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High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt (HGGT)




High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt (HGGT)

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Hey there, Gundam fans! Today, we’re going to dive deep into the world of High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt (HGGT) model kits. These fantastic kits have gained massive popularity among both seasoned and new Gunpla enthusiasts, and for good reason! So, buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey through Gundam Thunderbolt’s history, features, and models.

Background of the Gundam Thunderbolt series

Gundam Thunderbolt is a popular side story in the extensive Gundam universe. It takes place in the Universal Century timeline, which is the original and most widely recognized Gundam timeline. The series, initially released as a manga, was adapted into a visually stunning anime, quickly gaining a dedicated fanbase. Set in the chaotic and intense battlefield known as the Thunderbolt Sector, Gundam Thunderbolt introduced a new generation of mobile suits, each with unique features and capabilities.

Importance of High Grade model kits in the Gundam community

High Grade (HG) model kits are an essential part of the Gundam experience. These 1/144 scale models offer a perfect balance between detail, affordability, and ease of assembly, making them popular among both casual and hardcore Gundam fans. The High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt line showcases the distinct mobile suits from the series, allowing fans to recreate their favorite moments or create their custom scenes.

Gundam Thunderbolt Mobile Suits

FA-78 Full Armor Gundam

History and background

The FA-78 Full Armor Gundam is a heavily armed and armored mobile suit that made its debut in the Gundam Thunderbolt series. Designed for high-intensity combat in the hazardous Thunderbolt Sector, the Full Armor Gundam is an upgraded version of the iconic RX-78-2 Gundam from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series.

Key features

Full Armor system

The Full Armor Gundam is equipped with extra armor components, giving it increased durability and survivability in combat. These additional armor parts are easily attachable and removable, allowing for adaptability in various combat scenarios.


A unique feature of the Full Armor Gundam is the inclusion of sub-arms. These smaller, additional arms are mounted on the mobile suit’s backpack and can manipulate weapons or other equipment independently from the main arms.

Beam Weaponry

The Full Armor Gundam comes equipped with an arsenal of beam weapons, including a beam rifle, a pair of beam sabers, and a beam cannon. These high-energy weapons provide the Full Armor Gundam with unparalleled firepower in battle.

Psycho Zaku

History and background

The Psycho Zaku is another iconic mobile suit from the Gundam Thunderbolt series. Piloted by the ruthless and skilled Daryl Lorenz, the Psycho Zaku is a heavily modified version of the standard Zaku II mobile suit, boasting numerous enhancements and experimental technologies.

Key features

Psycommu System

One of the most notable features of the Psycho Zaku is its incorporation of the Psycommu System, an advanced technology that allows the pilot to control the mobile suit’s weapons and systems through their thoughts and brainwaves. This technology grants the Psycho Zaku a heightened level of precision and responsiveness in combat.

Ballute System

The Ballute System is an innovative device used by the Psycho Zaku for atmospheric re-entry and high-altitude combat. This system deploys a protective balloon-like structure around the mobile suit, allowing it to withstand the intense heat and friction of re-entry.

Mobile Armor capabilities

The Psycho Zaku is also capable of transforming into a mobile armor configuration, enabling it to engage in high-speed combat and maneuverability. This transformation grants the mobile suit enhanced speed and mobility, making it a formidable opponent on the battlefield.

Building High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt Model Kits

Assembly Process

Snap-fit technology

High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt model kits utilize snap-fit technology, allowing for easy assembly without the need for glue or paint. The model kit parts are designed to fit together securely, making the building process straightforward and accessible for beginners while still being enjoyable for experienced modelers.

Poly-cap joints

Poly-cap joints are a key component of High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt kits, providing smooth articulation and ease of assembly. These flexible plastic joints allow for a wide range of motion and poseability, enabling you to display your finished model in dynamic and engaging poses.

Tips for first-time builders

  • Carefully remove parts from the runners using a pair of plastic nippers or a hobby knife.
  • Follow the instructions provided in the manual, and pay close attention to the assembly order and orientation of the parts.
  • Test fit parts before applying pressure to ensure correct alignment.
  • Use a hobby knife or sandpaper to remove any visible nubs or imperfections left from removing the parts from the runners.

Customization techniques

Panel lining

Panel lining is a technique used to accentuate the engraved lines and details on your Gundam model. Using a fine-tip marker or panel lining wash, carefully trace along the lines, allowing the ink or wash to flow into the grooves. This process adds depth and enhances the overall appearance of your model.

Water slide decals

Water slide decals are thin film decals that can be applied to your Gundam model to add intricate details and markings. These decals require a bit more skill to apply compared to standard stickers but result in a more professional and realistic appearance.

