Model Showcase – 1/100 Kampfer Kai

Just when you thought that I had gotten out of the habit of posting on Sundays, I reveal my trickery and unveil yet another non-40k model kit, perfectly capitalising on the 8th ed sort of anti hype. Today it’s the Kampfer Kai, which I can’t technically refer to as a master grade, since is a third party kit, meaning that it is flirting dangerously close to the illegal line, but since it is made by a Chinese company called Gogo, it is going to be around for ever. So unfortunately that means there is some explaining to do as to why I even bought this over the real master grade.

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This right here is the official Kampfer, and visually this mobile suit is one of my all time favourites, which makes it a real shame that the kit is around 16 years old, and as all saw with GP01, master grades from that era do not have thigh swivels age gracefully. Naturally I was quite bummed about this, until I heard that there was a third party kit that was essentially an updated MG Kampfer, and after watching a few reviews I went for it!

But that is where the normal stuff ends, since this kit is in fact a plastic mold version of a resin upgrade set to be used with the Zaku 2 2.0 (which is a right class act, if I do say so), which means that this is a Frankenstein’s monster of recast official Bandai parts and new parts which are built onto bits of the frame, like the arms above, to make it into a Kampfer. Thew, did we all get that?

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This has the bizarre side effect, as you will see later, that this is a massive model, and is far taller than the official version! Despite all this shady third party recast business, the kit is pretty solid, and the plastic quality is almost as good as the official stuff, albeit omitting perhaps a few health and safety regulations, being a little of the child murderingly sharp side in places, and it is the only kit where my hands hurt after each build session.

But enough prattling on about laws and other boring nonsense, finally we come to the assembled kit, and he is quite a looker! It retains all the key features of the Kampfer, whilst subtly changing up the proportions. In the fluff, the Kampfer is an assault suit, having very little armour so that it can go at ludicrous speeds and carry a frankly concerning number of weapons.

Posing it at this stage was interesting, since it holds together really well, except for the spacers in the waist area, which would pop off at the worst times. Fortunately, we don’t live in the alternate reality where glue is never invented, so once I had painted the area beneath, I could secure them.

One of the downsides of this kit is the weird colour separation, so despite having red pistons, the mono-eye has no clear piece, and not all the thrusters have the Kampfer’s iconic yellow inside them, requiring them (like the ones of the foot) to be painted. The chain mine (yes that is a chain of explosives, why do you ask Mr Health Inspector?) is a totally different colour to the proper one, and although that does bug me, there is no way I could be bothered to repaint the entire thing, so I ended up compromising.

I decided to try out using a dry transfer on this kit, since the chest just looked too empty without the Zeon symbol sitting proud, which quickly turned into using three dry transfers to eventually get it right. For those (like me, I can’t lie) not in the know, a dry transfer is like a water slide decal, but you apply pressure to the reverse side to get it to stick, which is waaay easier said than done, as I learned.

In some areas, like the leg, the inner frame is incomplete, as the thigh armour is built straight into it, but that did have the plus side of it not being comprised of as many assemblies when it came time to top coat it.

Speaking of top coats, I used a gloss for the first time on this guy, since the theory that I learnt was that if the mobile suit looks like a super car, it should be shiny, and I think the Kampfer Kai more than qualifies for that bracket! It looks superb, and really sets it apart from the flat coat I use most kits, like the ol’ RX.

I think I am now addicted to painting little details! If I am allowed to be super un-modest, his torso area looks gorgeous with all the added colour, from the thrusters, to the gray of the chest, and the white stripe on the crest. Now I have to go back to being hard on my work, so, er, I could have followed through and repainted the whole of the underside of the foot gray. That sure told me.

Looking more at the paint job, very rarely do I go for a specific look, but this time I weathered the kit with the intent of this being the Kampfer. In the entire Gundam franchise, only one Kampfer is seen in one show, and it is super awesome, being built in secret in the middle of an enemy colony. Then it pops out to ruin everyone’s day and destroy the show’s Gundam (called the Gundam Alex, I am dead serious), only (spoilers or whatever) to be annihilated by the Alex in a very realistically anti-climactic way. Therefore, it never really gets that damaged, right up until it gets totaled, so I wanted my Kampfer to look relatively fresh, with only minor scuffs and very little mud on it.

As I was saying earlier, this thing is a monster! It is meant to be roughly the same height as the RX, both hailing from the One Year War era. However I don’t might too much, since later mobile suits in the UC timeline routinely are this big, so he won’t look out of place in my collection amongst them (oooh teasing for later posts!). The articulation, as you can see on the arm, really isn’t hindered at all in most places, even though he has a winter coat of armour over the original frame. There are a few issues, like the knock off fingers are a little finicky compared to the proper ones, and…

…the mono-eye gimmick. To remind you all, the Zaku had this sweet thing where the eye tracked from left to right with the head as you turn it. The Kampfer, being based on the same internal head design, retains this feature, but there is a small problem…

The eye moves the wrong way! This has the unintentionally sinister effect that it will always be looking at you, but there is not way to adjust it so that the eye moves properly. This isn’t too much of an issue, since you can lift up the head section to turn the head without the eye going all mental on you.

The chain mine is a nightmare to pose, as all the individual mines are only slipped on, and so will slide up an down the wire at will. On the plus side, that really is the most difficult thing in my life at the moment, so I guess it isn’t too bad!

As far as other acessories go, he also comes with a par of oddly tiny fists and holding hands (not pictured, good job me) for the two shotguns. Additionally, there are two bazookas that can be mounted on the back, but don’t have tabs on the handles so they can’t be held, a bracket to put a shotgun on his bum, and two rockets on the sides of the shins (also not pictured, I are professional). Somehow, this actually means the Kampfer is incomplete, since the proper kit also comes with a single beam saber so that he can ‘show people how to fight’ (references, yay!), but the Kai does not have one. Honestly, I think I will survive somehow.

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And that is the Kampfer Kai! He is a mighty, beautiful looking mobile suit which I very pleased to own! Hopefully you all managed to endure the talkathon that was trying to explain exactly what it is! I already have next weeks item finished, so look forward to an almost guaranteed not going to be late post then! Thanks for attending Antagonists Anonymous!

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