Monday, September 3, 2018

[Kit Insight] Bandai RG 1/144 MSN-04 Sazabi (Painted Build)


Model Number: MSN-04
Designation: Neo Zeon Char Aznable's Use Mobile Suit for Newtype

[Work-In-Progress: Pending application of the Realistic Decals (because waterslide decals will drive me insane).]

Undoubtedly the BEST Real Grade model kit so far, all things considered.

The latest Real Grade model kit is fantastic, a great 1/144 rendition of a classic mobile suit design. It was a joy putting everything together, marveling at the design thinking behind some of the interesting mechanisms and also applauding the stability of this thing. It's ROCK SOLID but still giving you remarkable articulation. With each subsequent RG release, Bandai has upped the ante in terms of build engineering, build quality and build gimmicks, and the Sazabi is a very encouraging indication of future RGs. The RG 1/144 MSN-04 is without a doubt the BEST RG ever created (until something else takes its place 😐). 

As with Real Grade releases, the part separation on the RG 1/144 MSN-04 Sazabi is generous, with plenty of well-engineered and decently-detailed parts. Most of the nub marks are well hidden, and a majority of the parts are undergated. 

For this particular build, I didn't cut out all the parts before spray painting them; I simply doused the entire runner in their desired colours. Upon assembly, nary a nub mark can be seen, a testament to Bandai's attention to such details for the RG line.

The colours used for this build are:
  1. Mr. Hobby Sazabi Red
  2. Mr. Hobby MS Char's Red
  3. Tamiya Metallic Red
  4. Tamiya Pure Metallic Red
  5. Tamiya Gun Metal
  6. CT7 Gold
  7. Red Fox Primer Grey
  8. Red Fox Flat Black
  9. Nippon Pylox Grey
  10. Bosny Aluminium Silver
The monoeye foil sticker was also replaced with a shiny gem piece to give it more depth.

One of the main criticisms (and deal-breaker for some builders) with RG model kits is their relative fragility and instability, leading to a corresponding lack of articulation and playability. While many RG kits boast great posing ability, this is often marred by the shaky structure of the final product, causing many to just leave RGs where they stand.


The Advanced MS Joint 13 found in the RG Sazabi is the latest evolution of the RG line's signature characteristic. Taking a page from the RG Sinanju, the prefabricated joints are paired with traditional frame parts to create very solid joint assemblies that contribute towards the RG Sazabi's fantastic stability. With all critical joints nice and tight, the Sazabi will stay in whatever dynamic pose you can put it in.

The video fully captures the stability of the RG 1/144 Sazabi:


When I built the RG 1/144 Unicorn Gundam sometime back, I was awed by its intuitive transformation gimmick which necessitated some cutbacks to stability. Despite so, the RG 1/144 Unicorn Gundam was still the most stable and solid model kit in the RG line back then.


But standing beside the RG 1/144 Sazabi, the RG 1/144 Unicorn Gundam can very well be a HGUC 1/144 model kit. 

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