Go onto any gunpla forum, and sooner or later you’ll find a thread about the ‘best kit evar’ (a is optional), and like clockwork, one kit in particular will always get mentioned, with seemingly everyone spouting a seemingly endless amount of praise onto it. That kit is the Master Grade Sinanju, and today I am going to take about an hour of my life writing a post about why I hate it.
Remember this little fellow? Yes it’s Captain NSFW himself, Full Frontal (shame on anyone who googled him), in his tiny pilot glory. As you can see, I painted him before building the rest of the kit, instead of putting him in afterwards, since the Sinanju has a 360 degree cockpit, which is utterly impossible to get anything into once the kit is fully assembled.
No beating around the bush here, this is the Sinanju built straight out of the box, and those who remember last week’s little SD version of the big man, will notice two things. First, holy god that is a lot of accessories! Second, christ alive it looks terrible without all the gold! I was seriously rocked when I built it, since although I knew the gold had to be put on by hand, I wasn’t prepared for how much like a toy it looked without it!
As you can see, all the painting needed to bring this kit up to speed is well above the average! They give you a choice of either stickers or, believe is or not, water slide decals for the gold trim! Anyone who uses either of those is utterly insane! So that is why I practiced on the SD, using citadel’s Retributor Armour, since I don’t fancy having a mental breakdown. I was also shocked to realise that the thrusters are meant to be straight grey, which is super dull for such an ostentatious mobile suit, so naturally I had to do something about that!
Like all master grades, he has an inner frame, which allows me to show off the monoeye, which was also painted, like always!
Additionally, the missiles in the bazooka come as grey, but I fancied painting them up like all the pros do! Also, there is a little red band that goes around each of the fuel tanks, which are supplied as stickers, but we don’t use those sort of amateur things around here, so I rolled up my sleeves and got masking. For my first masking job, I think it went pretty well!
Fuck me that is a ludicrous number of parts! This is one of the reasons why I hate this kit, since there is so much of it! Usually a master grade will take once can of top coat in one spray session, but the Sinanju used 2 and a half in three sessions!
All glossed up and waiting for clothes!
A little twirl on the cat walk really shows off how beautiful this kit is when all finished! After I built it, I had a real crisis where I realised there were loads of little things I hated about the Sinanju’s design, like the pointy winkle picker toes and the unnecessarily spiky shoulder binders. However, with the gold and the gloss I have come back around to loving this guy! The idea behind the paint job was that as the leader of Neo Zeon’s personal suit, as well as being piloted by one of the best pilots, it was basically never going to get banged up, and being only deployed in space, dirt was not going to be factor, hence the mostly clean look.
All the painted areas done and dusted, and I am really pleased with the end result! Doing some Kampfer-esque yellow on the thrusters really ups the level on detail, and reduces the boring ‘dead areas’. Or I could have just said I like it, that works too.
We have a lot to cover on this kit, so I need to keep the pace fast. I love the opening cockpit, the three stages appeal to some part of me that adores things like moving knee armour. The thruster unit on the shin can also pop out and move around, and the wings open up when you pull on the middle sections. All very swanky stuff.
Next up are the weapons, and holy shit are there a lot of gimmicks in there monsters. The beam rifle looks very nice, and can open up to attach the included, er, thing. It looks to me like a grenade launcher, but apparently it is a shotgun or something. I don’t claim to know these things, I just know it looks cool when combined with the rifle.
Now the rifle is undeniably very rad, but the biggest issue with the Sinanju are the hands. Despite being articulated, which ticks my weird model kit hand fetish, they are the same as the Zaku 2 (why does everything come back to the Zaku…), which worked fine for that kit, but for the Sinanju its weapons are simply too big and heavy for their own good. This picture was achieved with a mix of wedging, blu tack, and luck, but even with that…
…most poses with the rifle end up like this.
But don’t worry, if the beam rifle is too big for you, you’ll be pleased to hear that the OVA version of the Sinanju comes with an even heavier, extendable bazooka (hyperness of said bazooka is unconfirmed). How big is it you ask?
Oh, and it can combine with the rifle too. Poor Sinanju has no chance of holding this with one hand, or even in an interesting pose with two.
Since the Sinanju is straight outta luck with its ranged weaponry, we come to the close combat stuff. The back of the forearm extends, to allow the beam sabers to protrude from the wrist. Without removing the cuff section, this totally scratches up the gold trim, so be warned of that amazing design choice. The instruction booklet informs me this is called a ‘beam tonfa’, but it could be pulling my leg for all I know. Also you can put them in it’s hands, but that is for losers (and people who remember to photograph it).
For those of you who find lightsabers on a 22 metre tall robot not hardcore enough, the Sinanju also sports a pair of beam axes, because that is also a thing in Gundam. Funnily enough, that is only the start of the ridiculous beam style weaponry *eyes glaze over with memories of G Fighter*.
Naturally in the theme of this kit, the axes can be combined in case the Sinanju feels like showing up the Gelgoog as a little bitch.
No, of course we aren’t done yet, the shield has a ludicrous amount of stuff to do as well. It can house the axes, mount on a special mount on the shoulder binders, and also turn into the most amazing weapon the Sinanju has, the shield axe thing!
Behold the majestic impracticality!
The grenade launcher (we’re going with that) clips into the shield, or if you’d prefer…
Yeah that is about as silly as I am prepared to go. Best of luck doing anything at all with that.
Goddamn we are finally done with accessories, at least I hope so! The Sinanju is an absolute monster in the height department, towering over all the other kits I have, save for the Kampfer, which is why I wasn’t too fussed about its height, since in the Sinanju’s era, after the third Neo Zeon war, pretty all much all mobile suits are about 20 + metres tall, so the Kampfer can hide amongst them.
Looking at pictures like this really gives the Sinanju a strong angel vibe, which got me thinking that I wonder if Zaku’s see the Sinanju when they die (in their hundreds .. of thousands, poor, poor Zaku’s).
My collection of completed Zeon (and Neo Zeon, for you sticklers) mobile suits.
But didn’t I say I hated this kit at the start? And yeah, I think I do stand by that, for the simple fact there are so many little things that annoy me. Although I can ignore the small visual elements I don’t like, now it’s finished, things like needing to hold a weapon to properly counterbalance the backpack, and the completely useless hands, detract from the overall experience and just make it a chore to handle, especially when the constant risk of chipping the all important gold gets factored in.
However at the end of the day, this is all balanced out by the fact that the Sinanju does look incredible in pictures, but knowing what I know now I wouldn’t have bothered with this version, and just stuck with the alternate, Federation version that I built first. Oh yeah, that is a teaser for about two weeks time (maybe), so as always thanks for attending Antagonists Anonymous!