Top coating

Top coating involves applying a protective layer to your finished Gundam model to seal the paint, decals, and other finishes. This can be done using a spray can or airbrush, and you can choose between a matte or glossy finish depending on your preference.


Weathering is the process of simulating wear, battle damage, and aging effects on your Gundam model to create a more realistic and lived-in appearance. Techniques such as dry brushing, washes, and chipping can be used to achieve various weathering effects.

High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt Model Kit Reviews

FA-78 Full Armor Gundam

Articulation and poseability

The High Grade Full Armor Gundam offers excellent articulation and poseability, allowing for a wide range of dynamic poses. The poly-cap joints and sub-arms contribute to the mobile suit’s flexibility and movement options.

Details and color separation

The HG Full Armor Gundam features impressive details and color separation, with molded parts accurately replicating the mobile suit’s design. Panel lining and decals can further enhance the model’s appearance.

Accessories and weapons

The Full Armor Gundam comes with a variety of accessories and weapons, including the beam rifle, beam sabers, beam cannon, and shield. These weapons can be held or mounted on the mobile suit, allowing for numerous display options.

Psycho Zaku

Articulation and poseability

The High Grade Psycho Zaku offers a high level of articulation, allowing for a variety of dynamic poses. The mobile suit’s large thruster backpack and numerous weapons do not hinder its poseability, thanks to the well-designed joints and parts.

Details and color separation

The HG Psycho Zaku features intricate details and excellent color separation, capturing the mobile suit’s unique design. Panel lining and decals can be used to further enhance the model’s appearance.

Accessories and weapons

The Psycho Zaku comes with an extensive array of accessories and weapons, including a beam bazooka, multiple rocket launchers, and various types of Sturm Fausts. The mobile suit’s sub-arms can hold and manipulate these weapons, allowing for a multitude of display and posing options.

Creating Gundam Thunderbolt Dioramas

Choosing a Theme

When creating a Gundam Thunderbolt diorama, it’s essential to choose a theme that will showcase your High Grade model kits. Consider recreating a memorable scene from the anime or manga, or develop an original scenario that highlights the unique features and capabilities of the mobile suits.

Diorama Materials and Tools

To create a convincing and engaging diorama, you’ll need various materials and tools, such as:

  • Foam boards or insulation foam for the base and terrain
  • Modeling clay, plaster, or putty for sculpting details and textures
  • Paints and brushes for coloring the diorama
  • Realistic foliage, rocks, and other scenery items to enhance the environment

Tips for Creating Realistic Environments

  • Research real-world environments and references to inform your diorama’s design and layout.
  • Use a combination of painting techniques, such as dry brushing, washes, and airbrushing, to create depth and realism in your terrain and scenery.
  • Pay attention to scale when adding elements like foliage and rocks to ensure consistency and believability.
  • Consider incorporating dynamic elements, such as explosions, smoke, or water effects, to bring your diorama to life.

Incorporating High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt Kits

Once your diorama’s environment is complete, it’s time to incorporate your High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt model kits. Carefully pose your mobile suits in a way that complements the diorama’s theme and showcases their unique features and weaponry. Use clear plastic stands or wires if necessary to support your models in dynamic and gravity-defying poses.

The Gundam Thunderbolt Anime and Manga

Brief History of the Series

Gundam Thunderbolt began as a manga series written and illustrated by Yasuo Ohtagaki. It was first serialized in 2012 and quickly gained popularity due to its intense and visually striking battles, compelling characters, and unique mobile suit designs. The manga’s success led to an anime adaptation, which further expanded the series’ reach and fanbase.

Connection Between the Anime, Manga, and Model Kits

The Gundam Thunderbolt anime, manga, and model kits are all interconnected, with each medium enhancing and expanding the overall experience. The model kits allow fans to engage with the series on a personal level, recreating iconic scenes or developing their custom scenarios featuring their favorite mobile suits. Additionally, building and customizing the model kits can deepen fans’ appreciation for the intricate mechanical designs and storytelling present in the anime and manga.

Standout Moments Featuring High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt Mobile Suits

Gundam Thunderbolt is filled with memorable and thrilling moments that showcase the capabilities and prowess of its mobile suits. Some standout moments include:

  • The Full Armor Gundam and Psycho Zaku’s intense clashes throughout the series, pushing each mobile suit and pilot to their limits.
  • The devastating consequences of the Psycommu System on the Psycho Zaku’s pilot, Daryl Lorenz, demonstrating the darker side of advanced mobile suit technology.
  • The fierce battles in the Thunderbolt Sector, where the Full Armor Gundam and Psycho Zaku prove their worth as specialized mobile suits designed for the hazardous environment.

