With its horned head and vicious claw, the Gundam Seltsam is an imposing threat to the Build Divers, and from the looks of the Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE Season 2 promo, we’ll be seeing it a lot more. But is its kit as menacing as the anime makes it out to be? Contributor Marc Rivera reaches out to share.

First Impressions

Perhaps it’s my inner chuunibyou talking, but the Gundam Seltsam is so cool. It’s got the great base design of the Gundam Mk-III, but with a giant, evil-looking claw arm. It’s got a head reminiscent of a Final Fantasy dragoon, and a massive lance to match. It’s got almost everything you could want in an edgy robot—making it a close second to the ultimate edgelord suit, Deathscythe Hell.

When I first saw the design, I fell in love. I had no idea what this evil-looking Gundam was going to do, but it definitely wasn’t up to any good. I was incredibly excited to build this kit, especially when I found out that the giant claw arm could unfold into an even bigger claw arm! I checked every store that sold model kits of any kind for months, hoping that they would have a Seltsam for me to build.

Now having built it, and with love for the Seltsam’s ridiculously edgy design I must say—it’s a bit mixed.

Color and Design

In the realm of Build Divers, where the sky’s the limit for mecha design, the Seltsam stands out. When you put it next to the Gundam Mk-III, there aren’t too many drastic changes. Sure, the chest more closely resembles the Destiny Gundam’s, and the head has an asymmetrical horned-demon look, but the rest of the changes are slight. The legs are a bit bulkier with extra thrusters, and the shoulders pointier. Compared to the other kits in the HGBDRR line, it looks more like a recolor than a modification. Thankfully, whoever designed this Gunpla had the brilliant idea of tearing off one arm and putting a giant claw arm in its place.

The Seltsam Arm is definitely the most striking part of the design, and its silhouette translates well to plastic model form. Nearly as large as the Core Gundam by itself, this monstrous arm certainly looks dangerous. Just like in the show, it can extend, unfolding to a length comparable to a regular size HG.

The Seltsam next to the HG Core Gundam and HG RX-78.

Speaking of size, the Seltsam is pretty big, too! It’s a larger HG, a little closer in size to the Nu Gundam or Sazabi than a regular Gundam RX-78-2 or a Zaku.

When it comes to colors, the kit is vibrant. The dark and light purples are complementary, and there was care taken into making sure the striking red accents all over the kit contrast from the dark orange of the arm and cannon.

Unfortunately, the same level of detail was not put into the color separation of the Seltsam Arm. It’s almost entirely orange, with grey parts for the center of the arm and the shoulder. From far away, it looks fine, but closer inspection makes clear that the arm is far less complicated than it appears in the show or promo art.

Barring the underdeveloped arm, the Seltsam is a wonderful looking kit that’s definitely menacing, even when it isn’t posed. The rest of the body is completely color accurate, and I’m sure that the Gundam Tertium and the Gundam Mk-III (if the runners are anything to go off of, that kit should share parts with this one) will look great!

If the Justice Knight means we get a new Infinite Justice, then it’s only a matter of time for the Mk-III!

Difficulty

In spite of its more complex design, this kit is barely much more difficult to put together than smaller HGs like the Sandrock. There are absolutely no color correcting stickers to speak of, but there are four eye stickers instead of one. These stickers are a majority of the difficulty for the kit, and it may be easier to try painting the eyes instead since all of them are actually sculpted onto the pieces, making it easier than usual to paint inside the lines.

Besides this, the rest of the kit is quite easy. Safety-nub removal is even easier now, since the horns are far larger than the average V-Fin, and nub removal in general is far easier due to most parts being attached to the runner on very thin connections.

Overall, the Seltsam is a fun kit to spend a couple of hours snapping together, and as with most HG Gunpla, it’s beginner-friendly!

Articulation

I was quite surprised by the Seltsam when it came to articulation. On one hand, it can easily be posed in many different positions. On the other hand, it can only hold some of those poses well without drooping, and the Seltsam Arm leaves much to be desired.

