Gaijin Gunpla

I have a fondness for the F91 that is part aesthetic and part nostalgic. When I heard the MG F91 Ver. 2.0 announced I was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes Bandai has us sitting on a fastball and they’ll throw a changeup. We were caught looking on this one. We’ve seen some great 2.0 kits in the last couple of years such as the Freedom 2.0 and a Hyakushiki (Wait, that release is three years old now?) so it will be interesting to see what Bandai has done to the F91.

Overall Look: 10/10

Being a big fan of this Mobile Suit it doesn’t take much to win me over in the looks department. There’s not a lot of extra detail in terms of more panel lines added and such, but I don’t feel the F91 needs it. What gets my attention on this MS is the torso area such as the torso Vulcans.

The chest area is so distinct. With that grill I feel I’m looking at a car or truck of some kind and that reminds me that this Mobile Suit is a giant moving vehicle.

I’ve always found the backpack of the F91 to be very distinct. Where the front reminds me of a motor vehicle the rear makes me think of a futuristic jet fighter or space craft.

I do like the head.

I’ll come back to that.

As well, the V.S.B.R units mounted on the back give it an appearance of having wings but we’ll talk more in-depth about those later on in this review.

Colors: 9/10

I don’t mind the simple red, white, blue, yellow tried and true combination found on the F91 at all but I really enjoy that gold they’ve added in places such as the backpack and legs.

It’s used subtly in the leg area but does serve to add a nice effect to the frame that is exposed on the lower leg. Perhaps if they had given the colours two tones it would have produced a better overall effect considering the large, unbroken armour areas on this kit. Despite this being a 2.0 kit I guess that design feature is still only found in Real Grades and on the RX-78-2 3.0.

Weapons: 10/10

Beam Bazooka, Beam Rifle, Beam Shield and sabers. As far as standard stuff goes, the F91 has it.

The Bazooka is probably the one you’ll have the most fun with or, at least, spend the most time with.

It features an interesting barrel that has flaps which can open slightly.

As well, the handle pivots enough to allow the F91 to hold it and not be encumbered by those larger shoulders.

It is held tightly thanks to an extra hand that features small slats that fit into grooves in the handle.

And when F91 isn’t using it he can store it on the back of the rear skirt thanks to a well-designed gimmick back there.

I’ll go into that in the Build Design section but for now.

The Beam Rifle is quite simple but thanks to excellent mould design by Bandai it features a lot of very small details that really enhance the look.

(Apologies, for the blurry pic).

And you get the Beam Sabers and the Beam Shield.

Let me get back to these in the Build Design section. I’ve said that a few times now. This is a good hint how many gimmicks this kit has.

But let’s first talk about the coolest weapon the F91 has, V.S.B.R. Units. When not being used they hang at the back looking like, as I wrote earlier, wings. But when it’s time for those bad boys to be engaged they elongate.

The handle swings out.

Then the entire unit swings down and towards the front where it can be grasped by the included hands.

(Disclaimer: I had not used the intended hands for these quick photos.)


I love these things.

They are only attached to the frame of the F91 through a ball joint so they can move liberally and that ball joint swings on a circular piece of frame so getting them out front and back behind is very easy.

They also have a small grip that hidden in the unit that can be used if necessary.

I really enjoy these.

Articulation: 9/10

Being a 2.0 MG we can expect the F91 to have good articulation and are expectations are met with this kit for the most part. There is a lot of movement in the knees though due to the new design for that area which straightening out knee after bending it can be a little tricky.

The movement in the shoulders is very good as well.

On top of the good range of motion upwards the F91’s shoulder joints can pivot forwards.

One area that doesn’t live up to what we’d hope for in a 2.0 for 2018 is the ankles. There is almost no range of motion there.

There is a new skirt design for the new F91 and it allows a lot more movement than we are used to. That continues with the design of the torso as well. He can tilt in areas we are not used to having things tilt.

Build Design: 9/10

The F91 is a mobile suit with a lot of features. Those features, which we can also call gimmicks, are found again here in the 2.0 and there are new ones joining the club now.

Let’s start with the simple things like an opening cockpit.

And the fins that come out of the shoulders, for those you are advised to tilt the shoulders up.

You then reposition them individually.

I don’t know if this is an improvement over the original kit or not. While I built that one 9 years ago (!!?), I don’t recall this design being part of that kit. I think they slid out in grooves. That design allowed the three fins per shoulder to have a constant position, whereas this new design has fins that can be difficult to keep the position you want.

