Gaijin Gunpla

A new Gundam anime means a new protagonist and a new protagonist means a new main Mobile Suit. In the case of Iron-Blooded Orphans that is the Barbatos a kit Bandai shipped early so it could be on store shelves the day the Anime started. The anime is getting some rave reviews but how does the first kit from the series, the 1/144 HG Gundam Barbatos, fare in the eyes of Gunpla fans (well, just this Gunpla fan.)

Overall Look: 9/10

It’s definitely different. With recent anime like Reconguista in G we’ve seen the designs make a departure from what we’ve come to expect in the terms of Mobile Suit design but the Barbatos seems to take that a step further. I will have to say, however, that where other Mobile Suits look like they are designed to fly around and look cool and then fight the Barbatos looks like he’s designed for fighting first. Those shoulders while large aren’t so flashy and look in some way similar to what we see in football padding designed for maximum protection. I also like designs found on the shoulders, chest, and knees though these are done with stickers.

I also dig how the torso narrows down towards the waist with the frame or mechanical areas exposed.

While this might not be the best in terms of protection it does leave it looking slick and agile. You can see this in the ankle armour as well.

Protection for the front, none on the sides.

This is where I should point out that a big part of the look of the Barbatos is the exposed frame and inner workings, something most suits armour over.

This isn’t just a case of there not being an armour part for that area. When it comes to the design of the Barbatos there are frame parts specifically for those areas. In fact, you get two runners of frame parts with this HG. In previous HG kits a lot of times the frame part was just there to cover a poly-cap at a joint and there wasn’t anything underneath the armour but the Barbatos has so much frame it is almost like an MG but on a smaller scale.

I’m still unsure how I feel about the head. From some angles I think it looks fairly decent. From others not so much.

Colours: 8/10

I’m not going to rail against the red, white, blue, and yellow. I think I should retire that from consideration when it comes to protagonist suits but at least the Barbatos does have a lot of grey frame showing and the pink to add to the colour scheme we are all too familiar with. Something I’m really happy about, the yellow areas on the knees are done with plastic and not stickers.

Weapons: 8/10

Hold on a minute. No rifle of any kind? That’s a departure. While I think it would make sense to have your giant fighting robot have some kind of projectile firing weapon what you get instead with the Barbatos is actually quite cool. Sure we’ve seen the katana before but that mace!

That thing is badass! Not only does it look cool it really allows for some cool poses with your Barbatos (those are coming up). It is worth noting that you don’t get a shield either with this MS. You get the smaller gauntlet that he wears on his wrist but that can be swapped out if you don’t want to sport it.

You can mount the weapons on its back using the included parts if you want him to go in with bare fists.

Articulation: 10/10

The only problem you may have with the articulation of this kit is that it has a huge range of movement but you may not be able to utilize it as it can become unstable with the limbs at extreme ranges. That just seems more like a first-world-problem than a complaint. I was able to get this kit into some cool poses and enjoyed playing with it.

I did find however that sometimes it was tough to get it to stand steadily with both feet flat.

Build Design: 10/10

Bandai took an HG and made it more like an MG and they did it perfectly. It’s not like the parts are too small that the build is difficult yet there are quite a few parts to go through to get this guy completed. That said it doesn’t take that long to snap together and start playing. I counted my build time as about 45 minutes so experienced Gunplars will be playing with their new kit in about an hour and young kids will have theirs down within the day.

Let’s mention some gimmicks. On the backpack you can see that the center thruster, if that’s what that is, can tilt up.

You can also pop off two pieces/panels and attach the included arms.

If you get the sold-separately, Barbatos Cannon, you can attach it to the underside of the panels that are now at the end of the arm. I don’t have that cannon so I just played around with Barbatos as he was.

I think he looks good this way. Well, from this angle.

Fun Factor: 8/10

On the one hand, this new type of HG with more frame makes the build a little more complex but on the other, it’s not like there is a lot here. My guess is that the first kit release from this new anime will be trimmed down and, just like the anime where the protagonist’s suit gets bigger and better, we’ll see more beefier Barbatos in the future which means more stuff to build. It was cool to put together what feels like a unique kit and it’s even more fun to play with it once it’s done. Especially with the mace. 😉

Extras: 7/10

Pretty much you’re only getting the extra arm, or three, which is actually really great because part swapping small pieces on an HG kit isn’t always enjoyable. You do get plenty of stickers as well.

However, there is one area I wish they had done in plastic instead.

The HG Barbatos is a good way to kick off a new Gundam anime and kit series. It shows right away that things will be different and makes you wonder what else to expect. You can also bludgeon all other Gundam into submission.

