Playing Around – Unicorn and Sinanju Review

Update 6/29/09: New review (along with much more recent progress and pictures) can be found here and here.


Big and bad, my fourth and fifth (respectively) MG kits are the biggest and definitely the most challenging models that I’ve done yet. Honestly after these two I feel like I could handle a PG kit without many issues. While I had some fun with them (you’ll see in a bit), I feel like the potential for posing with these kits will skyrocket once I get around to ordering action bases for them. As it stands, I’m slightly limited in what I can do with them. Regardless though, here are some pictures and my (mostly) final thoughts.



Take a good look, because once I change this back to the NT-D mode I don’t think I’ll be changing it back to Unicorn mode unless I have a good reason. The Unicorn mode does look appealing with it’s all-white surface (no panel lines to do!), I just prefer the bigger, more threatening look of the NT-D mode. As you can see, I took the crooked sticker off of his chest and figured that I would just order a set of decals from HLJ…of course, they’re listed as discontinued now along with Sinanju’s decal sheet.

If you look at the shoulders you can still see the psychoframe sticking out, mostly due to the fact the tops of his shoulders kept popping off while I was moving the arm around. In the end I wound up supergluing them in place, which means it doesn’t really slide down any more. Just another reason for me to leave it in NT-D mode. 😉

Compared to the Sinanju, the Unicorn isn’t nearly as articulated. Sure, it can get in to some decent poses but it’s legs definitely don’t bend as far and it’s feet don’t have quite the same range of motion either. Generally it’s going to be standing there looking hardcore anyway, but it’s just something to take in to account.

The stickers, despite being numerous weren’t horrible to apply. Time consuming yes, but none of them were really all that hard or awkward to apply. They definitely bring out something extra with the model so if you’re planning on building the RX-0 I’d suggest getting an exacto/hobby knife so you can use the tip to apply the stickers just right.


With the loss of height from going back to Unicorn mode, Sinanju looks even bigger. He’s about the same size as Hi-Nu in this state.


I still don’t know what these things are called, but I do know that they’re effing metal.


Big suit, big guns. Despite being so huge the Sinanju is able to get in to a variety of poses. The tabs on his hands can be a bit of pain to get his weapons in to (the same goes for the Unicorn) but once you get them in there they’re fairly secure.


Of course, every mobile suit needs it’s shield and sword. The shield can be a real bastard to maneuver since it hangs so loosely from the bit that comes down from the shoulder booster, but if you use the arm behind it to keep it in place then there’s really no issue. Optionally, it’s supposed to be able to clip on to the forearm as well but I couldn’t get it to sit there for even five seconds. Sinanju also has beam axes but I forgot to take pictures of them last night. I will update this post with pictures of said weapons when I get home from work, though. Unlike Unicorn, Sinanju has somewhere on his body to keep all of his weapons (Unicorn can only have the beam rifle or hyper bazooka on his back). Remember that strange piece on his waist that moved? Yeah, it folds up and comes down so the rifle can clip in to place there. The axe handles can be stored on his shield and the beam sabers sit nicely inside the forearms.


This (aside from the decals and painting) is my biggest problem with Sinanju. The ball joint here is very stiff, so much that the leg would usually rather pop out of the waist than move along the y-axis. This turns posing it in to a real annoyance if you’re like me and mess with the position the model is in whenever you happen to be bored or if you’re trying to take some good action shots. I’m hoping that this problem will subside once I get the joint broken in but we’ll see. Turns out you need to push the legs in there until you hear it pop in to place!

Speaking of decals, good lord. They weren’t all that bad to apply except for the ones that go on the leg boosters. How on earth is anyone supposed to apply those without screwing up? Curved surfaces plus a corner that the decal goes in to winds up looking sloppy no matter what I do. Again, I would have loved to have some wet decals available to me for this (or INCLUDED) but HLJ has the items listed as discontinued. Thankfully the rest of the decals were on a fairly flat surface so they went on without any troubles. I don’t think I’ll be using the 50-some odd tiny white warning decals however, mostly out of fear of ruining the other decals while applying the other ones.


Unicorn gets the drop on Sinanju, only for his surprise attack to be brushed off!


A well placed shield defends from the follow-up strike…


And leads to a counter! The Unicorn can barely hold back the massive Sinanju!

I really need to order those action bases. That’s really all there is to say about these two kits but if anyone has questions feel free to ask!


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  1. #1 by Rob on February 24, 2009 - 19:51

    Very nice pictures, they definitely look impressive standing side by side. I applaud you on putting on the decals. Decals/Seals tend to be where I go “bah, I’m finished” That’s why my unicorn has only half of his seals on. That and they tend to leave too much extra space on seals. One thing you’ll like about the Unicorn/Sinanju specific action bases is that the seals have very little extra space to them, so you don’t have to worry about cutting them up to hide the squares or edges.