Like almost every HG in the past five years (though definitely not the Tristan), it can bend its limbs as far as the size of the parts will allow, which is great for action shots. The shoulders, upper torso, head, and feet are all on flexible ball joints, though the feet can’t move very much thanks to its bulky shins. Though not as flashy, the normal arm is quite interesting, as instead of only having a peg at the shoulder—allowing the arm to swivel at that point—it has another peg at the elbow. This allows the forearm to swivel, increasing articulation. It’s slight, but it’s a great detail I hope more kits have. The thighs connect to the waist using a peg and swiveling polycap connection just like the Core Gundam, allowing for some great side-facing poses.

Unfortunately, this great articulation seems to have come at a price. For some reason, despite using the same polycaps as every other kit, the connections between the limbs and the torso are loose. In particular, the ball joints of the arm are prone to falling out during even small adjustments. Further down the body, the polycap that connects the thigh to the body is very loose, causing the legs to swivel side to side easily. I found an easy fix in applying a bit of clear nail polish at the polycap, increasing friction and tightening the joint.

While taking this photo, the spread legs kept sagging and closing.

The bulk of the Seltsam, while quite impressive-looking, is horrible for posing. The Seltsam Arm, skirt thrusters, and its massive weapons make it horribly off-balance, and when paired with the loose legs, make a display stand necessary, and thanks to the aforementioned skirt armor’s size, it can’t attach to it from the back. Instead, the arm of the stand must be in the front or at an angle, making it far more noticeable.

Of course, no matter the placement, the Seltsam Arm is definitely the most noticeable part of the Gunpla. It has a neat gimmick that allows the arm to extend to nearly double its length, but because of the loose connection, it will often sag, and even folded up it can only hold some poses when holding its weapons.

In case you haven’t noticed, the hand of the Seltsam Arm is only three pieces, one for the fingers, one for the palm, and one that allows the thumbs to move. This is quite disappointing, especially when compared to kits like the Gundam Astaroth, which manage to have articulated fingers.

Everything considered, the Seltsam’s poseability is okay. It’s got a wide range of movement, and despite its bulk, sagging parts due to loose joints are more of an issue than weight. If you have nail polish and you don’t mind putting a bit of extra work in, you’ll have a kit that’s just as poseable as any other HG.

Extras (Weapons, Arm)

The Seltsam Gundam, thanks to its size and power, can wield the massive Hyper Destlance, a massive lance that’s as large as the Gunpla itself. Its telescopic shaft allows it to shrink slightly, allowing the Gunpla to attach it to its backpack. As mentioned earlier, this shifts the balance of the kit significantly, and even with tightened joints the Seltsam can only barely stand unsupported with it strapped on.

The Seltsam isn’t alone when it comes to massive weapons!

Keep in mind that the Hyper Destlance is the only extra that the Seltsam Arm is able to wield. The hand of the arm can hold onto the Destlance thanks to a tab on the palm, but because none of the fingers are articulated, can’t naturally hold anything else.

For ranged confrontations, the Seltsam certainly isn’t lacking! It has two beam cannons hidden in its shins, which swing out like the leg verniers on the backs of many other kits, plus its Shield Binder. Alongside blocking attacks, the shield houses two beam sabers and the Folding Destlauncher, a cannon that looks far larger than what most mobile suits are packing. The binder attaches to the backpack and the cannon unfolds along the arm, which reminds me a lot of the Hyper Bazooka on the HG Amazing Red Warrior. Also, the beam sabers don’t have any effect parts, so you’ll need to snag one from another kit.

Final Verdict

As a model kit, the Seltsam is mixed. Its gimmicks, while neat, translate far less than perfectly. The claw arm isn’t very detailed, the finished model is unbalanced, and the joints are quite loose, making it a nightmare to pose unless you tighten every joint.

Aesthetically, the Seltsam is amazing. It’s got a great design that has a lot of interesting gimmicks, easily fitting among the rest of the Build series’ designs. Even with low detail, the Seltsam Arm looks cool, and with its striking colors, it has an amazing shelf presence.

Kind of like the Seltsam itself, the kit is full of contrasts. If you can look past some of its flaws, it has a lot of great points. If you want a solid kit with a massive weapon, you may want to look elsewhere (I recommend Gundam Astaroth for a start). But if you like the look of this Gundam and don’t mind a kit with a couple of quirks, give the Seltsam a shot! Just be sure to have a display stand, you’ll definitely need it.


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 café drinks on Twitter @official_marc_r.

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