Sunday, 12 January 2020

MG RX-78-2 Gundam Ver.3.0 [Part 1 of 2: Completed]

Relief more than elation, although the latter feeling is definitely present, greets me at the journey's end for the Bandai Master Grade RX-78-2 Gundam Version 3.0 scale model kit project. Relief that I could pull off the task of airbrushing and putting together a kit with so many small parts; something I sincerely doubted I could do before this project began. Here then are photos of Grandpa Gundam sans his weapons (that comes in Part 2). Apart from the standalone shots of just the RX-78-2 Gundam, there were also some taken with Amuro Ray (the pilot) and the FF-X7 Core Fighter.  

Bandai Master Grade RX-78-2 Gundam Version 3.0 [Completed, sans weapons]

With hindsight, I cannot believe I had actually contemplated just clear coating the plastic model kit without doing any painting at all. I'm sure doing so would have resulted in pretty decent results depending on the quality of the clear coat used. However, trust me on this, there is just no way a clear coated plastic kit can look just as good or better than a painted plastic kit. Now this might seem to be a no-brainer but the temptation to be lazy and go the former route is so strong that you'll start giving excuses to try and convince yourself to not paint the kit. I certainly did. But I'm glad I resisted the urge to take the easy route and went ahead to paint each and every part of this kit.

Main sub-assemblies of the RX-78-2 Gundam prior to final assembly

Below is a series of photos showing a 360 view of the fully painted RX-78-2 Gundam.

If you were to nitpick, you could say the RX-78-2 Gundam was bottom heavy ...
... but despite that it still looks pretty awesome on the whole, in my opinion
Joints on the RX-78-2 Gundam are extremely flexible thus allowing for various poses
Bandai Master Grade RX-78-2 Gundam Version 3.0 (back view)
Exposed metallic innards of the RX-78-2 Gundam (e.g. back of knees) give it a cool look
Bandai Master Grade RX-78-2 Gundam Version 3.0 (side view, from the left)
Pose adopted by the RX-78-2 Gundam is one of the mecha taking a step forward

Most important in any scale model display is to give it proper context in terms of an appropriate reference object for scale comparison purposes. In this case, the objects came in the form of the 1/100 scale pilot Amuro Ray and the similarly scaled Core Fighter. When displayed next to Grandpa Gundam, both showed how big the mecha is when compared to a human and a fighter plane.

Grandpa Gundam holds Amuro Ray in the palm of his right hand
What's that on the ground? Why it's the FF-X7 Core Fighter
Flexibility of its leg joints allows the RX-78-2 Gundam to get down on one knee ... 
and reach out its left hand for the FF-X7 Core Fighter on the ground
Like Amuro Ray before this, the Core Fighter represents a readily identifiable object for scale comparison purposes
When folded up, the FF-X7 Core Fighter actually fits into the hollow torso of the RX-78-2 Gundam
Long forgotten perhaps is the LED gimmick (see below) that lights up Grandpa Gundam's eyes and his headpiece. Unfortunately, the LED lights were too dim for my taste and were near unnoticeable when the whole mecha was placed under strong photography lighting (aka plain IKEA lamps). Access to the LED switch was via the back of the mecha. And this switch was only accessible when the Ransel (Backpack) was removed from the kit. All in all, the LED gimmick held no wow factor for me because the lights were too dim to be seen unless you were looking for it in the first place.   

Total blackout except for the LED lights shining through the eye and headpiece of Grandpa Gundam
With the camera lighting back on, the LED lights are still visible but less so
LED lights from the headpiece is more noticeable when Grandpa Gundam's head is tilted slightly forward
To access the LED light switch, the Ransel (Backpack) had to be removed first
Zoomed out view of Grandpa Gundam with its back exposed and the Ransel on the ground
RX-78-2 Gundam aka Grandpa Gundam cuts an imposing figure even without its weapons

Bear with me though as I'm not yet done with Grandpa Gundam. He still has pose with his weapons and shield à la the scene in Ready Player One, which made me want to start the project in the first place. Although the weapons and shield have been painted, decaled and assembled, it will be difficult to pose them with the RX-78-2 Gundam without some stabilizing anchor. This said anchor comes in the form of a specialized display base. I plan to assemble this base and cover it with a high quality flat clear coat before using it for poses. (And yes, I know that sounds contradictory seeing that I said clear coating can never beat painting. But there is a reason I'm doing in this way and all will be explained in the next post.) So that's next for this project. A final lull before the last storm.


  1. I'm glad you didn't go the easy road. That Gundam looks awesome and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss following your progress. I couldn’t have stomached doing all those tiny bits and pieces myself.

    1. Thanks Moiterei. All those tiny bits and pieces can be a chore to complete but after a while it becomes a fairly routine process in the project work flow. Still I could've been lucky as the next Gundam project might turn into a nightmare.

  2. Fantastic work. Looking forward to see it with weapons and shield !

    1. Thanks Mario ... before the weapons and shield I will have to figure out how to poses Grandpa Gundam without the pieces coming apart. :)

  3. Very impressive! Fully articulated with LED eyes - amazing.

    1. Thank you DeanM. I must admit I was a bit disappointed with how dim the lights were. Could be just the batteries but I somehow feel its the LED lights at fault.

  4. So good to see it come together!

  5. FAN. TAS. TIC.
    Slow standing ovation. I even feel excited, can't wait to see the result with the weapons!

    1. Thanks Suber. You are always so kind with your supportive comments.

  6. Ah, this is the reveal I wanted to see, though I'm looking forward to the one with the weapons as well.
    He's magnificent, totally worth all your time and effort.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Wouter. Much appreciated.


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