Wednesday, December 1, 2021

[Kit Insight] Premium Bandai HG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam [PR Ambassador of the Japan Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai] - Light Build

Will Bandai ever stop making new versions of the venerable RX-78-2 Gundam? I think we all know the answer to that.
Yet another variation of the classic RX-78-2 Gundam design, this limited edition model kit is designed by the esteemed Kunio Okawara for the Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai as the Gundam was appointed as the Pavilion's ambassador. While it does bear more than a passing resemblance to the HG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam (Revive Ver.) released in 2015, the PR Ambassador version is actually an updated mould based on the Revive Ver.'s design data that builds on its excellent proportions and range of motion. A brochure featuring thoughts from Kunio Okawara on this design is also included with the set, with text printed in both Japanese and English.

A relatively simple build with just 3 runners and a standard polycap sheet, the PR Ambassador brings more to the table than meets the eye. All red areas - save for the thin strips - are separate parts, adding a nice dash of colour to the base white. The only stickers are for the wrap-around strips, eye cameras and crotch V and PR Ambassador iconography, everything else is accomplished with part separation. You do get the option of just using the clear parts for the eyes instead of the usual sticker, silver foils are also provided for the back of the eye units to improve their light reflectance properties.

Aside from the colour scheme and stickers, the PR Ambassador also comes with a whopping suite of 11 hand units, detailed as follows:
  • One pair of standard open hands
  • One pair of grabby open hands
  • One pair of standard holding hands
  • One pair of slightly angled holding hands
  • One pair of closed fists
  • One right hand with trigger-finger
The wrist joint is also significantly improved from the Revive Ver. - hands on the latter tend to flop about and barely stay in the socket. The PR Ambassador's hands fit snuggly into the wrists and form a solid, tight hold. Wielding of its very basic weapons complement - beam rifle, shield, beam sabers - is a dream thanks to the great hand units. One thing is note is that the PR Ambassador doesn't have any 3mm ports on its forearms - the shield is mounted via a new part that sleeves over the left forearm. This same part can be used to mount the shield on the mobile suit's backpack.

The PR Ambassador has articulation that is on par with most modern HG model kits, with its double-jointed limbs being able to execute and hold any of the usual poses a Gundam is expected to make. The new grabby open hands do add some dynamism to poses, especially when doing a beam saber pulling posture.

Overall, the PR Ambassador is a great addition to Bandai's ever-growing line of RX-78-2 Gundam variants. We can expect to see more versions of this mould as limited editions!


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