MG FA-78 Thunderbolt Gundam


This is one of those kits that I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to build (even after buying it). But after seeing completed kits by Saintism & Holocause I knew that I had to build it. The FA-78 Full Armor Gundam (Thunderbolt ver.) is a redesign of the FA-78-1. This version was designed to handle the extremely hostile environment of the Thunderbolt Sector, an area full of debris, electrical discharges and Zeon sniper.

This sizable build took me a little over a month of building on an off to complete.

Kit Talk:

Overall this kit was a pretty decent build. I know a lot of people make a big deal about the 'trash bag' joint covers, however, I had no problem applying them and I think that they look pretty decent. A nice benefit of using these covers is that you don't need to paint much of the inner frame.

I worked with a mostly stock color scheme. Unlike 99% of my Gundam based builds, I tinted the color of the white with a pinch of blue and grey to give it a slightly cooler, and darker look to complement the toned down de-saturated look of the other colors.

This kit was designed with stability in mind. The arm and shoulder joints are very tight, and the waist is locked upright. This was required due to the weight of the arm-mounted weapons and backpack. This kit is also a bit of a brick. While not as bad as the Full Armor Unicorn, it's not much better either. The included stand doesn't improve the situation much either as the action base connector tends to fall out of both points of connection. I found on my model that the shoulder joint was very stiff unwilling to move. These kits have a bit of a reputation for the shoulder joint breaking, so I didn't force the arm for fear of breaking it.

Like the MG Gelgoog 2.0 I posted a few weeks ago, I really hated having to cover the kit up with the external armor. I really like the design of the basic Gundam. Unfortunately, the process of applying the armor causes irreparable damage to the decals and paint below.

A nice feature of this kit is that Bandai provides decals for both the Manga and Anime versions of the model. My version utilizes the Anime version decals which use a large blocky militaristic font. The Mange version is a more classical serif style font.

If you like my work and would like to help me out, consider purchasing this and other kits from Amazon using this link or others featured on my site. Every purchase helps me out considerably and it doesn't cost you a dime!




Despite not being featured in the Anime; in the Manga the FA-78 fights while fully armored without the backpack. There's a great scene at the end of the first volume featuring this sequence which I will not spoil.


Without the secondary shields to hold, the sub arms have that "I don't know to do with my hands look". I left them out like this because I knew once I stowed them in the backpack, they would probably get scraped up.

In this configuration, the kit is precariously balanced between the weapons and backpack. Any slight movement will cause the kit to topple.

Once equipped the sub arms provide a wide range of motion for the secondary shields. I prefer to stow them up and back to cover the backpack and fuel tanks.


The core block fighter is a completely forgettable part of this build. Painting the cockpit hatch of the fighter was a bit of an endeavor. I covered this process in my second WIP.

I opted to hide the peg on the helmet using glue and putty. I covered this process in my second WIP

I really like the way the full armor chest hatch opens up once the armor is layered on top. Both sides of the 'abs' swivel open to release the outer hatch.

Action poses:

Due to the sheer amount of stuff attached to this kit poses can be hard to achieve. The kit has limited mobility compared to other recent entries of the RX line and the weapons also tend to interfere.