Gaijin Gunpla

I feel a little foolish because I’ve done this once before. Way back in 2012 I wrote about how I thought the at-that-time-just-announced MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka had the chance to be the best kit ever.

And then Bandai released it with poly-caps for joints. And a Fin Funnel flex problem.

Yes, maybe I felt like I cried wolf or, more correctly, cried greatest-gundam-evar a bit there. I’m not ready to declare the 1/100 MG High Mobility Type Psycho Zaku Ver.Ka (GUNDAM THUNDERBOLT ver.) the greatest MG ever, maybe because I’m not ready to recite that entire name off the top of my head, but I do think it is worth talking about considering how much the FA Gundam Ver. Ka Thunderbolt kit wowed me and how much I love the Zaku 2.0 kits.

The first thing that most people are talking about when this kit is mentioned is just the sheer size of it.

The HG version of this kit is one of those big box HG kits which means its box is roughly the size of a small MG kit but the MG version of the box is going to be bigger than the MG Sazabi Ver Ka‘s box! The length and width is actually the same but the depth is an extra 1.5 centimetres. I am sure a lot of that space is taken up by that giant tank on the back.

That is huge. Some would say too huge. I would be one of those people except that I see Bandai will give us the stand(s), yes plural!, to support it.

This looks pretty amazing without the Zaku and I am waiting to see how many Gunplars are going to mount that onto other Mobile Suits. Due to the weight there will also be a little stand to hold up the rear similar to the MG Full Armour Unicorn.

The FA Gundam Thunderbolt MG came with quite a few gimmicks and some are appearing here as well such as the claws on the feet and the arms on the backpack.

It will be interesting to see how these arms are stored in the backpack. They look bigger than those on the FA.

And like the FA we are going to get the Frame Covers which will be found on the elbow and knees, and likely ankles, abut as you can see in the release images they are also used for the Zaku piping on the head, torso, and sides of the legs.

Bandai also points out that the hatches and doors in the torso will all open.

This looks like a step up from the 2.0 frame so it will be interesting to see how they design it.

[Edit: The next paragraph I meant to include yet forgot when I published the post. I’m adding it now as I feel I really wanted to discuss it.]

Just like the FA and the other recent Ver Ka MGs going back over the last couple of years the Psycho Zaku will come with waterslide decals. And you know what… I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Sacrilege! Hear me out. Most Master Grades going back near the beginning and up to the past few years all came with stickers. Bandai would occasionally also release a Gundam Decal set for particular MGs for those who didn’t want to use the stickers. In the beginning the sticker quality was so poor that Water-slides were the way to go. However, after the release of the RG line the stickers became much better to use and gave a better appearance. One of the reasons I love the RG line is how it looks with the markings on. There may be builders out there who do not wish to use water-slides do to lack of confidence, time, etc. For those people stickers probably worked fine. Now, by eliminating the stickers and only including water-slides, Bandai runs the risk of alienating a small group of people who always built MG kits but now hesitate to do so with the new Ver. Ka kits. The MG Hi Nu Gundam Ver. Ka comes to mind. Those decals aren’t exactly easy to put on. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t finished that particular kit. I haven’t found myself with the kind of time I need to get it done. For big release kits such as the recent Ver. Ka Master Grades, why not give us both stickers and water-slides and let everyone join in the fun.

I’m sure there will be more going on with the kit than we know currently and I’m excited to see just how this all goes together. But there is one question I keep asking myself; the 1/100 MG High Mobility Type Psycho Zaku Ver.Ka (GUNDAM THUNDERBOLT ver.). Is it too much?

What does everyone think?

25 Responses so far.

  1. fury-s12 says:

    I’m so in for this one, never built a zaku greater then a HG and haven’t built a modern MG for a couple years (at least), skipped the full armour because i wasn’t sold on it design wise but after seeing how amazing the kit was im definitely in for one i already like the design of!

  2. Manpig says:

    Bigger is better in some cases, but if we can expect what we saw with the FA Gundam TB Ver. Ka, we’re in for something amazing. Ryan’s definitely going to love this big boy.

  3. Sumo.Monkey says:

    It’s a must if you’re going up against the FA

  4. Charlo says:

    I definitely agree with you Syd. I love the Zaku, especially the Zaku 2.0 frame which is a marvel of engineering, but I think that the backpack and not the mobile suit is a bit too much. I also do not think I have a shelf wide enough to accommodate this guy in all it’s glory.

