Gaijin Gunpla

We are having a bit of an MG drought in the Gunpla landscape these days and normally that would make me a sad camper but I’ve got some RG kits to work on to keep me satiated. Bandai hasn’t stopped producing plamo though, especially with the new season of Gundam Build Fighters starting, and the HGBF Build Burning Gundam intrigued me enough to pause my 1/144 RG enjoyment and tackle this much simpler kit. And I’m glad I did.

Note: For many of the pictures in this review I’ve used the ‘enhance’ option in the iPhoto editing software to make the Build Burning Gundam’s flames look even flamier. Is that a word?

Overall Look: 10/10

There is some debate on what the Build Burning Gundam is based off of. I’m going to say it looks like an Impulse, specifically the Sword Impulse and that makes me love it. It’s simple, sleek, and not overdone but don’t let that fool you. It has some surprises it is ready to bust out. While it may look rather bland from a distance, looking closer will allow you to see some nice details particularly in the hands.

Colors: 10/10

That’s right! You can change the blue effect parts to orange!

In a way, you’re kind of getting two colour schemes here. I prefer the orange myself. The red is very much like that found on the Sword Impulse which is another thing BBG has going for him.

Weapons: ?/10 (but in all seriousness I will give it a 7/10)
BBG doesn’t come with a rifle or a bazooka. Nor does it have Gundam staples like beam sabres or a shield. Instead, Build Burning Gundam only has his hands to fight with. And I think those are more than enough. In fact, Bandai gives you plenty and there’s a lot you can do with them.

I’ll talk more about what makes these great later on in the review.

Articulation: 9/10

This kit is quite flexible, especially down below and that is thanks to a great knee design.

In fact, the only thing that inhibits movement of the leg is the ankle. When you flex to a certain point the armour of the lower leg starts to separate.

I think the only place where movement is limited is in the shoulder area. His arm won’t go up past this point.

I can live with that. And he does pass the balance test quite easily.

But while movement upwards is limited movement of the shoulders forward is much better than in HG kits released before this one. That is thanks to how the torso is designed so let’s talk about what makes the Build Burning Gundam great in this next section.

Build Design: 9/10

Let’s start with the shoulders. As I mentioned the shoulders are able to move forwards quite a bit thanks to a new torso design. Rather than having one poly-cap that sits inside the side of the torso, Bandai has the sides of the torso built to move separately from the main portion of the chest.

Here are those shoulders. A poly-cap is actually inserted in here attaching to a ball joint. Then you snap the hinge into place.

This allows the sides of the torso to move out anchored near the front.

While you could move the shoulders of previous Gundams forward it mean that there would be a visible gap between the torso and shoulder. That gap never appears here. There is a bit of drawback to this design though it is minor. Occasionally the whole poly-cap comes off that ball joint because there is nothing locking it down.

The wrists have more flexibility than in HG’s past thanks to a very MG-like design. The hands and wrist peg are different parts.

This means the hands pivot rather than having much more limited movement.

And the lower torso is actually comprised of a rounded parts that move independently of the larger main torso assembly.

Now for the cool factor. BBG in his basic form has the blue effect parts on.

But once he gets heated up the blue turns to orange. Of course, the parts don’t actually change colour. You have to swap them. But that is really easy.

It’s not hard at all to pull of the effect parts you won’t be using (though BBG looks a little naked without any at all.)

The knees and elbows have one armour part that comes off and the effect part fits inside.

However, this design for the elbow does mean that the armour part will fall off occasionally.

By occasionally I mean every. single. time! The parts are so small that at first you don’t realise they have come off. You only notice when you look at the elbow. Then you look on the floor, find the part, put it back on and proceed to play with the kit and, pop, off the piece will come again. It’s happened so frequently that those pieces are now inside the plastic bag where I keep the BBG parts I’m not currently playing with. It could happen to you too.

Another thing that pops off for me is one of the legs.

Though I suspect this is more an issue of me not pushing it in properly or making some other similar mistake.

Other than those minor gripes what I really want to convey is how fun this kit is.

Fun Factor: 10/10

Fire! That’s what Build Burning Gundam brings and Bandai gives you lots of it in the form of effect parts that are meant to be used in various forms on his back, feet, and legs.

