Gunpla 101 Kit Review: SDEX-Standard RX-78-2 Gundam

Reviews

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It’s SD Week! This week at Gunpla 101, we’re be giving Gunpla’s littlest kit size a lot of love with a review every week day. Review #3 comes from Mario Lebel, reviewing the SDEX-Standard RX-78-2 Gundam, a special kit designed solely for overseas fans.


First Impressions

The SDEX-Standard line of Super Deformed kits was designed exclusively for sale outside of Japan and since the fall of 2015, a number of kits have already been released. So far, all of the kits have been of models piloted by the protagonists of some of the most popular Gundam series. Like most new lines of Gunpla kits, the first model to be released in the SDEX line was the RX-78-2 Gundam, which I’ll be reviewing today.

Color and Design

Who doesn’t love the classic design of the RX-78-2? Even though we’ve had dozens of really sleek reimaginings of this original design, the granddaddy of all Gundams still holds his own when compared to new models. I personally really love this design. It’s functional and you can see that it as a well-balanced machine of warfare. It’s also very stylish and well proportioned. There are many simple elements that have become iconic elements of mobile suit design and the SD EX version keeps most of those intact, which makes for a good looking kit.

The proportions of this model are less deformed than other SD kits. The head is smaller and it looks less distorted. It’s basically a cuter and shorter version of the RX-78-2 that we’re used to seeing. It’s a little smaller than the other SD kits I built for SD Week and somehow it manages to have better articulation, too. Maybe that can be attributed to the fact that it’s not as bulky as the other models. I like it as I find this kit looks better than the other SD models I’ve built.

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Surprising nobody, the colors are the classic red, blue, yellow, and white. Unlike the SD Build Strike Gundam Full Package, the color separation here is pretty good. All of the large pieces are molded in the appropriate color and it’s mostly the smaller details which are achieved with the use of stickers. All of the stickers are relatively small and that actually improves the look of the kit by adding finer details and colorings that would otherwise not be achieved with the plastic pieces alone.

My only complaint when it comes to color separation is that the beam saber handles on the backpack are molded in a single piece with the backpack. I would have preferred having the handles molded in white. Aside from that, this kit does a good job of showcasing the details of the Gundam’s design.

Difficulty

Usually this is the part of a review where I complain about the difficulty of applying stickers. That doesn’t apply to the RX-78-2. There were a lot of stickers, but they’re mostly small stickers which I applied with relative ease. Even stickers I needed to be fold over didn’t present much of a challenge. In that respect, this SD kit was an easier build than the SD Build Strike Gundam.

If this kit is an indicator of the SDEX-Standard line, then these are beginner friendly kits of iconic Gundam models.

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Articulation

As with my first SD kit, there is no articulation at the knee. There are points of articulation at the upper leg where it connects with the skirt armor as well as at the ankle. There is a good amount of articulation in the arms. The articulation of the arms isn’t comparable to HG kits (not even the less articulate ones), but for the purposes of an SD model, it’s quite good. Overall, by SD standards, the articulation on the RX-78-2 is good and you can strike a few good poses with the rifle and shield.

Extras (weapons, hands, effect parts)

Like everything else about this kit, these accessories you’re given are the staples of nearly all other Gunpla kits. Namely, you get a rifle, a handheld weapon, and a shield.

The beam rifle is molded in grey and it looks good as is. I prefer the use of grey here than the use of bright red as was the case with the weapons of the SD Build Strike Gundam. The inclusion of a big bright red rifle would make any kit look awful. The beam saber is molded in white and there are no fancy effects parts. I’m starting to think that SD kits with beam parts have them molded in the same plastic as the rest of the kit, rather than the clear effect parts you usually see with HG and MG grades. That’s a little disappointing, but I guess it’s one of the decisions that helps keep the price point low for the SD grade.

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There is a gimmick which allows you to combine the weapons and shield together to create newer, bigger weapons. It’s alright. Some of the combinations work better than others and I certainly don’t mind it’s inclusion as a gimmick. I’d rather have a gimmick that I find some delight in rather than none at all. Something special about the EX-Standard line is that the weapons can be used by the HG version of the model you build. You can combine these weapons together and use them with your HG RX-78-2 as it was designed that way. It’s kind of neat, but not something that will affect my decision to buy and build a model in the SDEX line.

While some people might not consider it an extra, a lot of the stickers were foil stickers. I think it added a nice amount of detail and realism to the kit. Look at the gold pieces on the torso and skirt. It looks pretty great. The marking on the shield really stands out, and I think it’s in part because of the foil sticker.

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Final Verdict

I really like this kit. Everything about it is familiar but also visually appealing. There is a reason the original Gundam design has formed the template for dozens of other designs in the franchise’s 30+ years. After my slightly disappointing experience building my first SD kit, I was worried I would have to readjust my expectations with the SD grade. Thankfully, the problems I had with the SD Build Strike Gundam are not repeated here. In fact, the areas that I had criticism are actually very well done with the SDEX RX-78-2. I like the color separation and I loved the amount of details that were brought out by the application of stickers.

At this point I can’t say for sure what the reasons are for the differences in the experience I had with each of these two kits. Maybe it has something to do with the years between which both kits were produced. Gunpla kits and designs are constantly being improved upon and it’s possible that the SD line has seen some advancement in that regard. It could also have to do with the fact that the kits were from two different lines of models, the SD BB Senshi line and the SD EX-Standard line. Either way, if you’re looking for an introduction to the SD grade, this would be my recommendation.

What was your introduction to the SD line? Was it comparable to my experience with the SDEX RX-78-2?

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