Take a quick breather, because that title is a mouthful.
Awesome, because today I am doing a rare double review of the HG Barbatos and the Iron Blooded Arms (didn't know that's what it was called) CGS Mobile Worker Option set. If you couldn't already tell from the title that is...
If you're a fan of Gundam, you probably recall that teaser months ago that slowly revealed different aspects of a new Gundam week after week. I, like many of you, was very interested in this new unique design. After the full unveiling, however, I was left a little unsure. A fairly primitive looking mobile suit, unfinished in design with a giant mace and a... whoa snap, hold the phones it has a katana!
Is it too early to make some comparisons to the oh-so-popular Astray designs from Gundam SEED, with the physical weapons and exposed frames? Maybe
After watching following the series upon its release, I started to fall in love with the Barbatos because of what it embodied. Sure, some suits have design quirks and aesthetic draws, but for the Barbatos, it represents that primitive grit that I mentioned before. It's supposed to look unfinished, because its supposed to have more and more added on from the spoils of its victims. It's supposed to have those primitive bludgeoning weapons and not be technologically advanced. Its a war relic being used by child soldiers fighting a desperate battle that children shouldn't be in, and the Barbatos captures that beautifully.
But does this kit?
As you can see, this kit doesn't come with that many runners. This is mainly a product of the fact that this kit is very skinny, for lack of a better term, and supposed to look fairly incomplete. It comes with two A runners, A1 and A2 which are grey. It comes with a B runner in white, a C runner in yellow, a D runner in red, and an E runner in blue. Finally a polycap runner and foil sticker sheet round out whats in this box.
The CGS mobile workers option set also comes with two runners, both in grey. (not pictured)
I thought that the Barbatos seemed kinda short and skinny, but compared with the Build Strike, they're about the same height. The Barbatos seems a bit beefier in its chest and shoulders, knees and waist, but its limbs are skinny.
Weapons and Manipulators
From left to right:
Mace - included with Barbatos kit
Long sword - included with Barbatos kit
Lance - CGS option set
300mm Smooth bore gun - CGS option set
Submachine Gun - CGS option set
Shield - CGS option set
Mobile worker - CGS option set
All these weapons are molded in grey, and look pretty darn bland. The only extra color is on the smooth bore gun, where you can add stickers.
I'm a little disappointed that they didn't include any open hands for this kit. I think they would have complemented the weapons very well for posing purposes.
I really like the mobile worker, though it is so tiny! I want to give it a nice desert paint job. Maybe I'll call upon Gundariumsmith again...
Gundariumsmith did a great job on my SD Loto, which to this date has been the smallest "kit" I own. In actuality, it was included with the SD Kshatriya.
The arms on this kit can reach out past 180 degrees, because of the orientation of the polycap in the torso. Instead of having the polycap rotate forward and back so that the arm can be brought forward more, the polycap is oriented so that it rotates upward and downward so the arms can be brought higher.
The shoulder armor is set on its own joint connected to the top of the shoulder, and can shift freely from the rest of the arm. However, this doesn't really do much, as the arm cannot rotate up as high as the armor can shift anyways.
The arm rotates from the shoulder to the bicep. Also, you don't get a full bend on the elbow, as the forearm design won't allow it. Even if you decide to build the asymmetrical design with the gauntlet, you get pretty much the same amount of bend.
The upper chest can pivot slightly on the rest of the exposed torso. This is interesting, but I don't think it provides enough movement to actually do any drastic poses. Maybe it will help shift some weight around?
The skirt armor comes up, but still gets in the way of the leg, so you won't be able to bring it up for a full kick. The knee does have a nice double joint, for a good bend, but its a little wonky when you try to put it back into place. Also the front section of the foot bends freely, so you can move that around for some better stability in ground poses.
Color and Quality
Above, you can see the Barbatos with the original C runner molded in yellow, and the foil sticker sheet. I knew going into it that this kit was going to have some cartoonish yellows and a whole ton of seals. Instead of using that, I decided to paint up the yellow parts with gold, and paint the sections that required seals.
As you can see, I painted the red markings, and also painted the vents and V-fin gold. I also decided to add a little more color to the exposed sections of the frame, by painting the pipings gold, and also adding color to the pistons.
Even the weapons suffer from lack of color. The gauntlet, sword and mace are all a bland dark grey. To alleviate some of this, I decided to dry brush them with steel colored paint, to give it a scratched metal look. All in all, I was happy with the results.
In terms of quality, I'd say the construction is pretty good for a kit that has an exposed torso. The kit has some semblance of a frame inside it, which allows you to pop on the armor pieces without popping in polycaps everywhere. It stands firm, but there are some areas that don't work too well in the arms. The shoulder joint tends to pop out, and the shoulder itself sometimes separates the two round pieces that make it up.
CGS Option Parts
The shield is supposedly for use on the Graze and not the Barbatos. It is also supposed to be green, but alas it is all grey. What else is there to say? Its a shield. It doesn't really make me want to paint it a different color either...
The Submachine Gun is also for the Graze, but it's pretty cool. I think the Barbatos has enough large outlandish weapons, and should have a smaller, low-profile weapon...
...which ultimately can combine with the lance, which is also for the Graze. The lance is cool too, another atypical Gundam weapon. This one I might actually consider painting in white, and adding some details to, because how often are you going to have a lance!?
The Smooth-bore gun is interesting. This one is actually for the Barbatos. Its big, its cumbersome, and its meant to be held by one hand apparently...
Thankfully the Barbatos comes with a separate arm mechanism which connects to the backpack and the gun for added support.
When not in use, you can take apart the gun and "fold" it, and attach it to the backpack. Along with this, you can interchange these claws to hold the mace and the long sword on the back as well.
Finally, this little guy. The mobile worker is awesome. Its so simple, and I absolutely loved the mobile workers battle against Gjallarhorn. Definitely going to paint this guy up, but its a very simple design.
This kit is really interesting. I think I have a soft spot for it now, because of the effort I put in. This is a great kit for beginners, as you could probably put it together in 1-2 hours, and still have a really nice looking kit (albeit with stickers). For more advanced builders, you could take this as a challenge to really make those weapons pop, paint on those details, and make it look great. The same goes for the option parts. Its really simple, but unfortunately will take some work to make it look great. I'm not sure I would've loved the kit if I just built it out of the box and left it as is.
Some nice things about this kit are that it gives you extra parts to build a symmetrical arm, so that you can have it resemble the fourth form in the anime, where it looks more complete. I opted to keep the gauntlet and add the shoulder armor. I really dig that asymmetrical look.
Currently, I have another CGS option set, but I'm not sure what to do with it. I actually got the kits for this review from my Secret Santa, but I had bought a CGS option set with the Schwalbe Graze so that it could have the lance. Do I just keep both and have a second awesome mobile worker, but then also have redundant weapons?
Either way, I'm definitely looking forward to building the Graze, and also definitely looking into the new 1/100 models for the IBO line.
Until next time,