Master Grade 1/100 Gundam Age-1 Normal

I have never thought I will pick this model up to be honest as ever since the series was announced, I quite disliked the “spoiler” which was mounted onto the back thrusters of the mobile suit. It feels sort of like a additional gimmick which was added to it just for the sake of having something there. There is no air in space so I dont think the spoiler will have much effect on the stability of the mobile suit when in combat in space.

I am planning on just getting the normal version and not the Titus or the Spallow as i feel that the other 2, although interesting in their own right, is Bandai’s marketing ploy in getting more money for less the effort. The torso and head are exactly the same and so will be getting duplicate parts imo. I would very much prefer if they the entire AGE-1 with its variations as a single kit (like they did for the SD Age-1 and SD AGE-2 models)

From my previous Rx-78-2 conclusion, I cut out Flit Asuno from the sprue before initializing the build. I think the figure itself might be a little out of scale as he seems quite tall for a small boy compared to all other teenage/adult characters I have had lol. Other than that, this model looks and feels more complex in design as compared to the one seen in the anime series as it sports numerous vents as well as panel lines.

Introducing Flit Asuno, the youngest gundam MS pilot I know of.

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LEGS
As usual the build starts feet up. The feet in this case is pretty different in design as it uses polycap which is free rotating between 2 inner frames to twist the ankle. Other parts on the feet are normal and there isnt much variation. Typical red “shoes” with white “socks” as I would like to call it lol. I tend to include Flit in almost all pictures as he is a Gundam builder and designer by trade and not just a pilot of one like almost all other characters. All other characters simply have had their mobile suits built and handed over to them (or stolen by them lol)

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Here is the completed feet. They do not look very impressive but I quite like the panel lines on them. Unlike the 00 series, I think this feet is much more stable than the Exia’s or the 00 Gundam’s

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At first look, the ankle guards look quite fragile as they are formed by using 2 separate pieces which join in the middle with a very thin peg to align them. However, this was later reinforced from the front with another piece of armour.

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Flit giving the completed feet and ankle guards a once over for quality control 😉

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Carrying on with the build we come next to the legs themselves. The leg design is quite different from most kit I have encountered so far. Most of the time the Legs’ inner frame would be joint in the middle and the entire thing would be one strong piece of plastic. In this case, it was broken down into “modules”. The thighs are clipped into place with the lower legs and the entire thing is mounted onto the feet.

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It kind of feels fragile imo and I hope that it will not have breakage problems down the road. Once the armour plating and the feet is joint together, it looks solid enough though.

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After accessing and noting all the little problems which I mentioned earlier, the legs were completed. Handing over inspection to Flit once again lol.

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HIPS
The hips design has been revamped and instead of the usual “C” rotating bit where the leg’s pegs attach to and get pushed up and down to enable the legs to pose and extend without hitting the skirts, this model utilizes a rotating disc peg which the legs attach to and can rotate 360 degrees to avoid the skirtings. I very much prefer this approach as to the previous “C” rotor design as this is much more easy to rotate than the stiff latter. To change the C rotor, I had to always detatch the legs and insert a pencil to force it up or down. I tend to do it this way to prevent the legs from getting damaged if it moves suddenly and the sudden force might break something.

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Here’s the completed hips with the 2 legs attached. The small panel line details remind me of Impulse and Strike Gundams. These other 2 gundams are the only ones i remember which have small indents on their armour and require panel-lining. It is good to know that Bandai decided to mould the vents as gaps as this will save time on panel lining as well as save plastic for them 🙂 hopefully, they would have passed on the savings made on to us 😛

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TORSO
The torso design reminds me a lot of the 00 Series Gundams whereby they all have a recess in the chest for the GN-Drives (except 00 gundam which has the drives in backpack above the shoulder). Seeing and building this torso makes me wish that Bandai also did an MG for 0 Gundam (piloted by Ribbons Almarks in 00 gundam and not the unicorn Gundam :P) In fact, I wished that they did the reborns gundam as well as the 0 Gundam 🙂 Well, we might need to wait and see if they get released when 00 gets its 5th anniversary in 2014. Anyway, back to torso of Age-1 Normal. Flit is not suited up in a usual pilot suit and simply pilots the Gundam in his own clothes. This is quite a variation as most kits present the pilot in a suit. The cockpit is also located in the chest as opposed to being in the belly. When I first saw the kit, I was expecting it to have an LED lit “A” in the chest but after looking at the design of the cockpit, I understood why this wasnt the case lol.

