Master Grade RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. Ka
The RX-78-2 Gundam, is probably one the most known and famous mobile suit, being the first ever MS to be called Gundam. Piloted by a Newtype named Amuro Ray (White Devil) during the One Year War, and sided with the Earth Federation, the Gundam is used against a number of different Zeon MS, like Zaku’s Dom’s etc., and a great rival of the Sazabi which is piloted by Char Aznable (Red Comet). Due to its popularity, numerous Plastic Model Kits were released, sporting different accessories and gimmicks, different scales from SD, HG, MG, PG and even in Mega Size. This one, is the Ver. Ka (Version Katoki), Hajime Katoki, took the design, modified it and changed it to his likings. Let’s see this version of the Gundam which is also the FIRST Master Grade kit to be released under Ver. Katoki.
Simple, no striking pose, no explosions, just a simple colored lineart of the Gundam. That’s how a Ver. Ka. boxart looks like.
Note: This is one of my Master Grade kit that was built during the time where I’m not that serious about the seams, nubmarks, flashes and other plastic defects, and also not having the right tools to clean them like cutters and hobby knives. So you can see a lot of them here, like seams under the shoulder armor which is really ugly, and also nubmarks all over the place. I did my best to cover them and hide them during this photo session, but some still shows, so forgive me for those ^^,
Pre-360° view, shows a bulky and squarish but simple design, smooth surface and not much panel lines. Ver. Ka models are also known for their decals, Katoki is a decal maniac, applying tons of dry transfer decals which consist of warning signs, emblems, group names etc., sometimes it goes over the limit, like applying it in an uneven surface, and applying 4-6 pieces of warning signs in a small part. But me, I don’t like decals, except if it is really needed or it is in the original design. I want my model kits to look clean and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, so the simple the better for me.
Closer view of the front and the back. I like the bulkiness of it, giving it a very muscular appearance. Construction of this kit is very HG-ish, very simple and straight-forward, nothing fancy except the core fighter/core block gimmick.
See any difference from the original design in the MSG series? the eye color is colored in green, instead of yellow. Good thing is that the face looks much more serious and has a good proportion.
Chest is wide (wider than it looks) and bulky, the middle part can be opened and acts as a hatch or a door for the pilot, opening it will expose the core fighter or core block.
Waist design is very squarish, edges here and there, love the color separation of the yellow “V” insignia on the crotch.
Arm looks solid, but the joints are not, it’s not that loose but it feels like hollow. There’s an ugly seam line on the shoulder area under the shoulder armor, since the construction is HG-ish, rotating or moving the arms can make the seam more visible, not much problem since a simple pinch can close the seams back together. Legs, is much more solid, no loose joints or parts, only problem is that the feet doesn’t have any articulation, just a big block down there. But it helps the model to be more stable.
Cool gimmick, adding a mesh-like tube at the back of the knees, you need to measure it exactly prior to cutting, if not, one of those tubes will be much shorter than the rest. Good thing, measurement is given and printed in the instruction manual.
CORE FIGHTER / CORE BLOCK
Core fighter, a fully transformable plane that transforms into a block that can fit inside the Gundam. This is where Amuro rides in.
Core fighter (left) and Core block (right). Core block is used if the Core fighter is not available or if the Gundam is used by a different pilot. Didn’t apply topcoat to the Core’s since it will be scratched once place inside.
Core fighter and Core block, once placed and attached to the lower body. I prefer to use the Core block inside, so I can display the Core fighter beside the Gundam.
WEAPONS AND ACCESSORIES
Generic weapons during the One Year War, a Beam rifle and Hyper bazooka.
The scope lens is painted with Tamiya Acrylic Clear Red, it comes in a clear part. Original design has it in a yellow color. The Hyper bazooka needs some paint, white paint to be accurate from the design.
Shield design is different for this version, the yellow cross is removed, and it looks so damn simple and boring, so I decided to apply the decal to give it some life (glad I did!). Beam sabers, you’ll know if it is a Ver. Ka Beam saber, if the beam effect is more of a clear pink than a reddish one.
Two extra hands included, one is a special hand for holding the Beam rifle properly and one is a closed-fist hand. Wonder what’s the use of that closed-fist hand? since the articulated hand can be closed properly, they should have included a special hand for holding the Hyper bazooka instead.
RX-78-2 Gundam Full Weaponry (minus the Hammer and the Beam javelin).
Good elbow articulation, making it reach the Beam saber hilt so easy.
*** My Favorite Shot***
This is where I wish Bandai included a special hand for holding the Hyper bazooka than a closed-fist hand. It’s really hard to make it hold properly, since the wrist joint doesn’t have enough articulation. Following photo shows it, notice the hand, holding the Hyper bazooka.
The generic mid/long-range weapon, Beam rifle. Don’t know but, for me, whenever the Gundam holds it, it looks so cool and powerful.
The special hand for the holding the Beam rifle, sure is very useful!
Epic pose re-enactment… with head and left arm intact.
PROS AND CONS
– One of the easiest Gundam model kit in MG scale to build.
– Fully transformable Core fighter included.
– Good proportion, no weight issues.
– Aesthetically pleasing to the eyes (simple and clean).
– Designed by Hajime Katoki.
– Inconsistent joint strength.
– Limited and minimal articulation.
– HG-ish construction.
– No Gundam hammer and Beam javelin.
– Visible seam lines on the shoulder.
– Can’t hold Hyper bazooka properly.
A point where aesthetic and articulation cannot be together, a model kit with a good, simple and clean design but lacks a lot of articulation. Like a 1/100 scale G.F.F. (Gundam Fix Figuration), a model where it looks good just standing, not for playing but more of a display purpose.
Since it’s an old MG, released way back year 2002, that time, it is a good upgrade from the first MG version of RX-78-2 and version 1.5. Hajime Katoki gave justice to the father of all Gundam. From all of the versions of RX-78-2 Gundam, for me, this one Ver. Ka ranks 2nd behind the O.Y.W. version, and still one of my favorite design.