Thursday, January 2, 2014

MG 1/100 Sazabi Ver. Ka - Review by Team GG

MG 1/100 Sazabi Ver. Ka - Review by Team GG

From a design perspective, this isn’t your Yutaka Izubuchi’s Sazabi. It’s received a thorough Hajime Katoki design upgrade. Gone are the smooth, bulbous curves of the CCA version, upgraded with larger proportions and more flat angles. Frankly, it looks amazing. I think it’s a better example of a modern take than the ver. Ka Nu Gundam or current RX-78-2. There’s just something stunning about it.

Carrying over from the Nu Gundam and new RX-78-2 redesigns are the use of varying colour shades. This time around there are three different shades of red all over the kit that almost make it look like a patchwork creation. In most areas is looks great but there are a few that I feel could have been tuned differently. The net effect though is that the kit looks amazing out of the box. It’s something that will look great without any paint or detail work.

Speaking of details, there’s a ton! Over the whole kit there are a lot detail lines, extra bits, and areas where the frame is shown through. Well and far beyond most Bandai kits. Unfortunately the inner frame isn’t nearly as detailed and, in some areas, seems quite bland. They do spice things up by having multiple silver detail pieces that go between the frame and armor. More on those later.
When the Sazabi was fully announced many noticed the hefty price tag. The cost correlates to the size of the kit and the amount of pieces (over 480 by my count), most of which are quite large. The kit itself is quite large all together, standing taller than the formidable MG O. The MG RX-78-2 3.0 only comes up about waist high.

During construction most of the kit goes together with ease but there are a few steps that will make you scratch your head. For me it was how the funnels went together and the knee guards which fit into hidden slots after everything’s already put together. I encountered almost no fit issues aside from some of the seams created due to the transformation gimmick. The only area where I did have a fit issue was the head.. It’s designed so it can be opened up to move the monoeye but, on my kit at least, it never quite fitted together flushly.

Note that the kit comes, in traditional ver. Ka fashion, with a good deal of water slide decals. There are also a few stickers for red colour variation like was found on the Nu Gundam ver. Ka. There’s also clear ball cockpit you can use outside of the kit. I took a photo of the damn thing but can’t seem it find it right now.


Despite it’s bulky size, the Sazabi can strike a pose surprisingly well, and hold it too! A lot of the impressive articulation comes from the shoulder joints which pop out from the torso and offer a fantastic degree of movability. I didn’t have any issues trying to strike a pose with the arms. Nor did I encounter any issues trying to support the weapons or shield.

The legs aren’t as impressive, but nothing to be scoffed at. Due to the design the armor skirts around the lower leg can impede the feet’s range of motion. Running poses don’t look so great due to some of these tighter clearances. To me, however, I consider that an acceptable tradeoff to the benefits of such a large base. The kit is properly large and the wide based feet have no issues supporting her. All of the joints are nice and tight and I had no issues balancing the kit on only one leg. While posing you may find that the large waist skirts get in the way from time to time and may pop off. There is also a small amount of articulation in the torso but nothing to make or break the design.

The kit can be held aloft with an action base, but its size and weight makes it awkward to work with. The attachment point is in the back just below the backpack, which unfortunately puts the stand right up against the rear armor skirts.


The Sazabi ver. Ka comes with a wide assortment of beam weaponry options, molded straight from the MG Sinanju. Two beam sabers, two short tomahawk effect pieces, and two long tomahawk effect pieces. Is there a better name than beam tomahawk? Well, that’s what I’m going with.
The Sazabi’s beam sabers mount in the forearm. It’s possible to insert them into the arm and have the beam effect pieces coming out. Unfortunately, unlike the Sinanju, they come out at an odd angle compared to the rest of the forearm itself, making it look awfully awkward.

The beam tomahawks are improved over the Sinanju versions and feature a longer handle. They can be held independently, facing opposite directions, or side by side. When side by side there’s a notch in the center to add a beam saber piece as well. Unfortunately it doesn’t sit very security and flops to one side or the other. Now that I think of it, based on how the piece is constructed, it may not have been properly seated. Either way it should be an easy fix.

