Review: HGBDR Gundam G-Else

With its black body, talons, and abundance of sharp edges, the HGBDR Gundam G-Else rivals the likes of the HGBF Exia Dark Matter when it comes to being unabashedly edgy. While this Gunpla and its Mass-Diver Zen only make a very brief appearance in Gundam Build Divers, they’re front and center in the spinoff manga Gundam Build Divers Break. Contributor Marc Rivera weighs in on whether you should get this kit for your G-Self or just get somethinG-Else.

First Impressions

While I have yet to watch Gundam Reconguista in G, I’m definitely no stranger to the crazy customs of the Build series based on it. So when I found out there was an all-black custom variant of the Gundam G-Self, my interest was definitely piqued.

As mentioned prior, the G-Else is from the manga Gundam Build Divers Break, alongside the Gundam Shining Break. While G-Else was originally presented in colors closer to the traditional Gundam staples of white, red, and blue, it was repainted and redesigned to more easily convey that its Diver, Zen, had turned to the dark side, using Break Decals to cheat in GBN. Despite this, it seems he’s had a change of heart by the 25th episode of Build Divers, where he’s shown fighting alongside the Coalition of Volunteers. While this kit was released two years after the Shining Break, just like its builder’s belated change of heart, it’s better late than never!

Color and Design

Perhaps the most standout feature of the Gundam G-Else is its color scheme. With its jet black body and pink/white accents, the only way this Gundam could’ve been more clearly meant to be a bad guy would be if it was painted red and had a monoeye. The colors of the plastic contrast each other very nicely, making a Gundam that stands out amongst a sea of White Devils.

Height comparison between the HG Core Gundam, G-Else, and RX-78-2.

While it certainly looks great, this sharp aesthetic comes at a sharp cost, as all of the shiny pink accents are only possible thanks to a jawdropping 39 foil stickers. While most are necessary to achieve the look of the Photon Batteries all over the mobile suit, the large forehead sticker is part white to color correct, despite the piece underneath already being white. While I can see how it may have been easier to apply a larger sticker, two thin stickers that go around the color-accurate part would have made the forehead look much nicer. Beyond this, when it comes to stickers, the end result is certainly worth it, but the tweezer-less should beware!

While it certainly has no shortage of stickers, some of the larger Photon Batteries on the kit also use clear plastic parts, which looks great. Especially of note are the leg-mounted beam cannons, which have a clear piece in the center to achieve an accurate look without the use of any stickers.

There are some fairly dramatic customizations to the base kit here, including the addition of an extra set of horns and eyes to make the mobile suit look more monstrous, larger shoulders that resemble that of the Gundam Unicorns, and talons in place of feet. But amidst all of these customizations, the mecha this kit is based on still shines through. There’s no denying that this kit could only be adapted from the G-Self and not anything else.

All of these design choices together make the ordinarily quite friendly-looking G-Self look positively evil, which is fitting considering the Mass-Divers are the villains for much of Build Divers. 

Difficulty

While assembly is about as easy as any other recent High Grade Gunpla, builders who are particular about their Gunpla’s appearance may have some cause for caution when buying this kit. As mentioned in the previous section, this Gunpla has a very large number of stickers. Those without tweezers will either need to have Newtype levels of focus to get the tiny strips of foil on each piece, or just accept that they’ll need some tools.

This is only further compounded by the A1 runner, which comprises a large portion of the Gunpla’s body. With hard, black plastic using the old 2014 HG G-Self’s mold, stress marks will be common unless you have a steady hand, a sharp knife, and a bit of experience removing nubs. Having just replaced my knife blade myself, the larger nub marks were not nearly as difficult as I expected. The black body also means that people who absolutely have to panel line everything (read: me) won’t be spending as much time panel lining this kit.

Overall, while the difficulty of assembling the G-Else is no higher than any HG kit, keeping your kit unscarred and with all its reflective parts will be difficult for beginners.

Articulation

While it has adequate articulation, the Gundam G-Else follows in the footsteps of another Build Divers kit, the Nu Zeon Gundam, in that it doesn’t improve upon its base Gunpla. Unfortunately, while the original HG Nu Gundam has some stellar articulation that hardly needs much improvement, the HG G-Self is a completely different story.

