Monday, 26 September 2022

Real Grade Evangelion Unit-00 [Completed: Out-of-the-box build with selected panel lining & sticker/decals]

 This Evangelion (Eva) Unit-00 plastic model kit was used as an experimental straight out-of-the-box (OOB) build with minimal work in order to gauge whether this particular line of Bandai products i.e its Real Grade series can look good without being painted. In this particular build, minimal work came in the form of panel-lining in select areas, and application of some (not all) of the stickers/foils/decals. So is an OOB build viable for my future Real Grade kit projects? Let's find out ...

Real Grade Evangelion Unit-00 [Out-of-the-box build with selected panel lining & sticker/decals]

 Based on a completed sample size of one (i.e. the Eva Unit-00) and a detailed sprue/parts inspection of a few other yet-to-be-worked-on Bandai Real Grade kits, the conclusion I came to is that while it's possible for an Real Grade OBB build to look good with minimal work, it has to be assessed on a case by case basis i.e. the kit in question and the quality of finishing found in its molded parts. 

Eva Unit-00 with a Pallet Rifle in the right hand, and a Progressive Knife in the left

 In general, the molded color of Eva Unit-00's plastic parts have an excellent finish, especially the matte whites and blacks, and to a certain extent the semi-gloss grays as well as its clear reds/greens. However the reds, greens, and some of the yellows of the Eva Unit-00 looked a little plasticky thus would've benefited from a few coats of paint. As I see it, going forward the amount of painting I need to do for Bandai Real Grade kits would range from just the metallic parts to metallic parts plus some armor pieces to almost everything, and somewhere in between these extremes. It'll be very unlikely that I'll leave a kit completely unpainted like I did for the Eva Unit-00.    

Closeup of the Eva Unit-00 with its Pallet Rifle and Progressive Knife

Unit marking on the left shoulder, denoting this as Unit-00, is actually a sticker

Unlike its brethren, the Eva Unit-00 is mono-eyed, represented by a clear circular red piece

 So to answer the question ... No, a pure OOB build is not viable for my future Real Grade kit projects. But that's not to say the kit doesn't look good as an OOB build ... it does! It can make an amateur hobbyist look good. That's a testament to Bandai's advanced model kit engineering as well as the high quality of its molded plastic parts. But I think the Real Grade kits can look even better than just an OOB build. The serious scale modeler in me would be remiss not to do so. Anyway, it's time to focus on the Real Grade Eva Unit-00, seen here in a myriad of poses with and without its weapons.

Articulation of the Real Grade Eva Unit-00 is excellent thus it can do realistic squat poses ...

... e.g. note how the tip of the feet can bend independently from the rest of the foot ...

... which is what happens naturally when you try to balance yourself in a squat pose.

 While the excellent articulation of this kit allows a high level of mobility thus translating into a myriad of poses one is able to do with this kit, it should be noted that some of the truly dynamic poses will only be possible with the help of the stabilizing effect of a display stand or Bandai Action Base. That I managed these some of these dynamic poses without a stand or base just means that I 'cheated' by relying on the dark background's 'masking' effect. For example, the running-at-full-tilt pose is actually the Eva lying on its side, and in other poses I just rested the Eva against the wall.

An iconic pose of an Evangelion running at full tilt with its power plug detaching from its back...

... as it runs towards an angel/enemy, but as I didn't have the appropriate display stand/action base ...

... the Eva is actually lying on its side i.e. I created an optical illusion of the Eva running.

 All is not lost though, and you don't have to 'cheat' to get the said poses. You can use third party display stands or Bandai's in-house ones (i.e. Action Bases) to securely hold the Eva while you pose it to your heart's content. It's just that I lacked one at hand during the photo shoot, which means I had to improvise to get the poses I wanted. And even if you don't have the appropriate stands/bases, or you don't want to 'cheat', there is one other way to pose the Eva ...  

In certain poses where the Eva Unit might not be able to stand on its own ...

... you can use the umbilical power plug/cable to help stabilize the kit ... 

... because the cable is made out of a strong metal wire encased in PVC.

 In some ways, the solid yet flexible wire that is the umbilical cable that connects to the power plug attached to the Eva's back can serve as an alternative form of display stand/action base. The wire inside the outer PVC layer is thick, and it's strong enough to support the Eva's weight thus prevent it from falling over. The only negative to this type of posing is you'll be stuck with the power plug/umbilical cable in the photos. You could hide them from view but it would be too much work.  

Without the appropriate display stand/action base, a pose in which the Eva's feet isn't fully planted on the floor ...

...  the Eva had to be stabilized by having it lean against the wall in order to stand upright. 

 Without the support of the umbilical cable or a stand/base, the Eva Unit-00 is still stable enough to stand on its own two feet and pull of some simple poses. Granted they won't be as dynamic as those with a form of support, but you can still get some good poses such as the Eva couching with its weapons (see above: photo number six through eight from the top).  

And then there are some simple and less dynamic poses in which ...

... the Eva Unit-00 is able to stand upright on its own two feet without any problems.

And one thing that tends to be overlooked is how the various hand options can ...

... add that little but more dynamism into simple, straightforward poses.

 Most important of all, I enjoyed this Real Grade Evangelion build very much. It was fun and the end result was satisfying seeing that it was only an OOB build. But that being said, I still feel somewhat like a fraud as I didn't do much apart from putting this kit together and adding minimal touches in terms of panel lining as well as sticker/decal application. These Real Grade kits can look so much better. And they should. So in the future, there will be more painting involved in my Real Grade kit projects. On that note, I wish you happy painting in the week ahead. Cheers.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Michal ... I didn't do much apart from some panel lining and sticker/decal application over the out-of-box assembly.

  2. Fantastic work Kuan ! Awesome !

    1. Thank you Mario ... credit for how good it looks goes to Bandai's excellent engineering in their Real Grade line.

  3. Ohh, I was waiting for these pics and they surely do not disappoint :)
    But your 'feel like a fraud' feeling is beyond my skills!!!

    1. Trust me ... you would easily recreate what I did here for the Real Grade Evangelion Unit-00, no problem. This particular kit is more Bandai's excellent engineering rather than a modeler's skill level assuming you do not paint it.


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