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The Torso when completed is sleek and stylish as opposed to the RX-78-2 Gundam which I put together a few days back. Also incorporated into the design is the ability to “sway” left and right, front and back. It is quite nice to know that Bandai put so much thoughts into the articulation for such a normal kit. That said, I am still unsure if this MS is a ranged or melee specialist. Perhaps it is an all rounder like the Aile Strike or Force Impulse.

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Here is the part which I do not like very much, ie the spoilers. Like I said earlier, there is no air in space so I am not very sure what these spoilers serve to do. I much rather that the design came with a backpack like the Aile Strike or the Force Impluse. OR, they could simply do without it if they do not want to copy the MSG Seed design. I like the thrusters though, just not so sure about the spoilers lol.

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Installed the torso onto the rest of the completed parts… Still not very sure about the spoilers lol…

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HEAD
The head is quite an interesting piece as the v-fins are sort of like not v-fins but they are v-fins, just thicker and more like vents, vanes or blades, arrgghh, not sure what to call them lol. Apart for that little change, the face design is very much like the RX-78-2 Gundam. Bandai make the mouth piece with pre-cut vents, which is a nice carry over from the RX-78-2 v2.0 Gundam I built recently.

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One thing I would fault it is that the stickers for the eyes is quite difficult to apply if you go for the reflective foil sticker. I messed it up and had to apply the traditional front “eyes” foil sticker instead. For those who have built the Turn-A gundam, this is similar to the foil sticker behind the eye piece… just 10 times smaller and more fiddly. Anyway after throwing away the damaged reflective foil sticker and applying the other eye foil sticker, I mounted the head onto the other complete parts… Slowly getting there and taking shape 😉

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ARMS
The design and construction of the arms is very much similar to the legs as in it is modular and they are joint together in parts rather than being a 1 piece inner frame. One thing I do not really understand is why the shoulder pad armours’ mount is just half a circle when most shoulder pads I have encountered are full circles. Hopefully this will not have issues in the long term I hope.

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See what I mean about the arm being modular? I would prefer that the inner frame was a long piece and the armour would simply clip on rather than having this modular pieces.

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Upon test fitting one of the arms, I found that the arm would “pop” off when attempting to bend the elbow. this is because one of the pegs is too short and elbow being stiff (as it is new) and there is not enough fulcrum for the peg to be able to hold itself in when bending the elbow… What a crappy design, I guess I might have to take note of it when playing/posing the model in future so as to not accidentally pop it off as it might become weak in future if this keeps happening.

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Both arms installed after testing 😉

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WEAPONS
Weapons wise, the AGE-1 Normal Gundam is equipped with a standard shield which is attached to its arm utilizing a peg slot similar to the exia gundam’s peg and slot for it GN-Sword. Also its titular DOTS rifle, which can be rotated and the front removed to uncover the normal “beam pistol” which is useless against the Vagen MS in the early episodes of Gundam Age.

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It is also equipped with 2 beam sabers, located on the side skirts like the strike and impulse, which are able to vary its beam lengths. I am not sure if there is any need to vary the length as long or short, it is just going to cut through anything it gets in contact with and it is not going to be “stuck in the wall” if your beam is too long like a conventional sword lol.

COMPLETION
Well as this was a simple kit and not having too much gimmicks like the 00 Raiser Gundam or weapons like the FA Unicorn Gundam. The build was relatively straightforward and easy. A few things I didnt like about the kit are the modular parts which make up the legs and arms and also the design of the arm whereby it simply pops out of its socket. Also, am not sure about the spoiler lol. Overall i am still quite happy with it and it look very stylish with its pre-molded vents and futuristic design. Just have to be careful when posing/playing around with it though. Old meets New lol. A side by side picture of the very first Gundam and the Latest Gundam 😉

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Thanks for reading my extremely post… On to my next build then… 😉

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