Gao Gao (TT Hongli) HG 1/144 Arios Review
I didn’t really expect to make a review on this model kit since I initially lost a part (then it was luckily found) so it doesn’t have the proper photo-shoot for a full, usual review. However, someone did request me to do one and I decided to do one, at the benefit of further using my new phone’s camera though. Unlike the review on the BB Sinanju a few weeks back, this one is completely taken through my Samsung Galaxy S II‘s camera.
Please take note that I did not detail this model kit much due to the fact that I plan to do something to it later on although not within the near future. The most I did was paint the clear parts red and minor panel lining.
Note 1: I got this model kit as a leftover from the GG HG 1/144 Arios GNHW/M from a fellow blogger and friend – Souji Shinogane.
Note 2: It doesn’t have the display base because of that. So I’m using an action base also from TT Hongli/Gao Gao which works very well.
Note 3: You can refer to an older quick review on the Bandai version.
Note 4: Being very close to the window doesn’t fare well for the phone camera sensor. ^^;
To be added?
Overall, the plastic quality of the model kit is ~90% of Bandai. Building it was relatively painless but still need some force to put some parts together (while there are some, yet small, gaps). Polycaps are hard so expect some difficulty with ball joints especially (mostly being bigger than required so parts tend to pop out more often than the original). Although the hard polycaps seems to make the joints tighter than usual which makes holding poses much more likely than the original (but may be slightly harder to pull off). The only parts that doesn’t want to stay on tightly were the yellow thruster parts for the thruster armor on the thighs.
Articulation & Gimmicks
Random Note: I left the arm vulcans opened most of the time.
Because this Gundam has a different design than usual, it requires this included adapter to allow it to connect to any display/action base.
Amazing side articulation as the hands can touch the shoulder armor and the legs, well…
Note that the rear skirt armor can move in and out just like an MG!
The legs can do a high kick just like the HG 00 Gundam due to the front-skirts’ flexibility.
Shoulders are very free moving due to the connection design. However, it brings in the weakness of the shoulder joints weakening rather fast (even for the original). At any rate, some superglue may help in the future to strengthen the joints.
The arms has crazy reach thanks to the transformation gimmicks but the legs can barely spread as they incorporate polycap ball joints. I still have yet to fully understand why Bandai, who designed this model kit, would limit it as such other than having limited polycaps to use from the tree. You can spread the legs further at the risk of them falling off (which is more likely because of the hard polycaps given by Gao Gao).
Abdomen has a double joint mechanism so it is very flexible. The hard polycaps makes it easier to hold crazy bends too.
The one thing I forgot to take photo of was the head/neck articulation. Let’s just say it is pretty good as evident from the following action shots.
GN Beam Shield which was never really used in the whole series.
The GN Beam Submachine Gun can split open to attack enemies from above. This is meant for flight mode mostly.
Double GN Vulcan~ Somehow, after watching the Iron Man 2 movie, I couldn’t stop myself from making such poses. >.>
“Eat Mega Buster!”
“Double Pen– *shot*”
GN Beam Saber~ The HG Arios comes with beam parts of differing lengths, oddly enough.
After all that posing, put the Arios straight up before twisting it around.
Push the head down and forward as far as you can.
The hard polycaps (yes, I know I’ve been saying it a lot), makes it a little fussy to move forward fully without springing back though.
Self-explanatory. There’s a tab near the tip of the “sharp end”.
Turn the body around and bring the “cockpit” sensor up as shown. There is no lock mechanism for this.
Take off the rear-skirt and turn it 180 degrees and reinsert. Note there is a tab connection to lock the shoulders (for the pincer attack gimmick later on).
Self-explanatory… I hope. Note that the legs incorporate a sliding mechanism.
You’ll need this extra crotch piece if you want to use a display/action base while in flight mode.
Here’s the bare flight mode! Looks great from above and the sides but rather awkward from the bottom. Nonetheless, the overall figure is sharp, sleek and light.
With the GN Submachine Gun. The handle is a bit loose so I had to use some blue tack here although it doesn’t work for long since the grip was slightly off than it should be.
The claw that you don’t want grabbing you in the battlefield.
“Final Form Ride! A-A-Arios!”
“Ikuze! Ikuze! Ikuze! Ore no hissatsu waza version… Arios!“
Gao Gao VS Bandai
Obvious Note: Red orbs is Gao Gao while green orbs is Bandai.
As you can see, the GG Arios comes close to the Bandai Arios. The most noticeable weakness is the shade of orange is paler although the overall detail is very close to the original (compared to older releases where finer detail is lost). I give it a thumbs up for my final verdict on quality.
- Great articulation all around sans hip section.
- Able to transform to flight mode successfully. Yes, I’m looking at you, Union Flag!
- Can hold poses slightly better than the original due to the hard polycaps. I’m not sure how well it is in the long term however.
- Quality is very close to the original (~90%)!
- Good price at RM1X~2X (for the full set – GNHW/M).
- Hard polycaps makes it harder to build.
- Color accuracy slightly off.
- Shoulder joint still wears out relatively fast.
Conclusion? This is a pretty good bootleg! As I was impressed by a not too recent review on a model kit from the same series, the impression continues here. Gao Gao is doing pretty well, better than last time as at least the model kit can hold up fine straight-built without unneeded extra work (some extra effort may still be required but very minor now compared to last time).
I won’t recommend this over the original however as you “should” only get a bootleg only when there is no other choice, budget reasons, modding requirements or tool for practicing Gunpla skills. Nonetheless, it is good enough for a amateur Gunpla builder to build to a decent level of satisfaction while using it as a base to practice your skills is quite viable with it too. Yeah, I’m babbling a bit further off with that. ^^; Blame the continuous arguements on bootlegs even if it has died down a bit since then.
Until the next post~