Real Grade AEUG Gundam MK-II: An Gorgeous Attention Span Nightmare

The Real Grade line, released in 2010 for the 30th anniversary of the franchise and to also celebrate how much plastic they’ve sold over that time. No wonder they’re going eggshell. The line is a combination of the main 3 grades of Gunpla: being 1/144 scale like high grades, having an inner frame like master grades, and impeccable detail like perfect grades. They’re meant to showcase what a Mobile Suit would look like in real life, and by Mobile Suit I mean Gundams…and maybe a Zgok. Don’t ever expect a real grade Gogg and don’t come back to this post 20 years later like, “they finally released the random Zeon or Zaft suit I like as a real grade. You’re dumb Samuel.” If they made a real grade of a Seed suit 20 years from now, that means they ran out of ideas. That’s not an honor, that’s a sad state of affairs.

Panels, barely any stickers, dedicated decals (sold separately), moving parts…everything to make you question how so much is in a small package. Unless you’re the Hi-Nu which is a behemoth. Nowadays, the line has expanded to other mecha anime such as Jobby’s favorite depression Evangelion and the Gaogaigar, scheduled to be released later this year. I’ve never watched the Brave series, but I will get this son of a bitch.

My laundry room has the best lighting. So, I will now present a new character in the Samuel’s blog mythos: Fiat. Because I need to fix it again, Tony.

But who cares about the general shit, I want to talk about the kit! The Gundam Mk-2 RG came out in 2012, all 2 of them. The Titans Colors Version came out in April while the AEUG version came out a month later. I got the AEUG colors in February because it was the only one in the store at the time. It was my birthday and I was watching Zeta Gundam at the time, so I decided to treat myself to my first real grade. I love the Mk-2, being such an improvement over the RX-78 with a nice bulky form and a color scheme perfect for the franchise’s grounded tone.

The build of the figure was impressive and annoying at the same time. Building that pre-molded frame didn’t take too long, but the outer armor required a ton of clean up. Building on the armor up and seeing it go from a skeleton to a fully formed robot was a sight to behold. All the mechanical detail and the way parts move on their own from movement was magnificent. But fuck the pipes. This kit decided to add a bendy wire and a fabric tube to make some tubing that goes on the legs and backpack. Now, honestly, I’m really dumb. I tried cutting them to scale with my own ruler, but I was always either barely short or barely long. My dumb brain didn’t think to use the ruler on the instructions itself. Either way, many of the pipes are obscured anyway by outer armor, so you could just skip them honestly.

Accessories

Besides the figure, you get a bunch of weapons. You get the beam rifle and the Hyper Bazooka, which both clip into both trigger finger hands. The Bazooka, being bigger than the rifle, rests over the shoulder. Just rests. It doesn’t clip in, which means it doesn’t restrict the arm possibility. You get shield, which can plug into the back of the arms. It can also collapse to make it smaller. There’s also the Vulcon pod, an external Vulcan attached to the head because they couldn’t fit the standard Gundam Vulcans due to an enlarged co-processor. I guess it really isn’t much of a MK-2. Finally, there’s the light- I mean beam sabers, which the hilts plug onto the backpack. You’re meant to plug the hilts into the included possible hands, but they’re bad. I’ll get into more detail later, but the trigger hands are more structurally sound for the hilts. Yes, it’ll look weird because one finger is away from the hilt, but least it’s manageable to work with. You also get extra ammo cartridges for both guns. When not in use, you can store all the weapons onto the figure for maximum weapon storage. The bazooka clips onto the butt by flipping out a panel. The bazooka cartridge and the beam rifle clip on the side waist panels. But, I must warn you that the beam rifle storage isn’t the best. The peg on the rifle is located too far down the back of the gun, so it’ll always get in the way of posing. It also limits the articulation of the side panel, so too much will pop it out.

The final accessory is a tiny figure. Now, the box and manual refer to it as Kamille, but it’s so generic looking that you can make it Emma Sheen if you want. Although it can’t plug into any of the hands, you can position it just enough for the Mk-2 to hold them. That’s cool in of itself, but the best part is that the cockpit section can open up so you can simulate the pilot about to get in. Unfortunately, you can’t actually put the figure in the cockpit. Which sucks since only the early rgs had a molded in cockpit, as they got rid of that for modern releases. I honestly suggest getting some kind of hangar set with railing so you have a more secure place for the figure. Anything else, even in the hand, and you may end up losing the figure. It’s also a smol boy, so I predict putting it in a bag make break it. So good luck with that.

