Gaijin Gunpla

For such a basic looking grunt suit the Leo gets an awful lot of attention. I can’t say I know the reason for that but it’s likely due to the popularity of Gundam Wing outside of Japan. Fans have been begging for a Leo for as long as I’ve been at this hobby and it appears Bandai has finally heard them, or finally acted on what it’s been hearing for a long time, and has offered up the HGAC Leo. It is quite a simple build and one I didn’t think I would even review but the popularity of the kit combined with some of the things that caught my interest during the build made me change my mind.

Let me explain.

Overall Look: 6/10

That’s it? Please don’t hate me when I say that the look of the Leo doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t look at it with nostalgia like most do so I can only judge it on what I’m seeing for the first time. Yes, it’s a grunt suit so it’s not going to be anything crazy, but some grunt suits look better than others.

Leo’s got back, though.

Colors: 8/10

Do you like green? Yes? Well then, you’re in luck. No? Then you’re pretty much out of luck.

Weapons: 7/10

Round shield and a rifle. Rifle is notable for having the canister on the bottom which has a handle the free hand of the Leo can grab.

The shield fits onto the shoulder but you need to pop off a piece to do so.

It also houses the two Beam Saber handles which are actually the weapons I had the most fun with.

Articulation: 7/10

The design of the Leo is so simple that it doesn’t always allow it a lot of articulation.

You’ll find the shoulders can’t raise too far.

The hips have decent movement but the side skirts will at some point get in the way.

You won’t get much out of the ankle either.

And don’t even think about turning the head.

Still, I had fun seeing what he could do.

Build Design: 9/10

I’m giving this high marks because it seemed Bandai did something new with this kit. Or, at least, something new enough that I hadn’t seen it yet.

Rather than have poly-caps inserted into the parts that make up the leg/arm armour they had posts moulded in onto which you snap on a frame part.

This means that I’ll not have limbs coming apart without a lot of effort. It’s kind of interesting.

The ankle frame part snaps on the same way.

And the way they laid out the runners means you’ll be able to build the limbs so the parts that have the most gate marks face the inside. This applies to both arms and both legs.

As someone who, when building OOB, strives to have the majority of gate marks somewhat hidden by facing them inside this was quite welcome.

Here’s what they did for the shoulder joints.

Interesting. On the frame runner with those parts are other parts that look like poly-caps we would see in previous HG kits.

Two gripes about the design. First, the way they have the ankle armour be attached by sitting on a ball joint.

It just doesn’t stay together well enough.

I found it would just start rotating around as I played with the kit. It was annoying.

Second, the weight of the lower body is enough that the connection for the upper and lower body isn’t strong enough to hold it for long if you are holding the kit by the top. The bottom half of my Leo just fell off and hit the floor sending part everywhere.

Fun addition:

Bandai wants you to do this now.

Fun Factor: 8/10

As a ‘Hey, I got a free hour what can I build in that time?’ the Leo works really, really well. It goes together simply and quickly but has many new design choices involved to keep you interested. You’ll get a bit of enjoyment with it afterwards, or, a lot of enjoyment if you’ve opted for the Leo army I’ve seen many Gunplars mentioning.

Extras: 5/10
N/A so neutral score.

It’s the Leo! And that’s it. If you’re a fan I’m sure you’ve already had your fun with it. If you’re not you may find some new design elements interesting. Either way, you can’t really argue that it’s not good value for that low price.

Now watch Bandai put out an MG that blows minds.

Categories: Builds, HG Reviews, Kit Reviews, Leo

4 Responses so far.

  1. Crux says:

    I feel like you’re being unfair to the Leo for a couple of reasons.

    Mostly because, well, you’re only counting the basest of articulation, not how it functions overall. Compared to a lot of high grades, the Leo’s single joint for the arms and basic construction still allows a pretty good bend overall, while the legs have full thigh swivels if not completely universal, and double-jointed knees.

    The Leo’s head doesn’t move in Wing, so you can’t have any head articulation. It wouldn’t make any sense. The Non-Diver Leos from GBD actually have moving heads in comparison.

    I am of the opinion that I think the Tallgeese deserved a higher score for what it did do and what it brought to the table. I personally prefer the MG-like build rather than the RG frame runners, as it allows me to soak in the build more rather than slapping armor pieces onto a skeleton.

    This is just my opinion though, and you’re definitely a great guy to go to for MG, RG, and PG reviews.

  2. Jamz says:

    “Now watch Bandai put out an MG that blows minds.” Leo and Tallgeese share a lot of body it’s not improbable money’s on P-Bandai if it happens tho~

  3. Kris Jou says:

    When you grade it based on your own criteria, I think it’s fair that Leo gets like a 70 percent ranged rating. And to be fair, this really is a kit that rely on Gundam Wing nostalgia as a selling point.

    But I did really like this kit. The price is great, the complete absence of any sticker is a nice touch, and it made me long for other kits of Gundam Wing OZ suits. There’s just been way too few of them.

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