Review by Rob
The UGY-R41 Man Rodi is a compact Mobile Suit appearing in the latest chapter of the Gundam franchise, “Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans” currently airing on television and streaming online for western audiences.
This sample was brought to us by BlueFin Distributors and is available now at Entertainment Earth and Amazon!
“A LoL-Tomino waiting to happen.”
Like most of the Mobile Suits in “Iron-Blooded Orphans,” with exception to the EB-06 Graze, the Man Rodi is a mass-produced leftover from the Calamity War from 300 years prior to the show’s beginning.
The Man Rodi is built over the compact “Rodi” MS-Frame, a highly versatile, economic model that can be outfitted with various types of armor or weapons depending on its use. Even with its short stature, the machine still possesses an Ahab Reactor (protruding through its back) of a full sized Mobile Suit.
The Man Rodi was built with heavy armor and multi-directional thrusters for use in deep space. They were controlled by the “Brewers,” a group of Space Pirates attempting to capture Kudelia Aina Burnstein from her armed escort group, Tekkadan on their way to Earth from the planet Mars.
The Brewers used the Man Rodi as support units for the larger Gundam Gusion, acting as distraction and baiting targets into range of their ship.
What makes the Man Rodi more tragic than menacing is they are piloted by “Human Debris,” the name given to trafficked people, most times children who are used as disposable soldiers and openly abused labor, or worse.
The 1:144 scale High Grade Man Rodi is the ninth model for “Iron-Blooded Orphans,” released in late 2015 to coincide with its appearance in the series in real time.
The box art of the High Grade model kits for the series shows a poster shot of the Mobile Suit and the face of its pilot in the corner.
In the Man Rodi’s case, this actually spoiled an expected revelation with its pilot being Masahiro Atland, the younger brother to Akihiro Atland, Tekkadan’s second Mobile Suit pilot and former Human Debris himself after he and his brother were separated years earlier.
Out of the box, the Man Rodi is built from four plastic runners molded in a familiar ‘Zeonic’ color scheme of green and dark green plastic for its armor while its joints are molded in violet hinted gray plastic. The model comes with a set of parts in dark gray plastic for its machine gun and the piece for its eye.
Sadly there is no molded detail for the eye’s camera lens, but a set of foil stickers.
By design, the eye is suppose to swivel, like some other kind of mono-eyed machine, and so the decals represent the option of being centered or angled off to one side.
There really is not that much of a demanding need for painting this model and it looks great right out of the box.
While the model is molded in its final colors, I still found myself adding just a little bit of paint to match the frame color on the pads of its feet and the joints that connects with the shoulder armor.
I used flat black acrylic to paint the vents on its surface and the bands around the forearms, correcting the rest of the panel lining with a Gundammarker.
I also painted the Hammer Chopper with silver acrylic for its blade and Engine Gray for the body of the weapon. As a small finishing touch, I added the red-dot sight onto the front of the machine gun.
One of the extra steps I took before I started building, was I cut the front skirt armor in half down the middle to make the plates move independently.
The Man Rodi is a unique little model kit to itself and its simplistic construction makes it the perfect model for building a small army.
It uses the same style of polycaps Bandai adapted for the High Grade models from “Gundam Build Fighters and later “Revive” series.
However, compared to other High Grade models from the series such as the Gundam Barbatos which can use parts from the Graze, the Man Rodi has no interchangeable features to use on other model other than sharing its weapons.
It is interesting how Bandai was able to make a fully articulated and compact moving skeleton for the limbs inside the armor.
The model’s armored bulk is very lightweight and hollow, but gives off the illusion of the mass very well.
The model continues the aesthetic theme of the Mobile Suits from “Iron-Blooded Orphans” having exposed mechanical parts such as its midsection and the turbine of its Ahab Reactor on its back.
Fully built, the Man Rodi stands just over 4 inches tall, and is a stocky, short model compared to any other 1:144 scale model kits.
It’s bigger than a Petit’gguy...
…but that doesn’t stop my Parts holder from being a jerk while I was painting the Hammer Chopper.
There’s really no other way to say it, but the Man Rodi looks like a bull frog.
A fat bulky bull frog armed with a machine gun and a meat cleaver.
On the other hand, it looks like the Man Rodi’s designer, Ippea Gyoubi, made a fat version of Kanetake Ebikawa’s Savage from “Full Metal Panic!”
The model is still just as articulated and balanced as a larger Gunpla, but it loses some movement thanks to the design of its feet.
Since it is just a Human Debris controlled grunt model, the Man Rodi doesn’t come with any accessories other than its weapons.
As “Iron-Blooded Orphans” has shown, beam weaponry does not exist (yet) and so the Man Rodi is equipped with a machine gun and a physical melee weapon called a “Hammer Chopper.”
The weapon gets its name from the heavy hammer on the back side of the cleaver blade.
Both the Machine Gun and the Hammer Chopper can be stored on a slide-out cradle on the rear skirt, but the model looks fine swinging both around simultaneously.
The Man Rodi is a fun, simple little model that fits into the series’ release schedule and perfect for army building. A tragic, yet well made addition to the “Iron-Blooded Orphans” collection even if you can’t get over that it looks like a bull frog.
Comments3 comments posted
Keroro Gunsou loved Gundam so much that he became a Mobile Suit.
My one complaint is that I think it looks too similar to the Mocks from Build Fighters... which wouldn't be too bad if the Mock wasn't a big shelfwarmer in my local comic book stores.
I'm interested to see how Bandai releases the Worker Rodi seen in the recent Dort arc. I could see it as an online exclusive but the color and equipment changes look extensive enough to warrant a full release.
Now that you mention it, I didn't see any mold 'addition' marks on the runners, but I wouldn't put it past Bandai to make Spinner Rodi models at some later time.