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- HMM 019 LIMITED Saber Tiger Gold

Number of Pieces: 544 | Number of Frames: 30 | Extras: Box Art Poster | Custom Pilot: Rudolph

    Saber Tiger Gold is, indeed, based off of Prince Rudolph's Gold Saber Tiger from the battle story. It is a regal Imperial Zoid, with beautiful gold pain and a sheen you won't find in most Zoids. Because of the unique color that Kotobukiya wanted to use, this Zoid is painted.

    There's a lot of confusion about the color. Many pre-release photos showed this Zoid as being very bright, almost yellow-gold. However, have no doubt, Saber Tiger Gold is actually a bronze gold. The first photo shown below is the closest to the real colors, but because it is hard to photograph, colors in this review may vary. But don't be discouraged. The color is amazing in real life, and online photos cannot do it justice.

    Now, there are some concerns about the scarring. Yes, it does scar. However, the plastic underneath is still molded in a light yellow. I wouldn't say the scarring is as bad as the scarring on darker colored plastics that you'll encounter. It can be harder to mask, though.

    As you know, the reliableness of a kit can vary from production run to production run. Saber Tiger Gold has been a very sturdy kit as far as Kotobukiya Zoids go, but I've currently only got the original Saber Tiger to compare it to.

    Beautifully painted. This effect could never be produced with molded colors.
    Excellent attention to detail and color placement.
    Gold paint carries shadows well, so not much panel lining is required.
    Very sturdy build, with few loose pieces.

    Painted plastic does scar, to some extent.
    Weapons can sometime complicate each other's movement.
    Some sprues are marked in Katakana Vs. English lettering.
    Weapon belts are made out of fragile rubber. Expect snapping in the future.

- Box and Inserts

    Like the Blade Liger Mirage, Saber Tiger Gold now comes with a beautiful B4 size poster of the box art. This still has the Saber Tiger Gold logo and some minor legal disclaimers, but it's still worth hanging on your wall.

    Unfortunately, while it does include waterslide decals, there are only two decals for the entire kit. Those decals are white Imperial logos for the shoulders.

- Gimmicks

- Jaws

    Pretty basic here. Saber Tiger's jaws open and close. However, as a smilodon, there's no lower jaw piece to hinder movement, so it can look kind of... freaky looking, if it's open all the way.

- Cockpit

    The cockpit also opens, to show the pilot inside. A small pilot figure of Rudolph is included with the kit, confirming that this is his Royal Saber Tiger.

- Head Movement

    There's quite a range of motion in the head. The front is attached by a big that goes into the back of the head, so that the Saber Tigercan turn its head all the way around. At the base of the neck there's a little wiggle room for the neck to turn left or right.

- Neck Armor

    Armor on the back of Saber Tiger's neck can also flip forwards. This is kind of fiddly, though. If ya mess with it too much it's going ta fall off. Nonetheless, it helps the neck look ... not so broken.

- Shoulders

    The front legs can pivot inwards and outwards, just a little bit. This is pretty cool for poses.

- Thighs

    The thighs also pivot in and out. They can also stretch out a little, so with the adjustability of the leg, it's very posable.

- Elbows

    Both front legs can bend on a hinge at the half way point. This moves pretty well. Sometimes the plates on the legs pop off, but this is usually because the leg isn't built tight enough.

- Back Legs

    Similarly, the back legs have hinge joints. This is at a couple different points though. One, the 'knee', can move pretty far. So can the one on the heel. This lets the Saber Tiger lie down, or stretch out.

- Paws

    And last on the legs; the paws. Each claw is attached separately, so each one can move up or down. Attached on a big, which is attached to a hinge joint, they can also twist sideways/inwards, and rotate up and down.

    One minor annoyance worth noting, is that the plate on top of the paws can very easily pop off as you're adjusting their position. It doesn't interlace properly with the rest of the armor.

- Body

    There's a lot of flexibility in the body of the Saber Tiger. It immediately revolutionized the posability of it's predecessor, the Shield Liger, and set a standard for all future HMM felids and canids. It has an extra section in the middle so that it can turn further than the earlier Zoids, but the legs and weapon packs can sometimes get in the way. I've had some problems with the side armor falling off, but this may just be my kit that's got the problems.

- Chest Weapons

    There's two weapons on the chest. Normally, both can rotate a little, but there's an obstructive piece on the thinner gun. You'll notice it as the block that attaches to the right (inner) side, and indicated in the instructions, you can probably leave this piece out if you don't want the guns movement to be hindered. Since it's pretty well hidden, you can just leave it off. Mine, however, has the piece, so sadly, no range of motion pictures.

- Front Right-Side Gun

    Pretty simple; this weapon can be rotated up and down. It has no obstructive pieces around it, so it can rotate all the way backgrounds.

- Upper Right-Side Gun

    This one can rotate out to the side~ Like the front-right side gun, it has a full range of motion, and can rotate all the way around.

- Main Right-Side Gun

    Set between the others, this large gun is the main focus of the Saber Tiger's front-right weapon arsenal. As a whole, the entire thing can rotate up and down, thereby granting the two weapons attached a much wider range of motion.

- Barrel

    An ammunition drum on the bottom of the main weapon can rotate sideways, too.

- Missile Unit

    Now this is the big one. It's set right beside the main gun, and with a pretty unique set up. There are 8 missles on the surface, and the unit is attached by two arms, which can lift up at the base. After that, the missile unit can rotate in a wheel-like motion to face any which direction. When inactive, push the unit back and downwards to place it back in the main 'seat'.

    I found that the two arms connecting it often come loose when posing. This gets kind of frustrating, since you have to be careful not to drop any parts, and it really can't be glued without limiting the rotational abilities.

- Rear Boosters

    I'm not sure if this is meant to be a gun or a booster, so I'll just leave it at saying that it's able to rotate. Like the missile box, it stands on an arm that can be lifted upwards. Unfortunately, it can only rotate sideways, since it's set on a peg.

- Wing Stabilizer

    This is my favorite part of the whole Zoid, and I'm not sure why. The wings are set up to be able to rotate at the base, so they can sit upwards, or fall flat at the sides. They're also able to rotate outwards, in a 'deployed' position.

    If you're having trouble with these not lining up right, it's because they're set on a track inside of the armor. You'll have to fiddle with it to get it to move on that track, though, or it'll stay uneven. Fortunately, the back of the armor is open, so if you've got a light, you can see what you're doing more clearly.

- Tail

    The tail itself has a decent range of motion. Where it connects to the rear, it can rotate up or down. Half way through the tail, there's another peg piece, this time seting into the top of the tail, so it can also rotate sideways. This is what you'll see in the different angled weapon pack photos.

- Tail Guns

    There are two guns on the tail that can rotate up and down. The stabilizers themselves don't really have a range of motion.