Series: High Grade (HG) 1/144
Title: RGM-79[G] GM Sniper
Release Date: 10/1999
Suggested Price: ¥ 1000
No. of Parts: 106 plastic + 2 translucent beam sabers + 22 polycaps + 1 red adhesive plastic lens Plastic colors: dark green, gray, translucent red Gimmicks: inclusion of sniper rifle and Apsalus III mini model with large assortment of weapons
Back into the swing of things with another kit from years gone by. This time it’s the HG 1/144 GM [G] Sniper from the 08th M.S. Team. Sure, it’s almost a decade old, but how will it rate against the newer kits I’ve put together? Perhaps something interesting happened when I started building this kit that really impressed me? Let’s find out.
The head is a simple two piece assembly that rests upon a polycap typical of the 90s 1/144 Gundam model kits. Its range of motion is limited to left to right movements as the short neck doesn’t allow for much up and down motions. Paint is needed to bring out the sensor shield of the ‘eyes’ location or use the included sticker.
A common problem with the plastic of these 90s kits are warping and very lightly detailed panel lines. The head is a prime example of this dilemma. Around the, for lack of a better way to put it, ‘ears’ are very tiny details. If they were grooved a bit deeper I would have been able to detail them, but they weren’t, so I had to leave them blank. The paint job concealed a lot of details throughout the whole kit.
Very simple torso design but functional for the model kit. Nothing moves as you would find in modern HGUC kits and requires painting for the exhaust vents on the chest. Unfortunately the shoulder need the flex of HGUC designs to properly wield the sniper rifle since the arms don’t have the level of motion necessary to pull off many poses. The front chest does have the pilot access panel that can open. There are no details except a poorly molded seat that sits in a plastic depression. You’ll never open it so don’t worry about it. A final problem is the sticker for the chest. Unlike the Mass Production Gundam (RX-79) kits from the 1/144 HG line, the GMs don’t have any carved in details like the triangle on the chest and legs. I have no clue why they opted to do this but it is a big let down since you either have to make a waterslide decal, cheat it and use the sticker as a guide to paint over, or free hand paint it.
The standard 90s arms are used here with the exception of the hands. The arms don’t have the multiple pieces of plastic rotating around a central shaft like many HGUC kits now use. If you ever put together any of the 1/144 X, Wing, G, or 0080 kits, you’ve dealt with these elbows. Though it works, you need to paint the gray to finish the elbow connection to the upper arm details. Also, many of these kits suffer from the polycap being too loose in its peg holes. A big problem if you want to keep the weapons aimed up. Painting helped fix this problem but what a pain.
The right and left hand are molded plastic, no more polycaps for hands. In fact, this marks the end of polycaps in 1/144 HG kits. The hands are crude in design, mostly just a few rounded lines representing bent fingers or very thin cuts to represent the break of finger joints. The kit includes enough hands to handle each of the weapons individually instead of one hand that can be broken apart to handle multiple weapons. I wish Bandai would go back to this with the advent of the ABS plastic that almost always requires glue to keep the hands around the weapon. Hands hold the many weapons well and for the most part the elbows allow enough bend to properly display the weapons over the shoulder. The bazooka does not meet this criteria and must be pushed to the left or right of the elbow, something the right hand does not enjoy. Another problem is the special hand for the sniper rifle. It doesn’t hold well at the front, often splitting the two pieces forming the front of the fingers. You won’t see it unless you look but it is a problem that aggravates me.
The left arm holds the shield in a shallow plastic hole. It stays on rather well but will become loose if you mess with it too much from plastic on plastic grinding.
The legs of this kit are pretty basic but very advanced compared to the other 90s 1/144 kits. The major advancements are in the feet and the knees. Instead of leaving an exposed polycap for the knees, Bandai chose to encase them in a set of plastic parts, thus making it look more like a mechanical joint versus a toy piece. It’s very solid and looks great. The feet no longer require a huge amount of taping to paint the tops (though you don’t have to in this kit but I did). Instead Bandai opted to make the two parts separate, allowing for the lower part (which in the normal RGM-79 [G] is orange) to be worked and painted separate from the top bit (which in the normal RGM-79 [G] is off white). I love this and have been loving it ever since.
Now the bad and it’s all in the hips (and ankles). The polycaps from the 1/144 Wing and X series kits are the same polycaps used in the 08th M.S. Team kits. These are not very strong polycaps and will tear or become very loose from misshapen ball joints. I’ve actually replaced the hip joints in this kit before due to tearing and the ankle joints because of too much play resulting in the kit crashing forward. Another bad part is the lack of flex in the legs for posing. This kit and its sniper rifle and missile launcher almost beg to be in the kneeling position. This kit just can’t do that and with weak polycaps, tugging and forcing those positions can do serious harm.
A plethora of weapons are available for your GM’s Zeon slaughtering merriment and glee. Two beam sabers with translucent red blades, a 100mm machine gun, a three pod missile launcher, bazooka, and sniper rifle are there for your customization. Throw in the shield, which is functional though woefully under detailed, and you have enough of a reason to buy this kit. These weapons all work with modern HGUC kits, so go ahead and give your GMs a few new weapons or shield options. They’re all nicely detailed and fit in well with the level of detail in the HGUC.
And then there’s the Apsalus III mini model. Not much to put together (7 parts total) and it’s an unknown scale. You’ll need to paint it because it’s molded in the wrong colors and there are no stickers to short cut with. It’s a nice little kit just to practice fine details. That’s about all it’s good for.
I’d say this kit is worth the price alone for the weapons set. I opted to use it as practice for applying a wash and weathering. It has a great amount of flaws. Usually people will try to take you for a ride on the price, but as long as you pay only a few bucks more for it versus the standard GM [G], you’re doing all right. If you’re looking for a 1/144 GM Sniper kit, this would be the kit I’d advise you to grab versus the B-Club GM Sniper Custom. On the other side, I might wait on that purchase, too. With the Blue Destiny-1 being released, I have a feeling a RGM-79[G] HGUC kit might not be too far away. We’ll have to wait and see. Of course, you could hope to find the B-Club upgrade parts for this kit, too, but you’ll pay blood and there’s no guarantee the upgrades are worth a crap, anyway.