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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review- Master Grade Sinanju

Kit Review- MSN-06S Sinanju
Click pictures for a slideshow!
Well, I bet you thought I would do RG Destiny Gundam next, didn't you? WRONG. To be honest, I kind of just want to get this one out of the way, considering I've had him for a while and I've been itching to show him off. Now, this review probably qualifies as nothing more than picture fodder, but who doesn't want more pictures of Sinanju floating around the internet? This kit is widely considered to be one of the best Master Grade releases, and it's not without good reason. Sinanju represents pretty much everything that is good-and evil- about the Master Grade line. You're hard-pressed to find a cheap Sinanju nowadays, but let's face it- with a kit this big, cheap is relative.
Sinanju obviously has the Sazabi motif going on, which also takes cues from Char's Zaku. But since it was created during the time of Unicorn Gundam, it's got some interesting design features. Katoki's design is pretty fantastic- with a certain regal quality mixed with organic, fluid armor. At the same time, you wouldn't want to poke Sinanju, either- he's got pointy parts all over him. The artistic flow from rounded to pointed edges is really cool, and the colors are just right- black highlights break up the panel-lined red portions, and the gold accents add great detail and draw the eye. There's also a bit of orange-yellow popping up all over the suit, and a dab of white on the back. Don't forget about that grey inner-frame and thruster detail, either.
A view of the back, showing off the small amount of white on the kit. One of the fantastic things about this kit is that it has so many separate parts that move that it practically panel-lines itself. As for the building experience, I can say this- as a representation of the Master Grade line, this guy is a long, tough build. I cant believe I built him twice (more on that later). He's got a very layered, complex inner frame, and has a good deal of part layering and armor shifting. He takes a couple cues from the Zaku 2.0 kit, using springs for four piping units and the gear system for his eye. Your mileage may vary when regarding Sinanju's building process, really, though doing everything twice is quite intense, as the single units themselves are tough to tackle. Also, the most aggravating aspect of the build is definitely the gold highlights. Now, if you want to paint or marker or use the dry transfers on these pieces, more power to you- but I chose to apply the stickers. They are extremely tough to put on, partially because of the size of the pieces you're applying them to, but also because some pieces require two or three stickers to cover them completely. Its rough. But the end result is fantastic- Sinanju's one of those kits you don't even have to dry transfer or paint for him to look good.
This picture doesn't even begin to detail the massive amount of articulation this kit really has- but it does show off the nice armor shifting in the lower legs. Sinanju is packed full of movement- and he features those lovely Zaku 2.0/RX-78 2.0 hands, which have fingers jointed in two places. I suggest being delicate with the torso movement- the waist swivel is prone to being much too tight. That's really my main grip with the entire kit- since it uses hard plastic and not "polycap" material for the joints, everything is very tight and prone to snapping if not handled correctly. However, it also gives the added friction and support needed to hold the weight of this kit. My first Sinanju stood under a hot lamp for too long and his joints got stuck.... his torso and hip joints snapped. So... I got another one.
Just another look at how many parts of this kit really do move- the backpack thrusters, shoulder thrusters, and back- and side-leg thrusters open up and move well. Also, the arm-guards shift open for several reasons, which we'll touch on later. For such a tall kit (and a deep-space mobile suit), it's no wonder he has so many thrusters- but the added bonus of them all being able to deploy and sit closer to the body is a very cool bonus.
Now, on to the accessories. Sinanju comes with two beamswords, his rifle, and his massive shield. Again, the detailing on the latter two accessories is really nice- although like some Master Grade releases, Sinanju has a hard time holding his weapons at times. The 2.0 hands are especially weak at gripping their accessories, and the small tabs on the inside of Sinanju's palms don't help much, either. Still, if you work them delicately and just right, you can get them in.
Another hindrance is the design, unfortunately. Sinanju's rifle is supposed to wrap around his hand but to hold in correctly is rubs up against his gold armor, causing it to pop out frequently. The alternative is to turn the hand ninety degrees, but then the elbow doesn't bend correctly to help him aim.
The cute little grenade launcher can be detached and held on it own- this also alters the shape of the rifle, which is really cool. While I like the entire gun combined, I must admit the rifle looks pretty sweet on its own.
As we continue to add on accessories, we see how the beamswords can be alternately positioned. This is a really cool feature that has a dual purpose- you can store the hilts within the arm guard and have them pop out the top to be grabbed, or they can slide through for this positioning. Again, the hilts have trouble staying in the hands because of the gold portion of the armor, so this positioning is a little better. There's some nice detailing on the beam portion of the sword, as well.
The shield attaches to the arm guard quite firmly for a simple clip, and stays very well. The grenade launcher can be stored on the shield, which is pretty cool. The rifle can be stored on the back of the skirt armor, but only with the grenade launcher detached. We'll just keep piling on the accessories...
I personally find this to be pretty impressive. The shield has two sliding portions of its own, which can be extended for the most ridiculous trick yet-
The kit also come with two beam shield pieces and two beam prong pieces, which can be placed on the shield for some pretty dramatic offensive capabilities. The beam prongs look far more useful in battle, to me. All four parts have some detailing on them, just like the beamswords. Here's Sinanju all accessoried-out!
These sliding mechanisms can be detached from the shield for use as handheld weapons- and can also be combined to create a double-bladed weapon. Again, these are hard to put into the hands- but if done successfully, they do look pretty damn cool. Now, after I broke my first Sinanju, I figured it would be cheaper to order another rather than get all the necessary runners for essentially the same price- so now, I have two sets of accessories, which means I can do crazy things like...
This. Which is awesome. Very, very awesome. I'm still impressed that it could hold this pose on tis own.
Is Sinanju worth it? Yes. It's absolutely worth it. It is the pinnacle of Master Grade design, and I don't think there's been a kit designed as well as it since its release. It's design is amazing from both an aesthetic and construction aspect, and it has enough bells and whistles to keep your posing fresh and fun no matter how long you have it on your shelf. However, don't forget to be wary of its intense build and joint stiffness. I would not recommend this as a "first Master Grade," but something to move onto after at least constructing the Zaku or RX-78 2.0 first, as it does follow their vein of complexity very closely. I've posted size-comparisons of it with Qan[T before, but the kit is really quite massive when completely assembled- large enough to dwarf a 1/144 like RG X-78.
Run for your life, little buddy.

This concludes this review! Keep an eye out for Koto Metabee, Figma Append Miku, RG Destiny Gundam, and Master Grade Epyon!

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