Gunpla,  Master Grade

MG Sinanju OVA Ver.


I’ve been putting off this kit’s photoshoot and post writeup for probably about a year now because of how much a hassle handling the kit is. It was one of those that I finished building and immediately threw into the glass towers, never to be touched again until the stars aligned.

I’m finally getting rid of it now though; auctioning it off on eBay for some extra cash (and clearing the cases out because I can’t exactly take four glass towers’ worth of collectables into my dorm room) so that means I need to document it before I send it off. The Red Comet’s finally got his chance to shine.

P1040194I remember dreading this kit just a slight because of its notorious gold emblems. I was adamant on not building it until I was confident in my micro-painting skills, because there was no way in hell I was going to try micro-masking this stuff like some other gods have.

P1060886Personally, I think it’s pretty criminal to take the easy way out and use stickers or waterslides for the emblems. On a kit of this grandeur, it can only be done justice with proper painting.

Yeah, that sounds a bit painter-elitist but I went into this kit with the utmost fear and reverence – it was one of those that I thought if I built straight without decals or stickers would make me look wussy.

P1060916Anyway, I tested the gold-on-black on several guinea pig pieces first before settling on my final choice of gold – the good ‘ol CraftSmart paint pen. I tried my usual brush acrylic craft gold, gold Sharpie, and even Tamiya brushed gold. The general problem was that they all looked too grainy – I wanted a smooth metal-like gold finish, which the CraftSmart pen yielded well as long as you were conscious of marker-strokes.

P1060913I’ll admit though – I did get pretty sloppy with the trim at times. Thankfully, I could just go back and fill in the mess with some flat black paint, which would end up melding seamlessly with the rest of the black plastic after everything was flat-coated.

P1060882Cutting the armor out and breaking it up for ease of build and organization. I decided to leave the inner frame stock, while all the armor pieces would be cut, cleaned, decal’d, and finally matte coated individually.

P1060883Ordered the Ver. Ka waterslide sheet online. These are aftermarket, so it actually comes with a good amount of large original custom markings that were never released by Bandai.

P1060915I’m pretty sure I coated that entire emblem segment in gold first, then filled in the black with panel lining marker because it was so tiny.

P1060931The tubing parts for the waist were fun. To get rid of all the nubs completely I had to paint each one over in stock gray.

P1060957Thank god the Sinanju only had the two pipes on its waist, versus stuff like the Zaku that has ’em all over the place. Metal springs were given that slide onto the plastic, with the beads going over.

P1060955Also wanted to add a little extra flair to the thrusters, as is standard on most of my kits. The exteriors were painted gunmetal, with a coat of silver on the insides first.


Add a little drying time and some clear red over the silver and you get a very nice cherry metallic red finish, which should contrast nicely with the rest of the Sinanju’s flat red armor.

P1060956Of course, all of the parts that were actually given in goldenrod yellow on the kit had to match the emblem gold, so it was all sprayed gold with Testors spray.

P1060958The decal-ing process was intimidating to be sure, thanks to the sheer number that had to be placed, but it was made a lot easier thanks to me having opted for the easier waterslide options.

P1060959I can’t imagine the hell that would be dry-transferring all of these.

P1060960The curved stripes were just a bit tough to get right, especially when things just didn’t fit with the contours of the plastic…


Ended up with a lot of big blank spaces on the armor after applying all the decals according to the manual. Therefore I had room to get creative when adding the custom emblems.


Toothpick’d and ready for some matte coat. Shiny, yes?

P1060964In those dark days before I actually had alligator clip skewers, I was reduced to taping the parts that wouldn’t go on toothpicks to my spray box so they wouldn’t be blown away when hit with paint.


My only real goals I had when going into this kit was painted gold emblems and flat armor.

Since I built this kit quite a long time ago though, I hadn’t yet learned some of the finer points of finishes and painting that I’ve since made use of on some of my latest works like the Vice Burning Gundam. As such, I was a bit foolhardy in simply applying a single coat of matte to all my finished pieces, rather than coating them in a layer of gloss first for strength.

P1060966I found out the hard way later that a single coat of flat coat simply isn’t durable enough for a standard kit – gloss is inherently stronger than matte, so a coat of the former first followed by a coat of the latter for aesthetic would’ve been perfect.

P1060967I’m not even sure why I bothered detailing these pistons; it’s very unlike me to do anything for the inner frame. I was actually surprised to see this on my kit when I took the photoshoot recently.

P1060968Fairly complex build; boasting plenty of articulation already.

P1060969It’s on its feet!

P1060980The flat coat blurred some of my panel lines…had to go back and clean them up with some rubbing alcohol, then respray to get a clean finish.

P1060984Getting the arms and shoulders together. The hands are standard multi-jointed Zeon hands, which I split for further articulation.

P1060985Even the backpack has an inner frame yeesus. I also made the mistake of glossing over the black pieces on the suit after matte coating them, since I wanted a contrasting finish between the two armor colors. This was before I learned that matte coating gloss was okay, but gloss coating matte was not. Hence the nasty grainy finish seen on the back of Sinanju’s skirts there.

P1060986I went out of my way to detail the fuel tanks quite a bit by painting in the gray and black ends by hand, but then I didn’t actually bother with removing the long nasty seam that ran down their center. I only noticed this recently during the photoshoot too; back then I never gave a second thought to seam lines.

