This has been a long time coming. What was eagerly anticipated for months when I heard about it was finally in my hands. The Master Grade Sinanju from Gundam UC was unboxed and prepped for its completion. This kit became my immediate priority. I spent more time on this kit than I had on my previous Perfect Grade. Just the sheer amount of detail on this kit made me put every bit of attention I had on it.
Surely, I could not be disappointed with so much hype, right? Was the Master Grade Sinanju worth everything that I said it was when I unboxed it? Did the metallic theme I used bring out the best of the suit? Find out when you hit the jump.
In a word, OH GOD ALMIGHTY YES! I have never had as much fun with a kit or had a feeling of such accomplishment after finishing the Sinanju. The wait, the hype, the execution was pure perfection. There's only two things that I don't like on the kit, but it barely matters when looking at the whole picture.
As I mentioned earlier, there's only two things I can find wrong with the kit and one of them is in the head. You see, the eye isn't really visible. Since the Sinanju is a mono-eye design, it's eye is going to be difficult to spot underneath the visor. The design reminded me of the Kampfer's head as it shares the same eye tucked away. However, the MG Kampfer at least had the bottom portion of the head move down so you could see the eye. The Sinanju doesn't have this feature, but it doesn't take away too much from the kit since the piece is so small anyway and you aren't looking at this thing to get in a staring contest. What does benefit the head is that it features the commander attenae I've come to know and love on Char Aznable's mobile suits and makes the suit stand out all the more, especially if paired with the MG Unicorn Gundam.
It is really hard to not spend the rest of the review just talking about the emblem designs that are all over the kit. The key draw here on the torso is just the sheer amount of gold accent trim. The latest iteration of the Neo Zeon logo stands out on the chest, as its embossed on the plastic. The rest of the torso is accented by black and gold. The chest will lift upwards will the middle of the lower torso will fold down to reveal the cockpit. The cockpit is made out of the same green, translucent plastic that the eye is made out of so you can see Full Frontal (that's the name of the suit's pilot. I'm super serial.) Other than the center chest pieces, the red sides are an ode to the MSN-04 Sazabi, being the same parts, only smaller to fit in this kit design.
Attached to the torso is a rather large set of thrusters on its back. There are 2 sets of thrusters along with two, long white fuel rods sticking out from the back. The rods are rather unremarkable and are just feel tacked onto the design. The thrusters however are gorgeous, with the nozzles being able to be moved back and forth for the gimmick of higher performance.
Unfortunately, the other problem that I found with the kit came in the form of the two sets of cables that go around the center of the model. They didn't use the new sprue design from the MG Zaku 2.0 kit, which is odd considering the amount of them on this kit. Instead, I would end up frustrated to no end as I clipped each piece from the runner. That wasn't so much annoying as it was getting the things to stay on. The lower set of cables would connect to the skirt armor and would randomly pop-off in the middle of the night. This wouldn't be so bad if it didn't mean that the beads would spill in every direction on the floor below. I eventually corrected this via glue, but I would hope that they would have thought of something a bit more secure to keep them snapped in.
The Arms and Shoulders
To me, the arms just made the kit for me. The arms are able to extend as your arms would be able. They have the full complete range of motion, which just lets you put this thing into as many creative poses as you want. What's really great here are the hands. Each of the fingers are individually jointed and are moved independently. The palms of the hands also have a raised slit, allowing you to securely place any weapon there and for it to, more importantly, stay there. Going back to the joints, since there are no polycaps in this kit, they hold all the poses you put them in. The weapons aren't going to weigh down arm. It will stay exactly as you have intended it to. The forearms are really nicely done, popping open to reveal beam sabers stored in each arm. Again, the trim of the kit mirrors the uniform, as the arm cuffs have the same beautiful embossed gold and black.
With details everywhere on this kit, the legs get somewhat lost in the mix. The gold trim is found again, this time on the calves and knee caps. The reason they get lost in the shuffle is because, well, they're legs. Most of the attention for kits is placed at the top and the Sinanju is no exception to that. It's not to say the legs are bad or they didn't try, its far from it. The outer armor of the legs will open, allowing for the full effect and display of the thrusters. The back of the legs also have a piece lifting up to provide for more thruster-use. What's surprising is that the Sinanju's feet steal the show. The feet are rather large, but this is in no way bad. This allows the Sinanju to pull of some incredible balance and sturdiness, which lead to some very interesting posing abilities.
Shield and Weapons
What can I possibly say here other than I'm a sucker for awesome weapons. The Sinanju certainly does not disappoint in this area. As I already mentioned, there are two beam sabers stored in the forearms, but in addition a pair of short beam tomahawks, a sniper rifle, a stored shotgun and the shield itself.
I'll talk about the shield first as its the largest piece of the kit. The shield latches onto either arm on the outer part of the forearm. Since the design does not have the shield hand-held at any point, it's just going to stay on the arm and nowhere else. It does lead to a few problems posing, especially with the spiked thrusters that extend from the shoulders. Otherwise, it's a very nice design and again is a design going back to the good ol' Sazabi.
The sniper rifle is a bit odd. The rifle combines with the shotgun and I'm not really sure why. You can have it without it, but it is there for your choosing. The rifle has two scopes and again I'm wondering why it's even there. But again, it looks cool, so we'll do that anyway.
The short beam axes are just all sorts of good. You can choose either long or short blades, the long blade referrencing again the Sazabi's beam tomahawk. The two axes can be combined to make a twin beam axe, perhaps a reference to the beam naginta of Char's MS-14S Gelgoog. The axes are stored in the shield and can be used as a weapon while stored, stabbing with the shield and the beams extended.
This kit was an utterly amazing build. I felt the kit has enough style and substance to warrant all of the hype it had and the few bad things about it were nowhere near enough to make me even get the slightest bit regretful of getting the kit. I thought the Unicorn, pictured above, would be the most gorgeous kit I've constructed, but Sinanju blew it out of the water. While this kit is not perfect, it is by far the best Bandai has ever done with the Master Grade line. I really loved building this kit, and I hope that it came through the pictures here.