designed (though I’m tempted to count the use of large oddly shaped stickers against the F91). One real plus to this HG kit is that the V.S.B.R. Units do open up like its MG big brother.

And they also close up really easily as well without worry of the handle getting in the way.

Bandai made sure to design this kit so the little flaps in the back of the leg open and close without problem.

The F91 Gundam features a few cool gimmicks and they are well represented on the new HG kit.

A new (for me anyway) hip joint design was used on the F91 and I can’t say it adds or takes away from the articulation aspect of the kit but it does seem to come apart kind of easy. The same can be said for how they have the ankle armour be a ball socket connection with the socket not being a poly-cap but instead a frame piece.

Fun Factor: 8/10

Building the F91 was enjoyable because I was building the F91. with HG kits being so similar even still it may be tough to convince me to give a higher score when it comes to actually assembling the kit. For me much of the enjoyment of building comes from experiencing new things and not so much experiencing the same things just with different Mobile Suits.

Extras: 10/10

The HG Gundam F91 comes pretty loaded with many of the extra things being swappable parts such as the piece you need to use when attaching the shield. You pull off a part from the lower arm and then plug in the extra part with the shield attached.

You also get an extra piece to use to mount the bazooka to the back of the skirt. You pop off one small part, then plug that part onto the extra piece and mount the bazooka that way.

It is quite secure.

You also get a few parts you can use to make an alternate face and extra parts for use on the shoulders. Being an HG the little fins that hide in the shoulders can’t be made using separate parts but instead you get a part made to look like the fins all tucked up together and another with them all splayed out. You just have to swap these.

But, oh, what’s this?

The manual shows the fins as having white on them. Should that be a sticker or paint/marker? This actually really bugs me. I hold the opinion that you shouldn’t present something to someone in a form different than what it is in real life. Looking at the manual images of the HG F91 some people might believe that the white on the fins is something that you will be able to get out of the box when this isn’t the case. Maybe I’m just an idealist but I tend to hold to beliefs such as
“As a boss never ask your employees to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself”, or also, “As a teacher/instructor never demand a child do something without you showing you are willing and able do it first.” But I will get off my soapbox now.

I really welcome the High Grade Gundam F91. The MG was good but came out using a very odd frame, one it shares with the MG Crossbone X1 Ver Ka., if my deteriorating memory serves me correctly (I’m 40 now!). The MG looked great but was lacking in stability with that frame design but the F91 looks just as good and has the HG quality articulation and simplicity. In some ways it’s the better choice of the two. F91 fans will most likely be building both.

6 Responses so far.

  1. duncan says:

    Hi Syd ,
    a great start to hg week. You really hit the nail on the head with what annoys me about alot of the box art , manual illustrations. I agree that showing a painted kit is really false advertising , the manual should all be out of box Finnish with just the last page devoted to detailing up and how to do it. That aside , in looking forward to seeing which other HG kits you have in store for us.

  2. Dingo says:

    Very nice review. Just some note on the what you see (on the box) is not what you get. This happens all the time, even on MG release. The best example is the color distribution of the core of Force Impulse/Sword Impulse Gundam. there should be a black panel at the nose (on the box), but it is all white inside.

    • Nick says:

      Actually I think the best example would be our good friend HGUC Rozen Zulu, molded in a beautiful purp-Oh wait never mind.

  3. Kushal says:

    Can’t wait to see how this looks panel-lined. I didn’t really *get* your high score for this in the appearance category until I saw the middle picture in the second row of the gallery. Then it made sense.

  4. Tri says:

    Sigh, this kind of kit overtakes HG Sinanju… *a little bit sad.

  5. Jason says:

    Good review. Though I have to disagree with you on the MG F-91. That was the worst translation of mobile suit design to MG kit I have ever experienced. The proportions were terrible. I’m OK with adjusting proportions from the original line art if they look good in kit form. But the F91 looked terrible. It was just wrong looking. The Crossbone was way better looking so it should have been possible not to screw up the design.

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