The gimmick in the back of the lower leg works wonderfully.

Apply pressure to a small tab on the largest flap to get it moving and the other two go with it. All three move together.

The look is great and the function is too.

The side skirts are another pleasant surprise. The Beam saber handles are in the left skirt.

The panel in the skirt pops out thanks to a jointed arm found inside.

The design for this allows the panel to pivot and position almost any way you can think of.

The opposite skirt doesn’t house anything quite as cool, but an extra piece that is used for the shield is found there.

So let’s talk about the arm/shield gimmick.

That panel in the arm extends.

Here’s where it gets tricky. You need to remove the white piece which means leaving it in a state of mid-assembly.

Those frame parts you see there can, and will, come off if you’re not careful. The white part fits into the shield and then is put back in its original place.

And now I can come back to the Bazooka. When not being used it can be stored on the rear skirt.

Slide down the lower section.

Flip up the top one.

This exposes a little frame piece that folds down to create the space for the bazooka.

There is a little tab on that frame part that matches with a hollow found on one side of the Bazooka.

It’s simply a matter of lining them up and I write that sarcastically because I found that not so simple and the bazooka didn’t really seem to want to stay in position. Eventually I got it to work.

Yes, I found it easier to get it on there by taking the ‘wings’ off.

Here is how he is meant to look.

I have a lot of praise for this new F91 but I still will go ahead and list a couple things that bothered me.

For some reason one of the four white ankle armour parts just doesn’t want to stay in place.

I can’t figure out what the issue is, either. I cut them all off the runner the same way at the same time. But this one, it just doesn’t want to stay on.

I also found that the small V fins that insert into the center of the head can pop off easily.

You don’t want to push to hard getting them in there for risk of wrecking it so I guess this is the tradeoff.

There is one more cool gimmick to discuss but I’m saving it for later.

Fun Factor: 9/10

My experience with the F91 2.0 was interesting. I went from the excitement when it was announced to enjoying the build. Once completed I had to let it sit for some time while my laptop was away for warranty work and I had nothing I could use to sit down and write a review which meant I didn’t touch the kit for a couple weeks. In that time, that initial excitement faded and I wondered to myself if this kit had lived up to my expectations. When I was ready to write the review I pulled the kit out of the box and started getting these pictures you see here. During that photo session I rediscovered all the cool gimmicks and came to once again appreciate what Bandai had done with the kit. I found myself just taking more pictures than I needed.

Extra: 10/10

All the standard stuff is here including extra hand parts.

Pilot and action base adaptor.

Plenty of stickers and some nice dry transfer markings.

And an included stand.

Sure it’s not the Lafressia but it’s really nice to have. To mount your F91 you remove the backpack.

Pull out a very small white part.

The end of the stand fits in where that white part was. Once on it’s play time.

And that’s not even the best extra. Bandai gives you an extra head.

One head is fully transforming while the other can be built with either facemask.

The transforming head design is actually quite good and doesn’t need a lot of parts.

Say I want to make this head look like the other head I’ve made. I open up the sides.

Under those are two more sides attached to a frame part that flips forward.

Flipping those sides forward allows them to close in front of the facemask creating the other style of facemask.

Yes, there is a visible line where the parts join but overall it’s done very well.

So there you have it. The MG F91 2.0 is leaps and bounds ahead of the original and a really fun kit that earns itself the 2.0 moniker. There are a few little things that I nitpicked but that doesn’t in any way dissuade me from encouraging anyone interested to give it a try.

21 Responses so far.

  1. Alberto from Italy says:

    A few notes as I have the original F91, if I am allowed.

    The first kit dates back to 2006, therefore it had already got a 2.0 style frame: should we deem this a 2.75, perhaps?

    The fins under the shoulders can move independently even in the previous kit, but the lenght of every single fin was identical. The gimmick to draw them was totally different, as you had to move an hidden lever after removing (and later repositioning) an armour piece.

    Two were the weak points of the original kit, now looking mproved:

    1) the inside frame always looked awfully overcomplicated and with no apparent reason at all to be THAT overcomplicated.
    2) many pieces needed a full colour change, like the soles (from grey to red…) and all the yellow airducts (a pain in the neck, really).
    Now the kit does look “easier” and netter engineered.

    The engineering of the yellow airducts around the ankles has been totally changed: in the original kit they were hanging from the ankle armour ring, and not connected directly to the feet.

