Monday, December 24, 2018

[Kit Insight] Bandai HGUC 1/144 MSN-06S-02 Sinanju Stein Unit 02 [Narrative Ver.] (Painted Build)

Model Number: MSN-06S-02
Designation: Neo Zeon (The Sleeves) Prototype Psychoframe Equipped High Performance Attack Use Mobile Suit

Hands down, one of the best HG 1/144 model kits ever produced!
The Sinanju Stein (Narrative Ver.) caused considerable mayhem in the community when it was first revealed in the trailers of GundamNT, bearing Sleeves markings and wreaking havoc while being piloted by a psychotic failed Char clone who wouldn't look out of place in a heavy metal band. Although the Sinanju Stein exists as a model kit in the Master Grade Ver. Ka format, the Narrative Ver. marks the mobile suit's first foray into the High Grade space.

Retconned to be one of two Sinanju Stein units produced to test the durability and performance of the psychoframe material, the Narrative Ver. of the Sinanju Stein also fell into the hands of the Sleeves Neo Zeon movement (the folks at Anaheim Electronics really need to get their security act together). While the first unit - Stein 01 - was remodelled into the crimson red high mobility unit used by Full Frontal in the Laplace Incident, Stein 02 was - allegedly - mothballed and kept in storage until the events of Operation: Phoenix Hunt. Apparently, no one in the Sleeves thought to use Stein 02 against the Unicorn duo in U.C. 0096.

Stein 02 was left largely unaltered from its initial design, retaining the Gundam-type dual optics and the general colour scheme, although the primary hue on the Narrative Ver. is distinctly grey instead of white. Sleeves markings have been added to the chestplate and the cuffs, while the high beam rifle is now an inspired version that takes reference from the Federation-type. The Sinanju Stein still possessed the monstrous agility and mobility that was on full display during the Laplace Incident, making use of the backpack-mounted flexible thrusters and calf-mounted boosters to execute high speed acrobatic maneuvers intended to confuse and flank targets. The high speeds exhibited by the Sinanju Stein allowed it to perform powerful beam saber attacks against mobile suits and capital ships alike. Indeed, the Sinanju Stein was able to easily penetrate a capital ship's screen of antiaircraft fire and take out the command bridge before escaping to safety.

Build Notes
The HGUC 1/144 model kit version of the Sinanju Stein (Narrative Ver.) is quite possibly one of the best HG 1/144 model kits ever released. While it reuses some frame parts from the 2010 HGUC 1/144 Sinanju model kit (I did a custom of it here), most of the parts are on brand new 2018 runners. The part separation here is on fire, with parts for every tiny little bit, including raised parts for the Sleeves chestplate and cuffs. Bandai also added enhancements to articulation of the 2010 frame: the hip joints now have thigh rotation thanks to a new part. 

The whole thing is also incredibly stable, with the arms being able to hoist the high beam rifle with underslung rocket bazooka in a perfect firing position, something the MG version has difficulty with.

Taking advantage of the incredible part separation, I painted up the Stein 02 with the following colours:
  1. Tamiya Gun Metal
  2. Tamiya Semi-Gloss Bright Gun Metal
  3. Tamiya Metallic Red
  4. Tamiya Gunship Grey
  5. Nippon Pylox Deep Blue
  6. Nippon Pylox Haier Grey
  7. Nippon Pylox Deep Grey
  8. Nippon Pylox Medium Grey
  9. Nippon Pylox Grey
  10. Red Fox Flat Black
  11. Red Fox Bright Silver
  12. Bosny Aluminium Silver
  13. Bosny Gold
  14. CT7 Gold
  15. CT7 Deep Grey
  16. Samurai 4/104 Grey
  17. Mr. DIY Sparkling Black
Pretty dang satisfied with how the colours turned out!

Now to wait for dedicated waterslide decals for the Stein and to research how best to tackle the Sleeves markings on the chest and cuffs! 

For the ubiquitous Sleeves markings, I outsourced them to @sldsinc and the final product is better than anything I could have ever done. The waterslide decals came from a mix bag of different sets, mostly for UC-era mobile suits along with some generic ones for caution/ warning signs.

The HGUC 1/144 Sinanju Stein (Narrative Ver.) is a formidable model kit for its grade, boasting great stability, fantastic proportions and loads of accessories. It can easily hold up the high beam rifle with underslung rocket bazooka, something that the Ver. Ka version struggles with.


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