Thursday, July 19, 2018

High Grade Atlas Gundam Kit Review

Before we get into this, I'll point out that this is the 'Bandit Flower' version from P-Bandai. That means that this kit includes a slightly different shield, a more compact rail cannon slightly different verniers and a set of water slide decals. However, this review applies to the standard release as well.

The Atlas Gundam as a design looks very different from the other Gundam type mobile suits that have come out of Gundam Thunderbolt series. Gone are the heavy armor, multiple weapons and potato sack joint covers. Instead we have a thin, athletic design strapped to two huge banana shaped mobility pods called the 'sub legs'.

Strictly from a design stand point the Atlas Gundam looks fantastic. I love just about everything about it; but, the build doesn't quite live up to the design.

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Hit the bump for the full review!

The HG Atlas comes with 10 main runners and 1 beam saber effect runner. Parts come molded in white, yellow, navy blue and dark grey. Unfortunately, this kit also comes with a big sheet of foil stickers to make up for a all of the colors that aren't molded.

Despite the limited color molding, the overall build of this kit is fun.

The chest construction follows an unorthodox design built around the 'spine'. As a result the upper and lower sections of the chest aren't directly connected, but they still maintain a good range of motion. And the head has some nice yellow details that pop out of the white armor.

The legs also have a few quirks and feature a more complete inner frame with double jointed knees and well articulated feet and ankles. The armor and frame are layered in areas too, allowing bits of yellow to poke through the white armor.

The arms and shoulders are less interesting. The only notable areas are the double jointed elbows and the integrated beam saber storage in the shoulders. I found that the sabers were difficult to store and retrieve from the shoulders on my build.

The build process for weapons and equipment are somewhat forgettable. The rifle while interesting enough is fairly basic in design and somewhat unwieldy to hold. The shield is just a solid slab with a few basic decals attached. The sub legs fair a bit better with their layered design and they can move and rotate to attach to the feet or connect with the shield. But, their articulation is hampered by the connectors attached to the waist.

My big gripe with this kit is all of the colors that were left off of the runners. The Atlas Gundam features tons of small yellow details on the chest and joints, grey vents on the legs, forearms and shoulders, and navy blue on the sub arms. While none of these colors are absolutely essential to the overall build, I feel like they add a ton of personality to the build. I don't have a solution for how Bandai could have avoided this issue, without adding a significant cost to the kit. I only solution I was able to come up with was to mask everything, or failing that hand paint it. Neither of these solutions is perfect, and both are a test of patients and skill.

I am very glad that I spent the time to build and paint this model; but I am also certain that I will never choose to build this one again.

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