Gundam Mk-II might go down as the most underwhelming ‘upgrades’ of all time. Introduced at the start of Zeta Gundam, this unit was originally developed by the Titans but was stolen by the AUEG with relative ease. Aside from minor upgrades (more boosters, the movable frame concept…) the Mark II and the original Gundam are very similar.
Before we get to anything though, I think it’s important to mention there are two versions of this kit. When it was originally released the part for the waist was fixed and place and could not rotate. Later on Bandai released the Gundam Mk-II 2.0 in the Titans colors and fixed this issue, the lower torso being separate from the rest of the waist to allow for the turning. Somewhere along the line Bandai switched the original AUEG F-runner out with the updated Titan’s one. I’m really glad they did though and I’m sure the rest of us with this kit are too. :)
The Mk-II generally looks sharper and bulkier than the original RX-78, though it still maintains a light, maneuverable feel. Thanks to AE’s use of the maneuverable frame, there’s a ‘more-is-less’ aura surrounding the Mk-II’s armor, especially on the legs. Of course, the lack or armor means all the joints have tons of room to move for some really good poses.
Weapons are pretty simple, though I like the new beam rifle’s look. The bazooka feels pretty small compared to the Hyaku-Shiki’s/Gundam’s, bit it clips nicely to the rear-skirt and has a nice swinging handle to accommodate posing. Beam sabers are…beam sabers. not much to say there. The shield slides up and down and looks pretty good, though why they didn’t give us yellow parts for it is something we’ll probably never know.
The plastic for this kit seems a lot more shiny than others, but a little spray of topcoat will fix that problem nice and quick. I didn’t give it a very solid coating like Hi-Nu/Zeta, bit it was enough to mute the colors just enough.
There are plenty of details on this kit though, as the outer armor has a lot of small notches and grooves to fill in along with some dry-transfer decals that really should be done so the shoulders don’t look so vacant. Other things include the then-standard mesh tubes for the back of the knees and cables on the backpack. The pictures of the tubes in the manual are 1:1 scale, though I find they give you enough that you can just cut extra off or cheat like I did and put the tube on the part, then cut it off with a few millimeters of extra space.
Not many complaints about this model, the only thing I can really knock it for is for how loose the legs feel, there’s nothing that really keeps the legs in place and it’s wobblyish to begin with, so if the area where your models are happens to shake a lot, be a little careful. Otherwise, there’s nothing that should stop you from getting this model. If you do plan on getting it though, see if they’ll let you open the box and check out the F runner so you can see if the waist bit is separated or not!