Gaijin Gunpla

The third in a series of Ver Ka kits from Char’s Counterattack the Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka comes eight months after the Sazabi Ver. Ka and a full year and a half after the release of what he can be most closely compared to, the Nu Gundam Ver Ka. Both of those kits were fantastic, minor issues aside, and so many of us have high hopes for the Hi Nu. If you watched the Gunpla TV Live Event for this kit you already have a good idea of what to expect and you even saw that thanks to that huge back pack, this kit can’t stand up on its own, but don’t worry. This review isn’t going to be like that one. (maybe)

Because of the work involved in getting the Hi Nu to stand up I thought I’d take some pictures of him without the backpack attached. To be honest I actually prefer the look of the first Ver Ka, the Nu, when it is naked.

Overall Look: 10/10

There it is without the backpack and just like this it looks great. The proportions are definitely more bulky compared to the leaner, and taller by the way, Nu Gundam Ver Ka, but there is just something about the Hi Nu that holds your attention. It has presence.

And one of the best Gundam head designs around.

When you add the backpack you get a lo…

Oh my god!

It’s gorgeous! It’s beyond gorgeous. It moves you the way works of art do and that got me thinking deeply (more on that later).

Love the scorpion tail!

That’s what I call it, anyways. And those fat calves.

Colors: 10/10

At a glance it appears the Hi Nu Gundam is just white and the purple but there is also the grey/off-white found in various areas of the kit. When I did see the first shots I thought it was a step back compared to the Nu Gundam and its colour scheme but after spending time with this kit I can’t find anything to really harp on when it comes to colours. Purple and white works on the kit both without the backpack and with…

Oh my god!

Stunning! And I haven’t even added the cool effect decals to the funnels yet.

Weapons: 10/10

Yes, you’re basically getting Hi Nu’s version of the weapons that came with the Nu Gundam and that’s okay! The bazooka is exactly the same from what I can tell.

But I’m digging the rifle with the details on the underside.

And of course the big shield, though the attachment to the Hi Nu’s arm seems to be of a different design than that found on the Nu Gundam.

You also get three beam sabre handles which is likely more than you need.

Articulation: 7/10
Here is where things fall down for the Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka. Literally. With that big backpack on it simply can’t stand up on its own and needs to resort the little stand attachment to hold itself up.

With that, there’s almost nothing you can do with the lower body. Just for fun I tested him out without the backpack.

He actually does pretty well.

The Nu Gundam could stand and move somewhat with the fin funnels attached and I think the Hi Nu could do a lot more if it weren’t for the huge fuel tanks on the back. I did some experiments with the backpack and the Hi Nu balance when I had time with it at home and if the huge fuel tanks were gone then you would be able to do more with the Hi Nu. Luckily we do get a stand so complaints I have can be negated quite easily. But, in my mind, it’s a complaint worth making. But I’ll talk more about that later.

I should mention that the head doesn’t have the same range of motion that the Nu Gundam’s does.

Build Design: 9/10

There are so many similarities to the Nu Gundam Ver Ka that many of us thought we’d be building that again and while that is true for some parts of the Hi Nu Ver Ka build there is enough to differentiate it from its older brother. Like the Nu Gundam it features a gimmick which has parts of the armour open up.

Front skirt.

Unlike the Nu Gundam and Sazabi, however, there is nothing underneath to show.

Rear skirt.


Lower leg.

There is a thruster under here but it’s tough to see.

The left arm opens to access beam sabre handle storage.

And the right arm opens to reveal a weapon.

You’ll notice I did most of the transformation and playing with the kit with the backpack off. That was the easiest way.

Bandai also had all the tiny details, mostly circular, molded in a different colour. While quite small they were easy to put in place during construction.

Probably the area of the kit with the most impact when transformed is the lower legs.

But once the backpack is attached, with those huge fuel tanks (and stand), it gets lost.

Bandai also kept the design from the Nu Gundam that allows the LED to be used.

This makes Nu/Hi Nu head swapping a piece of cake, though the backpacks aren’t swapped so easily because the stand needed for the Hi Nu backpack butts up against the rear skirt centre block of the Nu. See a pic of that here.

Now I’ll address the backpack specifically.

It’s huge, as mentioned, but also feels incomplete. You aren’t even given an armour piece to close up the insides.

In this shot (which is upside down, by the way) you can see how the wings attach, via a piece which looks like it is meant to move. Well, what I’ve discovered is there is really only one position for those parts because if you rotate the wings the little tiny peg that sticks out of the ball at the end of that part protrudes past the edge of the main backpack frame.

