Starship Modeler - The complete information source for modelers who build sci-fi, fantasy and real space subjects

Building Gato's Gelgoog

By Dominic Handl - images & text © 2003

Scale: 1/00 scale. About 10"/25.4cm tall when completed.
Parts: All plastic. Too many pieces too count. One sprue of clear parts. Two cloth piping for the legs. Two sprues of poly- caps.
Instructions: A 15 page booklet of assembly steps
Decals: one sheet of rub down decals and one sheet of adhesive detail decals
Molding Quality: 10 - state of the art
Detail: Very Sharp
Accuracy: Very close to the original
MSRP: ¥3500 JPY (~$29.82 USD/$39.78 CAN/ € 25.11 EUR) available from HobbyLink Japan
Overall Rating: Its a very well made kit. I would highly recommend this kit. .

Like every officer in the Zeon Empire, Anavel Gato has his own mobile suit.

[Click to enlarge]

[Click to enlarge]

^ Inner skeleton, built up

[Click to enlarge]

^ Closeup

[Click to enlarge]

^ Finished model, striking a pose.

Like Char Aznable and Johnny Ridden, he has a custom MS-14 Gelgoog Class. Gato's Gelgoog is shown briefly in the beginning scenes of the Original Video Animation Movie, Gundam 0083.

Bandai first released this kit as a special limited edition with a metallic blue and green coating. Later it was released as a regular sales item. This is already the fourth Gelgoog kit in the Bandai has produced for the Master Grade line of models. Its design is similar to the previous three; only the colors are different. But the quality is just as good and the detail just as fine - maybe finer.

I've made a MS-14C type Gelgoog Cannon model way back in the 80's when the Mobile Suit Variation line of the first Gundam series came out. Then in the mid-90's when the Master Grade line of models was still newly introduced, I made both types of the Gelgoogs released. It looked like a very versatile model, making it good for kit bashing projects. I was looking in the Hobby Link Japan website, in the new releases section and I saw this model had just been released. It was so far the best looking model of the Gelgoog Class.

The Kit

This is Bandai's latest Gelgoog type model produced as a Master Grade kit. The model is a high quality injection plastic model. It does come in a very thick box, containing

  • the sprues of parts to build the model,
  • a sheet of rub down transfer decals and a sheet of adhesive decals for details,
  • a sprue of clear parts
  • two fabric piping for the legs, and
  • two sprues of poly-caps

Like every Master Grade model, the detail is very fine. Like the previous three that was released before this one, it comes with some optional parts. The box art is very nice - it's a computer generated art work.

Checking the Parts

This is a very important thing before making any model to see if anything is missing. Or not. The box itself is thickand crammed with plastic. Amazing how all this becomes a model as the end result. It just amazes me how everything was packed nicely. I took everything out gently and lay them on to the table observing each sprue and each piece one by one. With the amount of detail the kit had, that presented me with a challenge. I guess all Master Grade models do. This what makes them so good.


The model itself is molded in color. I hand-painted the whole thing with a brush. This to me makes it look more real and enhances its appearance.

Detailing was the fun part. H I took my detail pen, and used it to outline over every panel line. This will make the detail show up more. For some parts like the skeleton and boosters, I used an old tooth brush and rubbed some flat black paint on and weathered it a bit. This adds more realism to the model.

Once that was done I took every piece off the sprues. Using the scissors on my Swiss army knife, I got as close as I could to the pieces and just cut them off. Using the blade on the Swiss army knife, I scraped off the excess plastic stubs and flash. There was very little, almost none. Taking a metal file, I sanded each piece smooth along the length of the pieces in a diagonal manner. Then I put the pre-cut pieces for each sub-assembly in plastic bags which I had labeled earlier.

Test Fitting is the other important part of making a model, to see if the pieces fit properly. I pushed each set of pieces together - no seams. The pieces fit very nicely. Now for the hard part. Separation. One must be careful when doing this. Once the pieces are together, it can be pretty hard to get them apart. To do this, gently pull the pieces apart until the posts “A” comes out of slot “B.” Be careful not to break off the post “A” when doing this. It will be hard to get the pieces together, during the actual assembly.


The way this kit was designed on some parts, the internal skeleton had to be put together first. I worked my way up on this one.

I started with the legs. There are a lot of of pieces to the lower legs. At first it may look like someone can't make heads or tails of all the pieces. The center part is the biggest section of the structure. Housed with in this part are most of the poly-caps for the knee joints, the other mechanisms and the outer leg armor. The leg boosters come in one piece. I detailed the main piece which connects to the legs just above the heel. I then put the boosters on after touching them up. Then I cut the two fabric tubings in half and put them on the back of each leg. I put the other pieces of the legs' mechanism on and set it the assembled structures aside.

The arms and shoulders are pretty much a straight forward assembly. All I had to do was detail the shoulder part. It was only the triceps and the shoulders. That was easy.

The cockpit module is a common design with every mobile suit. The cockpit is housed with in the abdominal armor. This too was a straight forward assembly. It contained two poly-caps, one on the lower part that connects to the top joint of the hips. Then the top part connects to to the torso.

The torso was also was pretty much a straight forward assembly. Only two poly-caps for the shoulders were put in.

The skull- There is a reason why I call this part a “skull.” In a away it looks like one, with an opening in the front for the cyclops eye unit. For this part, I took the bottom piece and put the poly caps that connects to the neck joint and the mechanism that moves the “eye.” After that, I put the top piece on and put the clear plastic window on the front. I tried moving the eye. It worked well with a very smooth motion.

Now it was time to assemble the exterior parts.

I just detailed the bottom part of the feet, put the poly cap in the top half and put the two together. This connects to the ankle joints later on. Then I assembled the thighs.

The lower body skirt armor has just a few pieces to it. I took the boosters first, detailed them and put them together. There are three of them, all individual. These go on the underside of the skirt rear armor. Over the skirt armor goes the outer shell.

I then built up the forearms.

Final Assembly

It was time to put the whole thing together. I worked my way up from the feet to head. I connected the exposed legs frame to the ankle joints on the feet. Then I put the outer covering of the legs on the shins and the sides and connected the thighs. I joined that with the lower body. I put the lower back armor on the cockpit module and affixed that to the lower body. I joined the torso to the lower back and put the outer shell on. Like the Char's Gelgoog which came out earlier, I had the option on this one to either have the backpack on and the beam naginata on a rack mounted on the lower back, or have the naginata and and the shield on the back. I chose to have the backpack. I put the backpack on and mounted the naginata on the lower back. Then I took the shoulder armor, inserted the shoulder and the completed arms and connected it to the torso. I put the outer skin of the head on and I connected that to the neck. I played with the model after that, seeing what it can do, then posed it like it was ready to fight.


I have to admit, this is a very slick piece of engineering - a very well made model. The idea of starting with the insides on some parts of the kit and working your way out presented a challenge for me. Due to the versatility of this kit, it makes a good model to make conversions as well as 'straight from the box'. Anyone who puts a model like this together will not be disappointed with the results. This only shows that Bandai is very consistent with the quality of their models. I was glad there were no draw- backs during the assembly and that everything went smoothly.

I would recommend it to any one who wants a challenge. It will be worth what you paid for it.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
Read other readers' reviews of this kit      Submit your own review of this kit

Go back up | Mecha Index | Starship Modeler Home | Site Map | Feedback

This page copyright © 2003 Starship Modeler™. First published 16 June 2003. Last updated on 18 June 2003.