Review: RG MSN-04 Sazabi
Release Date: August 2018
List Price: 4,860JPY
One of the more popular of the mobile suits that fan favorite Char Aznable has piloted, the Sazabi has also enjoyed prominence in its various Gunpla releases. In its latest release (in Real Grade form no less!), Sazabi looks like it will keep its distinctive position as one of the marvel’s of Bandai engineering prowess. Before we start, I have to make a disclaimer that although I have seen and handled the MG Sazabi Ver Ka, I have personally not built one myself. I am approaching this review as strictly focusing on the RG version from a fresh perspective. Now, let’s take a look at this beast of an RG kit shall we?
Building Process 10/10
Opening the box you will find 12 runners for the whole kit which includes armor, inner frame and weapons along with a sticker sheet. You will notice almost immediately after inspecting the runners, that the semi-built inner frame that is normally associated with the RG line is drastically reduced. The “rubbery” ABS PP parts that comprise the arms and legs of other RG kits are now limited to only a few pieces for the wrist, shoulder frames and the waist/skirt frame. Noticeably absent are polycaps as well. You will find that most pieces of the kit are also used, with only very few unused parts left in the runners after you finish building the kit. A lot of the armor pieces are also under-gated which is also a nice touch for a kit as detailed as this one.
When I got this kit, I was excited to start working on it and committed to finishing it in the fastest time I can manage. However, as I found myself assembling the kit, I was just simply impressed with the details depicted in the inner frame as well as the articulation that this RG has to offer. Just looking at how parts seamlessly go together, I just couldn’t help but “waste” time in just admiring how cool assembling this kit is for the first time.
For a heavy and bulky RG kit, the Sazabi is surprisingly very articulated. Strategically located (non-polycap) joints that enable a wide range of movement in the arms and legs have been incorporated into the inner frame. Combine that with the adjustable nature of the outer armor, and you gain the ability to pose the Sazabi into various action poses you never thought possible with an RG kit.
For size comparison, i took some quick snaps of the 1/144 RG Sazabi innerframe with my 1/100 Graze Custom.
Taking a look at the legs, you will find that it can bend at the knees at an impressive angle, (in excess of 90 degrees) which reveals the ever so detailed nature of the inner frame. The feet can swivel from side to side and additional joints at the soles enable even more movement aiding kit stability especially when standing or being displayed on uneven surfaces.
The arms have a nice rotational movement to them and when combined with the impressive bending gimmick at the elbows, reaching that itchy patch of armor on the backpack won’t be a hassle for big boy Sazabi.
The RG Sazabi also has the signature “open–hatch” gimmick that the MG Ver Ka is known for. Although it’s not exactly the same, the RG version is nevertheless impressive. This gimmick can be seen all throughout the armor of the RG; from the shoulders, arms, legs, as well as the side and back skirts. The sheer number of moving parts Bandai managed to incorporate into their new RG release is a wonder to behold.
The RG Sazabi comes with its standard Shield, a Beam Rifle, a pair of Beam Sabres, a Beam Axe that can be mounted on the shield or held in the hand, several pairs of interchangeable hands, and a variety of beam effects for both the axe and sabres. Plus there’s also a teeny tiny 1/144 figure of Char included.
The Shield can be mounted on either arm of the Sazabi and the connection is stable enough that it doesn’t drag down the whole kit because of its size.
Both beam melee weapons, the axe and the sabres have a simple design and fits snugly into the dedicated hand slots provided with the kit. The axe has several beam effects that you can interchange whether you’re using it handheld or mounted on the shield. The beam “burst” details on the effects parts are also a nice touch.
The Beam Rifle is simple in design yet detailed enough that it doesn’t look out of place with the whole set. Bandai made the extra effort to provide proper color separation of the energy piping without compromising integrity of the pieces when assembled.
The backpack also has the opening Funnel rack gimmick, along with 6 actual articulated funnels that can be removed from the rack and opened up in the “deployed” configuration. One gripe is that there should have been effects parts included for these to hold them up in “deployed mode” since they practically included everything else! Well, hoping they release something in the future for this.
Overall Look 10/10
Have I already said that the RG Sazabi is an irritatingly beautiful kit? Well, it is! I’m personally not a Real Grade builder and prefer HGs and MGs, but this particular kit really amazed me with how it was painstakingly designed.
I already mentioned that the parts of the inner frame that peek out when posing the kit are really great; but there are a lot of other nice details to appreciate if you look closely.
From the underside of most of the armor, to the parts showing when you use the “open hatch” gimmick, Bandai definitely ensured that the mechanical design of the RG Sazabi is one for the books!
The kit comes with an adaptor for the standard Action Bases 2 and 5 so that you can display your badass kit in more dynamic poses.
Fun Factor 9/10
I mentioned earlier that I snapped the RG Sazabi relatively longer than I expected, and as I said, this was mainly due to my having to pause and just straight up admire each stage of the assembly process. While I admit to being a slow builder than most, this particular build was very enjoyable for me.
Initial reviews online have indicated possible problems at the connection point of the arms and the main body. Upon inspection, I personally think that the main reason for this is the fact that the peg connecting the arms is hollow. Add that to the fact that the arms are designed to be moved in a variety of ways, the stress that the hollow peg will have to endure is significant. Careful manipulation of the arms however is possible. As you can see from the images, I was able to rotate and manipulate the arms into an array of positions. However, I was mindful and very careful to provide support to the body while rotating the particular joint. Personally, I plan to fill in the hollow peg with epoxy putty to provide additional stability and strength at that particular point. Widening the joint in the arm sockets for smoother movement may also be another solution.
All in all, even with the arm/body joint issue, I don’t think it takes off from how excellent the RG Sazabi is in reality.
Final Verdict. 9.2/10 (Buy it!!!)
I am a Zeon fan… no “but’s” about it. But I’m also NOT a Real Grade builder. I however, cannot recommend this kit enough due to the fact that it is simply one of the best kits I have built in the 1/144 scale. The details, gimmicks, articulation as well as the sheer magnificence of the RG Sazabi well exceeded my expectations for this kit.
For those who already have the MG Ver Ka, you definitely need this to complete your collection. For those undecided on the RG line, this is the perfect time to give it a chance.
Honestly, GET THIS KIT!!! no “but’s” about it!