Saturday, May 02, 2009

HGUC 1/144 Sazabi [Review]

Ah finally, I hath received and completed the High Grade Universal Century 1/144 scale Sazabi, which is Char Aznable's personal mobile suit in the anime movie, Char's Counterattack.

The first thing one will note when the model is finished is that it is quite big. It is a 1/144 scale model, but it is closer to the size of a 1/100 model. Note the size comparison with a 1/144 Serpent Custom and a 1/100 Over Flag above.

Construction is rather simple, with 7 different runners of parts and 2 duplicate runners of the same runner, making the total 9. The primary colors it is molded in are two different shades of red, black, and gray. There are very few, small yellow parts and clear yellow parts for the beam sabers. The details are nicely molded, and requires very little painting, though of course, some panel lining will definitely make it stand out more. It comes with a puny sheet of clear stickers, which only includes the insignia on the shield, the front skirt, and the green main eye camera. Its lack of stickers is a good thing in my opinion.

Articulation is as expected of a 1/144 scale model of course, but it is definitely much better than the stiff bulky mess that is the master grade Sazabi. The legs spread wide enough for some posing, and the feet bend well enough for steady footing. And as you can see, the feet are really big, so standing won't really be a problem. The back skirt moves up and down slightly and the front skirts move.

The arm is pretty basic construction. The shoulder armor can move up and down and the vernier thrusters that are on the shoulders can move up and down. The elbow joint is nicely reinforced. There are four different hands. There are two closed fists, which are for holding the melee weapons. The palms have small pegs that go in the handles of the weapons for better grip. I have seen pegs like these used for other models, but these pegs actually snap into the handles of the weapons, so there is absolutely no problem with sagging weapons. There is a right hand with the finger out for holding the beam rifle, and an open hand for posing.

The torso has good detail and its construction is almost the same as the master grade, which really says something about the sophisticated construction of this high grade. The same can be said about the head. The eye can actually move side to side.There are two tanks on its backpack and two packs for its unique funnel bits. They open up to reveal the funnel bits. The ones that are stationary are connected to each other, but the kit also comes with six open bits. The thing that confused me about the open bits is that there is nothing to pose these bits for action poses. As you can see from the above photo, I made make-shift posing stands for the bits with the runner trees of the beam sabers. I simply snipped off the parts I needed and sharpened the ends so they fit into the pack and the bit parts. I think it worked out nicely.

This kit comes packing when it comes to weapons. It comes with the beam gun, which is just two halves and the small part for the barrels up front. Other weapons include two beam sabers, a uniquely shaped beam sword and a beam axe. I really like the clear yellow color, and the shape of the melee weapons look alot better than the typical straight shapes seen in other models. And of course, it comes with the huge, impressive looking shield.

I normally avoid 1/144 scale models, but seeing as how the HGUC line of models are of top quality, I had to get the Sazabi. My high expectations were well met. It has impressive size comparable to a 1/100, and good details with proportioning much better than its master grade counterpart. I am very happy with this model, and highly recommend it. I even recommend it over the master grade because of its superior articulation and more accurate proportions.