    Still not sure whether to buy this or not, I’m sure that this will be an amazing build, though it is a bit expensive and I will have to display it shamefully without the backpack 🙁

  5. Uriel Ventris says:

    Definitely excited but preordering this and the p bandai heavy arms custom might put me in the dog house with the wife lol.

  6. S2 says:

    Hey everyone,

    I forgot one important thing I wanted to discuss so I went back and edited the post and put it in near the end. Those who have already read this post may want to read that paragraph.

    • Manpig says:

      Syd! That new paragraph is the exact thing i’ve been thinking Bandai should start doing for their MG’s for a long time. I for one never apply waterslides or dry transfers, my hands are too jittery to put them on well, and my minor OCD basically needs me to put them on perfectly. I always thought that Bandai should give the option of dry transfers/waterslides, as well as a sheet of clear stickers for those who may want it. Thanks!

  7. timothy ong says:

    I want this thing… but I wish they didn’t put that big fuel tank if it means knocking a thousand yen or so off the price.It’s waay out of my budget sadly 🙁

  8. noob_sauce says:

    I’m a snap build, panel line and sticker kind of guy. My Stein is never leaving it’s box because I don’t want to deal with the water slides.

  9. Bocalt says:

    Hi, your point on the markings and decals is my current position as a builder. I’ve passed on a few kits right now and those RG stickers are indeed working fine now.

  10. Crazypipo says:

    Several things I am interested to find out more…

    1. Will there be any Zaku 2.0 frame used in this kit? Obviously, the arms & legs must be freshly engineered to accommodate the frame covers. How about the torso, waist, head? Is there a chance that we may get a new iteration of Zaku II soon (cough 3.0 cough).

    2. With such a huge back pack, how much dynamic poses can I pull off? I expected MG FA Ver Ka to be a brick but it turned out that I was wrong – partially.

    It is 90% certain that the huge fuel tank will end up resting in the box…

  11. Feb says:

    It was wise of Katoki to change the ordenance a bit from the HG. Zaku standard weapons aren´t very exciting. That made me jump the fence over to pre-ordering this beast. My concern is that gargantuan fuel tank. Unlike Full Armor Unicorn, they give you no way of re-purposing it like the ones on that kit.But I guess you can leave it off is shelf space is at a premium.

  12. Paul Emical* says:

    Syd, you certainly made a couple good points.
    I, for instance, buy way more kits than I have time for building. I’m building a Zaku II ATM, and in a whole week I’ve only completed the head, torso, arms and one leg. Once finished, I’ll still have to do decals and topcoat (I’m panel lining as I go).
    So… yes, maybe for people like me, who enjoy the building phase “per se” and prefer more complete kits per year to a few “works of art”, maybe good quality stickers are a better choice than water slides.
    The Hi-Nu is still in my backlog because I fear I could ruin the decals and the kit costs way to much to even think buying another one.
    That said, I already preordered this beast. I simply can’t hold myself back when it comes tu gunpla.
    Just my two cents. 😉

  13. Lars Isaksen says:

    I’ve built 1 master grade in my time. Before that I built one hg, and one rg.
    The water slides were way easier to align, and looks much better than the stickers.
    The stickers also came loose on some parts.
    Oh, and the mg I built was the mg hi nu ver ka. Took me two days of building and one for water slides / top coat.

    • Cloudrunner62 says:

      How did your funnel waterslides work out? Mine…lets just say I ended up painting them with a custom design.

      • Lars Isaksen says:

        They were a bit scary at first, but I looked at the YouTube build video, and it got me going.
        I just put the waterslides in warm water for a minute, then moved it on with a wet q-tip.
        I then used a dry q-tip to remove the water, and the slides stuck right on.
        No problems aligning them as I could use as much time as I wanted, sliding them around until I dried them up.
        Then I waited a few hours and applied a tamiya topcoat.
        Haven’t had any problems since.

  14. gen says:

    I have just seen this on a gunpla contest event, few things I have notice on the build.
    1) The black covers on the tubes, u know tubes? They prevent dust from getting in. SO, why u put the covers on a tube that prevent dust?
    2) the elbows and ankles, they don’t look like the 2.0 with movable joints, they are connected like the thurderbolt full armor, one piece.
    3) if tat model is the end product, the color and texture of the plastic look great. You know, those big shield on mg kits all have marks .

