Gunpla,  High Grade

HG Gundam Kimaris Custom


A custom-painted Gundam Kimaris, hailing from Iron-Blooded Orphans. Not my usual M.O., but that’s because I didn’t buy or own this particular kit. It isn’t a commission build either – rather, it’s probably going to be the first in quite a few random custom-painted Gunpla, unlike my usual trend with going with a theme or collection.


I never thought I’d actually find a girl who’d pick up the hobby from me, but I guess miracles happen every now and again.


Of course, Bandai is a marketing genius, so of course she had to pick up a Bearguy as her first kit. She built that in a few mere hours and was ready to move onto the next one.


The Kimaris, like the rest of the Iron Blooded Orphans lineup, is very bare-bones, and of course, cheap. She’s just been picking out Gunpla that she thought looked cool or cute; I advised her to stay with HGs for now.


Picked up straight building like a champ – threw her a pair of scissors and an exacto and she was on her way.


It kind of blows my mind how quickly she plows through kits. I haven’t done a pure straight build in years now, so I’ve gotten very used to a fully painted HG build taking around a week.


Kimaris in all of its straight built glory. She wasn’t very impressed with this kit; the sub-$15 price tag shines through with its loose build and finicky shoulder-to-torso attachments.


The seams that run right through the shoulder pad circles up top make me sad. The unusual head design also makes the big line cutting through its center more prominent than most.


Kind of feels wrong to disassemble the kit and remove/throw out the stickers she had applied right before.


The Kimaris should have a much sharper design than what’s featured here on the HG – quite a few things had to be sanded down to achieve a sleeker and slimmer look – the little spinner disks that come out of the shoulders were particularly bad offenders in how bubbly and soft they looked.


Seam-filling these High Grades is becoming more and more of a nightmare. As mentioned above, the helmet had to be filled in at the sides, but the face can only be assembled within – same story with the arms and inner arm frame. Hoping to any and all higher powers that the masking tape will do its job without hassle.


I had a really tough time choosing the color scheme here – I originally wanted to do a light gray primary color and a dark blue as a secondary – this would be a very subtle change from the Kimaris’ original palette. It would’ve looked clean and near-stock, but I wanted to do something a little more unique and unorthodox. Unfortunately, unique and different doesn’t always translate to being as tasteful as what’s tried and true.


The blue-purple primary color is actually a leftover spray can that I just wanted to get rid of – it was originally picked out specifically to be used on a Code Geass Sutherland custom, since the color matched nigh-perfectly. That custom never actually ended up happening, so the color was just lying around. Figured it was high time to finally use it.


It’s very cool to see Bandai following the Iron Blooded Orphans lore and having Kimaris use a slightly modified version of Barbatos‘ frame.


And because the Kimaris is kind of known for its thrust capacity and speed, special attention of course had to be given to its verniers.

P1190921Coming together. Matte finishes are just better.


I’ll be the first to admit – it looks like a zucchini exploded all over the Kimaris. Custom color schemes seldom ever come out the way I imagine them in my head, and I’m always too lazy to actually fill it out in lineart or something first to see if it’ll look good before just doing it. It’s unique and different though – in that regard I got what I was going for.


I honestly don’t think it looks that bad, actually. Yeah, the contrast between the dark midnight blue and the zucchini indigo isn’t vast enough, but I think the white bits offset that enough to make it work.

The Kimaris’ inherently bulky design means that even with the IBO Gundam frame derived from the Barbatos, it doesn’t get a whole lot of movement out of those thunderous legs. The round and beefy shoulder armor design also means there’s not a whole lot of movement there, made worse by the ball joint linking it to the torso being a bit too shallow to hold up for extended play.


The whole signature feature of opening the leg armors to reveal the thrusters in the legs is honestly really underwhelming because…well, the thrusters are tiny. I don’t remember if they were canonically this small in the show, but they for sure can’t be any bigger to fit flush while the armor’s closed.

P1190946Weapons aren’t numerous – the primary being the giant lance and the secondary being the little fold-out blade. I’m actually really pleased with the white lance – looks a lot better I think than the original boring colors.

P1190945The shoulder-stored shurikens originally came as super bubbly and fat things as I mentioned above – they had to be sanded down considerably to make them flatter and sharper.


Not much of a gimmick, but props to Bandai for actually including the opening mechanisms in a mere High Grade.

The folding combat knife is as simple as it looks – two-piece construction, with a little indent on the guard that allows for storage on the rear skirt. Only the forward edge was painted silver in following with the original scheme – for whatever reason on the stock photos only half the blade edge was shown silver.

P1190952Despite probably not being the most visually pleasing color combo around, I’m still fairly pleased with the outcome – maybe part of it is because it was a total throw-away project. I did it because the kit happened to be lying around and I happened to have spare paint. The misses doesn’t particularly care about her kits after she’s built them – she’s in it solely for the build process.

While the HG Kimaris itself isn’t an impressive kit (get the 1/100 instead), I’m glad at least it stands out a bit in the crowd of usual red/white/blue/yellow Gundams on display.

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