Redemption for Wufei! Hobby Next Phase 2022 Spring: HGAC Shenlong Gundam

How did we get here? Why does the reveal of this upcoming kit come with a redemption for a certain character? What did Wufei do wrong? Well, that’s just me trying to be overly symbolic of this announcement but yes, we are finally completing the five Gundam Wing boys with the announcement of the HGAC Shenlong Gundam.

Say what you will, but I really like Shenlong Gundam. It may share the same gimmicks as Dragon Gundam from the series prior, but this one is a more realistic take on pretty much the same concept. Not to mention that tricolor scheme that most lead Gundams have. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said with its pilot, Wufei Chang. Many found him unlikable and borderline misogynistic. I guess that impacted the decision to release the HGAC Shenlong Gundam as the last one among the original five. Nevertheless, we are finally getting this kit, regardless of how jerk of a character Wufei is supposed to be.

I’ll say it again, I really like how Shenlong Gundam looks. In fact, I like it much more than Gundam Heavyarms. And this kit perfectly brings this design into modern Gunpla standards. For starters, I do hope those green jewel pieces on the front shoulder armors are actual plastic parts rather than just stickers. Same with the blue trim on the still the shoulder armors, and they seem to be if you look at the little part of the inner side that’s seen. I do expect painting some details, including the gray bits on the Dragon Fang and the shield, as well as the white parts on the side armors.

On that note, let’s focus on the Dragon Fangs, the signature feature of this mobile suit. It works on a basic concept, with segments folding and compressing into the shoulder armor unlike the Dragon Gundam or even the Endless Waltz version of its upgrade. You can display the Dragon Fang in its collapsed or deployed states by simply extending the arm segments. But in addition to this, the kit will also include extra parts you can connect between the joints of these pieces, allowing a much longer Dragon Fang attack, which is also accurate to how the animation model looks at times.

As a close combat oriented mobile suit, they also placed relevant articulation to properly replicate its attacks from Gundam Wing. Much emphasis is placed on torso articulation to allow upwards movement of the arms and wider range of backward torso leaning, so that you can do its signature over-the-head beam glaive rotating pose. I also assume it will have the same shifting hip joint that the other HGAC kits have.

When the HGAC Wing Gundam came out in 2013 as part of the HG All Gundam Project, no one expected that after almost 10 years, we would finally get the complete set of the original five Gundams in the HGAC line. Granted, most of them came within the last three years or so and engineering has since evolved. As for me, I only got the Sandrock and have yet to see a Deathscythe locally. If I were to complete this set, I’ll probably get the Heavyarms last since I just the design and colors too out-there. In any case, I am definitely putting pre-orders on Shenlong over here, and am hoping it won’t take long for an HGAC Altron Gundam in the release pipeline.

HGAC 1/144 Shenlong Gundam
September 2022 / ¥1,500
Order via HobbyLink Japan

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