It’s tough to capture this in a picture but with that little peg sticking out like this you may have a problem snapping the backpack onto the back of the Hi Nu.

The ‘scorpion tail’ snaps into place from above and then pivots downwards.

I call this position The Phoenix.

Be sure to have it down otherwise it can get in the way when you attach the backpack to the kit.

The fin funnels are the same as those on the Nu Gundam (the armour runners are designated Nu Gundam Ver Ka) but the center dark parts are new.

They clip onto the wings quite securely.

For the most part they will stay in place, and I’ve yet to have one fall off, but the attaching piece may grow a little weak over time and I suspect they will swing quite freely in the near future.

Those wings also have a flap that opens to allow you to store a beam sabre handle.

But you’ll need midget fingers to get those beam sabres in there.

And then there are the huge fuel tanks.

So big they come as three parts. As much as I gripe about these things I think they do look good.

When assembling this guy, once the backpack is assembled, Bandai has you attach the stand to the backpack as you attach it to the Hi Nu.

I found this a little tricky because it seemed I had to attach the stand to two different areas at the same time. When taking the photos for this review, I played around with the stand and backpack together before then snapping it onto the Hi Nu. This meant I had the head assembly attached to the the backpack rather than the suit.

It allowed me to do fun things like this.

You can hide that little stand by placing it in between the huge fuel tanks (but not if you look from behind).

Whether you decide to do as the manual states or do it the way I just wrote about, both work. Once you’ve done it once you will be okay. Then you’ll have this.

(Oh my god!)

Some of the complaints I had with the Nu Gundam can be carried over, such as the new light frame possibly being a negative rather than a positive, but my biggest one for the Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka is that they still went with poly-caps instead of opting to leave them out. I’m glad to have poly-caps for the wrists as it allows me to take the hands on and off easily but poly-caps at the hips or knees means that this guy is going to get tired quickly and that stand attachment becomes even more important. I took my Nu Gundam out to compare with the Hi Nu and noticed the Nu Gundam had some stability issues. If Bandai had opted to do without poly-caps and go all MG Sinanju on the design the Hi Nu may have had a chance of standing without any help. Though we will still wonder if it would be as solid as it could be now that we’re using a lighter plastic for frames.

Fun Factor: 9/10

Though the first portion of the build seems very ‘been there/done that’ you don’t mind at all because you’re just having a good time. If the Nu Gundam wasn’t such a great experience then many people wouldn’t enjoy this one but it’s because the Hi Nu builds on the Nu Gundam that you’re smiling and snapping away as you progress through the build. It definitely isn’t one you’re likely able to finish in one day. You’ll get to a point where you have to put it away for the night but then your anticipation will build as you can’t wait to get started on it again. But it’s the final moment, when you finally get that backpack attached and see him standing there that you really appreciate this kit.

Extras: 10/10

You get that stand again!

And you really need it this time!

And an even bigger sheet of water slide decals.

Most of the sheet is taken up by the blue fin funnel decals which are really cool!

Pilot figure.

And if you care a couple of pieces that were originally for the Nu Gundam.

And a third beam sabre handle! (But, only 2 actual sabres…)

The Hi Nu Gundam Ver Ka has caused me to have to rethink how I appreciate these kits. I’m asking myself a very basic question; What is Gunpla? What is a Gundam plastic model? Is it a toy? or is it art? Until now I fell very firmly on the side that views them as a toy. After all, they’re snap-fit, pre-coloured kits that come with moveable limbs and gimmicks. You’re meant to play with them. Those modellers out there with the tools, skills, and know-how can turn these simple toys into masterpieces. Viewing it this way, I could be forgiven for being pretty upset when a kit can’t do something so simple, or essential in my view, as stand up on its own. The Hi Nu Ver Ka comes just like any other kit (plenty of gimmicks), and yet you can’t really play too much with it. But it looks gorgeous! You don’t need to be a pro-modeller level builder to have a work of art for yourself. It’s blurring the lines between toy and treasure, between articulated action fun and emotionally charged visual. Its existence may likely change how I evaluate and enjoy future kits. I still wish it could stand up on its own, though. If that was the case it would definitely be at the t…

Oh my god!

36 Responses so far.

  1. Frankon says:

    I think the front skirt is done that way as the attachment point for the HWS parts. Bring the guy to Nightingale show (plus Nu and Sazabi:

  2. Reval says:

    I like the kit,it is more like a mini statue than a toy for me . . . because it is really a piece of art, an art that can be hold, played, and by just looking at it. I’m really looking forward for your review of this kit Syd. Thank You.

