I finally completed MG Exia today! I had actually completed the kit last year [[30 December, to be exact]], but I put off tackling the remaining decals and clear stickers until today. I figured that since I had time today, I might as well finish this up – the poor model was gathering dust amongst the books while waiting for completion. XD;

Usual warnings for webcam pics!

A no-frills, out-of-the-box build.

The chest comes loaded with tiny parts, making sanding a painful experience for me. Chest vents can move a little, but if you move it too much, the parts may come undone. xD And sideburns~! I wasted so much time trying to make sure they stayed in place, but every time I assembled the head halves together, one or both of the sideburns would shift and expose this tiny space which bugged me so much I had to go undo the head to put the sideburns in place. -_-; I was wishing for some cement right there and then, but I managed to get them to stay in place, so it’s good.

For all my complaints about the sanding process, I enjoyed building MG Exia very much. xD Fortunately, besides some tiny hiccups like me shaving off extra but barely noticeable bits on the beam parts, the building process was smooth with no major mishaps this time round.

I can’t say the same for the decals though. So, I tried out a couple while building the kit last month, and I thought to myself, “Why not use up the rest too!”

Me – 0
Decals – 1
Decal casualties: Too many to count

Misaligned decals aside, I also ruined a number of them by accidentally removing the whole thing before making sure the decal was in place. >_>; The thing about using decals is that when you read about people teaching you how to use them – cut! sticky tape in place! rub away! – it seems so simple, but patience is really the key to using them. It doesn’t help that they’re so tiny either. On the bright side, they really do look good on the model. XD All it needs now is some topcoating… T_T

As for clear stickers, they sure are hard to remove from the paper! XD; I resorted to stabbing an area close to the sticker itself and using the hobby knife and tweezers to pick it up.I was worried about the edges standing out, but they’re not as noticeable as I thought they’d be, probably because I didn’t topcoat it. This pic is really bad, but I took it because I was proud of how everything was nicely aligned on the shield. ^^; The ones on the GN Sword were pretty well-aligned too, save for the long strip in the middle on one side.

And yep, I used the chromed parts for its blades. They look really good; pity about the gates not being designed to be more lenient on nub removal. Tried using silver marker to cover up the black nub areas and they work pretty good. From afar, you won’t notice the nubs, but since the silver paint doesn’t match the chrome parts, extreme closeup is another story. xD

I really like the pins on Exia’s hips for holding the GN Blades. They can retract into Exia’s thighs and then be taken out to hold the Blades. Nice. As for Exia’s backskirt armour bits, they seem kind of loose and free-moving.

The only base I have at the moment is the one occupied by Trans-Am Raiser, so I don’t have a lot of action poses to show for. Apologies!

The famous GN Sword! I had a little trouble trying to make sure the Sword stayed in place, since the extended bit on Exia’s palm is the only thing connecting Exia to the Sword. The thing that goes into the arm doesn’t seem to fit at all, as was the case for my NG 1/100 Exia. I’m not sure if that’s intentional. The GN Sword stayed snugly in Exia’s clenched hand, though. It’s heavy too – Exia kept falling over when I tried to flip the blade forward.

And the GN Cables; the ones on the lower leg proved to be quite annoying and kept dislocating whenever I tried to assemble the leg armour. Otherwise, they look pretty cool. Nice visual effect. Nice feel too. XD Also, the the GN Condensors come with the green part and a clear lens, which gives a nice double-layer effect.

The right arm can’t connect properly to the shoulder pin. x_x It gave me grief when I was putting the main body together. The left arm fitted on perfectly fine, but the right shoulder piece can’t connect to the larger pin. Hrmmm.

Overall, the MG feels a little unstable and flimsy. I’m very worried about it toppling forward every time I try to make it stand. That’s why I can’t do a lot of poses with it without a stand – it ends up falling forward if I’m not careful. It’s in my cupboard now, but I keep turning back to make sure that it hasn’t fallen forward against the cupboard door. xDD In all, besides the higher number of parts and stuff, as a finished model, I’m not seeing an awful lot of improvement over the NG. Might be because the NG line is getting better, or that MG Exia is a … *cough* rushed job [[honestly, I think it’s a pretty weak excuse to use to justify why you dislike a kit xD]].

Don’t let the negative comments in this post fool you – I really did enjoy building MG Exia. xD I guess I had higher expectations for 00’s first MG. Anyway, it’s really quite the experience to build a MG within 12~13 days after almost 2 years of not touching a MG kit. Building within a tight deadline is really not something I’d recommend. XDD There’s a reason why I stopped detailing the WIPs for Exia’s arms, legs and weapons. I was working from morning to night on the kit so that I could get it done before the school year starts, and I take too long to write WIP posts, and decided to skip them all together. On the bright side, I’ve gained quite a lot of knowledge while building this kit – sanding and polishing, for one, and using decals and clear stickers. MG Exia looks so, so much better and more cleanly built than my first MG. For the record, due to the bad timing of the group build, my friend hasn’t finished the kit because she was held up by real life. XD;

I won’t be touching another kit for a long time. I’ll be picking up HG 00/7S in February, maybe a RX-78-2 whenever I have spare cash, and start brainstorming over what to do for Rockleelotus’ RX-78 group build – do go take a look, by the way. The group build is a group effort to encourage modelers to build and customize their own RX-78-2 in a relaxed and no-pressure setting. Bandai releases so many RX-78 kits each year, so why not make use of one of those kits and convert it into a kit you can truly call your own?

Now that MG Exia is done, I can focus on this semester without worrying about backlog. XD