Articulation

Articulation is great, but not perfect. You get a head swivel on the ball joint, but the antenna of the Vulcan pod can get in the way. Also, because of gravity (I think?), the head has a hard time staying in position before moving back to facing forward. I ended up having to put a thin layer of super glue to give better friction. The arms can rotate a full 360 on a peg and move out, but there is no butterfly joint. Not bad, but it does limit holding the bazooka with the other arm. There is a limited waist swivel, which suffers the same problem as the head. Both issues may be just me and my building skills but get ready to customize to fix it. The legs have a beautiful…I was gonna say spread but that’s a Jobby thing. I think I’ll call it mansplaining. Both legs have two points of bend, which moves parts to reveal the internal frame. Finally, the feet are on a ball joint with a poor ankle tilt but does have a toe bend both ways.

Poseability is considerably solid for an early real grade. Yes, it’s time for the dreaded talk of early real grade syndrome. As mentioned, real grades used to have pre-molded inner frames until the release of the real grade Unicorn. And, just like a good set of cheeks on your face, they sag overtime. I’m not exactly sure what causes it; whether it be the out armor putting on weight or just the stability of the material. Whatever’s the cause, it leads to it having a hard time keeping a pose. Luckily, the Mk-2 is strangely the most stable out of the early real grades meaning that, as long as you’re careful, your mk-2 should not sag. I was not. The right arm and leg sag only a little, shifting in certain positions. The worst has to be the shield. Only Bandai can tell me why they thought making the whole skeleton of the shield a pre-molded frame would be a good idea. It causes the syndrome to happen faster since it’s an accessory you’ll be angling the most, so too much gravity will cause the shield to flip over. I have to have the shield laying on the chest because any other position will cause me to have a hernia. Although Mk-ii is hailed as the most stable real grade of its time, it’s best to limit posing for once a month to prevent it becoming wobbly.

Scaling

Now, here is it next a bunch of figures because I don’t have a proper scaling system.

Here the Mk-2 is next to the legends-sorry, core class Iguanas. Now, you might be seeing this and proclaiming statements like, “Samuel, I can’t believe you didn’t take the opportunity to have the Gundam ride Iguanas’ bike mode! I can’t believe you didn’t think of the obvious joke!” Come on guys, the Mk-2 is clearly taller and bigger than him. It’ll look awkward. It’ll look stupid, and, most importantly, it falling onto my hard stone floor would be the worst mistake. Do you really want that from me-

I was not expecting the process of taking this photo to be as satisfying as I thought. I was expecting a bad time where it would fall too much, and I’d have to keep it stable long enough for the phone camera to take the pic. But the Gundam Mk-2 actually slid onto Iguanas with a weird feeling of fluidity. Like it was made to ride Iguanas. Plus, there wasn’t a lot of clearance issues for the legs to bend upwards. Best part was it stood up without much support besides the Gundam’s feet which I guess is due to how little heft the model kit has. This is adorable; I love it! If only the ball joint on my Iguanas didn’t break minutes before this shoot.

Iguanas: Get off…get off!
Had Zeta not end the way it did, this might have happened.

Here the Gundam is next to its AEUG brother HGUC Hyaku Shiki and the EG Nu Gundam. Not every 1/144 scale model is the same. Look at Shiki being the middle child.

“These aren’t my dads.”

Next to the Voyager Titans Return Megatron and Voyager Siege Optimus Prime, embodying their relationship.

Yesssssssss

Finally, next to the Leader Class Kingdom Beast Wars Megatron. Jesus, that was a long title.

Overview

The Real Grade Gundam Mk-ii, as you get from the box, is an impressive kit that’s fun to build and is the most solid out of its early real grade brethren. Great possibility, all the right accessories, and a presence that’ll stand out on your shelf. Unless you’re a veteran gunpla builder, where your entire shelf is filled with the tears of your wallet. But when you put the time to decal (or use the sticker decals), paint, and topcoat, it’ll go from a slight redesigned version of the animation look to heavily detailed real robot. Absolutely embodies the idea of a Gundam being in the real world. If any Gundam was gonna be made, I see the Mk-ii or an inspired design as the first. With everything I’ve said in this review, I highly recommend buying the Titans versions.

