Inspired by the 1:1 life scale Gundam RX-78-2 that now stands in Diver City Tokyo Plaza, Odaiba, Japan, the Real Grade attempts to capture the color separation and life-like appearance in a small 1/144 scale. Here you'll face ultra small pieces and details you'll normally find on larger scaled model kits.
This time I'm not wiggling loose pieces from the plastic runners. I picked up a Tamiya basic tool kit off eBay which includes the plastic side cutter (this is my main tool), a plastic file (it's okay but doesn't smooth plastic out like buying real sandpaper), a craft knife (great for slicing off left over sprue on your piece, angled tweezers (pick up small pieces or put stickers on), and two screwdrivers (flat and cross - which I've never used).
I also picked up some markers for panel lining my Gundams. I tested them on my older HG and non-line Gundams and they turned out well. I'll update those old posts with post panel lining later this week. I picked up a grey Gundam marker GM02, a Pigma Micron 005 (I'd rather have a Gundam marker but they were just too fat. But this doesn't rub off as easily if you screw up), a metalllic gold Sharpie, and a metallic silver Sharpie. Get the metallic ones because the water based ones will just rub off the plastic.
On a trip to Vancouver, Canada, I picked up a 1/144 scaled Real Grade Gundam RX-78-2 and a Real Grade Gundam Strike Freedom. I wanted a RS-78-2 because it's the original. Real grades are a big detail improvement over the HG line and I didn't want to spend so much money to buy a 1/100 Master Grade.
Underneath each Real Grade Gundam is a small plastic skeleton - like a simplified 1/100 scaled Master Grade
The skeleton isn't made of many pieces. In this case it's 7 pieces but varies slightly for other models. I also built the foot on my first day.
After a few hours I got the lower part of it done. I recommend painting (I used the metallic gold Sharpie) piece A16 prior to attaching it to the chest.
Here it is without the paint which I had to pull apart later
Here I paint the back of the knees which can be done after assembly.
With the arm assembled, you can still paint piece G10. There's no metallic bronze Sharpie so I just used gold. Be careful not to paint the armor pieces.
The head is made up of 14 pieces. As mentioned in the instructions, I would recommend sticking the eyes to piece A12 before assembly. But I would also recommend painting the Vulcan guns (yellow circles beside the head crest) metallic bronze on piece A18 before assembly because it's difficult to pull off piece E1-17 without breaking off the guns.
A few more hours, Gundam RS-78-2 is fully built
Here is Bandai's Real Grade 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam standing beside a can of Coke.
It's small. The pieces are even smaller so building him was quite an exercise.
His beam saber is ridiculously long
Everything else that's included:
Collapsed core fighter:
But he looks just so awesome
Bandai Real Grade 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam with its box:
Bandai has done an incredible job creating the Real Grade 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam. It looks exceptionally detailed and they included lots of accessories like a transformable core fighter and bazooka. It was a real challenge putting it together which such small pieces. I have yet to sticker him up and top coat him (I'll update this post once I do that) Posing him is also challenging with pieces frequently falling off too. This is a model and not a toy. If you want a cheap introduction to advanced Gundam model building then the Real Grade line is a great start. And the RX-78-2 is a fabulous model design that's universally recognized and loved.
MSRP: 2,500 Yen