  3. ัyun says:

    I don’t know why they did not include metal part in the legs to counterweight like the first MG Nu.

  4. Amirul says:

    Looking at the head got connected with the backpack only…its kind of reminding me of the Legilis XD

  5. Bocalt says:

    With this guy done, hope you plan to review the Nightingale. For its price and its non MG status, 1/100 reborn, its one of the things I’m mostly looking forward this year

    • Frankon says:

      Looks like Bandai pushed out Nightingale release date. Now its out on Thursday and not Saturday (still to late to get it for my birthday)

  6. Imateria says:

    Gorgeous kit, really will have to get it soon (damn backlog! must clear some space).

  7. Manuel says:

    Great review, just added this guy to my list of future builds

  8. Ren says:

    I agree with the disappointment of using polycaps to the frame. Because I modded my Sinanju Stein and slapped more stuff in his back, which means its a lot more back haeavy, yet it stand on its own. So I would also think that if Bandai did do a no-polycap engineering on the Hi-Nu Ver Ka, it might have stood on its own.

    Also while I read the review, I imagine Syd doing OMGs like he saw a jump scare scene, like the Hi-Nu Suddently attaches its own backpack out of nowhere. XD

    • Nick says:

      I think that the polycaps don’t have much to do with it falling over, as it’s physically toppling over rather than the joints giving way. But I do think that some kits should really go without polycaps, I’m a bit scared of this kit not being able to move around and stay there once you attach the heavy weapons set.

      • Ren says:

        No, i also saw a picture of it with its hip giving up and doing limbo.

        Also because the joints in the feet might also give in and topple over so chances of it falling over is decreased if non polycap system is used.

  9. hien says:

    nice kit, it looks much better than the old hi nu!
    btw, can I ask you way to remove nubmarks completely? I’ve built 5 MG so far yet its still hard for me to remove nubmarks completely like you did in all of your kits, thanks!

    • syd says:

      Hi hein, I use a design knife and try to remove as much of the gate mark as possible. Hold the piece firmly against the table or matt you’re working on and push away from yourself along the surface of the piece. The blade should glide along the piece until it runs up against the nub mark then it should carve through the nub mark and continue along the surface of the piece if your angle is correct.

    • Frankon says:

      you can also wet sand it after wards with 600+ sandpaper (like 800-1200 is fine). Its a bit time consuming but you will get the best surface after this.

      Offtopic. Nightingale got delayed by a week. Whats wrong with Bandai.. its like a 3rd time in the last 2-3 months

    • Cassie says:

      To remove the sprue stubs, use a set of proper clippers and get yourself a set of mini-files, to file down the remains. The files do a lot better job than sandpaper, as they can be very precise in what you remove and how much you take off.

  10. G says:

    Its kinda weird that the Gatling Cannon on the arm is colored white…shouldn’t it be grey at least? Oh well, a minor thing that can be fixed with paint

  11. Phillax says:

    Something about it just doesn’t scream ‘Ver.Ka’, not sure where it went wrong in my eyes, and a few others of my friends too.

  12. Zip says:

    An epic review for an epic kit.

    I think once people venture outside of Gunpla and snap-together kits in general, they’ll really understand that Bandai kits aren’t really toys, just highly-functional models that are durable enough to be action figures. Other brands like Kotobukiya don’t have that luxury. However, looking good is the first and foremost goal of any model kit. And if nothing else, I would be more than happy to sacrifice articulation on a kit for good looks, like the Ex-S.

    I’ve been building some Volks Five Star Stories plastic kits recently and quite frankly, they suck as “action figures”. But the shear beauty, detail, and imposing size of the kits made me appreciate them much more than your typical MG like the Wing or Seed kits despite not being able to pull off their yoga poses.

    I think this Hi-Nu, as well as a lot of Bandai’s recent MG’s like Sazabi and Nu ver Ka, are a fantastic balance of gorgeous jaw-dropping good looks and poseability (not that the rest of them aren’t, but those kits look good enough to give resin kits a run for their money). Yes, we can complain about minor quirks, but in the end, I think this “balance” is the reason the MG line has lasted so long and continues to endure to this day.

  13. Nacho-wan says:

    It’s funny you mention the toy vrs. art debate Sid, because my girlfriend always keeps menacing with assaulting my stand to play with her nephew — she might need a new boy friendif she actually does it!