I don’t care if I just reviewed the AEUG color one. That Titan navy blue be bitchin.

Coming Up Next

I already did this. There is no quote.

See you in the next post!

-Samuel Argueta

EG American RX-78 is a Gunpla That Can Be Defined In a Single Word: ;aewbfewbfewjk;bwekfbeafb

Since I was back home and had access to ma baby car, I took the opportunity to buy and complete an EG American RX-78 Gundam. If it says exclusive, you’re d@mn right I’m gonna get it.

This is actually my first RX-78, albeit a repaint from Breaker Battalogue. Until I get my hands on the Origin, RG, or Revive version, this’ll do. Since it was non-canon, I decided to do my own custom job. It’s nothing too complicated like others (I’m still stuck on my first paint job); just used decals. The idea needs some explaining, so sit back and listen to my ramble. I’m about to spoil Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, so go watch that.

At the end of the OVA, a remnant of Zeon, who were the antagonists of the first Gundam Show launched Operation Stardust, a colony that hit central North America to deplete the Earth Federation Forces’ food supply. This event led to the rise of the Titans, an elite EFF force who manipulated the events to get backing so that they can rule over the Earth and Space Colonies. They become the main antagonist of Zeta Gundam 5 years after this event.

My custom job was decaling the American Gramps to be a sort of propaganda tool by the Titans to get support from North America after the event. Although, the operation was apparently kept secret, so I guess I’m a fake fan! Either way, I stuck with it, I did it, and no one can stop me.

Gonna get right into the pictures before giving my thoughts on the kit itself.

Gallery:

The Entry Grade Experience

The title tells it all. Want to get into the hobby? Get an Entry Grade RX-78, Strike, or Nu Gundam. The best part is that nippers are necessary (unless you care about artistic integrity). Just go monkee on the runner with your bare hands. Seriously, the plastic was made to handle the force of your greasy, thicc fingers. At the fastest time, an Entry Grade takes 10-20 minutes to complete. Pretty good compared to the days a HG takes.

Admittedly, I wasn’t into the Entry Grades due to the EG Kamen Rider Zero One. That thing’s a statue. But not the Gramps! Old man’s got moves! While they aren’t as articulated as, say, the HG Zaku 2, it can still do a lot of poses. The only issue I found was the arms and elbows, which can’t do complicated arm movements, and the waist, which can’t do a full 360. Either the peg is too tight or there is no peg. I have no part separator, sooooo…

For about $10, the American Gramps isn’t bad. You get the figure, a Beam Rifle, and a Shield. Plus, you get an interesting color of the OG Gundam and stickers that are matt flat so they don’t look gawdy on them. But, unfortunately, it’s not the full weapons EG Gramp set that comes with much more so it’s not the best EG Gramp experience. However, I enjoyed it and it, and every EG, makes for a great template to start and learn how to detail model kits.

Probably should have taken pictures of it before I transformed it from the source material, but you live and learn. Let me know in the comments what you think of the EG RX-78 Gundam, and what your first Model Kit was? Hope to read your comments and really comment when I can. See you then when I finally finish the dang RG Mk-2 Gundam!

Oh, wait a minute…

“This guy…is an ace!”

Look forward to it~

-Samuel Argueta

Quikee: I finished the HG Revive Char’s Zaku 2

Welp, I gave the series a chance and now my wallet is crying. I also have my eyes on the RG Tallgeese EW Ver sooooo hurray to being in debt!

Anyway, with the release of the second Saber post, I decided to do a quick Quikee about the Zaku 2 I finished. I absolutely love this thing (except for its loose hands), and I love the character so dang much. The Zaku 2 is such an iconic look. One of the best designed Mobile Suits in the franchise. Compared to the Wing Zero and Unicorn, this kit is incredibly solid and articulation that I’ve never seen in a figure. It makes me question how a 20-dollar HG kit can have a wider range of articulation than the $35 Wreck-Gar and the somewhat $40 WFC Beast Wars Megatron? I can hold it in my hand and shake it like a mad man, and it doesn’t feel fragile at all.

