Review: HG Gundam Vual

Gundam Vual is an obscure mobile suit that hails from Gekko, a side story to Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. Having built the HG Gundam Astaroth, another mech from the same universe, The Evil Prof now takes a thorough look at this tall, dark, and handsome suit. 

First Impressions

The HG Gundam Vual is a kit that sparked my interest due to its asymmetry and the very large hammer shown on the packaging. The black-and-purple color scheme is like nothing any kit I have built in the past. My interest was piqued and I was excited to get this kit together.

Front and back of the assembled kit.

Design and Colors

Similar to Gundam Astaroth, the Vual has an asymmetrical design that gives the impression that parts of this mobile suit were cobbled together from other machines. In the story, this is in fact what happened! While standing with its full set of armaments, it is difficult to see that the arms and legs are not the same. The left arm, which carries the shield, does not have any armor equipped at all. I have never seen a “finished” Gundam that had such a large amount of armor missing.

The armor on the legs of the Vual is not symmetrical either. The lower part of the left leg has more armor on the front and a thruster on the back. The armor on each shoulder of the Vual is different, too. This is partly due to a Spike Shield equipped on the right shoulder.

While the frame of the Gundam Vual is gray, the armor is largely black. There are purple highlights on the feet, shield, and torso. While I attempted to panel line the kit, it was largely pointless. A black panel lining marker won’t show up on black armor. However, anything that was gray or purple benefitted from the extra detailing with a black marker.

The face of the Vual (which looks delightfully evil) has red highlights and red eyes. The eyes on the Vual give the kit a foreboding feel.

Difficulty

As with other kits from the HG Iron-Blooded Orphans line, the Vual snapped together without any significant difficulty. The frame is similar to other IBO kits and was not difficult. The armor on top was also pretty easy to put together.

This kit only had one significant difficulty: the “fin” at the top of the head. This piece will not stay in place. Whenever I move the completed kit, I worry that the fin is going to fall out. I’m planning to glue it in place. This one complaint aside, the kit was a pleasure to assemble.

Articulation

The Gundam Vual has a wide range of movement. The ankles, knees, hips, waist, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and neck all have points of articulation. These points are not significantly different from other kits in the Iron-Blooded Orphans line. What is different about the Vual is the accessories. There is a holster on the right hip that can hold the Mining Hammer. This holster can rotate 360 degrees. The Vual can also be equipped with a thruster unit on its back which can move up and down, ninety degrees. The Vual’s Spike Shield, which is mounted on the right shoulder, gives the shield the ability to move up and down ninety degrees as well as rotate 360 degrees.

Extras

The Gundam Vual comes with a number of accessories including an extra hand, Glaive (a tall weapon with a blade on each end), Mining Hammer, Round Shield, Spike Shield, and a thrust unit.

As mentioned earlier, the thruster unit can be attached to the back of the Vual. Once attached, the angle can be adjusted by ninety degrees. Additionally, the thruster unit can be adjusted higher and lower on Vual’s back by removing it and pegging it in lower (or higher) than it was before.

Mining Hammer and Round Shield.

The first shield that the Vual is equipped with is the Round Shield that is mounted on the left forearm. Once attached to the frame, it has no movement. The Spike Shield is attached by a moveable mount on the right shield.

The weapon displayed on the box, and the biggest selling feature for me, is the large Mining Hammer. It comes as two pieces that need to be put together. It is relatively lightweight and wielded in the right hand. When the shield is removed from the left arm, the Vual can use both hands to wield the Mining Hammer. When not in use, the hammer can be stored in a holster on the right hip

The other weapon that the Vual comes with is a Glaive. The dual-ended weapon is on a piece of plastic that requires no construction. Similar to the Mining Hammer, it is held in the right hand of the Vual.

Finally, the Vual comes with an additional right hand. The sculpt of the extra hand is designed to have the wrist bent down. When used, this extra hand offers some different poses for the kit.

Final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed building this kit and like having it displayed. As someone who prefers to do panel lining on my kits, a model that is largely black was somewhat awkward. With the exception of the one flaw concerning the “fin” not staying in place on the head, this was a quality kit to build. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to expand their Iron-Blooded Orphans HG collection.

About the contributor: Despite the painful relationship he has with his hobby knife, the Evil Prof thoroughly enjoys building Gunpla kits. When not working on kits he can be found pursuing photography, distance running, obstacle course racing, and traveling as much as possible.

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