The 1/220 Scale Gundam Garage Kits of Kazuhisa Kondo and Makoto Kobayashi


The giant robot boom couldn’t last forever. By 1985 toy and model kit sponsors were pulling out of broadcast animation and the Gundam-inspired deluge of plastic model kits was thinning… somewhat. Garage kits slotted well into an increasingly sophisticated fanbase and Bandai soon launched their own enthusiast label to sell garage kits to fans that were trading in injection molded plastic for resin and soft vinyl. In the second half of the decade, Bandai’s B-Club was just one of many companies selling increasingly diverse Gundam garage kits in a range of materials, scales, and styles.

For Gundam fans getting too old or getting in too deep to be satisfied by Bandai’s mass-market plastic kits, the garage kit market offered plenty of alternatives. Typically these garage kits came in two varieties: upgrade kits and complete kits. “Upgrade” kits allowed modelers to increase the accuracy of existing plastic kits or convert them to other mobile suit types, while complete kits allowed modelers to build a more detailed, more accurate, or more obscure mobile suit than was offered as a normal kit. With smaller print runs and higher price tags, garage kit manufacturers could indulge in proper Gundam esoterica, with particular artistic styles or scales not suitable for the masses.

One of the unique examples of the variety of Gundam garage kits in the ‘80s was the diminutive 1/220 scale. While not a “normal” Gundam scale, a slew of garage kits were released in this scale and a lot of those were based on the distinctive designs of Kazuhisa Kondo and Makoto Kobayashi.

B-Club’s Kondo-style Sazabi and Geara Doga in 1/220.

While some of the scales offered as garage kits in the ’80s were utterly perplexing (if anyone can explain the logic behind the series of 1/130 kits by G Strategy and Manix Mania, I’m all ears), but many adhered to the traditional Gundam kit scales of 1/144 and 1/100. As such, 1/220 scale was strange, but not completely unexpected – Bandai released a small series of 1/220 plastic kits during Zeta Gundam‘s TV run.

While the smaller scale may not have made much sense for regular gunpla, it no doubt made sense with resin casting. Resin kits, often dense and brittle, get unwieldy at larger sizes and the expectations for detail in garage kits could necessitate a huge amount of pieces and the appropriate complexity to accompany them. Both issues were less problematic at a smaller scale. Whatever the specific reasoning, manufacturers like B-Club, Kotobukiya, Your Opinion is Not Needed Factory, and Tama Studio offered a range of Gundam kits in 1/220.

Suffice it to say, full-color photos on the packaging was not typical for garage kits of the era.

Most of B-Club’s 1/220 garage kits stuck close to the established “default” mobile suit designs as seen in animation. In addition to a full line of 1/220 resin kits based on the OVA Gundam 0083 in the ’90s, B-Club also released at least two other lines at that scale: “The Legend of M.S.” and “All That Gundam.” The latter was dedicated to actual Gundam designs, like the original RX-78 or RX-93 Nu Gundam, with a slight deviation to include the pseudo-Gundam Hyaku Shiki. The Legend of M.S. focused on non-Gundam mobile suits, like the Rick Dias, Sazabi, and Gouf. The company also used the smaller scale to offer kits of mobile armor units that would have been unfeasibly large at 1/100 or even 1/144 scales, like the Big Zam, Neue Ziel, GP-03 Dendrobium, and Psycho Gundam.

While most of B-Club’s offerings were based on traditional designs, they also sold a series of “Kondo Version” branded kits based on designs from Kazuhisa Kondo’s manga. His comics appeared regularly in B-Club Magazine and so there was some marketing synergy at work. B-Club’s Kondo Version kits were released with Char’s Counterattack branding, but the designs were actually lifted straight from the pages of Revival of Zeon, a prequel of sorts to the 1988 film. While still recognizable as their animation counterparts, these kits were distinctively Kondo-ized and featured intricate detailing, zimmerit textures, and World War II-inspired weapons straight out of his comics.

Your Opinion is Not Needed Factory’s Goblin.

While a handful of larger-scale kits based on Kondo’s designs have been released over the past few decades, his unique style of Gundam designs have been mostly relegated to 1/220. In addition to B-Club, Your Opinion is Not Needed Factory sold an extensive line of kits based on his original mobile suit designs, like the Goblin and Sturm Jager. Unlike the simple cardboard boxes of B-Club kits, these were packaged in full-color boxes complete with a gold foil Kondo licensor sticker and photos of painted examples on the back. Kits from both companies included multimedia extras like small springs for hoses and waterslide decals. Other companies released 1/220 scale kits based on Kondo’s designs too, like Kotobukiya’s The O II Hauer.

Instructions for Tama Factory’s Baund Doc.

It wasn’t all Kazuhisa Kondo designs, though. Kits based on Makoto Kobayashi’s designs in the same scale popped up from a manufacturer called Tama Factory and Kotobukiya, complete with cover art by Kobayashi himself. While their 1/220 version of The O was closer to the animated version than Kobayashi’s more outlandish variations (of which there are many), Tama Factory’s Baund Doc kit, based on Kobayashi’s original design, is one of the most striking kits available in the scale. While it was significantly altered for animation in Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta, Kobayashi’s original Baund Doc was a spindly, leg-less mobile suit that later showed up in Dragon’s Heaven. The Tama Factory’s kit is one of only a handful of kits based on this design.

With the popularity of both Kondo and Kobayashi in hobby magazines of the era, it shouldn’t be surprising that these kits based on their unique design sensibilities got plenty of attention. In particular, Hobby Japan provided coverage, mixing scratch built kits alongside readily available garage kits. Of course, both Kondo and Kobayashi designs appeared in larger scales, too — Kotobukiya released numerous kits based on the work of these artists and in recent years a number of garage kit companies have created kits based on Kobayashi’s designs.

A customized example of Tama Factory’s Baund Doc kit.

As Gundam design sensibility homogenized alongside the improved quality of Bandai’s improved injection-kit offerings and the omnipresence of Hajime Katoki in the ‘90s, officially sanctioned variations by distinctive artists like Kondo and Kobayashi became increasingly unusual. Trends in the garage kit market were changing by the ’90s too, as figure models took off in popularity and Bandai’s introduction of High Grade and Master Grade kits chipped away at the need for high-end, high-detail Gundam resin kits. The ubiquity of those two lines has all but assured most Gundam garage kits these days are released in 1/144 or 1/100 scale, although outliers and 1/220 diehards still exist. A small manufacturer called Three People Conquered The Universe released a series of 1/220 kits based on Kondo’s mobile suits in recent years, while an all-new, unlicensed Kondo-style Dowadge kit in the scale was recently announced by the Italian company Kame House.

Kondo and Kobayashi 1/220 Checklist

Your Opinion is Not Needed Factory

  1. PKW-109 Goblin
  2. VKPW-005 Sturm Jäger
  3. PKF-05 Buran
  4. PKW-107 Gelub
  5. YPKW-006 Breda
  6. LPW-007b Shrek Gustav
  7. LPW-007bl Faust Gustav
  8. PMS-007B Jaguar II Zwei


  • The O II
  • MF-192 G Commander (technically “non-scale” but effectively 1/220)

The G-Commander first appeared in New MS Senki by Kazuhisa Kondo. A still-sealed example of this kit recently sold on Yahoo Auctions for 50,000 yen (roughly $500).

Tama Factory

  • The O
  • RMS-108 Marasai (Kobayashi version)
  • NRX-005 Baund Doc (Kobayashi Version)

All three of these kits featured original box art by Kobayashi.


  • Kondo Style Sazabi
  • Kondo Style Marasai
  • Kondo Style Geara Doga