Gespenst Mk-II M Kai
Review by Dkun
If you're a fan of giant robots, it's no doubt that you know what Super Robot Wars is. But if you don't, Super Robot Wars is a series of videogames that often include famous anime characters like Gundam or Mazinger and has them fight together and spectacular fashion. However despite that, the company that makes these games, Banpresto, often includes their own original mechs and character designs as well. One of the most well recognized designs is the Gespenst Mk-II.
This is a 1/144 model kit of the Gespenst Mk-II M Kai. It's a modified version of the normal Gespenst. This version specifically is used by Kai Kitamura and specializes in close-combat. I'm going to try something a little bit different with this review and show some pictures of construction and comment on it. After all, building a model kit's one of the most important parts.
As with all model kits, you start with an open box filled with sprues and runners. From looking here it's just like any other model kit, and you couldn't tell the difference of if it were from Bandai or Kotobukiya. However there are a few small differences that really make Kotobukiya's kits stand out more.
One major thing is that for certain small details like pictured about, parts will have paint and details already done. While this isn't as evident with the Gespenst, other model kits will have painted faces and parts that really make these kits more convenient at times.
Another major difference in this kit from the Bandai ones is that very often you will get two of the same frame. Bandai kits would often have their models have a left and right left with separate similar parts. For Kotobukiya though, the parts are exactly the same and have the exact same construction for both legs, arms, weapons, and several other things.
However there's one thing that I don't like about these models. These models come with several hands. You get your closed fist, open fist, splayed hand, and palm hand. Un fortunately, you need to put all of these together yourself. It's a lot of work and pain that could have been avoided by molding them into single pieces. Although they are very nice hands, I will give Kotobukiya that.
Here's a look at the finished leg construction. It looks pretty decent and does bring up a point that I like about this kit. There's a lot of small details such as the vents on the front shin and the side skirt armors that are all casted in separate colors. It makes the model look much less monotonous, something which Bandai kits are quite guilty of when it comes to basic construction.
And now here's the final constructed piece! Err... not too impressive, is it? Let's fancy him up a bit.
So, into the actual kit as a toy. Gespenst is a very solid and bulky model kit. Every joint feels solid and tight, and turns nicely. The elbows, legs, and feet are all double jointed. Although the thigh's joint has a very small degree of turning, the shin's turning joint has a much larger range of motion that easily makes up for it.
Gespenst has a small part of articulated wings. While they may seem dinky in the model, these parts actually allow the Gespenst to fly in Super Robot Wars. The verniers on the back are also articulated on a ball joint and can be pointed in any direction. The two large gray pieces are actually weapons in the game known as Split Missiles. Usually these would shoot off and several missiles would spray off at the enemy. Unfortunately these pieces can do that or come off. However they still do make a very cool looking backpack.
The Gespenst come with two armaments. A machinegun and a shotgun. The shotgun is quite impressive and molded in a very dark grey. Although a bit unwieldy in one hand, the open hand can be used to hold onto it with snuggly.
And then, there's the machinegun. I... this is a really dinky little gun. Mind you that when the Gespenst uses this gun in Super Robot Wars, it's usually SD and looks rather small and disproportional to begin with. But this is a bit ridiculous I think. It could have been molded to be bigger.
The last real weapon that Gespenst has are mounted on its arms. The set of three stakes are known as plasma stakes. These are charged with energy and the Gespenst punches its enemies while discharging plasma. Standard Gespensts have this mounted on their left arm, but since this is Kai Kitamura's custom Gespenst, he's upgraded his with two. While you can't do much with these, there's still a good bit of fun posing you can do.
(Skip to about the 1:30 mark to see Kai and the Gespenst Mk-II M in action)
One thing that I found that was new on the Gespenst was that in his hip section there was a small panel that could be removed revealing a hole. This is new on the Super Robot Wars model kits and can be used with the Kotobukiya model kit stand. However I don't have one, so I tried using a Bandai base. It gets the same effect down and makes this model all the more dynamic.
In terms of construction and aesthetics, Kotobukiya model kits are very nice. They are much sharper and match the colors of the original line art a bit better than Gundam model kits do. The Gespenst is a solid model kit who is nice and has a good weight to it as well. If you want a different aesthetic and style from a mobile suit, but still want to build an engaging and intuitive model kit, Kotobukiya's Super Robot Wars line is an excellent place to go to.
|Posted 5 November, 2009 - 20:12 by Dkun|