Written by Dawfydd Kelly on 15 Mar 2021
• Manufacturer Bandai • Price £17
One of the five mobile suits built by rogue scientists from the highly resistant Gundanium alloy, the Gundam known as Heavyarms is focused in on artillery and fire support, armed with an array of integral missile pods, cannons, and a heavy beam gatling cannon built into the shield mounted on it’s left arm. All of which pilot Trowa Barton can deploy with calm aplomb and acrobatic skill to face down his enemies.
“We’ve got a Gundam down here!!!” And with that, a meme was born!
OK, right off the bat I love this kit. Part of that is no doubt down to the fact that – as with many other anime fans of a certain vintage (gestures at the rest of the UK Anime Network team then ducks for cover) – Gundam Wing was my first real exposure to the Gundam franchise and it sets off pavlovian reactions (seriously, show me a clip from the show, play the opening beats of one of those banging intro themes – instant big smile on my face). But equally it’s just a really, really good kit that perfectly represents Gundam Heavyarms as it appeared in the majority of Gundam Wing at 1/144 scale with really very little effort required to make it look good.
The kit itself comes on 8 sprues of varying sizes & colours, plus 1 sprue of the ubiquitous polycaps and sheet of stickers. The build was pleasing in its simplicity, even accounting for Heavyarms loadout of concealed armaments, and it was a nice change for the arms to have specific instructions due to the Army Knife built into the right one, instead of just being told to build the same thing twice. For this kit each part was clipped off then the excess sprue filed down to a flat finish, the safety nubs snipped oof the ends of the v-fin, and the only detailing comes courtesy of the included sheet of stickers for the visor, head camera, markings on the chestplate, vents under the chest and on the front of the legs (aaand I’ve just realised whilst writing this that I missed off the black stickers for the crotch, butt-plate and shield - >_<), which do help break up the panels and add some colour variety.
Once completed you have a wonderfully sturdy representation of the Heavyarms, complete with opening doors that reveal the twin gatlings in the chest, and the missiles in the shoulders & legs, a nice snug swivel for the knife mounted on the right arm, and the Beam Gatling (whilst the barrels don’t rotate it does have a fold-out arm that can be used to brace it), and there is a mounting point on the suits backpack that can be used to store it. 6 pairs of hands are included as well; 2 open, 2 fists for holding and 2 holding hands that are angled slightly down and appear to be more of a holdover from the Sandrock as they are what allow for the distinct grip on that suits Heat Shottels. But options are always nice to have.
Colours are excellent, with the traditional white for the upper arms, legs, lower torso and majority of the head, overlayed with Heavyarms distinctive red for the waist armour, main torso, shoulders, forearms, helmet and shield, with orange on the front & back of the shoulders and around the chestplate, then a final dash of yellow on the front armour skirts at the waist, the aforementioned stickers under the chest, and the v-fin. Couple with the grey used on the majority of the joints and you get a look that is incredibly animation accurate.
And the joints. Oh my. This thing is just loaded. You’ve got all the stuff you’d expect – head & neck balljoint, bicep & wrist swivels, double-joints on the knees & elbows, ankle tilts, waist swivelsbut it’s the extras that set it apart – the arms plug into a socket in the torso that can swivel out & forward, the hips are on this hinge that can move positions down & to the front, then the torso not only has an extra balljoint midway up, but the whole torso sits on a hinge mounted to the butt-flap that can lift up to give you a crazy ab-crunch, Oh, and the toes can swivel up & down as well. And all those joints are nice and tight. You can pose this in a crazy number of ways and be assured that whatever pose you leave it in, it aint’ moving. I would strongly recommend grabbing a display base of some sort if you don’t already have any as this kit really demands it for some of the poses you can get out of it.
As for negatives? Well not much to report on that score to be honest. I can fully understand some may be turned off by how it duplicates the look of the Heavyarms as it appears in the main Gundam Wing show, as opposed to trying for a more “realistic” look, but the larger 1/100 scale kits cover that base. And to really be picky it’d have been nice to get the option included in this box to choose between giving Heavyarms the single Beam Gatling or the dual model it upgrades to for the latter half of the show. But given how Bandai held the Beam-Uzi for the Sandrock back from the main release for P-Bandai it does not surprise me. Disappointing, as these are the two suits who keep the most of their original loadout & design over the course of the whole series compared to the Deathscythe/Deathscythe Hell & Shenlong/Altron upgrades (Wing and Wing Zero being completely different suits), so something to keep in mind. I would argue though that the lower overall cost of this kit balances that out (and in fairness there has been no announcement of a P-Bandai version of this kit, it’s just my speculation based on prior form).
Overall though I cannot recommend this kit highly enough. It’s relatively cheap, goes together easily and looks great, which goes double if you have any other HGAC Gundam Wing kits (or even some of the Wing Real Grade kits). And this is a point that I think deserves mentioning – Gunpla can be incredibly daunting to get into, and if you want to collect a specific series or timeline some of them are dense. Wing though? Well if we are talking the current HGAC range then there are only 6 kits out so far – Wing, Wing Zero, Sandrock, Heavyarms, the Maganac and the Leo (Deathscythe coming in 2021), RG handling the Tallgeese (Wing Zero and Wing are available in that line as well) with P-Bandai covering the Air & Space-type Leo’s, the Leo full weapon set, and the Veyaute & Mercurios. That’s actually kinda nice for how compact the range is. And honestly if they end up doing the rest of the “grunt” suits? Sign me right up. Heaven help me when they get to the Epyon…
You can purchase your own Gundam Heavyarms from these sites (keep in mind HLJ ships from Japan, so whilst prices may seem cheaper than the UK sites listed here, you will pay much, much more for shipping, and likely import duty too):
Hobby Link Japan
Wargamer. Anime fan. Giant robot enthusiast. Congenietal absorber of science fiction & fantasy. Dawfydd is most definitely too old for this ****, but see's no point in stopping now. If only he could cut down on his use of the words 'dude' and 'groovy' in everyday conversation...
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