Time for another HGUC review, this time featuring the Bawoo. A very interesting love child of the Zeta Gundam and Gyan, how will this early HGUC transformable model kit hold up years after its release? Shall I just get on with it?
The head of the Bawoo is simple but detailed. It has a sticker to cover the ABS plastic part that makes up the power cable and monoeye. It would be simple to drill out to put in a colored piece of translucent plastic for added detail, but just painting on an eye works nicely. The ABS substitutes for the need of a polycap piece in the head . With the other kits I’ve put together capable of transformation (HGUC), this is pretty common. Moves smoothly but is not capable of looking up.
Detailed and the home of the majority of the transformation pieces for the Attacker and the lynch pin to connect the Nutter to the upper body. All the parts integrate very nicely together, allowing the smooth kick out of the Nutter while the head slips into the chest and the downward motion of the shoulders folding in to place the arms underneath the main body of the Attacker. In the area behind the Attacker’s nose piece, a slot can be found to insert the beam rifle. Another slot in the wing binders/rear fuel storage holds the shield during transformation. It grabs the shield too well and won’t release easily.
A few complaints, though minor, are the wing binders. They rest upon two ball socket polycaps (normally used in the hips) giving them a great amount of freedom in movement. Unfortunately, it’s hard to align them properly during Attacker mode. I can get them close, but they always look off during closer scrutiny. The second complaint is widespread in this kit, voids in the plastic. I’m not sure why Bandai does this, but they leave voids in the plastic for either cost cutting or weight adjustment. Not too big of a deal, but it can be seen in the shoulder joints, the wrist grenade launcher storage, the wing binders, and the feet. The feet suffer the most from this problem, though.
Good movement from the arms and lots of details, from the grenade launchers to the power cables all the way up to the shoulder armor. I’m guessing that the beam sabers are stored in the wrists as they appear to be molded there (not detachable). The shield attaches to the forearm via a slot in the grenade launcher piece. It releases easier than the piece in the upper body for transformation but still holds strong. Three hands are included (left and right fists, right hand beam rifle holder). There is a lot of play in the rifle but it does hold in the hand. Beam sabers tend to fall out easily, which is common place in all the earlier HGUC kits. You will have to paint for accuracy in the elbows as there are no individual elbow covers like most HGUC kits use (think the Hyaku Shiki, it uses the same model concept). Unlike the Shiki, the Bawoo doesn’t have as defined of an area for the elbows so you have to take a stab in the dark when guessing where to stop painting.
The lower body is the Nutter part of the kit. Legs sit nicely when transformed with a slight bend in the knees that’s intentional. I still tend to try and straighten it out of habit. An exposed polycap holding the small wings in the skirt armor detracts slightly from the kit. You can paint it gray or black, if you want, or paint it orange to integrate the pieces. Transforming the Nutter is simple and requires some very easy twists of the hips and folding of the feet to achieve the final form. If the Nutter possesses any weapons, I haven’t found them yet, besides Nutter puns.
Biggest problem is the feet. They are hollowed out for whatever reason. In fact, they’re almost too light and fold in too easily sometimes. This destabilizes the kit since the wing binders are so heavily weighted. I filled in the heel with no negative affects on Nutter transformation. The feet don’t like to move a lot in the ankles compared to many HGUC kits, so you’re kind of stuck on posing due to these issues.
A beam rifle, beam saber, and shield are included. The five barrels of the mega-particle guns in the shield aren’t too defined on the side guns. It can make detailing the bits difficult, but not impossible. Saber requires paint since it‘s only one solid color, but I’d opt for the rifle in displays. The rifle needs to have a folding grip. When in Attacker mode, the grip hangs down, making the Attacker unstable and always rocking side to side. Missiles are included for the wings that can be turned for display during Attacker mode.
Odds are you won’t fall in love with displaying the Bawoo in its Attacker and Nutter forms. Neither has a great way to be displayed. For the most part, it’s a gimmick that works very nicely but is not functional. If Bandai would have released stands specific to this kit (think HGUC’s Asshimar or Gaplant), then it could have been done. Aftermarket stands can’t function with this kit, either, unless you want to drill out the bottom and insert a screw. This is due to the polycaps that replace the hip ball joints for allowing transformation being too tight against the pelvic region and a very large thruster being placed dead in the center get in the way. The kit requires lots of little paint details to really make it ‘pop,’ but you’ll be glad if you put the time in to add these things.
Overall, it’s a solid kit with neat features and a rather humorously named lower half (don’t say you haven’t made any Nutter jokes). At a cheap price, it’s worth the time and effort. You could go with the Mass Production version colors if orange turns you off, but you’ll end up with the same kit.