RX-78 GP02A Gundam ‘Physalis’ (MG) Review

It’s like driving a classic car

Hello and a very good day to all our readers! I’m back with a Review of a very classic MG kit, one that I honestly had to give time reviewing and building. Hence my reason of releasing this one a bit later. It’s probably one of those kits that made me reflect on the kits that I have building and one that really brings you back to a time where for Bandai they are transitioning to a very exciting time.

Even though to be honest this is a kit that really doesn’t hold itself well, but it is one that has something that is really missing in most kits that I’ve built so far… and we shall explore my reasons here,

but as ever we shall first start talking about the…

History and development of the Mobile Suit RX-78 GP02A Gundam ‘Physalis’

Prototype Tactical Nuclear Assault Mobile Suit RX-78 GP02A Gundam ‘Physalis’

The RX-78 GP02A is a very interesting Mobile suit, it is one that really takes the idea of ‘What if we give a Gundam a capability to nuke anybody that we don’t like’ to a practical and workable prototype. This mobile suit is the only Universal Century Mobile suit that has the capability to strike its targets with a Nuclear equipped weapon up close and personal and still able to survive the nuclear blast. This is truly an insane weapons system, but one that is born right after the insanity of the One Year War.

The reason the Federation used in justifying the existence and the development of this mobile suit is because Zeon has attempted to use and have used the Nuclear weapon during the One Year War. So, having a mobile suit that would be able to threaten and as well that one can work as a deterrent it is something that the Federation thinks is something of a necessary Evil.

the GP02A with the atomic bazooka

Due to the fact that this Gundam is developed to carry and launch the nuclear payload up close and personal. The RX-78 GP02A ‘Physalis’ was equipped with a very heavy armour, extensive heat and Radiation shielding to better protect the mobile suit, not just from enemy mobile suits but as well to protect it from the blast and shock from the nuclear blast. It was as well given the NR-SH-02-RX/S-00013 Shield, the shield that’s its main purpose is not just to be used to defend the GP02A from other Mobile Suits, it was as well equipped with a nitrogen cooling system that was designed to help protect the Mobile Suit from the edge of the Nuclear explosions. It was as well given standard armaments for close encounters mobile suit defense, like the A.E.Blash AEXB-909L Beam Sabers and the 60mm head mounted Vulcan Gun.

For its nuclear launching and striking capability, it was given the AE/ZIM.G-BAZ-0186-A Atomic Bazooka. This weapon is the central feature of the ‘Physalis’ project, a weapon that is in itself is as impressive and as unique as the mobile suit itself. It is as well one of the largest single weapon system given to a single non-Mobile Armour Gundam Mobile suit during that time. The bazooka itself is a two-piece system, The MK-82 Nuclear Warhead is loaded into the rear end, which is directly mounted on a swivel located on the back of the ‘Physalis’ right shoulder, while the front half of the bazooka is carried in its right hand (that was stored in the shield compartment before use). The two halves of the bazooka lock together only when the bazooka is in use and the rear end and the bazooka itself can be jettisoned when it’s not necessary anymore for the current situation or if it’s deemed useable.

I love this illustration of the GP02A

Although this Gundam is one of the biggest non-transformable Mobile Armour Mobile Suit in Universal Century, one would expect this mobile suit to be….well rather slow and a mobile suit that is that is hard to manoeuvre. Far from being slow and despite its size, this Mobile Suit is a quick and very maneuverable Mobile Suit. This is possible because of the high-performance thrusters that are mounted on the shoulder binders that enables it to achieve such great lengths.

Though it is an impressive Mobile Suit overall it does come with some serious drawbacks, due mainly because it a mobile suit that is only designed to only does one job. To deliver and to launch the nuclear package, if the bazooka is disabled or destroyed GP02A really had nothing to protect itself with except for its Armour, shield, 60mm Vulcans and the beam sabers. That’s why the Mobile Suit was originally developed to work in tandem with the GP01 and as well why it wasn’t given a more dedicated ranged weaponry because it was supposed to be protected and supported.

Though in skilled pilots the GP02A can prove itself to be a very formidable mobile suit, as proven by Delaz Fleet’s ace pilot Anavel Gato (probably the best character in Gundam anime besides char and Amuro). Even with it being a mobile suit that is the only purpose is to carry and deliver the nuclear package, he has made this mobile suit into something that is capable to hold its own with a more well-rounded and well equipped mobile suit.

Anavel Gato is probably one of the best characters and the clip below highlights his awesomeness and the Mobile Suits capabilities.

The lines in this scene are probably is one of the best ones too.

Many thanks to Fioyl for this awesome clip.

That is all for the history part of this mobile suit. Now let’s get to the meat of this.

The Review

I remember reading about the release of this kit back in Primary School in one of our local comics magazine. I used to have wet dreams about building this one every day, so when I actually managed to get it, it took me another 2 more years until I actually decide to build this kit. All because I just don’t want to be disappointed by it, but then finally I decided to build this for the blog. I think if i didn’t start this blog i probably would have never built it at all. So I thank you the big great god of blogging for making me do this.

I should start by saying that this kit really is a kit that doesn’t really age well, especially evident with the runner parts. Yes, I like the colors of the runner parts, but the runner parts itself looks really rough in certain parts and there is a lot of the parts looked like it wasn’t done properly or had some form of manufacturing mistake damage to it.

A mean looking head
I do like building this part, it does take me back, but its as well one of the most frustrating parts as well.