I will say, I have not painted this kit, I barely got rid of the nubs, and my lighting isn’t the best. I’m so invested in finishing painting my Unicorn that it’s made the look of the Zaku 2 compromised. I’ll be sanding sometime, so don’t worry. I’m planning to paint it as if it’s pristine propaganda in a museum, rather than the war-torn realism I’m trying to accomplish with the Unicorn. Though this kit was designed to be animation accurate to the 0079 show, I’m gonna replace the redish-pink with pure red (maybe metallic or some kind of candy-toy look) to get that Origins look. Something that appears to have stayed in mint condition. Nothing wrong with the OG colors, but I rather have something that looks perfect for the “Red Comet.” For the first time, I’m gonna use decals which I’m excited for. If anyone has any suggestions for paint, leave them in comment and I’ll take a look.

With that, enjoy the gallery of pictures!

Hoped you enjoyed! Like I said, I’m planning to get the RG Tallgeese but I may get the Gouf Crimson first. The first one is because I love the Tallgeese in general, since its such a simple yet sophisticated Mobile Suit. But the second one is because I plan to make it my next painting project, since I wanna make it into the OG version from 8th MS Team. Come on, who doesn’t love Norris? Anyway, that’ll be the next gallery…soon. See you next time!

(Correction)

“Kamille is a man’s name!”

Make that the RG Gundam Mk-ii (AEUG Color). I actually watched and enjoyed Zeta Gundam, and have more personal attachment to the character. Seriously, watch Zeta Gundam. Not the compilation! Do not watch the compilation movies.

-Samuel Argueta

Quikee: SD Barbatos featuring Mandalorian and Knuckles

Just a gallery of the model kits I got this Christmas. Included is the SD Barbatos Gundam from Iron-Blooded Orphans and the miniature Razor Crest from the Mandalorian.

Admittedly, the face for the Barbatos needs work since I accidently put topcoat on some scruffs. I’ll be fixing it on my own time. Until then, enjoy:

And…that’s it. But, for the next model kit pictures before or after the painted Unicorn, I’m gonna free your soul from the weight of gravity.

“And three times faster than my usual schedule.”

-Samuel Argueta

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Quickee: My First Gunpla! HG Wing Gundam Zero

Doing another unscheduled quickee to showcase my first Gundam Gunpla! I got yesterday and spent the whole day building the High Grade Wing Gundam Zero. And I gotta say, the process was fun if a little stressful and the result was a beautiful figure.

“You think Jobby’s Gundam ghost will leave him to possess my home? I’ll happily take him.”

I watched Gundam 00 when I was young but I wouldn’t say I’m a huge Gundam nerd. I only got into making a gunpla after watching tid-bits of Gundam Unicorn and watching the “Char’s Counterattack” movie. I forgot how much I love the world and stories of Gundam, and how freakin dark it can get. I definitely say give the series a chance for its moral themes and robot fights. I’m gonna try to watch more Gundam on my own, most likely gonna start with Unicorn, and see if I lose my wallet to Gunpla.

Back to the figure, I definitely love the look of the thing. I didn’t do panel lining because I didn’t have the marker for it, excuse me for my noobish charm, but it still stands out with its colors and design. Nothing screams Gundam than the beautiful V headcrest. It poses pretty well, and all its accessiories makes for some stellar poses, but I hate the shoulders. I’ll admit, I left a stress mark on the right side of the body because I thought I messed up with the shoulder parts, but the struggle is an apparent universal one. So, that sucks.

It wasn’t bad when I first made it, but posing for this guy is a chore because the arms just love to pop off. I ended up scratching a lot of the rims of the connection point because the hinge digs deep into the body whenever you try to pop the arm back it. I gotta tell ya, these photos I’m gonna show you were hell just because of the arms. I regret man-handling it the way I did now because of that stress mark and the chipped connection, but it was 12 in the morning and I’m a stubborn bastard. Beautiful figure, amazing articulation, terrible shoulders. Enjoy the shots I made (I don’t have a good setup so excuse the poor backgrounds with these shots)

BTW: If you’re wondering why I don’t have it in bird mode, I don’t like the bird mode. It doesn’t look good and it’s a pain in the ass to hold together because of the arms. The wings on this figure make it difficult for the arms to stay and handling the bird mode always popped it out. Plus, the bird mode is basically a jet transformers: arms visible, thrusters totally the legs, and it looks good if you don’t look at the bottom.

-Samuel Argueta