Kotobukiya 1:100 scale Normal Hand B

Late last year Kotobukiya announced they were releasing new, injection-molded static-pose hands for robot kits… I’m almost never happy with the stock hands that come with Gundam kits and the like so to me this is great news: finally a cheap, reliable source for good-looking hands for robot kits. I missed out on the first issue of the 1:144 version but I recently received the 1:100 scale version and tried ’em out.

Kotobukiya Hand Unit 1:100 "Normal Hand B"View of the parts on the sprues

The hands come in a set of six for 600 yen: the set includes one pair each of open hands, fists, and grip hands. Two different sizes of ball joints are included for each hand – the smaller is approximately 4mm in diameter, while the larger is approximately 5mm in diameter. In terms of the overall size of the hand and its grip, these parts are very similar to the hands included with the MG Zaku F2. I expect they’d be useful for a wide range of different Master Grade Gundam kits.

The Open HandsThe fistsGrip Hands on Zaku rifleGrip Hands holding two weaponsAlternate index finger for grip handsUsing the alternate index finger to pointkotobukiya_normal_hand_ball_joint_options

The different ball joint options allow you to use the hands with various kits: I tried the 4mm balls with the MG Zaku v2.0 and the MG Gundam v1.0, and the 5mm balls with the MG Zaku F2. One thing I discovered is that you have to be very careful with these – in some cases the ball joints may be slightly too large for the kit you’re using them with. I had assembled the arms of the MG Gundam v1.0 – and inserting these hands into the ball sockets caused the seams of the forearm to split. Apparently they’re just a fraction of a millimeter larger than the hands that came with that old kit… With the MG Zaku v2.0 the hands were a bit tight getting into the sockets but OK otherwise. Just be aware that it’s possible that the ball may not be a perfect fit for your kit, and adjust the part as necessary.

One other incompatibility I discovered was that these grip hands can’t hold the MG Gundam’s beam rifle – at least not the version I had on hand to test. (The old MG Version Up part – which is very similar to the beam rifle included in the MG Gundam ver. OYW) The thumb and forefinger parts could fit on and provided a tight grip around the beam rifle’s grip – but the trigger finger part didn’t line up with the triggerguard. Possible solutions include using the pointing forefinger (for a somewhat different look, admittedly) or hacking the trigger-finger part to coerce it into the pose the weapon demands.

The hand provides a very good grip on the Gundam's beam rifle...But the trigger finger doesn't line up.  It would have to be altered.

One additional word of caution: for each scale, these hands come in two versions: “Normal” and “Custom”. The two versions differ not only in looks but also in size. Specifically, the “Normal” hands, reviewed here, are beefier-looking, and are built to accommodate larger weapon grips than the “Custom” hands. For use with Gundam Master Grade kits, “Normal” hands are almost certainly what you want, as the “Custom” hands probably won’t be able to fit the MG weapons. I’ll review the Custom hands later – for now I’ll just say that I think they’d be a much better fit for Kotobukiya’s Armored Core kits than for a MG Gundam.

The final verdict is pretty much a no-brainer. These parts look awesome, they’re dirt-cheap, and with MG Gundam kits you can safely assume they’ll either be compatible out-of-box or after only minor alteration. They’re a great solution to the problem of providing anime robot kits with good-looking hands.

4 Comment(s)

  1. Please review the other hand sets when you find the time!

    Amaterasu | 2009-07-24 | Reply

  2. Sure thing… Maybe I can get to that pretty soon now that Otakon is behind me…

    tetsujin | 2009-07-24 | Reply

  3. hey, I have been looking robot kits hands, can I know where can I order them at? any website or online purchase possible?

    john tay | 2009-08-23 | Reply

  4. I bought these at Hobby Link Japan.

    tetsujin | 2009-08-23 | Reply

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