Gunpla,  High Grade

HGCC Turn A Gundam

I’ll admit – I’ve never actually given Turn A a chance in terms of watching the entire series, if only because I simply haven’t gotten easy access to it. I know some peripheral information about its titular mobile suit just from picking up bits and pieces here in other Gundam shows and in the community, but I suppose I’ll never truly grasp the glory of the White Mustache in the time being. It seems Bandai hasn’t forgotten about the series though, as 14 years later we finally got a proper entry for the suit in the HGUC (or in this case HGCC) line.

Same drill as an entry into my ongoing All Gundam Project – fully painted stock colors build, sample Gunpla style.

I’m not that intimately acquainted with the Turn A’s color breakup and design, so I really have no idea where these stickers were supposed to go, but it looks like I’ll have quite a bit of red painting to do.

Unusual inclusion of white polycaps, even though this suit has a regular gray frame.

There was a surprising amount of seam-filling that needed to be done, especially on the legs. I thought the Turn A’s strange panel design and seemingly random panel scribing would hide the seam lines better than other suits, but that didn’t turn out to be the case.

Separate crotch rocket Core Fighter included as an all-white solid piece. Looks like the unit on the actual suit isn’t detachable.

The eyes are going to be a very interesting journey, since Turn A’s optics are a bit non-traditional.

The classic undereyes are red as always, but the backing is white, with the eyes themselves as orange.

For what”s supposed to be a super-advanced mecha for its time, the Turn A makes use of some very basic robot tropes: missiles in the chest. Of course Bandai isn’t going to include these as actual opening flaps; parts swapping is a must.

Swap-out units are included for both the front and back of the torso. Painting in the gunmetal was a bit more difficult than I expected; I might just not have as steady a hand as I did.

No traditional Gundam forehead crest – we get a recessed “A” instead. Filled in with acrylic green, then wiped away the excess as it dried.

The seams on the lower legs were particularly annoying to work with. They have a staggered construction, so you can only assemble the lower ankle halves after the calf halves are together.

I took the easy way out and just puttied the lower ankle halves after the upper halves had been completed. This will then be sanded smooth and painted.

Masking the parts that had already been painted, in order to paint the newly seam-filled halves.

Core Fighter painted, cockpit block done in chrome underneath, which will then have a coat of clear yellow over it.

I’m actually very surprised Bandai went out of its way to include a molded pilot figure in the crotchpit. It’s of course molded into the piece and not removable, but the detail counts. I painted the cockpit unit gunmetal to differentiate from the white pilot suit, but didn’t bother going in and adding the helmet visor detail and whatnot.

Apparently most of the red stickers were meant for the rifle.

The colors may be familiar, but the design is still a doozy.

Awkward story – while I was shooting this set it turns out the paint actually made the waist ball joint too thick and as I was twisting the kit the peg that the polycap was on snapped.

Despite my efforts to trim the paint off the peg and loosen the joint so there wasn’t as much tension, it turns out no amount of glue would be able to hold that peg back in reliably. Admittedly, I didn’t give the super glue much time to cure, but I wasn’t willing to wait.

I was also very unwilling to engineer a new peg joint (I probably could have, given a bit of time) so I decided to just glue the waist unit together in place. This way it would at least hold in one piece, but of course now my Turn A no longer has waist articulation.

Other than the waist issue, everything else works and moves as you’d expect on a fairly modern HG.

Parts swapping required to extend the butt of the rifle for Hyper Burst Mode (or whatever it actually does).

A pair of open palms are also included with the standard holding hands.

I’ll never display the Turn A like this, but it’s a nice feature for fans of the show.

Saber hilts are stored on the back of the shoulders, and can rotate for Turn A to reach back and equip.

To store the rifle and shield on the back, Bandai includes two extra replacement beam saber holsters that have extensions in order to grip those weapons.

I still think having the core fighter and clear pilot dome visible on the crotch is a bit of a weird design feature, but if I’m not paying attention to it I can overlook it. Again, props to Bandai for actually molding a bit of a pilot there; they usually don’t go that far for High Grades.

And of course, the detached core fighter. I find it ironic that they went out of their way to include a totally separate unit for this (rather than just making the crotch one detachable and transformable – lord knows it isn’t particularly complex), but then cut corners by not molding a pilot or clear dome for this one.

When I finished this suit up and placed it with the rest of the collection, I was reminded that the Turn A is canonically much taller than most mobile suits – around 20 meters compared to the usual 18. The scaling is clearly accurate in kit form.

The Turn A works well as an entry into the modern HG lineup, but surprisingly uses more parts-forming than the less articulated and sophisticated 1/100 HG of yesteryear. I do think they could’ve at least made a bit more of an engineering effort to actually make the rifle butt slide rather than swap out, and the core fighter really doesn’t need to be split into two units. Out of the box it’ll be mostly color-accurate, but be prepared for some nasty seams front-and-center, especially on those long luscious legs.


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