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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Next to the Voyager Titans Return Megatron and Voyager Siege Optimus Prime, embodying their relationship.
Finally, next to the Leader Class Kingdom Beast Wars Megatron. Jesus, that was a long title.
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
See you in the next post!