Sunday, March 04, 2007

HG 1/100 Wing Gundam Review

The HG 1/100 Wing Gundam was released a few months after Gundam Wing hit the airwaves in Japan. Using a similar type of polycap system as the previous franchise, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the model is able to replicate basic movement as in the tv show. The kit itself however, is built differently than the other kits in the 1/100 HG Gundam Wing line due to the bird mode transformation that the actual Gundam uses.


The head consists of 2 helmet halves, a polycap for movement, V fin, plus the eye and chin piece.

The classic gundam faceplate is molded into the front helmet piece, and appears to be very accurate to its anime counterpart. The eye stickers provided don't seem to lineup with the plastic piece for some reason. In fact, it appears that an eye sticker for another Gundam was packaged. V fin is molded in a gold shiny finish. The head is able to rotate 360 degrees on this model because of the transformation gimmick. Unfortunately, the head is set too low, giving it a rather dorky appearance from certain angles.


The abdomen and upper torso are both composed of 2 halves, with the seams on the sides. A polycap is in the abdomen so the body can rotate. A green eye jewel sticker is provided for the search eye, and 3 gold pieces make up the yellow trim.


The legs house a somewhat complicated system for the transformation. Using a double joint, the legs can unbind itself from the knee allowing the thruster assembly to become exposed. The legs can then go over the thruster assembly and fold its feet. Unfortunately, let movement is very limited. The legs cannot fully bend all the way at the knee and the design of the foot prevents the leg from leaning forward.


The arms on this kit are somewhat complicated, not only because of the transformation system, but also because the shoulder is composed of more than just 2 pieces. For some reason, Bandai thought that putting clear green pieces inside the shoulder would serve some sort of purpose. They aren't polycaps, so the plastic will eventually loosen from the plastic rubbing against each other. They aren't visible, so a neon effect is out of the question. They are there to make the shoulder female opening accept the smaller male pegs on the arm. The hole could have just been resized to accommodate the arm like on the other kits…

The lower arm itself tries to replicate the Wing Gundam's bird mode claws. After watching the transformation on screen a number of times, it appears that the model used some shortcuts. The hands on the kit swivel under the arm, where a compartment opens up to house them. In the show, they are simply just slid back into the recesses of the arm. The talons only position themselves 90 degrees from their resting place, whereas in the show they can be positioned almost all the way to where the hand existed.

These talons also impede movement of the arm, and so the elbow can only bend less than 90 degrees before the talons touch the upper arm.

The left arm has a peg for the shield, whereas the Wing appeared to have been holding it all the time in the animation or had an invisible hard point.

The hands provided with the kit are very small, in fact they don't match the other hands in the G Gundam, Gundam Wing, and Gundam X series of kits. Also, there is no ball joint at the end, only a peg, allowing rotation, but not angular movement.


The kit cannot hold its main weapon the buster rifle. The weight of the weapon goes against the little polycap enabling the bird mode gimmick causing the whole hand to sag downward. It also has problems holding the beam saber, which is a long piece of clear green plastic. Also, there exists no compartment for said saber when not in use, even though it should be in the shield.

Like all other kits during this era, there are an excessive number of panel lines, most artificial, hiding the original panel lines thus making the kit appear overly detailed. The panel lines do not enhance the scale’s details however, since a lot of the lines were made to connect points to make polygonal or triangular panels. This is pretty prevalent on the wings, which also has clear green pieces to simulate extreme speed (?).

The kit is average at best, and will look fairly good if built out of the box without any mods. Some may feel the need to fix certain things with the kit to match what they saw on TV.