The kit comes with two beam rifles, the one seen in Char’s Counterattack and a “Long Beam Rifle” based of off artwork by Hiroyuki Hataike. Both fit in the hands really well and stay in place thanks to the new MG premolded hands and their interconnecting pegs. The long beam rifle is also capable of accepting the Sinanju rocket launcher that comes with the Sinanju OVA version, SInanju Stein, and was released separately prior (with a magazine or light novel I believe).

Unfortunately the oversized cuffs and forearms on the Sazabi limit the poses available. The new long rifle at least has an extendable stock that will allow it to clear the forearm.

In a perfect universe only the Sazabi would have guns. Unfortunately the Sazabi exists in an imperfect universe and must counter the guns of others. That’s why she’s comes with a big honking shield! The shield, as large as most mobile suits, matches the aesthetics of the rest of the kit. The Neo Zeon symbol is a decal, not raised area like the Sinanju kits.

The Sazabi does a good job supporting the big and bulky weight of the shield. It’s able to spin around and has an added point of articulation that allows it to swing outward, though I’m not sure the use. The shield hinges near the elbow on a cleverly disguised hard point. There are two other hard points just like it on the forearm but I’m pretty sure the shield can’t be attached there because I could never get it hold tight. After the kit has been gone through the transformation gimmick there’s another hard point attached to the shoulder armor which can be accessed.

Last but not least, the funnels.

The kit comes with a total of six funnels which sit securely in binders coming off the backpack. These binders can open up to release the funnels themselves or just show off a funnel holding mechanism. The construction on funnels themselves is a bit awkward in that the internal parts move up and down between modes. When the funnel itself is extended the rifle end is retracted and the thrusters are covered up. When the thrusters are pushed inward the rifle end pokes out as the thruster pushes up on the panels to hold them in their distinctive shape. Unfortunately Bandai did not include any action effect pieces which would’ve been really easy to do. I suspect that they can be easily hand crafted with the right materials.


“One more thing!” says the man with a bouncer’s build and an undersized red turtleneck, “There’s a transformation gimmick!”

Part of what makes the Sazabi ver. Ka such a beast is the ability to transform. It’s not really a transformation, such as into a plane like numerous other kits, but the ability for armor pieces to move away, arranging and revealing more thrusters. It also reveals a lot of the silver frame details built into the kit.

Transforming the kit is amazingly easy. Pull here, pull there, lift that, and you’re done. The only part that’s a bit odd to understand is the forearms. The sides are supposed to flair out so you can see thrusters underneath. For me they never flaired out enough to make them properly visible. You also can’t really see the thrusters in the front of the leg’s skirt armor because it’s high up behind the outer armor. Frankly, I think it’s just a bit too much. I mean, the kit looks fantastic already without looking fluffed up like a frightened cat.

Other Photos

At the end of the day, the Sazabi ver. Ka is an impressive kit. It somehow manages to mix traditional Master Grade sensibilities with the unique and innovative engineering ver. Ka kits have come to be associated with. And, very impressively, it joins the ver. Ka ranks as one of the few to not suffer because of it.

There will be an inevitable Titanium version of this kit. In a lot of areas Bandai managed to mold the pieces with really small nub connections. In other areas however they’re big and obnoxious, so prepare for an unevent amount of visible nub marks.

So, after reading all this, is the Sazabi ver. Ka for you? This guy is fairly expensive for a MG and I think it’s definitely worth the price. The amount of detail, the number of pieces, the various display options… in this case the cost definitely corresponds to awesomeness. I would not recommend this for novice builders. For the most part things go together really easily. Tons of pieces, but most are large and easy to handle. There just happen to be a few components that seem to awkwardly fit together. They’re just not intuitive and the guide isn’t that clear (probably because I can’t read Japanese). Moderately experienced builders and above should be able to navigate these little hurdles.

