I knew it would pay to wait on a HGCE Impulse. I very nearly bought the old HG model from Destiny‘s release after I convinced myself it wasn’t so bad (this took nearly 3 days of staring at the old kit until it started looking blurry and indistinct) but Bandai made all my worries moot by just throwing a new streamlined, modern Impulse our way anyway.
The pre-release info on this guy’s build was met generally favorably – it seemed like everyone came into it with low expectations (as is par the course for anything involving the Impulse Gundam) but didn’t end up disappointed.
It looks like a lot of stickers, but the big red bits are generally all for the Force Silhouette, the same way the HGCE Aile Strike used red for its wings. This was seen as a forgivable offense as long as the rest of the suit was generally color-accurate.
What I wasn’t happy about though, was some of the more pointless accessories for the Impulse.
The Silhouette Flyer and Core Splendor are all given in solid white, which means a metric crap-ton of itty bitty detail painting that will either be a royal pain in the arse to micro-mask or extremely difficult to get right with brush paints.
I’ll concede the point that I really could’ve just left the two aircraft in the box since I don’t plan on displaying them and it would ultimately just be a waste of time and paint to work on them, but I’m a modeler damnit!
And so we get started with a base coat of blue for the tiny Core Splendor.
I could’ve ignored the actual Core Splendor and the Silhouette Flyer, but regardless I would’ve had to paint the folded Splendor that plugs into the Impulse’s biped form’s back. Quite unsightly for it to be given in all white, but in Bandai’s defense it’ll be barely visible on the suit once the Force Silhouette is tacked on.
The Force Silhouette main wings came in black plastic. I actually sprayed black paint first, then masked that and sprayed one coat of red over for the Aile Strike‘s wings. The black plastic and paint underneath the red paint yielded a darker red than the rest of the kit, meaning the Aile Strike’s wings are actually an off-red. Having learned from that mistake, I primed the Force Impulse’s wings first to make sure the red sprayed would stay consistent and not end up darker.
This time I went for red over primer first, then masked that and sprayed the black after.
Center Gundam crest had to be painted yellow; it’s gray because it’s part of the inner chest assembly.
For a newer kit it sure does have its fair share of seams. The rifle is nothing new since almost all HG guns are made up of two halves, but the shoulders and ankle guards are particularly obvious offenders.
I started micro-masking the Core Splendor back block but gave up halfway and decided to just go at it with some white brush paint.
The actual Core Splendor was a bit easier to mask though, since the open wings provide an easier guide for the tape.
For a High Grade that I went into expecting not a lot of extra painting work…it actually took a lot longer to wrap things up because of all the multiple surfaces that had to be masked.
Pre-flat coat. The color break-up is technically inaccurate; the white on the top is supposed to extend down so the peg hole is also white, but I was afraid it would end up scratching it off anyway due to the Silhouette Pack’s connection, so I left it blue. The wings are also supposed to have a finer white/blue breakup but I decided that this was good enough since it’s the color breakup that the MG used.
And just as I was ready for assembly I found out that parts of the collar are actually supposed to be blue, not gunmetal. These are the sorts of subtle details you don’t notice on the manual until you start putting things together.
Even with the spray painting done, there’s still plenty of little details to be added in by hand with brush paints.
Pretty sure it’s a distinctly Seed thing to have red on the insides of thrusters. I’ve grown so used to it that I just do it for all my kits nowadays.
It’s a handsome suit, to be sure. I can’t believe I even considered the original HG after seeing this in front of me.
I’m not very satisfied with the Core Splendor block, but I suppose it’ll do. I’m not sure if I regret panel lining it or not – it looks tacky as is, but would’ve looked too thick and featureless if there were no lines, thanks to the thick acrylic brush paint used to paint it. The texture isn’t as smooth as it could be, either.
Ironically I actually do enjoy the little Core Splendor fighter after seeing it all done up and finished. The one thing that sort of bugs me is that they didn’t bother to include the little missiles on it. They went out of their way to include the actual plane but didn’t bother making it accurate. There are what seem to be pegs under the wings which I always thought missiles would peg into but after I finished the kit I discovered that no such parts were given.
I complained about the Silhouette Flyer coming in all white, but realistically all it took was some slight masking and painting the entire underside piece in black and it was basically set.
The following is required listening to make the most of the next sequence of images:
Aile Strike Gundam Mk. II – I mean, Force Impulse Gundam, clearly.
I almost find it humorous that Bandai tried so hard and went out of their way to include all the necessary components so you can display the suit flying in its separate components.
I mean I guess it’s cool and all but who would seriously display the kit like this? Bandai didn’t even care enough to include the Core Fighter or Core Block System with the RX-78-2 Revive, yet decides to give Impulse more love.
One bit that did annoy me somewhat with the kit was the parts-swapping for the shield’s different modes. Normally I wouldn’t even have bothered with the closed shield but it was necessary for the Impulse Transformation Sequence.
I don’t expect the shield to actually slide open on a HG, but getting the parts out of each white base piece is a terrifying experience as there’s no easy way to pry the parts out of each other.
No surprise, the kit is very mobile and looks damn good just about always. The proportions are slimmer and more streamlined than the original HG, but not quite as stick-thin as the MG kit. The tiny feet and giant backpack mean that it might have a little trouble standing around sometimes, but that’s why I had it exclusively on an action base – the Force Impulse doesn’t fight on the ground where filthy Naturals have their souls bound by gravity anyways.
As much as I didn’t really like the Impulse as a suit (thanks in no small part to its primary pilot), I find myself actually really admiring this kit once all is said and done. Granted, it took a lot more work than I expected to get it to where it should be, but that’s due in large part to all my unnecessary work on the little jet planes. If you’re dying for a diorama build of Attack the Lohengrin, this would make the perfect Impulse kit to pull that off.