Didn't exactly see this coming. While at first I didn't figure this was my thing, by the time its release rolled around, it became evident that, molded already in the right colors and definitely a change of pace from the seemingly endless Zaku construction, this would be a fun and more relaxing project. (I can only hope the gods refrain from striking me down on account of disregarding my own policy of always painting models regardless of their molding.)
As expected, Shin Musha was a fun kit to build. While as always, paint would improve the final product, all the parts are molded in good colors to begin with, and aside from repainting the gold parts, everything was assembled out of box. A little sandy weathering added a hint of depth.
The kit is something of a throwback, however, for as has been noted above, it's frame comes from the by now somewhat antiquated MG Gundam ver. 1.5 and ver. OYW. The biggest issue resulting from this recycling of old parts is, of course, the hip and ankle joints. Being simple old-style ball and polycap socket joints, their range of motion is comparatively limited. The hips don't really have any problem aside from being unable to do sideways splits like new MGs. The ankles, however, are another story. Being pretty limited in range to begin with, the addition of the bulky ankle armor results in virtually unposeable ankles. In addition the feet, while jointed, don't actually flex much, and between these two limitations and the model's topheavy construction, posing can be a little difficult. A stand is probably best for anything dynamic.
On the other hand, aside from the old-style hips and ankles, the rest of the kit's joints are pretty much up to snuff, and given the bulk of Shin Musha's armor, he's actually remarkably poseable. The big shoulder shields are mounted on a swiveling mechanism that allows them to move rather freely, and they're easy to keep out of the way. Despite the large yoroi-style helmet parts, the head has a good range of swivel and nod, though occasionally the shoulders need to be adjusted to get out of the way.
Musha's four classic weapons are all nicely constructed, but not necessarily easy to hold. The harquebus has tab slots to be held in either hand, but the grip is so thick that the fingers barely can wrap around it. Moreover the angle of the slots is such that the rifle can't be aimed straight, but is always held as if the wrist were slightly cocked. The glaive has long grooves on the upper and lower sections of the shaft, so at least one hand tab can always be plugged in for a secure hold. The lance, on the other hand, has no tab slots nor grooves whatsoever. It looks nicer that way, but slides very easily in the hands. Most agitating, however, is that the sword lacks tab slots on either side of the handle. It, too, is thus rather wobbly when held. I understand and even agree that leaving the lance shaft slotless was the best option, but even if it would've looked a little bad, slotting the sword handle would've been preferable nevertheless. The slots on beam saber handles are even more prominent, but have become standard. This sword should've been no different.
On the whole, a good kit, with the only objections arising from its use of old parts, and the unusual design of its weapons.