Gundam NT-1 Ver.2.0 1/100 Scale Master Grade Rundown
Welcome Gunpla fans, both old and new!
Today we’re following up on our unboxing of the Gundam NT-1 Ver.2.0 1/100 Scale Master Grade by having a look at how the kit looks when it’s built and detailed straight out of the box. What that means in the context of this rundown is that the kit has been assembled, armed, and decorated using components only found in the box but also given some minimal panel lining and accent detailing to draw out the details that would otherwise be lost in pictures. There will be no third-party applications, weapons, or adornments found in other kits. There will be minimal panel lining, no painting, and minimal nub removal.
The reasoning behind this is that we wish to present the kit to you in as plain a fashion as possible, so that we can avoid potentially misrepresenting it. There is only one set of color-correcting stickers in this kit, which are used for the eyepiece and cameras. There are a number of additional add-ons for unit markings and other detailing jobs, however, for the sake of this rundown, we won’t be using them all and merely using the most immediately relevant markings, such as the ALEX branding on the shield, the chest, and shoulder markings, and some general details.
While assembling the main chest unit for the ALEX, you could quite easily be forgiven for thinking that you’re just working on the RX-78-2, with little in the way of any distinction being readily visible. But the bulk of the ALEX is where you’ll start to notice a difference. Granted, it’s 1/100 scale relative to a 18.5m tall suit, but the chest unit is far chunkier than you would expect, with the chest vents extending a decent distance from the chest. Luckily, this generally massive structuring is a common theme throughout the build, with the legs and feet in particular flaring out into massive armored plates.
The forearms and their pair of 90mm Gatling Gun are cleverly hidden away inside of the thick armor plating and serve as one of the suit’s two gimmicks. Much to my chagrin, the shoulders come festooned with that awful black plastic material that you need to scrunch up and put over the joints to give the appearance of a hermetically sealed system. Sure, it looks great and completely sells the looks they were going for, but I spent more time getting it wrinkled and into place before tucking it in than I did building the actual arms themselves. I really do wish Bandai would find an alternative to this method of joint concealment, because it’s more of a taste of your patience than it is a required part of the kit. You’ll also notice that the sliding armor on the forearms protrudes way past the elbow joint, and this can lead to a few posing problems if you’re trying to get the Gatling Gun showing at certain angles.
But I would be lying if I said I didn’t like the look of the Gatling Guns when they are actually deployed. While we’re talking about the arms, you ought to be careful with the hand assembly, as the joint in the wrist is incredibly tight, to the point at which it becomes a negative. It might be best to assemble your wrist and hand portions before constructing those arms in-proper and seeing if it would benefit you to sand them down a little.
Beyond this, arm assembly is generally no issue at all and rather straightforward.
The RX·C-Sh-05 UBC/S-0003 articulated shield is just fantastic. It’s massive, it’s wide, it has a folding mechanism and sliding grip that lets you reveal and conceal the arm-sheathed Gatling Gun without any issues. And the ALEX iconography sticker that’s scrawled across it gives it a very distinct flare that sets it apart from the typical shield that you’ll find on other mobile suits.
Finally, let’s talk about those massive legs. They are literally as big as you may have heard from others without a stroke of hyperbole. The ALEX strides around on huge armor-plated legs with massive, color-separated, flared out boosters that come in that same rich blue that coats the chest, feet, and forearm Gatling Gun shrouds. Inside that, you’ll find a rich yellow that seems to far exceed what is found on other kits thanks to the amazing blue shroud that it’s inside.
So as you can see in the image above, the ALEX is quite a large, chunky, and impressive-looking suit that is undeniably leaning heavily into an older anime aesthetic wherein bulk was equated to strength and power before aesthetics evolved in the mainstream to include more streamlined designs. The ALEX is a pricey kit at ¥5200, roughly $48 or £40 for those of us buying overseas, but if you ask me it’s worth every single penny.