The Gundam Unicorn franchise has been a good one for Bandai: attracting some new fans with its simple plot line and complex back story, while keeping the general Universal Century fanbase happy. With Banshee Norn’s appearance in the latest OVA Episode 6 release, would gunpla fans out there buy this latest version? Let’s find out.
The HGUC Banshee Norn isn’t the only Unicorn Gundam kit in 1/144 scale. The normal Unicorn, Episode 5′s armament mode and the more recent Full Armor Unicorn were released. Kit builders who want bang for their buck may have difficulty picking either Banshees.
The great plastic quality is as expected from Bandai, though not as robust as their Real Grade line. Sadly, the kit isn’t as robust, with various joints and hinges popping off while switching poses. The kit is moulded in more accurate colours, and looks pretty good out of the box. The plastic mould is mostly similar to the previous Banshee Norn kit, with different sprues for the various armaments. Here are the differences:
- Beam Rifle with gatling attachment
- Armed Armor DE attachment to regular Unicorn shield
- Armed Armor XE (Backpack ‘verniers’ for space travel)
- add-on parts for open claw of Armed Armor VN
To increase knee articulation, there are tutorials on how to modify your kit. The elbow joint has a loose fit, even after painting. It is very prone to popping out when switching poses.
Stickers are included for Banshee Norn’s Armed Armor XE backpack mount, but wasn’t used in this review. Stickers are provided for the gold portions of the backpack and shield modules, as well as the visor.
The new Banshee Norn is priced slightly higher than the previous Banshee, but adds on a plethora of additional parts like the Armed Armor modules. It is best to give the previous Banshee Norn a miss. The closed claw module isn’t that attractive, and all you need is a few dollars top up to make your Banshee Destroy Mode look better. That is, if you have already purchased the Destroy Mode.