This One Took a While: HG Full Armor Gundam (MSD)

Before anything else, I noticed that since MSD or Mobile Suit Discovery now covers both Gundam THE ORIGIN and Cucuruz Doan’s Island (and any other future production under this subset of the Universal Century), they’ve rebranded this variation series to simply Mobile Suit Gundam MSD instead of Mobile Suit Gundam THE ORIGIN MSD as it was previously referred to. Now, onto this kit!

This is another one of those mobile suits that took Bandai Spirits quite a while to make into a model kit (still waiting for that Perfect Gundam) but with the expansion of the MSD design variation series, it only made sense to finally get a proper HG kit of the Full Armor Gundam, initially from MSV and now tweaked to fit the Gundam THE ORIGIN aesthetic.

The shift from MSV to MSD doesn’t really mean much as far as the overall design goes as the kit still looks pretty much like the Full Armor Gundam most of us are familiar with — including that green color scheme that I don’t like, but more on that later.

Notice the ankle armor on the RX-78 Gundam unit? I bet they’ll eventually do an RX-78-1 Prototype Gundam using this mold as base.

The most notable change is that the underlying RX-78 Gundam unit inside is based on the Gundam THE ORIGIN version, which many consider as one of the best HG kits of the ‘grandaddy’ to date. If this was released as an MSV design, it would’ve used the HGUC ‘Revive’ version of the RX-78-2 as base. And as you can also see, if you want to purge the Full Armor parts, you can easily do so and reveal the RX-78 Gundam within.

To those unfamiliar, the Full Armor Gundam is part of the FSWS or Full Armor System and Weapons System plan, which aims to enhance the armor of the RX-78 type mobile suit. For this configuration, additional armor and weapons were added to the base mobile suit, and while the strength and firepower increased, it also significantly hampered its mobility. This led to the research team taking on a different approach and instead constructed a mobile suit with heavier armor on the get go instead of having additional parts. This became the FA-78-2 Heavy Gundam, which was also released as an MSD kit based on the Gundam Local Type.

Outside the added reinforced panels, several weapons were also added for this configuration, and these are all reflected in this kit. These include the multiple missiles on the chest and knee sections, the double beam rifle on its right arm, and the 360mm rocket cannon on its shoulder. It will also come with waterslide decals for all those markings you see in this solicitation photos.

Now, about that thing I mentioned regarding how I don’t like the green color scheme. It has become a convention in Gundam designs to have heavily armored mobile suits to be in this olive-green color. And as much as it fits whatever lore is given to explain this choice of colors, I still don’t like it. That’s why prior to the announcement of this kit, I already purchased a Robot Spirits figure of the Full Armor Gundam with the intent of replacing the base RX-78 unit inside with a G-3 Gundam figure and paint it in a dark navy blue or dark gray color scheme. I did something similar with the Full Armor 0 Gundam which you can see below.

I might still do my original plan with the figures since they would now be the MSV versions, and this kit would be the MSD one. In fact, I already played with the color scheme of the solicitation photos and did a color study of how I wanted it to look, as seen below.

Either way, this is a good kit and does open the possibilities of more RX-78 variants as part of Mobile Suit Discovery. Do remember that this is a Premium Bandai exclusive, so you know the drill.

HG 1/144 Full Armor Gundam
February 2023 / ¥3,000

Thoughts?

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