A fruitful 2014 to everyone. I am pleased to offer to you one hell of a review. Although this may only be one of the few reviews in English, I will try to be as objective as I can with this. After all, this kit was one that I personally did not expect to have been released at an earlier time.
Anyways, a little history before the review. When I got the HG (SEED) Strike Freedom about 4 years ago, I once thought it was quite a cool kit with its design and decent armament loadout. Notwithstanding the fact that I had problems with its wings. But as the RG RX-78-2 was announced (and released) a few months later, SEED Destiny fans were then clamoring for the Strike Freedom to be given the RG treatment. Which was apparently expected.
Me though, I initially did not see the practicality of a RG variant of the said MS. First off would be the problems with the gold effects. Second was the complexity of the possible build (do mind that I had just experienced the flaws of the RG Granddaddy so my views were still skeptic back then). Sadly, my finances prevented me from properly analyzing the way Bandai addressed the issues of the RG line.
And then by August of last year, they dropped this bomb. On to the review.
Essentially did an OOB build with just a few decals placed.
There's a good reason why I've immediately placed this model on the action base so early in the review proper. Thanks to the complexity of its wings (more on that later), it has become so back heavy that the connection in the ankles could not bear the weight most of the time.
I'll let the pictures do the talking on this one.
Gotta love that sharp look...
Just about 4 sets of hands (which includes the AMS manipulators and 3 other solid ones), a clear shield (which you had to use 6 stickers on its underside to give that sparkling look), and two beam saber effects. Apart from the rifles, beam saber handles, and the Super DRAGOON remote weapons that can be mounted on the suit by default.
Dismounting the beam rifles
|STEP 1: Unclip the beam rifles from the waist area|
|STEP 2: Swing inward the clip hook|
|STEP 3: Swing forward the Rail cannons|
|STEP 4: Swing upward the rear skirts|
MA-MK12F Beam Rifles (Dual-Wield Mode)
|Lame reproduction of "The Transporter" Pose|
What I personally like about this iteration is that Bandai finally made the rifles out of multiple colored parts, instead of the two halves type we got with the HG and even the MG. And thanks to the size of the handles, they are also easy to fit into the fixed hands without even falling off.
Unfortunately, they're on the heavy side, which may cause the shoulder joints to sag over time. I just had to adjust the right hand a little higher before grabbing my Nokia N8 for a quick snap.
MA-MK12F Beam Rifles (Combined Rifle Mode)
Gotta love the fact that they have not resorted to parts swapping with the rifles. The combined form is just good to look at on its own. Although it is still a heavy for the SF's arms.
|Want a taste of my Boomstick?|
One of the main selling points of the RG Line is the amount of detail going into the kit of such size. And, barring the DRAGOON wings, the railguns are no exception. Good detail and parts separation, but there's the issue with the crappy gold.
Same goes for the gold bit for the Callidus, being a bigger mold that clips onto the AMS frame, before being sandwiched with the outer armor. Quite nice that they managed to integrate the design of the HG version into a shape akin to the MG. The result is a rendition of the cannon that outshines even the PG iteration.
Beam Saber Action
So far, I'm loving how those beam sabers stick properly to the fixed hands with the molded pegs. Problem is, the same problem I had with the RG Granddaddy's beam saber handles occurs when I try attaching it to the manipulator hands.
Also good to note: the pegs on the beam saber effects are much larger now compared to the ones on the Granddaddy. Dunno when they started doing it for the RG line, but it's a much-welcomed change.
And since the kit is based on the RG Freedom Gundam, the handles can also be attached end-to-end for some Darth Maul Action.
As to the shield however, I'm still not exactly bought with the clear-part-with-colored-translucent-sticker shtick. They should have at least molded it in color like the one on the HG version.
Super DRAGOON System + HiMAT mode
Seems someone at Bandai have been switching (or shuffling) their focus groups when they were planning this particular RG, because they may have analyzed the wing parts of older kits, resulting to the most busy-looking part of this particular kit. To elaborate: the HG had half of its wing-mounted remote weapons deployable with supplied effect parts; the MG upped the ante with some protruding gold on the dark blue, while the PG added a few more moving parts on the wings.
With the RG, they just blew every other rendition of the wings away, with more adjustable armor pieces on the DRAGOON docks, apart from the shiny gold parts which will make Goldmember fawn over.
Unfortunately, for one to display the Super DRAGOON drones, one must order the separately-packaged Full Burst Mode display set. Which I don't have.
Still, if one doesn't fancy the bits, the kit can be displayed just fine. Still a back-heavy SOB though.
|Comparison pic between the RG and the HG|
- Sharp design
- Shiny Gold wings
- Faithfully-adapted weapons and gimmicks
- Heavy wings
- Weak ankle connection; cannot support the full weight of the kit
- Crappy gold parts (including the hands)
All in all, the RG Strike Freedom is a lingering dilemma, in a sense that Bandai have polished out the details (and apparently the issues plaguing past RG's), in exchange for a model kit that may have been released a bit too early; I even previously feared that they may have set the bar a bit too high with this one.
No doubt that it will win over some fans and critics, but it's just a few steps forward instead of a giant leap in terms of innovation - one thing that the Real Grade has been known for a long while. Nonetheless, it is a properly welcome (and probably the best bang-for-the-buck) alternative for those who are fans of the suit itself.
|Kira: Taste the rainbow, b****es!|