Review: Typically, when I’m getting ready to review something, I try and avoid hearing to many different opinions about it before I go into it. Well, I consider this to be a learning experience, because post-review I decided to do a bit of digging on this kit and it seems as though a lot of other folks seem to think of the GBN-Base Gundam in the same way as I do. I hate it. But that’s hardly a sufficiently… Expand
Review: Typically, when I’m getting ready to review something, I try and avoid hearing to many different opinions about it before I go into it. Well, I consider this to be a learning experience, because post-review I decided to do a bit of digging on this kit and it seems as though a lot of other folks seem to think of the GBN-Base Gundam in the same way as I do.
I hate it. But that’s hardly a sufficiently effective review of the kit, so allow me to walk you through the few ups and depressingly myriad downs. Ahem.
Welcome Gunpla fans, both old and new! Today, we’re following up on our unboxing of the RX-9/C Narrative Gundam C-Packs by having a look at how the kit looks when it’s built straight out of the box. What that means in the context of this review is the kit has been assembled, armed, and decorated using components only found in the box. There will be no third-party applications, weapons, or adornments found in other kits; there will be no panel lining or 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.
As was mentioned in the unboxing, one of the first things you’re going to notice about the coloration of the kit is that it’s 100% not in keeping with promotional materials or “canon” reference sheets. Where there should be white armor, there’s pearlescent white. Blue has been replaced with a sky blue, yellow is now fluorescent yellow and where you would typically find red, you’ll find hot pink. I don’t know what possessed Bandai to do this, but do it they did. Consider the image above from while I was working on the torso section.
It should look like this.
Gotta say, I don’t see it.
First of all, and most noticeable, is the color separation. It’s all off; it’s completely wrong and there’s honestly no real reason for that. Second, you’ll notice that the lines are wrong too, the armor plating doesn’t match up with how it looks in the official version and it doesn’t match up too well with the artwork on the box. Woof.
Dipping our toe into the more positive side of things, the GBN-Base Gundam does come with a nice little accessory pool; it’s nothing too special, but the extra goodies are appreciated. You get two of the GBN-GF01 GBN-Guard Frame’s pistols, as well as the extender portions which give the weapon a distinctly more shotgun-esque profile. You also get two conventional beam rifles alongside a pair of beam sabers (clear pink) and, of course, the shield...colored with hot pink.
I know, I’m harping on about that a lot, and I honestly don’t have a dislike for the color pink at all. But hot pink is gaudy.
Next, I had planned on telling you about the excellent articulation, but I hit a road bump when the kit decided that its legs were too heavy for it’s terrible waist connection and started falling off. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t HGBD Gundam 00 Diver levels of bad, but it’s by no means good. After doing a bit of looking around after the fact, and then hurrying back to edit this review, it seems as though this issue is sort of hit and miss. Some folks encounter it, others don’t, but all agree that it’s to do with the dreadful waist connection, which is a single polycap connection. Gross.
Articulation is impressive to the extent at which I’ll call it “Equilibrium Tier.” This is because any fan of the 2002 action film, Equilibrium, will probably spend some time with the akimbo pistols, putting the GBN-Base Gundam into all manner of Gun-Kata poses… provided the legs don’t drop off, that is.
Something you may notice while building the kit, if you’re mad enough to pick it up, is the lack of manipulators. You get one very basic set of hands, no dynamic hands, no trigger fingers and not even so much as a pre-bent wrist. The hands are simple fist shapes with holes in them for accessories. They can’t properly grip the beam saber hilts, while weapons fit snug enough but are just held tight in a fist, and they tend to pop open. That said, they do come with the nice wrist joint, giving you some more possibilities, see the upturned fists in the top image of this review. It’s a subtle adjustment, but it certainly makes the clenched fist look a little more dynamic.
Seam lines aren’t much of an issue. For the most part they easily fixed seams along the thighs and lower legs, but they’ve committed the cardinal sin of having a massive seam line straight down the forearm: there wasn’t even an attempt to hide it. It’s not the hardest to remove if you’ve ever done it before, but it feels like a bit of salt in the wound from an already sub-par experience.
Personally, I’m going to advise that you avoid buying this kit. There’s a lot wrong with it: it looks cheap, it feels worse, and it falls apart when looked at. But if you can see past this, perhaps implement some tactical glue work, and do something about that waist joint, you might find something worth painting up in a custom scheme. Otherwise, I say give it a pass. In fact, you can get the HGBD GBN-Guard Frame for the same price, and it’s a dream to work with.
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