As well with the quality of the runner parts being quite questionable comes with it the issue of the fitting of the parts. I do find some parts of the MG kit to have some very serious fitting issues with itself but again it is because of the quality of the make for the runner parts. I was tremendously frustrated because, even though I do admit that some of the newer Gunpla parts needed to be modded to improve and enhanced to make the kit move or look better, BUT never I came across a BANDAI MG kit that requires you do mod it just to make just the part fit together well, yes just to mod to have the parts fit together properly. All of these extra work made me remember the time where I bought a fucking bootleg kit, though knowingly it’s not as bad as the bootleg shit but it does make me remember some of the worse parts of building a bootleg shit (this is when the china bootleg shit started popping up, I know that the Bootleg Gundams are getting better in quality but after my own experience I will stick with what I know, thank you).

Scratch mark on the part. That is something that you don’t see often.
For something that is so huge, you have a pretty small body inner frame.

That does manage to rustle my jimmies.

There is another part in where I was a bit disappointed about, is that finally realizing not all of the parts were color coordinated. There were some major parts, the obvious ones that really require you to use stickers to just cover that shit up. Though I know this is a non-issue since you can actually just paint that shit up, but I do think they could’ve just made a part for it. That binder is such a huge part for you to use a sticker for, then again I can let this one slide as this is an old MG kit.

Though there is one issue that I do think is more serious than others, that is the final build with the kit. The arms were unable to do a lot of excessive movements because if you do push it to the limit the whole thing would just dissemble itself and just fucks itself up. the GP02A really has a very limited body movement and you can’t level the kit up at all when you have the kit standing up, so most of the time you would find that you can play seesaw with the kit even when its standing straight.

One of the best parts of the kit, the leg section


This is probably one of the biggest feet’s I’ve built so far.

The biggest problem is probably the issue it had with its own shield, the one thing that was as much as important part as the mobile suit itself, the one thing that shouldn’t be fucked up……….got fucked up, bad. This kit is unable to hold its shield due to the weight and as well due to its manipulator system. To me what mind boggles me is that they didn’t make it possible for this kit to have a mount on the hands (or even make a fixed hand system for this?) for it to be able to hold this shield. So, the only way that you can display the kit with its shield is to rest the shield against the kit and just try as hard as you can, to make it look like its holding the darn thing.

I was looking forward in seeing this kit holding that awesome shield, now imagine how I felt knowing that it really unable to hold that awesome looking shield. I was seriously saddened by it.

It looked so good when finished. I’m actually impressed
I love this pose with the shield but knowing the fact that I was only resting the shield on the kit made me sad actually.

Despite all of that, I still had a lot of fun with this kit. Yes, it might have a lot of issues to it, but this is not a 2017 MG kit, this is an 1998 MG kit. This is a kit that comes from a time where Bandai is trying to make a kit that would appeal to a lot of plamo builders at the time. Bandai was really trying to put more depth into their Gunpla models by making it more detailed then most of their own 1/100 scale kits at the time.

So inherently there would be issues, because of lack of knowledge and experience with making these kinds of kits. They must figure out a way to make a kit that is detailed but not as expensive as what you get with the PG kits and you can see the after effects of these you have parts that looked quite cheap and in some parts, you can see them fucking up, and things not working as intended.

Honestly if you build this you will feel frustrated by it but besides the frustrations that you feel from building this, eventually you come to a point where you can feel that this kit oozes love and the passion Bandai had in making this flawed but awesome kit.

After all the things said and done. I still can’t hate you, in fact, I am starting to love you so much.

The kit that I feel that managed to really push Bandai to experiment and one that i feel is the start to all the awesome MG kits that we had. This is a classic kit, and after building this I finally understand why people go for classic cars.

Because just like a classic cars this kit is one that is full of flaws, doesn’t compare well with the current models, can be frustrating at times but it is one when you drive (or build in our case) that makes you feel the passion and love of the makers when you actually drive this awesome (or build the kit in our case) machine.

I love the GP02A and honestly it earns it, it really is a charming little kit this. It is one kit that I wouldn’t recommend if you are new to this hobby because this is a bad introduction to the hobby. However, for those that has been at this as long as I do, I highly recommend this kit to you all.

You all need to get this one because this kit is an experience, a damn good one. One that would leave a good taste in your mouth and one that would last forever.

So that concludes the review of this awesome kit, what do you guys think of this? Did you all have the same awesome time with it, as I did? Do you guys encounter the same issues as I did while building this kit. As well I am looking forward to suggestions in fixing the shield issues if anybody had an experience with it, because I really want to see this thing be able to hold its awesome shield.

I do look forward to your suggestions, advices and as well feedback in this matter! 😀

We will be seeing you again by this Wednesday for a new Let’s Talk Gunpla post! Will be looking forward in seeing you guys then! Do have an awesome Sunday ahead and as well may you all have an awesome week ahead too! As well have an awesome time building guys and I will be seeing you guys again on the next post!




2 thoughts on “RX-78 GP02A Gundam ‘Physalis’ (MG) Review

  1. Looks good, old kits are nice, I always have a big draw for stuff that aren’t MG’s or above made before 2000, so I can always see the appeal in the older things. I personally am still getting the HG, because it’s cheaper and it will scale with the RG GP01’s, but this seems like an alright kit for MG collectors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dang sorry for the late reply man, life have been quite busy lately.

      After making this I actually was thinking of buying more older MG kits. You can really experience something that you can’t experience with the newer kits tbh.

      I do look forward to the day that I build the GP01, It would be awesome to pair them side by side.

      I will await the day that Bandai turns this into a 2.0 kit if they ever make a PG that would be something to look forward too as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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