Real Grade: Gundam MK-II


Here it is, I have finally succumbed to the magnificent wonder that is Bandai’s Real Grade (RG) 1/144 scale model line. Having not touched a model kit in years due to lack of time, space required to paint, and the turmoil that is the cost of paint itself far exceeding that of the model kit in this country. I have resigned myself from the idea of Gunpla and limited myself to an occasional splurge on Robot Damashii figures (only when Bandai gets it right though).

When the HG line was first launched in the early 90s (some 20 years ago), my first kit from the line was the Gundam MK-II. The HG line at the time featured many showstopping features unseen in other kits at the time (eg. decals printed directly onto the runner piece). It’s funny how many years later, my first kit from the equally branded RG line is the MK-II also.

This RG kit boasts an incredible amount of detail, and features a full internal skeleton. The number of stickers included isΒ  astonishing (they’re just clear stickers, not dry or wet decals), and took me several hours to apply, but as you can see, the end result is well worth it. I love how there is more than one shade of grey used on the armour, which gives the suit an added level of depth, and something different to your standard TV-accurate figure.

The kit comes with so many different parts, the coloured are pretty much all moulded correctly. You don’t even need to ink in the lines on the mouth, as holes have been die-cut into place where the lines run. I haven’t even coated the kit in matte which I normally do, all you see is the kit as it comes raw with the stickers included and the panel lines inked in.

The kit also comes with some foil stickers for use in some of the joint areas to enhance detail and simulate a more realistic look.

The only thing I have painted are the rocket boosters on the back pack, which originally came in grey, not silver.

The articulation is great for the model kit, as feet can be planted flatly on the ground even in more dynamic poses.

A closer look at some of the detail on the kit.

Incredible articulation at the elbows and at the knees.

Now, this pose grabbing pose is not something that can be achieved convincingly on many figures. But this RG kit does it with absolute ease.

The excellent elbow and shoulder articulation really helps with pulling this classic gun wielding pose.

A comparison with the 1/144 scale S-HCM Pro Gundam RX-78-2. The significantly cheaper RG kit holds up quite well!

In a nutshell, I’m incredibly impressed with the kit. The level of detail is amazing and even with no paint, it blows many Robot Damashii figures out of the water. It was challenging (I have never felt this way for an injection kit), yet great fun to put together.

The Bandai Hobby Department has really outdone themselves, as it’s far more complex than the few MG kits I have built. There are some parts of the internal skeleton that you think are just the one piece attached onto the tree, but when you remove it, you realise it’s a meticulously engineered piece which included complex, ready made articulation! It is a little hard to explain with words, as it is unlike anything I have come across in a Gunpla kit before.

Seeing as these come in 1/144 scale, they aren’t expensive at all. If you’re a fan of Gundam and haven’t discovered the Real Grade line yet, give these a go!

  1. Glad to know you enjoyed the Real Grade! πŸ˜€
    Bandai did a great job pushing the limit of what is achievable on a 1/144 plastic kit, and the Mk-II is so far the most stable out of all RG lines. I once took my Mk-IIs to the rooftop and took pictures there, and the results are overwhelming!

    I’m currently building the RG Z Gundam, and it totally blew me away. I have built every single RG kit that came out except Skygrasper (only a matter of time :p), and yet every single part of it except the arms has different build designs compared to every RG before it. The excitement is just like, if not more, than when I first built my very first RG!

    Hopefully you’re willing to look into other RG kits in the future! πŸ™‚

    • These little guys really are something.

      I’m very closed to ordering a Zeta as I love the look of it. I guess my un-built HGUC Zeta is going to be made redundant! I’m really surprised that each kit has its unique structure like you say though, but it’s definitely another pro for the line.

      I’ve definitely got my eye on what suits this line has to offer now, but those tiny stickers are a toughy!

      A GP01 would be sweet, as I don’t think Bandai has tackled one since the early days of MG and HGUC, and the PG is just a tad pricey.

      • So far there has been 6 Advanced MS Joint (those articulated runners).
        – AMSJ 1 for RX-78-2
        – AMSJ 2 for Char’s Zaku & Green Zaku
        – AMSJ 3 for Strike Gundam
        – AMSJ 4 for Freedom & Justice
        – AMSJ 5 for Mk-II Titans & AEUG
        – AMSJ 6 for Z Gundam

        While there are some difference between AMSJ 1-through-5, you could still recognize parts that are similar to other version, like for example the arms practically doesn’t change, and you can recognize which part will become the torso, etc.
        For AMSJ 6, the only thing I recognize is only the arms (which actually changed a little bit). The rest doesn’t look anywhere close to the previous AMSJs.

        Yeah, a GP01 would definitely be great, and it also follows the speculation that RG are more likely to come from kits that has a PG version.

      • The new MG Ver. Ka NU Gundam is totally a precursor of what the Nu may look like too when it’s ready for the RG treatment too.

    • DarkFaiz
    • December 12th, 2012

    Nah, I’m guessing it will be the base for the PG line for the Nu or the Unicorn

  2. I know this is an old post, but I came across your review after searching for people’s thoughts on the RG line, since I’m considering getting into it. Judging from your pictures, the line seems outstanding, given what the kit looks like unpainted and the articulation is great. Definitely going to check the line out.

    • Glad it was of help. πŸ˜‰ I’m excited about the upcoming RG GP-01 suits.

      Sorry about the lack of updates. Had been busy with work and life in general.

    • doc
    • August 13th, 2014

    Just saw this. Like your nice clean build. May i know hpw you did the panel lines?

    • Thanks πŸ™‚ Use a grey 0.05 tip Gundam marker and just penned it in. But used an vinyl eraser to rub perpendicular to the line to get it nice and thin.

    • doc
    • August 15th, 2014

    Got the Titan version so I guess black would be more appropriate for the panel lines.

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