  15. Tag says:

    Hey Syd, I had a question for you. I was looking to build one of either the Mg Sinanju (any version really), the sazabi ver ka and the psycho zaku. I have enough money set aside for any one of them and I’ve never built any of them before (not even a regular zaku 2.0). I also love all three suits and their respective shows, so which one I get really comes down a couple of factors: stability and sturdiness, the presence the model has when displayed, and the build itself. I know you’ve built the sinanju and sazabi and are working on the psycho zaku now and I know picking which model I build in the end will be my choice, but I really like your reviews and they helped me get into gunpla so your opinion would really help me decide. Basically, my question for you is, if you had to pick one of the three, and it would be like building each one for the first time and the excitement that comes with that, which one would you pick?

    • S2 says:

      That’s a good question and I will answer it but I want to ask you to be patient a couple of days while I put together the review for the Psycho Zaku. You’ll then be able to get an idea of that kit and how I rate it.

      • Tag says:

        Thanks, Syd. I’ll be sure to look at the review when it comes out. I hope my question will make it into the tailend of the review. Thank you for the help!!

      • Tag says:

        Hey Syd, I saw you posted the review for this kit and it looks fantastic. Unfortunately for me, the bulk of the booster means I probably won’t be getting it, though it would’ve looked nice next to the FA Gundam Ver Ka I got to make. With that being said, I was now between the Sinanju and Sazabi, and I was hoping I could get your opinion now on the two. I read in your FA Gundam review that the Sinanju was one of those kits you’ll always remember building and I also know you loved the Sazabi ver ka, so I was hoping you’d be able to help me decide which kit to get based on the sturdiness, display presence, and the enjoyment of the build between the two. I know they’re both a lot of work, but in the end, which one would you say best fulfills those three criteria between the Sinanju, Sazabi (and the Psycho Zaku if you think the last one satisfies the three criteria the best)?

      • S2 says:

        Hmm. This is a tough one. Indeed I would probably lean towards the Sinanju Ver. Ka as being my favourite but that kit isn’t readily available any more and if you were going to get an MG Sinanju you’d likely be picking up the OVA kit instead. Also, there’s an RG Sinanju out now that can rival the MGs. With those things considered, and the more current design of the Sazabi Ver Ka. likely that kit would give you more in terms of part counts and gimmicks. I do think the poly-cap-less Sinanju kits are more stable and more fun to play with.

      • Gen says:

        there is no wrong getting a Sazabi ver ka.
        this psycho zaku isnt a kit that can compare sazabi, simply for few reasons:
        1) the back pack isnt anything special, its lots of old zaku weapons and very big fuel tanks. If you put tat into any gundam, it will fit. But doesnt look special.
        2) u cant pose with psy zaku.
        3) Sazabi has a much better proportion, the fuel tanks has a better size ratio.
        4) Sazabi weapon is unique, u have a big axe to the size of Astray’s giant sword, rifle size of Buster gundam 2 gun combine. A shotgun , 2 sabers, missiles, shield size of a gundam, 6 funnels.

      • Tag says:

        Hey Syd, I actually ended up getting the Sinanju ver ka based on your recommendation and I picked up the waterslides for it as well. I looked through your Yellowbird gallery and I really liked how you went about it, and I’ve decided to try and go all out on mine as well. I haven’t yet started on the project or build, so I was hoping I could get your perspective on some things before I do. Looking back at that project, would there be anything you would’ve done differently? Also, does painting the inner frame make the tight-fitting ABS any harder to work with (fit together worse, break more easily, stuff like that)? And similar to that last question, would you recommend getting familiar with constructing and deconstructing the kit a few times before painting or does the chance of breaking mean that that’s a little too risky to advise? Finally, with regards to the detail, do you think some areas would look good with scribed panel lines and color separation on areas like the thighs (to get something like a real grade look), or do you think that the detail on the kit is already sufficient and doing that might take away from the overall look of the kit?

      • S2 says:

        Congratulations on picking up one of the best kits there is. I advise you to do a test build so you get a feel how everything goes together and also determine where you may want to make changes. Be sure to build in such a way that you can easily disassemble it after in order to paint or modify. I love the curves on this kit and didn’t feel the need to add any panel lines but I’ve seen people scribe in some lines on their Sinanju kits and they’ve turned out wonderfully.

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