The HGGT Line-Up

The HGGT line-up includes a variety of Mobile Suits from the Gundam Thunderbolt series.

Look no further than me comprehensive comparison table of High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt model kits released between 2013 and 2017. This table provides a clear overview of each kit, including its name, release date, and whether it is based on the manga or anime version of the series.

Year Model Kit Gundam Series/Version Release Date
2013 HGGT Full Armor Gundam Manga version Dec 2013
2013 HGGT Zaku ll & Big Gun Manga version Dec 2013
2013 HGGT GM Manga version Dec 2013
2014 HGGT Zaku ll Manga version Feb 2014
2014 HGGT Zaku ll high Mobility Type Psycho Zaku Manga version Feb 2014
2014 HGGT Zaku l Manga version Jun 2014
2016 HGGT Full Armor Gundam (Gundam Thunderbolt ONA Ver.) Anime season 1 Apr 2016
2016 HGGT Zaku ll & Big Gun (Gundam Thunderbolt ONA Ver.) Anime season 1 Apr 2016
2016 HGGT Zaku II High Mobility Type “Psycho Zaku” Anime season 1 May 2016
2016 HGGT GM (Gundam Thunderbolt ONA Ver.) Anime season 1 May 2016
2016 HGGT Zaku I (Gundam Thunderbolt ONA Ver.) Anime season 1 Jun 2016
2017 HGGT Atlas Gundam (Gundam Thunderbolt ONA Ver.) Anime season 2 Mar 2017
2017 HGGT Gundam Ground Type S Anime season 2 Mar 2017

Each kit features unique accessories, weapons, and details that make them stand out. Some kits, like the Thunderbolt Gundam Ver. Ka, even come with extra parts for customization.


The lasting impact of High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt

High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt has left a significant mark on the Gundam franchise and the model kit community. The unique and captivating mobile suit designs, combined with the intense and emotional storytelling of the Gundam Thunderbolt series, have created a lasting impression on fans worldwide.

Future prospects for the series and model kits

As the Gundam Thunderbolt series continues to evolve and expand, so too will the High Grade Gundam Thunderbolt model kit line. Fans can look forward to new mobile suits and model kits that push the boundaries of design and engineering, offering even more engaging building experiences and display options.


What skill level is required to build an HGGT kit?

HGGT kits are part of the High Grade line of Gunpla, which is known for its affordability and ease of assembly. As such, HGGT kits are perfect for beginners or those with some experience building model kits. That being said, some kits may have more complex assembly or require some painting, so it’s always a good idea to read the instructions carefully before starting.

How long does it take to build an HGGT kit?

The time it takes to build an HGGT kit will depend on the complexity of the kit and your level of experience. Some kits can be assembled in a few hours, while others may take several days. Plan on spending at least a few hours on each kit, and be sure to take breaks to avoid eye strain or hand fatigue.

Are HGGT kits compatible with other High Grade kits?

Yes, HGGT kits are part of the High Grade line of Gunpla, which means they are compatible with other High Grade kits. This means you can mix and match parts or create custom builds using parts from different kits.

Can HGGT kits be painted?

Yes, HGGT kits can be painted. In fact, many Gunpla builders choose to paint their kits to add extra detail and make them stand out. However, it’s important to note that painting can be time-consuming and requires some skill and patience. If you’re new to painting, start with a simple kit and work your way up.

Where can I buy HGGT kits?

HGGT kits can be purchased online or in hobby stores that carry Gunpla. Check out our list of model kit retailers for some great options.

Are there any HGGT kits that are particularly challenging to build?

Some HGGT kits, such as the Zaku II High Mobility Type (Psycho Zaku Ver.) and the Full Armor Gundam (Thunderbolt Ver.), have more complex designs and may require some extra patience and skill to assemble. However, with careful attention to the instructions and some practice, any kit can be built successfully.

Are there any HGGT kits that are particularly popular among fans?

The Thunderbolt Gundam Ver. Ka and the Zaku II High Mobility Type (Psycho Zaku Ver.) are two of the most popular HGGT kits among fans. These kits feature striking designs and are known for their attention to detail and articulation.

Hey there! I’m Richard Baker, a miniature painter who’s been in the game for a solid decade now. I’ve been painting miniatures for ten years and I’ve got a ton of tips and tricks to share with you all. My website is a treasure trove of knowledge that I’ve gathered from both my own personal experiences and from reading all sorts of books.

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