Gunpla Build - High Grade Powered GM (Build)

Alright, let’s crack this sucker open:

Overall, it’s a similar spread of runners compared to the War in the Pocket-style GM’s, only this one has slightly more parts on account of having slightly more modern joints.

I realize in retrospect that I forgot to take a photo of the decal sheet, but I know it was pretty small. If I recall correctly, it’s just an EFSF logo for the shield, a yellow sticker for the Crotch-V, a green one for the rear head camera, and two larger black ones for the back of the ankle armor. That’s it (I think); it doesn’t even come with any green stickers for the sights on the weapons.

It’s a far cry from other Stardust Memory kits like the GM Custom and the Zaku F2, which had a ton of cool decals. Granted, those two kits are a bit newer than this one, and a bit more expensive too, but the point still stands.

Let’s move on to the build.


Here we have the bullpup machine gun that’s standard issue among many Feddie grunt suits:

I’ve never been a huge fan of this. It just doesn’t look that powerful or intimidating. In this particular case, I also imagine it might look a bit awkward in the hands of the slightly-bulkier-than-usual Powered GM.

The one thing it does have going for it is that it’s small and simple, which makes it great for practicing painting. I’ve done this kind of gun in all sorts of styles and colors, but this might be my favorite so far.


This too is a fairly standard Feddie grunt weapon. It’s basically a simplified version of the Grandaddy Gundam’s Hyper Bazooka, which I quite like. I think the simplicity makes it look a bit more realistic.

Anyway, I’m really glad to have this one in the arsenal. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve personally come across this type of bazooka, which makes precious for the time being.


I want to say that this is the standard issue box shield for Feddie grunts, but I don’t think it’s actually all that standard. It seems that far more GM’s have the curved-type shield as seen on the GM Custom. In my personal collection, the only other Gunpla I have with this kind of shield is the GM Cold Districts.

I think that’s a shame. This box shield is a stripped down version of the Grandaddy Gundam’s shield, which is exactly what you’d expect a GM to use (on the other hand, the curved shield looks a bit too sleek and futuristic). Point is, I’m glad to come across it again.

I ended up using two waterslide decals from one of my existing decal sheets, just to class it up a little bit (and also because I didn’t want to use the included EFSF logo sticker, since it has an orange background surrounding it, and it’ll stick out like a sore thumb).

Beam Saber

This is one of those rare models that comes with a short beam blade. I’ve long thought that these look best on High Grade models, as opposed to the longer blades they often come with.

This is an impressive construction for a 2006 kit. It’s two side plates on each side of the head are made of separate parts, and they nicely cover up most of the seam lines. It also has a little bit of grey plastic that goes behind the visor; if you paint it up in some sort of metallic paint, it makes for a very nice looking effect.

Speaking of which, I love how the visor is straight up green. On most GM’s the visor is more of a teal, but I think green looks much better on this particular model.

In terms of the visual design, this one’s great. It’s a bit bulkier than on other GM’s, and that makes it look that much tougher.


This doesn’t look all that great as-is. The red cockpit door doesn’t really match up well with the rest of the color palette; combined with the yellow rectangles in the chest, it runs the risk of making this GM look like a candy corn.

There’s also the fact that there’s no other color separation. There aren’t that many orange colored mobile suits, and I think part of the reason why is that they run the risk of looking like a giant block of cheese. This torso veers dangerously close to that territory.

I’ll say this in its defense; it looks better with all the limbs attached, and looks better still with some weathering to make it look a bit darker.


I don’t say this often, but the backpack is the signature feature of this mobile suit. Sure, compared to important main character mobile suits, it may not look like much. But compared to other grunt suits (and especially compared to GM’s), this is quite a piece of kit. The thrusters are massive, it’s extra bulky, and if you paint it up a bit, you can give is some very welcome color separation.

Side note - I kind of love how the beam saber sticks straight up. On most GM’s it’s set at an angle (like on the Gundam), but positioning this one at a right angle feels appropriate given how square and boxy the mobile suit itself feels.


The feet themselves are pretty standard GM feet, but the ankle armor is not. It wraps around the front and the back, and for some reason there’s a big black stripe running along the backside.

Overall, it’s a good look. The extra bulk around the ankles does a lot to make the GM design feel sturdier. You can tell nothing is going to knock this thing off its feet (except for a bazooka to the chest I guess).


It’s basically a standard GM leg design with some extra orange armor wrapped around it. In-universe, the orange area contains the experimental shock absorbers, as well as additional sensors and computer systems used during testing.

