EDIT: This model has since been revamped.
Oh, Sinanju…one of the biggest and baddest MGs out there right now. A ton of parts, an ungodly amount of dry-transfer decals and an almost-forced need to paint make for a model that can easily make you not want to work on any gunpla for a good amount of time. This feels like a big middle finger from Hajime Katoki to all of us, but by the time you finish you kind of feel like you’re giving on right back to him. This is another model that needs a lot of time and work put in to it so you can fully appreciate it, so be ready to work on it for awhile.
Sinanju has a lot of runners, but you really shouldn’t let that intimidate you. Most of them are duplicates for the arms and legs and whatnot. The only runners that are going to make you wish you were dead are the black and yellow ones. Have fun painting all that gold! There shouldn’t be ANY yellow on Sinanju and the fact that bandai skimped out on this part kind of irritates me. Luckily, Tamiya has our backs with their handy X-12 Gold Leaf acrylic paint. Fellow gunpla builder Z used this for his Sinanju and I loved the results, so I went the same way with mine. Bring your fine point brushes and rubbing alcohol for this, because unless you’re a masking master you’re just going to have to go with trial and error for your painting since the black parts the need painting are only slightly raised.
Really, this is one of the roughest parts you have to deal with. The emblem on the chest is a really huge pain to do and even more of a paint to do correctly. After taking this picture I had to go back over it two or three times (like the rest of the parts, but as you can imagine doing that thing once is enough of a bother) to make sure I had a nice solid coating. After this part, most of the gold painting (aside from the shield) are fairly simplistic. I think this part took me three hours to do, but I’m known to be a slow builder/painter.
Aside from painting and decaling, the actual construction of Sinanju is pretty easy mode! The inner frame is simple, yet very functional and no-frills. The only frustrating parts are the tubes on the upper torso and the waist, since they’re oldschool tube style instead of the newer 2.0 style of tubes. A minor gripe, though.
Sinanju is HUGE, trumping any other MG out today (except for Perfect Zeong, which is bigger than PG Gundams…but I’ll bet you PZ can’t pose even half as well as Sinanju). I thought Unicorn Gundam was pretty big since it was taller than Hi-nu but Sinanju is taller than both with it’s knees bent.
Sinanju can pose like a champ! For such a huge mobile suit it can sure pull off a large variety of tough poses and looks good doing all of them!
Your drill is one that will pierce the heavens!!
Now, Sinanju looks pretty good if you paint the gold trim. If you really want to finish the Katoki look for Sinanju though, hope you’re ready to put yourself through some exercises in tedium. There are 136 or so unique decals, and most of those have 3-5 or more copies of them…which means you’ve got 300+ dry transfer decals to apply. Yeah, no stickers here! Once again, I suggest getting yourself some waterslide decals to put these on because some of these go around curved surfaces and in to corners then out again (the boosters on the legs are the chief offender in this case) and are almost impossible to get on right. In fact, scratching the ones that are on there right now off and replacing them is something I intend on doing at some point, but who knows when.
Weapons-wise Sinanju is packing some heat. two beam sabers (which can also be mounted in the forearms, like Unicorn’s), two beam axes (think Sazabi’s beam tomahawk, but cooler. they also link together!), a beam rifle with a grenade launcher add-on and if you were lucky enough to get it, a rocket bazooka (thanks goes to our friend Rob, of An American Salaryman in Tokyo)! The only issue with these is that Sinanju’s wrist can be a bit flimsy sometimes, for instance if you want to pose him holding the rifle-mounted rocket bazooka I hope you’ve got a way of reinforcing his grip thought up. Still, a nice variety of stylish weapons.
The shield…the shield. This is another part that is a royal pain to paint, and also a big pain to pose Sinanju with. It felt like the final boss by the time I reached it, and I wasn’t entirely wrong about this being the most annoying part of the model. Both methods they give you for attaching it to the suit are iffy at best, one not being strong enough to support the weight of the shield and the other damaging the part it attaches to! In addition to that, painting the gold trim on this part is a huge pain, I resorted to Z’s method of painting the foil stickers for the edges and just being careful for the emblem…I advise doing the same since the red part has no edge and is really tough to get right without some masking or something.
Finished up with a semi-gloss topcoat, but this brought out some flaws like where I covered up nub marks with paint, or cause some deals to come off…maybe sometime I’ll take all the red armor off, paint it mica red and get myself a set of waterslide decals. Parts of the plastic still look too shiny regardless, but that might be due to how used I am to seeing flat-finished gundams.
This is an expensive kit (usually around 70-80, depending on where you go) that requires a good deal of attention to bring out how it should look proper (paint and decal it, you won’t regret it! I look back on the old pictures in the ‘Playing around’ review and I think it looks so plain now), but it’s worth it for sure. The finished model is definitely one of the most impressive MGs Bandai has released yet.