Why this kit
After a rough start to my gunpla hobby with my previous kit that probably was less my fault and more due to the kit itself, I wanted to take everything I had learned from that process and improve every step of the build on my next kit. Since I had just finished watching Mobile Suit Gundam 00, it made sense for me to get something from the Anno Domini Gundam timeline. However, as I was waiting for my HG Cherudim (my next review) to arrive from Japan, my wife beat me to the punch!
For my birthday earlier this year, my better half took the trek to the only store in Chicago that sells gunpla and bought me this HGBF Gundam Portent 1/144 Model Kit along with a pair of Petit’gguys that I’ve already reviewed. She told me later that the store owner advised her to get the Gundam Portent due to my interest in the Gundam 00 franchise. Even though I had not watched the Gundam Build Fighters Try anime that its from, I found out that several of the gunpla from that show were created in the image of gundams from other series, such as Mobile Suit Gundam 00. And when I looked at the Gundam Portent for the first time, I definitely saw the resemblance: the GN drive, the Karel container, and the Exia-like chest piece all could be seen in the various designs of Celestial Being.
The HG Gundam Portent was actually a pretty fun build that wasn’t too difficult either. The variety of pieces and colors makes the kit more interesting than some of the other ones I’ve seen and it also helps that the primary color on the Gundam Portent is white. This means that I didn’t have to use the hobby knife or sandpaper as much to remove the stress marks in the plastic (since the stress marks themselves are white). In addition, the stickers were all pretty straightforward and easy to apply with the exception of the two that go on the large GN Pierce Sword (the two large white sword stickers in the picture above). It’s always tough to apply large stickers, and these were made even more difficult since the sword has a slightly curved surface and there was a hole in the middle of sticker that also had to align perfectly.
As I was building, I was actually pleasantly surprised by the complexity of some of the parts of the gunpla, especially since it’s just an HG kit. The legs, arms, and torso were all made of many pieces, as opposed to a couple of giant pieces of armor plating, and this gave it the feel of an RG at times when I was assembling it. For example, the clear shoulder pauldrons had reflective stickers underneath to better accentuate the parts; this is a feature that the RG Exia I’m currently working on also implements.
The panel lines on the HG Gundam Portent were both easy to identify and effortless to apply, even with my shaky hands. The majority of the panel lines were on the six fins attached throughout the model’s body, and as you can see above, using a dark grey color on them really helps give the fins the “pop” that they need. The limbs, on the other hand, didn’t have many panel lines because they were already constructed from individual pieces (as I mentioned above), and one of the main goals of panel lining is to make certain parts “look” like they were constructed from more pieces than they actually were.
A top coat matte finish also worked really well on the Gundam Portent, since a lot of its colors (light grey, dark grey, yellow, and white) respond well to a less glossy look. However, I made the mistake of not removing the clear parts before top coating, so unfortunately, the clear green parts throughout the model became a little cloudy. I’ll definitely keep that in mind when top coating future gunpla kits.
The range of motion on the HG Gundam Portent was first-rate for a HG kit. All of the usual parts could be bent or rotated: head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, legs, knees, and feet. In addition to these, the Gundam Portent could also move all six of its fins, its shoulder pauldrons, the Karel container, and the beam saber holders on its back. In terms of range of motion, the model could easily do the splits, and its legs could bend back fully until its feet touched the back. Likewise, the head turns a full 360 degrees and the arms also could move just as far as the legs.
Posing the HG Gundam Portent was as fun as the building. The kit could balance easily on its two feet for standing poses, but the included stand allowed for even more complex poses. I was able to recreate all of the poses on the box in about 15 minutes with nearly no issues. In fact, the only part that gave me trouble was the loose fin attachment on the right arm. If I wasn’t careful and it hit anything, it would fall off easily.
There were also plenty of interchangeable weapons for the Gundam Portent. The kit comes with two beam sabers with handles that can be stored in the back of the model when not used. The large GN Pierce Sword and the GN Smash Rifle are both one-handed, so if desired, they could be held simultaneously. This gives you at least nine different weapon/hand configurations to pose with.
Overall, I highly recommend the HG Gundam Portent due to its ease and fun factor when building and posing, as well as its high quality visuals and materials. For $16.41 on Amazon, it’s a steal! Lastly, if you’re looking for a more “feminine” gunpla figure in a primarily masculine world of model kits, this is on the suggested list at /r/gunpla.
As usual, here are some more photos of the HG Gundam Portent. Enjoy!