Gunpla,  High Grade

HG Build Burning Gundam


There are no brakes on the Build Burning hype train. At long last, I’ve finally picked up my own – it seems like everyone has one of these nowadays. This is in all respects a very unusual purchase and even post here; it’s officially the first HG post on the site. I’ve always stayed away from 1/144 High Grades as a 1/100 elitist (I just don’t like mixing scales in my collection) but Build Fighters Try got me in the creative mood.


I didn’t actually buy this kit just for the kit; I’m waiting on the MG release that will hopefully land soon for an actual Build Burning to add to my shelves. I bought this kit as the base suit for a big custom job I have in the works.


I haven’t built a High Grade in ages (I used to have dozens before I liquidated my old collection) so it’s a highly unusual experience to have the entire kit come in a mere two or three runners. I cut and cleaned all the pieces within an hour, leading to that pile above. That whole thing is the entire kit.


I’ve forgotten how gnarly HG v-fins can be; I’ve been spoiled by the ridiculously sharp and delicate MG antennas up until now. Naturally I trimmed the nubs on the end and sanded it down somewhat, though I still think they should properly be longer.


I did a complete straight build here – stickers and all. It’s honestly a very jarring experience; I had to resist the urge to paint the eyes and nubs away as I would normally do even on my non-customized kits. This was a complete out-of-box build, with absolutely no add-ons minus some bare lining for the face vents.

Build Burning

It doesn’t look too bad. The kit feels really loose right after assembly, but I wasn’t going to tighten the joints just yet. I built it straight first so I could get a feel for the base model; it would be effortless to take everything apart again and begin customizing it later.

This kit is pretty well known for its excellent range of movement, and the tales are certainly no lie. I’m actually rather surprised that it doesn’t have much of an inner-frame; it’s assembled more like a traditional HG, with the joints pegging into polycaps clamped between two halves of armor on the limbs. The HGCE Strike had more of a frame than this, if I recall correctly.

I’m kind of upset that the limbs are so loose though. The hip attachments for the legs aren’t particularly strong, meaning it’s difficult to actually get Burning’s leg up in the air for a good kick.

The shoulder ball joints are also ridiculously loose and constantly come out, a problem that seems to be universal with this model. Thankfully though, someone pointed out online that the shoulder polycap issue can be remedied by flipping the PC-10 polycap itself around.


Despite that shoulder polycap problem though, we do we a neat armor-splitting feature in the same area that allows the torso to bend forwards, allowing for more range in the arms.

Some of the armor like the little bits that cover the clear blue pieces on the elbows are extremely loose and prone to falling off often. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, as I could just tighten or glue parts as needed, but I actually need to keep everything clean for the customization process later.


Build Burning does come with a good range of manipulators, as expected of a martial arts-based suit. The only really unique ones are the pair of karate-chop hands though.

Some Jigen Haoh school action now…











…or something like that. Use your imagination creatively and insert the tornado effect above.


Since the Build Burning doesn’t actually come with any weapons, Bandai threw some neat flame effects our way as compensation. Molded all in clear orange plastic, I heard these things glow under blacklight.


Also included are two sets of Plavsky clear parts; the Build Burning uses the blue normally, with the orange representing its Assimilated mode.

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I’ve always wondered what was up with the clear orange hands when I saw reviews of the Build Burning online. Turns out they’re actually only meant to be used inside the flame effects.

Each burning punch effect is made up of an orange hand, the “cone” of the flame, and four tails of different lengths that peg into each other.

I’m pleasantly surprised by how dynamic these effects look. At first I didn’t really think much of these, but they do provide almost an illusion of motion for Build Burning’s poses.

The signature flame circle that comes out of the back is actually made up of a total of six pieces; each flame arm can articulate at three points, including the connection to the backpack. Two extra pieces are also included to allow them to jut out farther, allowing for a lot of posing possibilities.

One flame kick effect is provided, done in a very similar fashion to those for the arms.


In keeping with the spirit of customization for the Build Fighters line, a neat little one-piece adapter is included that plugs neatly into Build Burning’s back for use with other Build Fighters accessories and add-ons.


One such would be the Star Build Strike’s Universe Booster, which I also picked up as a part of my custom project that I plan to incorporate later.


Star Burning Gundam? Probably the most overpowered Gunpla if it ever participated in a World Tournament.


The Build Burning’s not bad. As the first HG kit I’ve worked on in so many years, I can definitely say it’s a fresh and rejuvenating experience. The build is simple but effective in what it accomplishes for the kit once complete.

All the same though, I think due to all the hype for this ‘pla recently, I expected a lot more. I thought it would be a lot sturdier than it is, especially given its conservative and simple design. Granted, I’m sure it would look and feel great with just some slight paint touch-ups and modifications on the joints and armor, but I’m restricted to talking only about its bare out-of-box build here. I’ve already started cannibalizing it for my custom project though; thankfully without many parts it’s a breeze to take apart.


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