When not writing for Gundam Guy, Falldog is the owner of and the author behind the Layman’s Gunpla Guide,


  1. Excellent review! I agree with pretty much everything. This is a wonderful kit, and after having built it, I feel the rest of the MGs feel a bit, well, uneventful... I can only dream of what the future holds for UC and especially ver Ka kits^^ Personally, I would love to see the Kampfer and the alex done in this style.
    I hope this is the start of more reviews from you guys, this is a great addition to the blog!

    P.S: the issue with the forearm flaps, they click when you pull them out. To fully reveal the thrusters, you need to click them out twice. They click once to get out, and then move and click just a tiny bit, which is enough to get them flared out all the way. Hope this helps^^

  2. It's been a while since am actual review of a kit was posted on this blog for GG Infinite.
    I will admit (in case anyone doesn't know), I'm not a UC fan at all, nor do I have plans to be and get UC kits. Blasphemy, stupid, whatever. =D Just not my thing.

    Anyway, I will comment that this is a great review. But something I have to question is the end where it was said, "Moderately experienced builders and above should be able to navigate these little hurdles."

    Isn't this an obvious thing? Why would anyone in their right mind that is new to GunPla or just experienced with a few SD and HG (for example) consider buying the MG Sazabi Ver. Ka thinking that it'll be a breeze?

    Anyway, I think you guys should have compared this guy with kits like MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka, Sinanju Ver. Ka, Sinanju OVA Ver, MG Sinanju Stein Ver. Ka, etc. At least to give people an idea of how it stacks up with similar kits. I think doing these comparisons between other kits and the kit being reviewed is just something that not many reviewers do. I think it's useful because it gives perspective and insight into the actual kit relative to others, since people that read the review and might have interest (for example in this case) in buying the MG Sazabi Ver. Ka, might have some of the other kits and have recently built it. And giving such a comparison would give the person a better idea before getting (for example) the MG Sazabi Ver. Ka.

    Anyway, I hope that bit was useful and something you guys could consider in any future reviews posted. Other than that, awesome review. =D

    1. something that i have to question is WHY you would comment on a review for a UC kit when you stated that you wouldnt buy one, you deranged fuckhead

    2. A kit must live on its own strengths, not compared with others, and this review is a great showcase of what this kit is. If a person doesn't have any of the other kits, then there's no point in actually reading about these comparisons, is there? He compares it with The O, which makes sense, being one of the biggest MGs out there, and mentions the 3.0, which also makes sense, since it's the standard for gundam size
      If you're so concerned about telling others how to review stuff, why don't you review them yourself? It would be much better than your endless wishlists and videos of boxes which serve no purpose whatsoever to whomever might be interested in some actual information. Btw, it's funny that you make all these recommendations when in the single review you ever did, on the MG Age-1, you make no comparisons whatsoever with anything (proly cuz you never build anything).

      I also wonder why you say you're not an UC fan and then comment elsewhere the only UC series you've watched was 08th MS which you did enjoy. I think you just arbitrarily decided you're not a fan to lend more credibility and self importance to your incredibly irritating arbitrary wishlists.

      nothing at all in your claims of being a fan of gundam or gunpla feels real, as anyone in the community will tell you. You're nothing more than an attention whoring hipster loser who thinks he has an opinion on anything, but really has none, and will always be remembered as a balloon full of hot air...