Boasting a prehistoric single-jointed arm bend, the arms of this Gundam at least have ball-joints for the shoulders, though this too is restricted. There are parts at the collar that jut outwards, so the larger shoulders of the G-Else have to move around when swiveling, lest they get stuck on the shoulders and pop out.

The G-Else’s arm bend is on par with FG Zaku II.

Like most High Grades, it has a torso that is separated at the stomach, allowing for a slight ab crunch, allowing the G-Else to slouch back or hunch forward. This is a subtle touch, but with the articulation of the legs, the Gunpla can be given much more menacing poses.

Speaking of the legs, the articulation is quite good! Unlike the arms, the legs are double-jointed at the knee, and the ankle has its own wide range of articulation. Starting from the top down, there is a hinge joint that allows the feet to bend forward, a small ball-jointed foot that allows the kit to stand flat-footed no matter the pose, and due to how they are attached, the suit’s specific gimmicks known as the “Grow Up Units,” located on each limb, can swivel beneath the foot. Each talon on the Grow Up Legs can move, though this throws off the balance of the kit unless you have a stand.

Stranger poses are easy with this kit’s phenomenal balance.

Despite how uneven all the customizations may make this suit appear, a stand is not a necessity for posing. The leg joints, just like all the joints on the kit, are tight. This, along with some excellent weight distribution make the kit rock solid. Of course, a display stand is ideal if you want to get this Gunpla in some more dynamic poses, or if you wish to have the Grow Up Units deployed.

Extras(Hand, Weapons, Effect Parts)

The G-Else sports a simple set of extras: a beam rifle, a hand for said rifle, beam effect parts, and the Grow Up Units.

The full set of extras, sans beam effects.

The beam rifle is just like any old High Grade beam rifle—simple and grey. When I saw the box art, I assumed it would have some degree of part separation that would give it some black and white color, like the Nu Gundam. Unfortunately, it comes in the same grey that most other HG Gunpla have. It’s not even black, which would have made painting the rifle a tad easier, though considering how the rifle was on the same runner as all the joints, it makes sense. It’s disappointing with all the pictures on the box and in the manual, but it makes sense.

The beam effect parts are the older kind, thicker, and shorter than the new kind that can be found from kits like the HG Gundam Revive. I personally like the length of these beam effects better, and it definitely works in the Gundam G-Else’s favor, as the shorter length allows it to stand normally with the effect part inserted.

The most prolific gimmick of the kit is the Grow Up Units, which attach to the feet as talons and to the arms as blades/gun in a manner similar to the Gundam Exia’s GN Sword. The Grow Up Arms also have handles that can swivel out when they’re mounted to the arms, but the center is missing to allow for easier removal and mounting of the units.

When detached from the G-Else, these units function like funnels or fangs, ramming and firing beams into enemies. The Grow Up Legs accommodate for this, sporting a 3mm hole that’s compatible with any peg. The Grow Up Arms do not, making displaying them deployed difficult. The easiest way is to use a clear action base and use the claw to hold them, but it’s less than ideal when compared to the ease of the leg units.

Final Verdict

I didn’t have the Shining Break, so I figured the regular old Shining Gundam would suffice.

While its old base kit and its confetti pile of stickers may deter some from building it, this Gunpla’s design is still a fun and excellent kit. With tight joints and a killer finished look, the HGBDR Gundam G-Else is well worth the effort of applying the stickers, and well worth a buy from anyone who likes what they see.

Hopefully, with the rest of Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE season 2 still on to be aired, we’ll be seeing more of this Gunpla. (We’d like to see more than its one-second cameo!) Regardless of whether or not the G-Else ever makes its way back to the screen, it’ll still have a pretty great-looking kit.


Marc first got into Gunpla with the HG Zaku II, which he thought had a really cool looking box. He knew nothing about Gundam back then, but since that kit, he’s gotten very familiar with the series. You can find him occasionally posting pictures of model kits and other things made of plastic on Twitter @official_marc_r.

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