Kit review: Bandai – HG Soryumaru

Bandai is a long-running company and model kits and figures has been their main products since forever. Amongst hundreds of lines of model kits, the High Grade line is the most numerous and prolific, while for figure, their S.H.F line is definitely the most popular. And to commemorate their most successful business, the high corporate exec decided to make the most out of it by making a pair of figure x model kit – one S.H.F and one High Grade that can combine together. On the model kit side, it was the HG Soryumaru – The Blue Dragon.

– Info: 
HGAC 1/144 Soryumaru
Series: Mobile Report Gundam Wing 
Price: 2,500 yen
Release date: 13 Feb, 2020
Get your own Soryumaru here.

– Design: The Soryumaru is basically a samurai that can trasnform into HALF a motorbike (not a full one, just half). Due to the transformation gimmick, the Soryumaru might look a bit lanky with long, thin limbs, but the armor helps a little bit in bulking him up. True to the name, the kit’s mainly blue with gold and red highlight with some dark navy blue plates. The crest on the head looks pretty badass and resemble a Shogun/General. Without the back armor and side skirt, the Soryumaru might actually pass as a ninja, but with the large back binders, the side armor and the armaments, he definitely embodies the Bushido Spirit.

– Build quality: Well, the kit was to commemorate the High Grade line, so expect Bandai to be in their A-game. However, there are still drawbacks. While the general building process was enjoyable and there are some new interesting gimmicks include – since this is a one-off special kit, Bandai did threw in some very funky mechanism that we haven’t and wouldn’t see in other kits. The downside is the sticker sheet. There are some pretty easy to apply stickers that are more essential – especially the golden ones. To get the complete HG x SHF look or an itasha-ish type, you have to apply some pretty large stickers, and that might get in the way of posing. But if you have some solutions like Mark Fit or Mark Setter, it would definitely help.

– Articulation: As mentioned before, this is a special one-off kit, so the engineering is also very unique. The kit has some of the best movement range in the HG line. The torso can bend up and down very far thanks to a circular joint. The hip joints have a butterfly joint capable of spreading pretty far. Thanks to the sporty design of the motorbike body, it can pull off some pretty acrobatic kicks. However, the weakness is the large armor on its back shoulder. They are large and is on a peg, not a ball joint, so it get in the way quite often when you move them. Your best choice is to remove them, pose the kit, then re-attach them to avoid any collision. Overall, aside from the shoulder armor, the kit has very good articulation.

– Gimmicks: Of course, the kit can “transform” to become one half of a sport motorbike. But we won’t discuss it here since we don’t have his other half – the SHF Girl Aoi. And to be honest, it doesn’t look that great. So we will focus more on the kit itself.

Most of the kit’s gimmicks lie in its weapons. The gun can act as the katana’s scabbard which is pretty cool. And the gun can be stored on the the hips in multiple pegs. The wheel-shield also looks pretty funky. The wheel can be turned sideways to act as a grinder.

– Accessories:  The kit comes with pretty basic accessories for a samurai:

x 1 katana: has a mechanical aesthetic. Also quite thin. So be careful when handling this weapon
x 1 Tanegashima gun: a classic Samurai gun. Can act as the katana’s scabbard.
x 1 pair of hands.
x 1 display base.

–> Overall: The Soryumaru is a great HG kit on its own. Very affordable right now and has excellent playability. The samurai x motorbike aesthetic really make the kit unique and refreshing to build. As an anniversary product for the most prolific model kit line from Bandai, this model is definitely worth having.