    3. They DID compare it to the Nu Ver. Ka. Also to the O and the RX-78-2 3.0.

    4. @ Charles "Suiton" Kim Jong Un
      There is nothing wrong about not being a UC fan. Nobody forces you to be a part of UC fandom. It's still your choice to choose your favorite series.
      The wrong thing is hating a Gundam timeline because Bandai and Sunrise focused on it rather than the Gundam timeline you are a fan of.
      And if a newbie builder wanted to buy a Sazabi Ver Ka, then let him do it. He wanted the kit, so let him to buy one. If he don't know how easy or difficult to buy one, then it's his problem, which is the problem of some or most Gunpla builders, amateur or veteran. A customer is still in the right mind to buy a kit even he/she isn't sure about the difficulty level of a Gunpla he bought. It depends on his reason: If it is because it is his favorite MS design, then it's okay. We are free to choose which Gunpla we want to buy.
      Your hate on UC kits is obvious. First, you criticized Nu Ver Ka's minor flaws such as the Amuro's logo not engraved on the shield, which in the CCA movie, it's not really engraved, it's painted and the piping on the head (whatever it is). You exaggerate these flaws like a real problem. Then you make fun of Unicorn Gundam and Banshee's crotches in NT-D Mode. Outside of Gunpla: You underestimate some MS such as The O and the Ex-S Gundam. And now, you think a noob builder is crazy if he immediately bought a Sazabi Ver Ka. as his first MG.
      If your reason for hating UC is because your favorite Gundam 00 series is not as focused as the UC timeline (Don't get me wrong, I'm also a fan of 00 and the upcoming RG Exia is also a very good news to me), then you are the one who is out of your mind.

    5. Think before you post something Suiton
      You already have a bad reputation
      You don't need make it worse

      On behalf of all those who are tired of you

    6. Suiton has to ruin this post by commenting on it and in a way telling us that he still exist lol...

    7. Well suiton many newbies to gunpla have wanted to tackle large projects like PG kits and complex Mg kits. That is why they made the comment about moderate experience builders. But you wouldn't know this because you have been banned from every legitimate gunpla forum. Why don't you just stay on your little FLOG and keep spreading your lies and lack of knowledge about gundam. For example I still find it funny that you think January 2014 will be the first time that bandai has ever released 2 Mg kits in a single month. Where's your proof of this?

    8. He might have meant two mg kits being released on the same day. Because there have been tons of times where two mg kits come out in the same month

  3. offense...feels like u don't understand have to check what your sayin' if you're commenting that this is "a great review"...then there's no need for you to write your long nonsense opinion...when u say great...u must be satisified & no more no's a waste of time reading your demands in this the way GG great review! Got one and currently building this monster ",

  4. I couldn't stop smiling whenever I see posts or pics relating to Sazabi Ver Ka... =D

  5. While the original design is nothing to sneeze at, this is the one for me(hence the reason why it's one of my favorites of 2013). I seem to have thing Katoki-san's remakes. Now if only it don't have that ginormous price tag, ugh. And speaking of sizes, I wonder if they would ever get around making an MG for fortress-style MSes like say the Psyco Gundam or maybe the Destroy...?

    1. Lol that would be the size of a car probably haha. I think Sazabi Ver Ka is roughly the same size as HGUC Psycho Gundam (I probably am wrong). I love Katoki redesigns and this just tops my wildest imagination of my absolute favorite unit.
      Like the reviewer says (and I didn'tnknow you hosted OtakuRevolution btw!), it truly is pricey but I find it worth every penny. :)

  6. Sazabi ver ka will remembered forever as MG masterpiece, RIP MG sazabi 2000. I astonished also with evolution of gunpla engineering especially ver ka line that started with quality that slightly below than regular MG. Good review GG

  7. The Funnels appear to be the exact same ones from the original MG Sazabi. The flaps don't lock into place or anything so when they are retracted the whole funnel feels flimsy. Hopefully they aren't as much of a pain in the but to get into the backpack as they were with the old kit because of said flimsiness.

    1. @jason The Funnel construction is very similar to the original but with one difference: you attach the four flaps onto the "inner frame" of the Funnels instead of attaching it to the big red cylinderical piece like the 2000 one. Mine isn't flimsy for sure, it was just a wee bit confusing at first.

      I built the original (although metallic finish), but I only built one Funnel and asked a friend to hold onto it until he can find time to finish the Nu Metallic (this was in 2011 mind you haha).

  8. This is my 4th kit (2x HG, 1x RG and 1x MG). Loved it. Still in process of painting the armor using paint brush for the first time. next kit will be MG RX-93 Nu Gundam Ver Ka

    1. So how was it? Is it hard to build for a beginner? I've never build any RG or MG before..but i really like this kit although i didnt watch the series at all :D


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