As you probably already guessed, the quality of this kit is not as good as the Bandai's product. You are right.
There are a total of 28 runners. That's a lot of runners you have, especially with the price which is only half the price of Bandai's. I think the runners are similar to the ones from Bandai. Some people say this kit is almost identical with Bandai's. I'm not sure though because i don't have Bandai's ARF yet.
The PC joint is the first let down. It was too stiff and i knew it will make a hard time for me.
There's only one grey runner.
You'll get a functional action base.
Not-so-gold parts, 2 beams and the bolts and nuts.
These parts are probably the best one among others. The bling bling.
Sorry for that fingerprint :) I like that chromy samurai's. It does't have those chromy looks.
Another bling. This kit comes with 2 version of gold parts. One on the left is less goldish parts, and the other one is the read goldish looking parts.
I tried to reproduce the gold shine and this is the best picture i got. As you can see, the gold parts are quite nice.
Stickers and Decals
Daban gave me 3 set of stickers. But i won't use that smallest one since it's quality is beyond unacceptable. The other two are probably decent (one sticker and one dry transfer decal). Surprisingly, you will see cut outs in the bottom corners of those decals. I think daban just gave me decals from other vendor. Some people suspected that the decal is made by TT Hongli. Who knows? But anyway, let's continue.
I would like to compare this kit with Bandai's side by side. But as I said, i don't have Bandai's version right now. The reason why i bought this kit is because some people on their blog reported that this Daban model is very detailed and almost up to par with Bandai's quality. Well, i have to say those people are wrong. I knew it just after i opened the box and saw at those runners.
The parts are not detailed enough. I can see a lot of plastic parts with those ugly spills and they're not smooth at all. I can say this because I have a variety of Bandai model kit. The quality of Daban parts are once again, far below the quality of Bandai's. It's quality is in the same league as Honglis. Yes it has more details but that's not enough to please me.
I was struggling making things snap together. I ended up super glued the palm and the white cover to stop the agony. As you can see, there's still a gap in the left hand but it stayed.
The box is big that made me wonder how long will it takes to finish. The answer is loooong enough to give me sore hands. Lol, sorry. The box above it is a HG Sandrock Custom 1/144 for comparison.
The kit took me almost 10 hours to complete. It is the longest straight build fixing i've ever done. I haven't tried a PG actually. Some of you may think why so long. Well you'll be surprise more because i got another hands helped me out with cutting and reading the manual too.
With the price half than Bandai's, you have to give up the snap fit. But Daban seems to have an alternative, you can call it "Push Fit". That means you have to push it really hard to make it fits. The reason why i took so long to build this kit is that i was forced to make necessary actions to adjust many parts to fit. That won't happen on Bandai's or even on an MC Model's. I own a Nu and Hi Nu kit from MC Model and i'm pretty sure that they're much more friendly. This kit gave me more jobs to do. I had to do smoothing to some parts and enlarging those holes. And heck yeah, i ran to my garage to get pliers to help me with those bad parts.
If you think this kit is a bootleg, you're wrong, think again. It's more like a bootcamp with runners. When it finishs, it finished. Lol.
The kit is bigger than I thought. The scale matches the size of Bandai's MG eventhough i thought it would be less big. I'm a bit happy about this.
The manual also comes with sugestion poses. I could reproduce one but with lots of efforts. It took about half an hour to set the above pose! Parts were falling apart especially the head and chess pieces, and that huge weapon, it seems not belong to Daban ARF's hands.
The samurai is probably the best part in this kit. The silver and the gold parts are very good and look expensive. I really like them!
You'll get a quite complete set of action base with parts that you can save for other use. The base is small but it can hold the ARF steadily.
Another thing. Less money doesn't have to be less plastics. Daban gave me more. More unused and uneven parts. Most of them are some other mobile suit's weapon parts. No, you can't use them since they're not in a complete set.
It's a little difficult to say whether I am satisfied or not with this kit. I am a bit annoyed that it is so hard to build it. But do I feel good after the kit is completed.
My advice, if you are already too familiar with Bandai products, do not try to buy this kit. Buy it if you are really ready with equipment such as pliers, glue and screwdrivers. You do not need to waste your hands to make hands like that happened to me. I still feel pain in the fingertips due to force myself to fit the part without the tools.
I do like the manual though. It has more English than the Bandai's. Now I know when the tactical arms II be mounted as a backpack, it can recur various action pose. Much better than reading real Japanese right?
I hope I can enjoy this model kit in the future more and forget the bad experience when i built it. Please share your experience below.