This Gundam and I definitely have some fond memories! When I first got back in to gunpla in December of 2008 it was because of the new 00 models and this kit. The gracious white-on-pink colors of the model along with how intimidating it looked in NT-D mode made it THE MG kit I wanted to put together, but after looking at Z’s review/page on it I wound up waiting until I had some good experience under my belt before trying to tackle this behemoth.
As a Ver. Ka Gundam, there is a gargantuan sheet of marking decals, most of which are just tiny red circles or lines that may include the word ‘DANGER’, if that. There’s also a smaller sheet of dry transfer decals but most of those are for the weapons or backpack.
If you’re going to build this, be prepared to apply all of these. The RX-0 looks nice enough when it’s straight built but adding all of these markings will complete the look and give some nice contrast to the stark white of the Gundam. If stickers aren’t your thing, hobbywave (or where ever you want to get the marking decals from) can hook you up with some far superior waterslide decals.
Construction for this model might seem really intimidating at first, with all of the part trees and stickers and moving parts on the final product…but have no fear, things are much easier than they seem. The bulk of the parts will stack on top of each other, especially for things like the torso and waist.
Each part does have some sliding and moving mechanisms for it to facilitate switching back and forth between Unicorn and NT-D mode, but there isn’t much that’s very complicated about this part. Things are straightforward and so far I’ve had no issues with parts becoming loose due to the transformation process.
Building it may take a day or two if you don’t have a lot of time to sit down and dedicate to gunpla or if you really hate putting decals and stickers on and only do a little bit at a time. By the time you’re done though, you’ll have a very nice suit standing in front of you. It’s easily one of the taller MGs (barring stuff like the perfect Zeong, probably- haven’t built it so I can’t say for sure), trumping the even the Hi-Nu by a full head. As a warning, both times I build the Unicorn the A14 piece had fallen off the runner while in the bag. It’s a tiny part so be sure you check for it before you lay out your parts out!
Compared to the newer Ver. 2.0 kits like the RX-78-2 and Gouf 2.0, The Unicorn looks 100% deadly serious. Sharp lines and contrasting colors with the pink and white come together to make a serious looker.
Articulation is…alright. It’s not a bad model but if you go in to this expecting something like a Zaku II Ver. 2.0 or Gundam 2.0 then you’re going to be a little sad. The knees don’t bend a ton, due to the fins on the back calf getting in the way of the flex. There’s a ton of mods out there for fixing this problem but I really don’t think it’s something that absolutely must be done for the model to be acceptable. The shoulders don’t have that forward or backward motion available to them either, but I think it’s mostly a stability issue since the torso becomes wider in NT-D mode. Actually, if you have this model in NT-D mode it’ll feel a little more wobbly than it is in Unicorn mode since everything is opened up and farther apart but it, like the rest of the quirks this model has, is not a major issue.
Weapons are your normal UC stuff, beam sabers, beam rifle, bazooka and shield. In an odd move, Bandai only gave us two beams for the sabers even though the Unicorn has four. Not really a big problem since the UC gundams all have the same kind of beam saber. Bandai also released a special edition of the Unicorn novel with twin beam gatlings, but more on those in a bit.
When I first got the Unicorn Gundam I had intended to paint the psychoframe a clear or metallic blue color, just for the purpose of my model being slightly different (even though there are plenty of blue psychoframe Unicorns out there by now), not to mention Z’s jolly-ranger-red psychoframe Unicorn looked awesome. Well, the paint I had purchased at the time (Model Master clear blue) wasn’t behaving a fashion that I liked, so I wound up leaving the colors alone but vowed that sooner or later I would come back to my original plan. Months went by and by the time I had finished my RX-78-2 Ver. OYW I felt like it was time to tackle the demon. I gathered up all the things I needed (metallic grey and metallic blue, along with flat black and semi gloss black, decals, a set of brushes and two sets of the beam gatlings from ebay at 49$ a pop, ouch!!) and set to work. This is the end result.
RX-0 Unicorn ASSAULT Gundam
Unit type: Full psychoframe assault use gundam
Head height: 19.7 meters (21.7 meters with horn)
Weight: 23.7 metric tons
Armor: gundarium alloy
Operating system: NT-D
Armament: Beam magnum x1, hyper bazooka x1, beam saber x4, beam gatling x4
Fielded in UC0098, the Unicorn series saw one more unit developed by AE for a Federation group given the task of cracking down on Neo Zeon remnants and handling extremely dangerous missions. Designed to quickly obliterate enemy forces rapidly, the Unicorn Assault was outfitted with the same weapons as the original Unicorn with the addition of four high-output beam gatlings. Not satisfied with the way NT-D mode behaved in the original Unicorn, the AE technicians discovered a way to lock the system in NT-D mode, resulting in a dramatic boost across the board from a technical standpoint. The main drawback to this is of course, increased stress on the mobile suit and pilot in addition to a shorter operational time but these are far outweighed by the fact that the increases are a massive bonus for the suit.
The finished Gundam was given a low-visibility grey anti-beam coating with the intention of giving it the element of surprise in it’s attacks, in which there were to be no witnesses or survivors.
Overall I really like this kit, even taking it’s flaws in to account. It’s the only model I built twice and it’s likely it’ll stay that way, but it was more than enough fun both times. It’s definitely a wonderful kit that requires some extra effort to bring out the true look but is worth it every step of the way.