Gunpla,  High Grade

HG Lightning Gundam


My second Try Fighters High Grade kit, this time the sniper-specialist Lightning Gundam. With the Build Burning, all I need is a SD Winning Gundam to complete team Try Fighters.


Like Burning though, I didn’t actually get this kit for the kit. It’ll also be another victim to my cannibalistic whims as I plan to mash it together with the Build Burning for a crazy custom.

In all honesty at first I thought I only needed this kit’s v-fin, since its design fit perfectly with what I had in mind. After I actually got the kit though, I realized I could use it for so much more. All the same, I basically bought the whole thing at first just for two tiny parts. I’m crazy like that.


Basically four actual runners, discounting the tiny red and yellow gates. I love being able to see this on my desk and know that it’s the entire kit; Master Grades have been wearing me out as of late.


Basically the entire kit in a pile. Lightning doesn’t actually come with its backpack system though; Bandai makes you buy that separately.


As with Build Burning, this is a complete out-of-box straight build, with stickers, raw plastic, and all. I didn’t even bother lining a single piece this time. Most of it will be torn apart for my custom later, so I wanted to preserve everything as much as possible.

I never noticed this before I built the kit, but I can’t believe Lightning has only its cockpit block area as the only piece to be red. I feel like normally it would be totally out of place to have just one piece of a color on a suit, but it surprisingly works here.


This is of course, Lightning in its most basic form. It feels as incomplete as it is; without a backpack the suit itself feels more bare than it should.


It only comes with a rifle base with two different barrel add-ons, a shield, a pair of beam sabers, and an extra open hand in the way of accessories. Seems like very standard fare.

Two options are given for the sniper rifle; the longer barrel attachment seems more appropriate for actual sniping, with a detachable second handle and scope for additional optional add-ons.

P1130414The rifle itself is also capable of being plugged into the big ‘ol shoulder sensors. The light blue endcap on the butt of the gun that connects into the shoulder is actually a sticker wrapped around the original gray plastic of the rifle. There are several areas on the kit (most notably the ankles) that require some serious sticker-wrapping. Most of the yellow bits are also done in the same way.

P1130416I’m a little disappointed in Lightning’s range of movement. The overall mobile suit design isn’t really meant to be flexible and dramatic; I had a lot of trouble just figuring out how to get it to kneel properly. One of the biggest issues with this is the massive, immobile rear skirts coupled with the bulky legs. There’s not much torso movement in the stomach either, and an articulated waist is pretty much nonexistent.

And the normal rifle attachment. It’s certainly much easier to wield like this. Thankfully the hands are well done enough that the Lightning doesn’t have any issues holding any variations of its weapons.

The tiny shield included can be pegged onto the underside of the forearms, though there isn’t an adapter included to have it holstered on the side. It does have a small groove at the top that allows it to be used as a stand for the rifle though.

The beam saber hilts are stored under the sideskirts. They’re actually pretty tricky to get out; I had to remove the skirts entirely to pry them for use.

P1130423All told I think Lightning’s a pretty underwhelming kit; it’s a very basic and quick build, with a little less articulation that I was hoping for. I can certainly understand the aesthetic appeal of its design, but in this state it just looks extremely incomplete. The backpack is kind of a necessity, though again I’ll be cannibalizing this kit anyway so it doesn’t matter much for me.

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