    One question for you actually about the gold painting, I noticed you used actual paint, did you use any thinner, or just dip the brush in and paint directly on? Unfortunately, it’s been about 15 years or so since I had an art class so I’m a little rusty on painting.

  2. #2 by lupes on February 24, 2009 - 20:09

    The thought of thinner briefly crossed my mind, but in the end I decided against it since I figured it would probably dull the shine of the gold. If I ever hunt down some topcoat, I’m not sure if I’d use it on the Sinanju since that too might wind up flattening the color (which I’m very pleased with how the gold leaf looks! I don’t think gold paints I’ve had previously looked quite the same). I did however, try to put a few coats of paint on the parts so the black and brush marks were mostly covered up.

    If you do paint Sinanju, just remember that the acrylic paint will wipe off fairly easy before it dries and that if nothing else, covering it up is cake if you’ve got a black gundam marker (Just color over the mishap and wipe it off with a qtip)!

  3. #3 by Rob on February 24, 2009 - 21:13

    Thanks for the tip, maybe thinner is only needed when you’re doing full pieces, not simple lines like Sinanju for the most part. Top coat is definitely needed though, I’ve done my Musha with Gold Gundam Markers and even after drying the paint will slightly rub off if you don’t top coat it.

    I’m suprised to hear that HLJ is out of the specific Gundam Decal sets for Unicorn and Sinanju, they are easy to find here.

  4. #4 by lupes on February 24, 2009 - 21:50

    Yeah, the gundam markers definitely rub off easy, it’s actually what I do when I panel line now (Paint the line, rub the excess off- thanks goes to Martin for that tip) so for anything detail wise that I want to be a more permanent part of the model will probably have to be handpainted on since there aren’t really any places here that sell topcoat (or gunpla, for that matter. I have to have all of them shipped to me).

    I’m considering checking ebay or something for the wetslide decals, because the decal on Sinanju’s left leg booster is driving my absolutely insane. Wetslides would also mean I could apply the rest of the decals, which I think would have an effect similar to putting all of Unicorn’s stickers on.

  5. #5 by ant1ph0n on November 17, 2009 - 13:18

    i know this post is several months old but just to let you know, it’s entirely possible (but difficult) to only use dry transfers on sinanju, i got pretty damn close with the leg thrusters, the trick is you have to cut them in half, specifically where the 2 curves meet, forming a very curvy letter M. (hindsight is 20/20 however ;]) so i opted to buy the water slide decals from HLJ.

    yeah, i have 2 unicorns and it drove me insane knowing it looked shitty with stickers, from a far it doesn’t look at all that bad. I was impatient and placed the stickers on my 2nd unicorn and top coated. I am now in the process of removing each sticker and applying the water slides. Luckily, I didn’t top coat the 1st unicorn I bought so that was easy.

    Anyway, Rainbow Ten has tons of Unicorn decals and surprisingly, hobbywave has ’em too.

    A little side story, I backordered Sinanju and Unicorn decals from HLJ. I got impatient so I ordered only the sinanju (it’s all they had) from gundam store and more which they had in stock, that came first. Then i went to my local shop to see if they had some connection i had no idea about, but they just ended up special ordering from hobbywave. After a week or two I suddenly get my paypal account charged and the backorder i had on hlj was sipping, i wanted to exchange the sinanju for 1 more unicorn but they said it was too late even though it was only 9 hours from their e-mail confirming i paid automatically through paypal. Anyway, that ended up shipping a few days ago and wouldn’t you know it, that same night my unicorn special order was shipped at the local hobby store… sigh, next time i will definitely just special order from my local shop because the unicorn decals only cost me $5 (nothing else!) and the 2 orders i had online, accumulated to $40…

    fuck, that should have been 1 MG kit!!!

    anyway, check out my builds on deviantart along with my other artwork, just fyi, i haven’t put up the pics of updated sinanju with water slide decals or the unicorn (2nd rebuild) WIP…

    good job on the builds, however, you should totally fix that beam saber nub.

    the best advice i can give if you don’t want to/don’t like sanding is cutting it away from the tree and leaving 2-3mm of gate material then using an x-acto/hobby knife slowly cut away at the offending nub in an upwards and away from you motion. after getting as flush as possible to the piece itself, scratch it with your fingernail and voila, it totally blends in. don’t ask me why the plastic reacts this way, it just does! (i also found comfort i was not the only one who used this technique from reading gunpla blogs ^_^)

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