The part for the foot actually sandwiches around the foot and won’t come off despite being a little heavy, though I do suggest to put it all together with the foot removed from the kit.

You have three different choices of fire extensions, for lack of a better word, that can be used on the foot and hand effect part. I went with the long ones for the foot.

The parts on the back can loop upwards.

With the provided adaptors, however, you can change the angle so they shoot backwards instead of upwards.

Those flames for the back are actually comprised of three parts that can rotate to give the flames different shapes.

It’s a good effect.

The part for the hand just slides right on.

There is a lot you can do here, and that’s where the majority of the fun is to be found with this kit.

Extras: 10/10

Look at all those parts! Two of everything, except for the parts which have four of everything! In contrast, the Build Burning Gundam is relatively sticker less.

And that’s the way I prefer it.

Bandai does provide all the parts needed to make four pairs of hands so you won’t have to do any hand part swapping at all.

It’s definitely not one of the more complex HG kits out there but what Bandai does provide makes it one of the better ones. I just love this guy.

So much so that I had to put him on a stand. How did I do?

12 Responses so far.

  1. Plavsky says:

    well, maybe that is the most flexible hg ever…

  2. buzz87 says:

    i personally think the build burning gundam looks more like freedom gundam without the wings.

  3. Jadge says:

    Great review Syd; I’ve always considered HG to be too lacking in detail and functionality to not just shell out the extra for the MG, but the HG BBG really makes me admire how much R&D bandai put into those areas. It looks like the kit in the show and can even pull off most of the poses, that attention to detail is something that should go into all HGs. Bandai is going to have to pull out all the stops for the MG.

  4. Belades says:

    To me, the chest DEFINITELY feels like it’s based on the ORIGINAL burning Gundam, which was America’s name for the God Gundam for reasons that should be easy to guess. I’ve heard the director state that that name does NOT mean that it is canonically a modified God Gundam however (as incredibly appropriate as that would be, especially seeing as Domon mother****ing Kasshu’s silhouette is shown with heavy focus in the anime’s opening. )

    The blockiness of the shoulders also strongly reminds me of the Shining Gundam.

    • Imateria says:

      The design is clearly all new and looks nothing like God Gundam.

    • Nick says:

      Sorry to point it out but the design of the Build Burning Gundam is completely different in almost ever aspect to the God/Burning Gundam and the Shining Gundam for that matter, even down to proportions. The BBF shares more resemblance to the Impulse series than most others.

      The director said that he took into account the stylings of the G Gundam suits in order to make something completely different on purpose.

      I do think that Sekai will have something to do with Domon though, seeing how similar their fighting styles are.

      • Belades says:

        I LITERALLY mentioned right there how the director said it’s not based on the God Gundam, so I’m not sure why you brought that up. The portion of the chest that reminds me of the G Gundam is specifically that rounded part of the cockpit, which to me strongly resembles the part of the God Gundam that flips up in hyper mode. Looking at the impulse you’re right, it looks more like the impulse’s chest than the God’s. I’m just not nearly as familiar with the impulse because I haven’t watched SEED and personally find the impulse one of the less memorable concepts/designs from that universe (I like it better than the strike, but we sadly see FAR more strike than impulse).

        I was simply saying what parts of the suit remind me of other suits, which is why I only mentioned the shoulders (which are a significant departure from the impulse I might add) and the chest, which, when I mentioned it, I was (internally, I didn’t voice this) referring to a very specific part of. The fact that those two parts reminded me of the god and shining gundam is 100% coincidence.

  5. Wow, I thought this looked like a good kit from the reviews I read on GundamPlanet, but now I’m definitely going to have to get this after I finish my MG Zaku Minelayer. Loving the changeable effect parts, and the joint design looks almost like an RG/MG would have. Nice!

  6. Beige says:

    Glad to see a build fighters suit has got your plamo fires burning there, and what a fitting one for it

    and really glad to see the build burning has enough articulation to pull of it’s martial arts moves or else this kit woulda left me rather sad

  7. Isaac says:

    Imo this looks better than the try burning Gundam.

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