• [JCOLLECTOR] HGUC 1/144 Banshee Norn (Destroy Mode) Review

    The RX-0[N] Unicorn Gundam 02 Banshee Norn is the upgraded version of the original Banshee, sporting a new set of weapons and piloted by Riddhe Marcenas. Debuting in the final episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, he faces off against Banagher Links in his Full Armor Unicorn Gundam to stop him from revealing the contents of Laplace’s Box to the world.

    I have already caught the Episode 7 movie screening, and I will not leak any spoilers, but I can tell you that the Banshee Norn definitely kicks mobile suit butt. Boasting a 5 year old gunpla frame, can it stand the test of  gunpla time? Find out in my review below!


    Looks: 9

    The Banshee looks fiercer than ever, sporting a new set of Armed Armors. The new Armed Armor XC on its’ backpack stands out the most as it makes the Banshee Norn look like it has a Lion’s mane, fitting as it is supposed to represent the Lion. One slight change compared to the original Banshee Destroy Mode kit is that this version now sports a clear yellow psychoframe as compared to the original solid yellow. I prefer this clear yellow as it better portrays how the psychoframe looks like in the animation.

    With the changes, the Banshee retains a look similar to the original Light Novel Banshee only with a upgraded weapon loadout.


    Articulation: 8

    The mold of the Banshee Norn is exactly the same as the original Unicorn Destroy Mode released way back into 2009. As such, no changes have been made to improve the articulation of the kit. The arms and legs still move to a maximum of 90 degrees. It is pretty alright for a model kit made from that time. The Armed Armor XC’s back panels can flip back and forth a little which is a great touch but due to its position right at the back of the Banshee’s backpack, it takes a little away from the mobility of the head. None of the other new parts hinder the mobility of the kit thankfully.

    Weapons:  8


    As mention earlier, the kit loses the old Armed Armor VN and Armed Armor BS, but it gains a new set of weapons. The first of the new weapons is the Armed Armor DE. It is an upgrade to the original shield that comes with a propulsion system and mega cannon. It has a really cool and aerodynamic look to it that I really like and it doesn’t feel over the top.

    Included is also an upgraded Beam Magnum that the Unicorn has but with a addon attachment called the Revolving Launcher. The Revolving Launcher has multiple ammunition types as well as a Beam Jutte for self-defense against beam sabers. I really like the idea of the Beam Jutte catching other swords in Gundam 0083, so I’m glad it is replicated in a newer suit. I find it a little strange they decided not to include Beam Saber effect parts in this kit though.

    While they may not look refreshing in terms of design compared to the original Banshee. I like their more utilitarian use it has going for them.


    Fun Factor: 8

    While the Banshee Norn is entirely new with new weapons include, I am slightly disappointed that this model kit feels pretty much similar to the same model I built 5 years ago. And not only that, it is probably the third or fourth Unicorn Destroy Mode kit I have built, so the subsequent builds take away some of the fun from each experience. Nevertheless, I do like the design of the Unicorn series of Mobile Suits though, so I am only to blame for this!

    Still, I enjoy building the Unicorn series mobile suit and seeing them completed. The new weapons and clear psychoframe make it worthwhile at least!

    The fun of the Unicorn kits is that since they all come from the same base suit with minimal differences, you can pretty much mix and match the parts from each kit! So you can combine all your Armed Armors into one just like this.


    Extras: 7

    As the standard Unicorn norm, each kit has an extra ammunition part to equip on the back skirt armor of the model but this one has an extra for the Revolving Launcher! You can choose to display either of the extra ammunition or just equip both. The Revolving Launcher on the Beam Magnum also include an alternate plate to cover the Beam Jutte, if you choose not to display it.

    The Armed Armor DE can be equipped to the Armed Armor XC on the backpack to display the Banshee Norn in its flight mode! The accessory I like the most is not actually part of the kit but an unused part that came from one of the new runners, which originally came from the Gundam Front Tokyo exclusive HGUC Unicorn Gundam 03 Phenex. It is the backpack equipment that allows two Armed Armor DEs to be equipped onto it. You can choose to equip it on the Banshee if you bought two copies and display it with two Armed Armors, or even the Unicorn!


    Overall: 8

    For a kit of its own, it is a pretty good model kit. However, it cannot escape the fact that it’s a reused mould of the Unicorn Gundam with slight difference. It has its fair share of uniqueness to make it stand out from the other releases. Banshee fans and Unicorn fans would want to have in their collection as I assume it is the final HG Banshee model kit…until Bandai decides to release the green psychoframe version of course!

    Gunpla constructed and photographs captured by me.