Just when I was beginning to lose hope in a new GM design arriving, my prayers are answered with the arrival of the Powered GM. What a beauty it is. Being a test bed unit makes the orange color forgivable, but I never realized how far these GMs have come until I assembled this kit. Will all be saved for GM lovers out there in the realm of HGUC?
The head of this kit is awesome. With its design resembling a more tuned up GM, it already looks great to begin with. Add in the nice transparent green lens cover and a separate piece underneath to show all the optical sensors, this GM has it going. Great details round it out, but the optical sensors really make this kit come alive. Like the saying goes, it's the little things that count.
The torso is another great addition to this kit. The polycap that holds the head gives it amazing flexibility, allowing the head to look forward and down. In other words, it can actually move its neck and rotate its head like a normal person, making for some great posing potential. The points where the arms attach are designed similar to the HGUC Gundam's, so the arms can flex forward. Detailing is nice on the front and on the back of the upper body. They even made the beam saber detachable. Unlike the original RGM-79 HGUC kit, the saber is like that of the Gundam's. This translates into you being able to use a separate hand to hold the detached saber and insert the transparent beam into it.
Only bad part is the saber rack is molded in white and the kit wants it orange, so you'll have to paint for authenticity. Another complaint, though minor, is the way the lower portion attaches to the orange upper body. It's superior to the HGUC Hazel's design but leaves a small gap. Nothing serious, but it would be nice if it was just a bit more snug so not to let the discriminating observer see the small tinge of orange in the shadows of its midsection.
The arms feature a double joint in the elbow, allowing for some amazing weapon holds with the hyper bazooka, bullpup machine gun, or beam saber. Instead of using the attachment the Zaku I and Hazel used (using a rounded peg that is encased in the upper shoulder) it goes to the more traditional style found in the War in the Pocket HGUC GMs (upper shoulder has a peg descending that the lower unit inserts into). This makes painting much easier as you can separate the parts at any moment. Only bad part is that the lower arm is permanently attached to the elbow joints, so you have to wrap it up to protect it from over spray (assuming you paint these kits like I do). The elbow piece ends in a female plug for the shield rack. More on that later.
The bad part is the hands. The left hand is great. It's an open hand with a flexing wrist, allowing for it to grab the hyper bazooka and steady it or to flex back to being straight. This is done by placing a joint in the wrist beyond the normal hand to ball joint connection. Now the right hand is another nightmare. Bandai is using a different type of gray plastic. I first met it when I build the Advanced Hazel. The hands are more skeletal and machine-like, but they lose their connectivity when holding a weapon. The male and female ends just don't line up proper and the hand always feels loose with a weapon, often splitting the seam at the front knuckle. Eventually this leads to the weapon dropping. It forces you to glue the hands together, and there is no second hand for the machine gun You have to decide if you want to burn the hand up with what weapon and then stick to it. No changing the hand later down the line to another weapon for display. The beam saber hand is a bit tighter. It's like the softer plastic being used in the elbows and knees is too soft for the intricate and tiny plastic of the thumb and fingers, resulting in warping. It's flipping annoying. Almost like Bandai is trying to get you to buy something else…
The legs are great. Bandai has removed polycaps from the knees, making it all a soft gray set of plastic parts that allow for greater movement range. Another great bonus is the knee armor is removable, allowing you to see the inner workings of the knee joint. It's another great little addition that makes this kit shine. The feet features a joint in the ankle and in the actual foot, creating great flexibility for the whole leg. Only pose you can't really do is the kneel and shoot. Tons of details are another plus.
The skirt armor is pretty simple, giving the feeling that you could attach a piece to hold the machine gun There is no room for a storage rack on the backside as the thrusters in the rear end and the backpack would bounce it off and limit poses severely. Underneath the armor, as demonstrated in the picture, is a slot to allow you to display this GM on a stand, simulating flight mode.
Of course they don't give you a stand with the kit. It's like Bandai wants you to buy something…
As mentioned before, there are three weapons (bullpup machine gun, hyper bazooka, beam saber). All pose great… if not for those damnable hands. Still, after applying glue…they sit fine and will allow you to pick and pose whatever way your heart desires.
The shield sits on a new (if you haven't sampled it in the HGUC Hazel kits yet) rack system. Instead of a ball joint or peg extending from the piece attached to the arm, it now uses a slide system. The arm holds a set of two slides that allow a round piece attached to the shield to slide on to whatever side you would like to pose the shield from (side or rear of the arm). No more grips that don't really line up with the hands. The grip is carved into the shield but not accessible. No big loss at all. Best part is, this works great and allows for a much quicker change up of the shield arrangement than previous versions have.
Decals…there are none. You get a few terrible stickers, but that's it. I'd advise investing in the waterslide aftermarket decals Bandai released for the Stardust Memory Gundams. They work just as good with the GMs as they do the Gundams. It also adds some nice touches to the kit.
This is an awesome kit. Everything is great…except for those damn hands! Remember how I mentioned it seemed like Bandai wanted to force you into buying something. Well, B-Club has a bit of a kick for aftermarket manipulators (hands) and kit upgrades. These upgrades give you all the poses for your hands you could want (a hand for each weapon, too). It also has upgrades for the feet and shoulders, if you'd like bigger thrusters in the feet and shoulders that popped open . They're about $20. The new hands on these latest HGUC kits are very detailed. It's the damn plastic the Gundams use that causes the problem. The HGUC Zaku I doesn't have this problem with its hands. They're molded in a different plastic, too. Maybe Bandai should think about that before trying to rip us off. Of course there's no money in doing that…
All in all, I love this kit. Hate the hands, but love this kit! I recommend it to anyone, just remember the hands. I sure do. Stupid hands.