The Master Grade Nu Gundam Version Katoki was the most anticipated Gundam model of 2012, released in time for Christmas. I myself had picked up the model just five days after it was released at a local hobby shop downtown out of curiosity. When I first heard about the kit, the redesigned Nu Gundam and its psycoframe mechanism, appealed to me. The Nu Gundam is an iconic mobile suit even by Gundam standards, made famous by its appearance and performance in the movie Char’s Counter-attack. While I have never seen the movie myself, the redesigned kit brought to mind the classic RX series design, while integrating elements from the newest models into its construction. I began to build the model on Christmas Day, and found myself impressed with construction, especially as I have not built any non-00 line Master Grades thus far.
- The completed MG Nu looks glorious just standing there. The inclusion of the action base gives the feeling that one got precisely their money’s worth with the model. A bit of patience allows one to mount all the funnels out onto the back, but I prefer leaving three on and have three deployed.
- Close up of the head and chest. The inner frame is nothing short of impressive, including the cool clear green cockpit. Once the model is complete, the inner frame will not get any more glory.
- The kit possesses sufficiently good articulation to allow for several poses to be pulled off, including one where the rifle is held with two hands. This pose has the additional benefit of giving the rifle additional support.
- The MG Nu does something the HGUC Unicorn Destroy mode does not: it includes the effect parts for the beam sabres and the hyper-bazooka. Then again, it is a master grade, so omitting those would probably cause riots.
When completed, the model towers over the 00 suits and feels more like a perfect grade that’s the size of a master grade. The Nu Gundam represents a novel departure from traditional MG kits, using a lighter plastic for its inner frame. This acts to reduce the overall weight of the model, but the frame decidedly feels less sturdy. The individual parts to the model feel more fragile compared to the 00 line, but when assembled, the unit is solid, especially with the sheer bulk of the legs, which are mounted on sturdy ball joints. Their construction was especially enjoyable: whereas the 00 line features simple legs, the Nu Gundam has a massive amount of detail, including the presence of verniers in the rear of the ankles. Despite the detail and complexity of all the suit’s components, transforming it from its original mode into its destroy mode (I have no idea what it’s called, since the transformation never happened in the original movie) is remarkably simple. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the completed Gundam looks glorious, appearing ready to take on the Red Comet himself and prevent Axis from impacting Earth.
- There are two beam sabres included with the Nu: a conventional one mounted on the left wrist, and a large beam sabre that is mounted on the backpack.
- The transformation is impressive and easy, sharply contrasting the process on the MG Unicorn Ver. Ka. line. The psycoframe is subtly present and is not overwhelming, meaning that the Nu Gundam still distinctly looks like the Nu Gundam following transformation. The glint of green is offset by the whites and navy blue: recalling my love of the clear green on models, I’m probably going to leave my Nu transformed forever to show off the psycoframe.
I believe the model to be similar to a Perfect Grade not because it’s perfect, but because of the inclusion of all the elements that make it bear resemblance to its larger cousins, such as the ridiculously awesome level of detail, independently articulate fingers on the manipulator and the light piping in the head for an LED. With the perfect quip still fresh in mind, there are several, pronounced limitations in the model, especially with respect to the overall stability of the frame. Parts of the model feel springy and as I’m more used to the solid construction of the 00 line, the model feels very loose, especially around the shoulders. The wrists are also very loose, being unable to hold onto weapons heavier than the standard beam sabre without falling over. The articulate fingers are fun, but the joints may break off while detaching them from the runner (as I found out). Care is required in handling them, but otherwise, they can make some fairly amusing poses, such as the v-sign or thumbs up. The fin funnels don’t mount that well onto the kit and in my case, fall off every time I try to mount all six of them onto the backpack. This factor less of a problem with the action stand, which gloriously allows for the funnels to be posed dynamically with the model. Finally, the water slide decals, while nice, proved difficult to handle and are easily dislodged once they’re applied to the kit, making it harder to pose the model. With previous MGs, I had seals which adhered far better to the model.
- There are silver seals on the back of the clear green parts, making it far easier to see them, despite their placement in dark areas. This element added a lot of work to the model, but pays off in the end, as the psycoframe is accentuated far better than, say, on the Unicorn Banshee.
- The design of the legs are so impressive that I cannot help but gush about all the details, such as the pistons on the knees, the rocket verniers on the ankles, yellow thrusters on the knees and, though not visible here, the rocket boosters on the foot.
- That yellow circle adds additional detail to the arms. Paired with the expressive, independently articulate fingers, this Ver. Ka. Nu Gundam makes the previous Master Grade feel like a high grade.
- The model retains for 7000 yen, and can reasonably be expected to sell for around 98 Canadian dollars. The story behind the day of its purchased may be read here 😉
Despite there being quite a few negatives, the model is able to effortlessly outweigh them on the virtue of appearance alone. Whether it is in the normal mode or ‘destroy’ mode, it simply looks spectacular. The included action stand allows one to display it in any pose imaginable with any weapon imaginable, as well as providing a solid anchor point for all of the funnels. The kit itself possesses reasonable articulation and can be set into almost any dynamic pose very easily. Moreover, it comes with an excellent loadout, including all of the Nu Gundam’s signature weapons (the beam sabres, Nu hyper-bazooka and beam rifle). Coupled with a smooth transformation mechanism that is also cool (especially for the chest and legs), the MG Nu perhaps rightfully occupies its throne as the top Gundam model of 2012. Thus, the MG Nu now joins the 00Q and 00SS/G on my shelf as yet another glorious MG Gundam, holding the distinction of being the only Master Grade I have as coming with an action base that can fully support the model. The fact that the kit comes with parts to accommodate dynamic poses with the fin funnels is icing on the cake, and I’ll probably leave the unit with three funnels deployed and three mounted on the backpack.