24 Responses so far.

  1. Ville says:

    Oh snap, mine should arrive today. Can’t wait to battle-damage, drybrush and weather this one out!

  2. Dingo says:

    “I also dig how the torso narrows down towards the waist with the frame or mechanical areas exposed.”

    In the 1st/2nd episode, the old guy mentioned something that the Barbatos was scraped for parts, explaining it’s bare bone look.

    I suspect in the later episode, they would put on some more bulk and armor plates on the Suit.

    • atae seijitsu says:

      i dont think so cuz the other hs that have the same frame those have the samr waist problem on it but thy cover by an armor but still maybe it will happen…who knows??

  3. Tony says:

    As for extras, I got a Barbatos trading card with mine. I suspect it’s for the arcade game. Pretty cool. Nice review Syd.

  4. Tony says:

    As for extras, I got a Barbatos trading card with mine. I suspect it’s for the arcade game. Pretty cool. Nice review Syd.

  5. Beige says:

    Barbatos is supposed to be an old, worn down suit stripped for parts then quickly refitted for combat, and it shows with all those sweet missing sections – and why he dosen’t have many toys

    also, mace is great. more gundamns need maces 😀

  6. Bocalt says:

    Hi, thanks for that nice review, sure looking forward to that new 1/100 series as well.

  7. Beepbeep says:

    Hey syd, i think you’re seeing the shoulder armor bigger than it seems as you have them pushed up in the pics, while they should be folded down by default. 😉

    Thanks again for the great review, can’t wait for the MG!

  8. Wolverine says:

    I guessed this mobile suit have a lot of rooms for improvements so I expect UPGRADES in the coming months. This will look BADASS definitely…

  9. Aceuser says:

    Syd, mine got its swivel joint at the upper arm really loose. Do you have that problem too?

  10. Bocalt says:

    From what I’ve gathered from the show, we are already getting the MS as it will appear in upcoming episodes (after likely defeating another Gundam) – after episode 6. Which is quite something if you think of it as a 22 something episode anime. Of course it isn’t the final form but i mean this is quite an interesting new move from Bandai.

    It had no shoulder armor in the first episodes (1-4) will get a shoulder upgrade(blue – that i don’t think the HG will ever get – so no milking there) which has been reflected in the upcoming Robot Spirits… which also comes with parts from the custom grazes(pincer).

    Note also that the 1/100 doesn’t come with the Hammer and no small shield parts for the arm. Thus reflecting the Barbatos in the anime at the time of release (or at a week near). I thus wonder if that hammer is here to stay as it seemed to have been broken in the 3rd episode – so the MS will likely swap for the Sword.

    It is bothersome that Bandai didn’t provide that hg small shield part in the correct color – or even a sticker would have been okay instead of expecting us to paint it

    • champy says:

      Now that you mention it, the mace did get broken on the duel against Crank.
      I also got this kit and I am very pleased. I’ll finish the top coat on on the weekend and maybe paint the inner frame as well. I just need to find a suitable spray paint color for it. And I also ordered the 1/100 one haha! so this hg is going to be a practice piece for the painting on the bigger one. kinda ducks that the 1/100 doesn’t come with the mace though.

      the hg box does show a pic with what looks like a graze shoulder armor and a schwalbe pincer and the anime. The parts from other hg kits looks like can be swapped to the Barbatos.

  11. Robert L says:

    Other than the ankles funky balance and the head piece that will come out if adjusted, and the waist that lacks swivel(the Sengoku astray has spoiled me, love the swivel on it), it’s nice for a beginning.

  12. Garry says:

    Dude… seriously.. you should learn to pose your figure.

    you got a really good review but in my opinion, it is important how you pose them so the viewer got its awesomeness

    sorry for my bad english

    • Jacky Teh says:

      hmm… can’t really blame if he didn’t watch the Anime… Barbatos can really look great when posed & shot at nice angles (esp the shoulder armor folded downward like the box art…) it’s a demon-named gundam & I’m loving it 😉

  13. Bryan says:

    When will you review the othet ibo kits? And when will you review the 1/100 barbatos?

  14. andrew says:

    hey syd i just picked up the gundam barbatos 1/100
    i was wondering if u knew the dimensions of the 1/144 mace esspicially the height and width of the top portion because im planning to scratch build up a mace for him

    • S2 says:

      It is 15 cm long, with the shaft being 8.6 cm meaning the weapons portion at the top is 6.4 cm. The bottom spikes are 2.7 cm apart at the points while the smaller spikes are 1.8 cm apart.

  15. Jeff says:

    Thank you so much for posting these reviews, they really help in my decision for choosing new gunpla, and to get advice from someone who actually built the model. Thanks.

Leave a Reply