If someone said they liked fat guys, it's probably because they have seen the Physalis Gundam since it is such a wonderful design. Sure it's only reliable weapon is only the beam sabers and that silly head vulcan but it's ace card in the form of a single nuclear warhead makes it a terrifying foe. Don't be fooled by its bulky armors thinking it is slow and sluggish because the thrusts, coming from the shoulders especially, means it is capable of excellent speed and maneuverability. But of course whatever I said is what it should be capable of if it is real but since we're only talking about the HGUC version, let's scrap the talk on machine performance.
I've covered my opinions on the 0083 Stardust Memories series and I thin Anavel Gato is a prime example of a dedicated bad guy. Hell, I think he's a better soldier than Char Aznabel. Devoted, skilled and charismatic, he brushed Nina Purpleton aside to bring us a spectacular colony drop. I think his only flaw was that he did not destroy Kou Uraki and his performance in the Neue Ziel was kinda subpar as compared to when he piloted the GP02.
Speaking of GP02, this is the MLRS [Multiple Launch Rocker System], a proposed alternate equipment for the Physalis, which did not see any use since the unit was Gundamjacked. It was one of the kits I've always wanted but didn't get because it was kinda obscure in the shops. Only with the assistance of CerealKiller [Whose blog I've linked] and in our travels throughout Singapore's hobby shops did I stumble into one and it was promptly purchased. And it did not disappoint.
Do you know that feeling when among all your collections, there's some that is just special to you? This is one of them and I think it is my best piece. Not because I spent more time painting/refining it, because I did not, but it is due to the fact that the kit is so well-made by Bandai that there is so much details incorporated in the kit. The bolts and thrusters, the vents and panel lines, the additional armour plates and stripes. They all worked into enhancing the surface appearance of the GP02. Just simple colouring on these parts helped improved the overall outlook of the kit.
The equipment given, consisting of the MLRS backpack, the nuclear bazooka, shield and shoulder thrusters, fits nicely on the Gundam and each is so big and have some form of gimmicks that they justify the kit's price. The bazooka can be split to reveal a nuclear warhead, the shoulders have a range of motion so you can control the direction of the thrusters, the shield have top and bottom flaps AND can hold the bazooka in the insides and the MLRS can all be opened to reveal the rockets.
For its size, it is surprisingly articulated. The only thing preventing you from executing insane poses would be the equipment but you could always forego them and have a skinny GP02 [It's kinda hideous though]. If the previously covered S Gundam and GP01 featured mediocre range of movement, then you would be pleasantly surprised with this kit.
But I can't hide that it does have its flaws. The first thing you would notice is that the bulky shield will mean a lot of weigh issue to the kit's left side and the simple hand grip is not giving a firm hold on the shield. Also, technically, you're only supposed to have either the MLRS backpack OR the bazooka since the bazooka's end is to be connected to the right shoulder. But I decided to have both and that means my bazooka is not firmly held, relying on the hand grip and shoulder to support the cannon.
If you're torn between this and the original GP02 HGUC kit, then there is some differences that might aid you in your option. The bazooka opening is different for both, you don't get the MLRS backpack with the normal release and for the normal release, it comes in yellowish white while the MLRS spec comes in a greyish shade. I would say go for both although if you had to choose one, then the MLRS is the better option for obvious reasons.
In any case, I remembered having nuclear load of fun building the kit, detailing it and of course posing with it and this earns an admirable 9.5/10 for me. I would also recommend getting an action base to go along with this kit because it greatly improves the overall experience. This is one of the gem that Bandai has produced for the HGUC line in my opinion.