  14. Leon says:

    Hey syd, may I know if the space behind the waist is normal? I noticed there’s a gap where a grey piece was blocking it. Is it okay to leave it like that? Idk, it just doesn’t feel right with me. Especially during the Live Event video, at 2:26:00, that gap is the one I was referring to.

  15. Kyle465 says:

    hey syd, not to spoil anything but the shot you took and placed after the “Oh my god!” at the end still has the stand. if you look carefully you can still see it. just a tiny piece of the clear part

    • syd says:

      Of course it has the stand. That’s the only way it can stand up. You can hide it through camera angles but those angles are very few.

  16. Somebody says:

    Bandai could’ve made the leg frame like the Jesta’s and make it extendable so the hi-nu can have a better articulation

  17. Marco Polo says:

    Hi Syd,

    As always, another great review for a very epic kit.

    I recently got the kit and am moving at a nice pace but am starting to slow down so I won’t complete it yet. (Why not complete it you ask? Fin Funnel WATERSLIDES!!! Those things scare the hell out of me.)

    Could you help out a “noobish-bro” and show us a sort of tutorial on how best to tackle those giant edge curving decals?

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering where can you get replacement water slides for this kit. I tried to place them on the fin funnels, but they ripped. I still have 8 slides, but that would leave a few spots open on the funnels. Anybody know or have a sheet they don’t plan to use?

  19. Hydra_asd says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t too much impressed with this kit? I more like the original Hi-Nu, the body is too bulky to be called a “protagonist MS” and the colouring especially the fin funnels are-,bad. And all those gimmick is nothing new, I mean for a Ver.Ka.

    Of course I know many people will yell at me about “The Ver. Ka is in fact the original design, and the Hi-Nu you know is redesign of the MS”, but since the Original Hi-Nu is more widely known, so let’s leave it at that.

  20. Ken V says:

    Hey Syd, I’m building my Hi-Nu right now, and the colors are so good, I’m thinking of just leaving it unpainted, but, I want to try the waterslides on this kit. I saw your tutorial on Gunpla TV the other day, and I was wondering if you top coated the kit before applying the slides? I’ve read and heard that it’s recommended to do a gloss coat before applying the slides, but it appeared you skipped that in the episode. It’s also too cold where I live right now to do any spraying. Thanks, and hope you’re enjoying the HWS!

    • syd says:

      You’re correct, I didn’t gloss-coat before putting the watersides on for the video. I would recommend it for best results but if you aren’t painting your kit you can use mark softer on the decal after without ruining a finish. Mark Softer can affect paint so definitely gloss-coat before decaling a painted kit.

  21. Barristan says:

    Man, with all that white, this kit is just begging for a titanium finish version. Not that I’d be able to afford it, but it sure would look gorgeous.

    • Marco Polo says:

      Actually, I think what shouts out more as a preview for a titanium finish are the undergates. Its just everywhere!!!

      • Barristan says:

        Wow, that’s good to hear! A titanium version would be pretty tempting, then, especially with the right shade of dark metallic blue-purple. ..of course, they still haven’t announced a titanium Sazabi, which I thought would be a no-brainer.

  22. Dion says:

    Why don’t you sand down the nub marks?
    (Just Wondering)

  23. Mura says:

    I hate the fat calves

  24. Cloudrunner62 says:

    While I love the Hi Nu Gundam. My own complaints might be a lil more personal. The double ended beam sabers and the shield of every other Hi Nu iteration out there had that awesome jagged stripe design on it. It was one of the things that really set it apart from its predecessor to me and I loved it. This thing? Plain white block of a shield almost exactly like the Nu Gundam and the beam sabers are straight from the Nu ver ka, no alterations at all. Also was denied a pschoframe unlike the Nu. Had kind of thought it would be a progression from the Nu Ver Ka and was sorely disappointed. Ive heard the retort, “Ver Ka’s are supposed to be remakes.” But Katoki let me down here leaving out the things that made it unique to me. It wouldn’t have been that hard to retool the shield and sabers from the 07 mg hi Nu and that’d have made me happy.

  25. Ayamasakari says:

    Hi Syd, just want to share my experience with everyone about this kit especially the waterslide decals. Just completed putting on the decals for this kit and it looked gorgeous! However, when trying to put a matte topcoat on it, the decals for the fin funnels ripped off and some of them turned out frosty.

    I’ve read somewhere in the internet that you can fix the frosting by using thinner? Just want to know your thought on this.

    Love your review by the way! Keep it up mate

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