    The original kit enjoyed also two rotating points in the arms, right in the middle of the elbows, besides having got the classic MG arm rotating points right under the shoulders. I’ve never understood what that elbow rotating point is for, so I like its being eliminated.

    Weak points in the new kit in my opinion? Just two:
    1) why not carving the F-91 in the shoulders? It would have been great to position the dry stickers properly, or to paint the letters…
    2) I loved the Raflesia-shaped base, so that’s a real minus as for me.

    I don’t know what to think of the new double head gimmick: the old one worked perfectly so I can’t see why changing it… Even the v-fin stays in place strongly…

    • S2 says:

      Thanks for the comment. Some great points made.

    • saverio sassetti says:

      Pretty sure the f91 is’nt molded to help people who want to do custom paintjobs or use different decals

    • Alex says:

      I think they changed the head transformation gimmick because the mask splitting down the middle and folding back in two parts is more animation accurate.

      …But that’s sort of a moot point considering that the outer armor also has to open to accommodate it which isn’t animation accurate.

    • NoZaku says:

      Eh the frame for the new one is too smooth and detailless, look at the arms they look like the recent HGs that have simple frame parts for the limbs, the old one has greebles like you’d expect to see on the frame of a mecha, do you have this same problem with the 2.0s of the MK II and Zaku?

  2. Alberto from Italy says:

    Thanks to you for the great review, Mr Syd… As you referred to a grill reminding of a truck on the F91, am I the only guy here recalling Goliath in the 80’s Knight Rider? ;)))))

    • Charlo says:

      No you’re not ? was thinking the same thing ? Thanks for the excellent review Syd, though I’m skipping this one cause it’s too small.

    • Charlo says:

      No you’re not, was thinking the same thing ?.

      Anyway, thanks for the review Syd, though I’m skipping this one, too small a kit for me.

  3. Darth Mingus says:

    This is actually the third kit in 1/100 that Bandai has produced. The original kits for this series was also done in 1/100 owing to these suits being smaller than the ones preceding it. A feature on the old kit that was neat for its time was the use of System Injection (which was what Bandai was calling multiple colours on one runner). Check out this runner from the original kit:

    It would have been nice if Bandai could have incorporated some of this into the version 2.0 since they are starting go back into doing the System Injection stuff.

  4. Alberto from Italy says:

    Please, Mr Darth, do you know when that multi-coloured kit was released and what kind of kit (NG, HG…) it was? Thanks in advance.

  5. Stephen says:

    It was a NG 1/100. I’m unsure of when it was released but I would guess the 1990’s.

  6. Alberto from Italy says:

    Some little things I completely forgot.

    First, the shield gimmick looks much, much better than the older one. It was the weakest point in the old F91 kit: the little arm was totally loose, and it looked more like a dangling keyring than a shield holder. As for the little hexagonal beam shield generator… it simply did not stay in place. As it was not supposed to rotate, I glued it on the pivot of the hidden arm. Besides, all the little beam ducts along the rim needed painting, and inserting the shield was quite difficult without scratching tha paint. At least, the yellow triangle was made with a separate piece instead of a sticker.
    Second, even if Carozzo’s spaceship is called Lafressia in the instruction manual, I guess its true romanized name is Raflesia, as it is in the Italian edition of the F91 movie. For those who don’t know, the raflesia, or rafflesia, is a huge flower which blossoms once a year and emanates a terrible stench of dead bodies. The raflesia is a carnivore plant, and that stench is appealing (urgh) to the insects the plant eats. Raflesia is also the name of Captain Harlock’s archenemy in the 1978/1979 tv show.
    In the end, I remark the new dry transfers do not include the second F-91 option: in the old kit you could choose if putting on the shoulders the classic “full” red letter and number, or a transparent pair, the rim only of which was red. The 2.0 only provides the fully red letter and number, as far as I can see.

  7. evora460 says:

    Syd can you clarify please why the articulation was 9/10???? The knee bend is 1) horrible for any 2018 gundam and 2) completely unacceptable for a 2.0 kit. Any thoughts on this Syd??

  8. Alberto from Italy says:

    Mr Syd, there’s a thing I haven’t understood.

    I see the kits provides a double mask even for the head that does not transform: is the mask swappable any time, or is it fixed and you can’t change it anymore after choosing the one you prefer, please?

  9. flunker says:

    Sorry to ask, but your recent reviews don’t show up in the “Kit Reviews” section at the main page. The latest seems to be the RG Johnny Ridden Zaku II which is posted on January 11th. Why so?

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