Why this kit
Following up my recent viewing of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, I wanted to invest some time into building a kit from the series. Even though I knew I wanted to build the RG Exia at some point (I’m actually working on it right now!), I didn’t think I was quite ready for it just yet, so I wanted another HG to hone my skills. Among the remaining Gundam Meisters Lockon Stratos, Allelujah Haptism, and Tieria Erde, Lockon’s character was my favorite in the show, so I decided on one of his mobile suits. The Cherudim made sense, because it was the upgraded version of his original Dynames from the first season.
However, I didn’t actually do a lot of research before buying the #24 HG Cherudim, which was made in October 2008. It was after the order had already shipped that I realized that there was a slightly newer GNHW/R Cherudim (#48) that was also available from July 2009. As far as I can tell, the two kits are quite similar and looking at the pictures, that kit comes with everything this one has as well as some newer features.
Compared to the HG Portent I reviewed earlier, this kit wasn’t as well-made, given that it’s 7 years older, but it was still miles above in quality compared to the HG EW Wing Zero I struggled through as my first kit. Overall, the build was straightforward, with a couple of small challenges along the way. First of all, the sticker that goes inside of the red visor piece attached to the head is terribly difficult to use. I couldn’t find many clear instructions online, and in fact many reviewers chose not to use it at all and just painted the piece red for the similar effect.
The second challenge involved the nine identical shield bits that came with the HG Cherudim. In the anime, these green shield bits were versatile floating parts that automatically blocked various projectiles for the Cherudim. This kit stayed true to that functionality by allowing you to arrange the bits however you want. However, each bit was attached to the runner through four thick sprues attached to the front/side of each shield bit (you can see them in the upper right of the picture above). Given the dark green hue of the Cherudim, it was extremely difficult and time-consuming to cut, trim, and polish these bits in a way that hid the nub marks from the process. I think those nine pieces took me almost a third of my entire building process, and I wasn’t even fully satisfied with my results. Why couldn’t the sprues be attached to the back of the bits so the nub marks could be hidden?
Panel lining the Cherudim was a mixed bag. The main gun looked great with black panel lines, as well as most of the green parts on the model. However, the white panels in the arms and legs had panel lines in awkward places that made it difficult to draw on with my shaky hands. Maybe someone more skilled could have done a better job. On the other hand, top coat was good for the Cherudim, as the green hues look much better in a matte finish than the original glossy coating.
Weapons and bits
The HG Cherudim comes with a wide array of flexible weapons and parts that made it an honest representation of the original gundam from the show. First off, the huge GN Sniper Rifle II can be detached from the front to make a short-to-medium ranged three-barrel Vulcan Mode canon. When not used, it can be attached to the right shoulder in Vulcan Mode. There are also a pair of white GN Beam Pistols II attached to the back of the unit, which are generally used for short range and melee combat. A clear visor also comes with the kit that can be attached to a part of the backpack to make the sniper poses more realistic.
The nine GN Shield Bits are really where the customization on this kit shines. They are normally attached in the following way: two on the left shoulder, one on each knee, and five wrapped around the GN Drive on its rear. However, any or all of them can be detached and placed on the clear stand that comes with the kit. The default configuration is a 3-by-3 diamond shape, but the stand itself can have its shape customized with its rearrangeable parts, so the shield bits can really be arranged in whatever shape you desire.
The HG Cherudim wasn’t the most flexible, with its large waist pads and missile pods restricting its leg movement (no splits on this model) and its shoulder mobility obstructed by the shield bits on the left shoulder and the rifle on the right shoulder when they are attached. The rocket backpack could also be moved somewhat; this movement is actually necessary if you want to move around the Cherudim’s head, since the antennae have a bad habit of bumping into the backpack and falling off if you’re not careful. Lastly, the GN Drive had about a 90 degree range of motion, which is nice when there are five large shield bits attached to it.
The HG Cherudim has some difficulty standing on its feet, given its large bulk with the rifle and shield bits (it’s a little easier when the rifle is stowed away and the shield bits are detached). However, I was able to attach it easily to the stand from my HG Portent for some great poses. The stand was actually the perfect height compared to the shield bit stand that came with the kit, which allowed for the sniping-behind-a-shield-wall poses you see below. Two non-stand poses I really enjoyed involved being creative with the weight distribution of the Cherudim. The first puts the right knee on the ground to support the weight of the rifle in a sniping pose. The second uses the shield bits attached to the GN Drive to balance the two feet in a triangle, allowing the model to lean back and face upward with its sniper rifle (like in the show).
The HG Cherudim Gundam was a decently enjoyable building experience with some fun posing potential due to its vast array of weapons and customizable shield bits. However, if you’re planning on getting it, I would recommend buying the #48 Cherudim Gundam GNHW/R version instead for $17.89 (and Prime shipping) on Amazon. It’s a newer version that has everything I described and more, not to mention a competitive price!
Please enjoy the photos below of some more poses I was able to take of the HG Cherudim. Thanks for reading!