P1060987And finally, some work was needed on the OVA-specific weapon since it came all in inner-frame gray. Shame Bandai didn’t just go the extra mile and include the accurate light gray for the extending barrel, but what can you do.


There she is. Flat is justice!

P1150998Opening cockpit feature is really neat for this particular suit; it’s a three-point system so the topmost emblem must be raised first to allow the two blocks to fold up and down.

I’ve seen some other high-gloss Sinanju’s, and have decided that I much prefer a matte finish for this particular suit. The red is loud enough; a glossy sheen makes it just a bit too ostentatious for me.

P1160017Glad to see my detail work paid off. The issue I mentioned above with the weak flat coat can already clearly be seen though – note the little scuffs of white/clear here and there – that’s the flat coat rubbing off from its own armor.

P1160022The worst offenders of this issue would be the thighs – the skirts rub against them so furiously during regular movement that nearly all the paint has been rubbed off. This issue would be partially remedied if there were a strong coat (or few coats, even) of gloss beneath the flat coat to keep things durable in the face of grinding plastic, but what can you do.

P1160018Conspicuous seam lines? Why I never!


The thruster pull-out gimmick is nice, though not as dramatic as I had remembered. Still, Sinanju’s backpack is very lightweight so it doesn’t suffer from balance issues. This is also helped by its already massive frame and sturdy stance.

P1160020This kit honestly looks really good from afar, but when you get up close and see the flat coat scuffing and grainy black bits it’s more than a little saddening. Hence why I shoved it in the case as soon as I was done and proceeded to never touch it again until now.

P1160014Starting off with a look at its basic armaments. Beam rifle and shield, both appropriately massive for a bigass suit. I’m particularly proud of the fine gold painting on the shield; all that was done by hand.

The shield is unique in that it doesn’t need to be clipped onto the left forearm; it hooks onto a joint that comes out from Sinanju’s shoulder armor. As such, it moves more with the body than the arm, though the connection is loose and flimsy at best. A flip-out clip on the shield can still attach it to Sinanju’s arm traditionally.

P1160010The rocket launcher looks really good aesthetically; I’m proud of my work with the light gray, I think it breaks the weapon up really well.

P1160012The scope and secondary handle are optional attachments; they were never featured on the weapon in the anime proper, so I’m assuming it’s a design extra that just happened to be included? Either way, it can only be attached to the launcher when it’s open on its own.

P1160011Also went out of my way to add some detail to the rounds on the butt of the launcher; I really like how the silver bits turned out.

Not much Sinanju can really do with it; I’m pretty sure it won’t work as an over-the-shoulder launcher.

P1160009It can also be attached to the underside of the shield, presumably for storage but also as a cool hybrid weapon.

It’s long and massive enough that it’s actually capable of taking Sinanju’s arm off from being so damn heavy.

P1160029I should also note now that the Sinanju’s hands suck. There’s a reason there are so many more beam saber/beam axe shots than there are of the bazooka and beam rifle. It can’t hold them!


The rifle and rocket launcher are both extraordinarily long and heavy weapons, and it doesn’t help that Sinanju’s palm peg basically doesn’t fit either and the fingers are more or less only for show and not function. I nearly gave up on getting any shots with the beam rifle at all – it kept slipping down the moment I wrapped the fingers around.


Now this – Sinanju’s infamous beam rifle/rocket launcher combo as made famous by the last few minutes of Episode 5 – took the blessing of my local priest and several good luck charms set up around my photo set to make possible.


Make no mistake – this setup looks absolutely badass and is so ridiculously long that it doesn’t even fit as a display in my glass towers – but if a single rifle and a single bazooka were too heavy for Sinanju’s hands to hold onto, it’s only to be expected that a whombo combo of the two weapons would take nothing less than the blessing of several deities and the alignment of two solar systems.

I nearly glued the bloody hand to the rifle before it miraculously held and I scrambled to get all three shots that I could.

P1160032Now finally onto some easier stuff. The beam sabers are stored in the forearms; the armor actually raises up on a joint that allows access to the hilts.

Even the beams aren’t your standard Gundam beams – the texture around the edges is a really nice touch.

Upgraded from the usual Zeon standard-issue heat hawk. Everybody knows beam axes are so much cooler.

But then what if your beam axes actually had extending tips and basically became cooler beam sabers?

But then what if you wanted to combine them and role-play as a cooler version of Darth Maul?

And then what if your favorite weapon in Halo was an energy sword but you wanted to step it up a notch and also have an energy sword scissor shield?

P1160045You get the point. Sinanju has a lot of melee options, so don’t ever get too close.


I made sure the styles matched for both models just for this one picture.

P1150994Anyway, all told this is a pretty solid model…but in my own personal opinion I don’t think it should ever be straight-built out of the box with gratuitous use of the provided foil stickers/stock markings. It’s an absolutely massive and stocky mobile suit design that will definitely have a strong presence in any collection, so it deserves to be done justice.

For how large it is, the Sinanju still retains a very good range of motion, so in that respect I suppose it has plenty of play value, though I personally never touched mine until it was necessitated by my current plans. The only thing I would also recommend as an extra to the kit is a new set of manipulators if you intend to have your kit become capable of holding its own long-range armaments.

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