In real life, they actually molded the shock absorbers; the only problem is that you can’t see them once the leg is fully assembled:

Still, I have to give Bandai props for doing this. This is the kind of detail that’s usually reserved for Real Grades and Master Grades, so to see it here in a High Grade is rare indeed.

Lower Torso

The decal for the Crotch-V didn’t apply neatly, so the “V” itself looks a bit bigger and puffier than it should.

Other than that, we get more boxy bits on the front and back (which presumably contain more sensors). We also get two little thrusters in the butt:

I’m also intrigued by the side skirts. They’re very plain, similar to the original GM’s, but they have a little square in the center. I have no idea if this is supposed to be anything, or if it’s just a detail the mecha designer felt like adding.

In terms of assembly, this is pretty standard fare. It’s similar to most other GM’s I’ve built.


Considering the Powered GM was meant to test new thrusters and shock absorbers, I guess it makes sense that the arms would be unmodified from the GM Type C it is based on. There’s simply no need to change them.

Still, they look good. The forearms are still nicely bulky, and the shoulders remind me a lot of the Gundam Ground Type.


We get just three hands. It’s not nearly as generous as, say, the GM Custom, but it’s still ever slightly better than just getting a single pair of hands.

Most notable is the single left hand. It’s got an extra little hinge on its wrist, which I’m pretty sure I’ve seen before (possibly on the GM Custom). It’s also open-palmed, which means that this model cannot have a closed left fist unless you borrow one from another kit. In my experience, that’s pretty atypical.

Detailing and Stuff

As a vintage 2006 High Grade, you can imagine that this requires a little bit of painting to make it color accurate. But it isn’t quite as bad as you might expect.

For one, you can almost get away with using a single color (either black or dark grey, though it’s best if you use both of them). The fact that you don’t have to mix multiple weird colors is a huge relief that removes a lot of friction from the painting process.

That being said, if you want it to be fully color accurate, you’ll need a bit of orange as well for the vents on the shoulders.

To my best recollection, here are all the areas you “need” to paint for color accuracy:

  • All of the grey details on the head
  • Orange and grey on the shoulder vents
  • All the grey/black areas on the backpack
  • The grey squares on the tops of the feet
  • The thrusters in the butt
  • The black squares on the side skirts

(and of course panel lining in all the usual places)

You can also optionally color in the bottoms of the feet, or some of the details on the legs. You could probably get this all done in a single night if you really tried.

Lastly there is the matter of seamlines. Again, as a vintage 2006 High Grade, you can imagine there are going to be some seam lines to remove. But, again, it’s not as bad as you might think.

When it comes to seamlines, there are two “main” ways in which you can place them. You can either put them right down the middle, as they did with all of the War in the Pocket GM’s:

The legs of the GM Command, from back before I got in the habit of removing seamlines

Or you can do them down the sides, as you can see here on the legs of the Powered GM:

I think side seamlines are the obviously better choice. They’re less obvious, and sometimes they even look realistic (you can imagine mechanics removing the front or rear armor panels in order to get in there and do maintenance).

Anyway, since the legs use side seamlines, you don’t really have to touch them if you don’t want to. And while I often try to remove seamlines on the torso, it’s not strictly necessary, since they’re not super visible.

That leaves only two (three?) areas where you need to worry about them:

  1. The weapons
  2. The wrists, where the seams are still “down the front”
  3. A few small seams near the top of the head

All in all, it’s not a ton of work, though due to the shape of the weapons and the head, those seams aren’t exactly easy to sand away. In fact, as embarrassed as I am to admit it, my aversion to sanding down the seams on the two weapons is the main reason why I put this build on the shelf for a few months.


Since the Powered GM only ever sees use in the desert, I did a bunch of weathering on the finished model, mainly adding various layers of brown and tan dust. I tried not to go too overboard with it, and I think that ended up being the right call. You can see it, but it’s still nicely subtle.


Here now is the finished Powered GM:

We’ll come back tomorrow for some poses and pictures.

Other Thoughts

This kit came out in 2006, which is the same year that the Action Base was born. That means that the Powered GM is quite possibly one of the first Action Base-compatible kits.

Interestingly enough, it’s also one of the only (if not the) only kit I own that uses this rectangular Action Base adapter, as opposed to the standard peg-shaped one:

Seems like Bandai was far more willing to use these differently shaped adapters back when they were still new and novel, whereas nowadays the peg is the near-universal choice. Not that it matters to me one way or another, but I do find it noteworthy.