Thursday, January 2, 2014

RG Strike Freedom Gundam Review

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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.

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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.

Completed Model
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.

Dimensional Views
Front View

Side View

Rear View
Good proportions all around which, for this specific model line, is as to be expected. Also, those 'goooo~ld' details (of the shiny and crappy kind) tend to stand out, breaking the usual white-blue-and-the-occasional-red one expects from most Gundams.


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
Very complex method of dismounting its main armament. Just do the reverse if you wish to mount them back. And do watch for the fragile parts.

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?
Xiphias 3 Railguns & Callidus Multi-Phase abdomen-mounted cannon

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
Good Bits:
- Sharp design
- Shiny Gold wings
- Faithfully-adapted weapons and gimmicks

Bad Bits
- 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!


  1. "Good proportions all around"?!?

    No wonder nobody reads/comments much on your blog. You have no sense of proportions or aesthetics whatsoever.

    - Compare how good and accurate the RG "Freedom" is compared to it's Master Grade counterpart.
    - Then compare how good and accurate the RG "STRIKE Freedom" is compared to ITS Master Grade counterpart.

    *The RG Strike Freedom has shitty FAT rifles.
    *The Stomach Cannon ("Calidus" Multi-Phase Beam Cannon) is placed on the WRONG location. Even in the wikia and the animation it has it stated on the lower part of the top torso, i.e. THE STOMACH. Not the chest.

    They based the design of the RG Strike Freedom on the shitty design of the PG Strike Freedom whose sales were low because of the same shitty proportion reasons.

    This had to be said or else ignorance wins. Can't take the truth? haters gonna hate.

    1. Okay, troll. Thanks for pointing that bit about the Callidus out.

      And you may be right that the rifles are out of proportion, but I never focused on that since I was tackling the fact that Bandai managed to make the rifles out of separately-colored parts (compared to the MG version of BOTH Freedom AND Strike Freedom which, unusual for its line, was not exactly color-accurate, and still needed a sticker.)

      Last note though: Try calming yourself down and think about how you want to word your points; people tend to misinterpret most comments as angry reactions, which can be at some point counter-productive...

    2. Hey now I hate anger management cases as much as the next guy but this is the mutherfuckin' strike freedom we're talking about here this is serious business; Lacus is way too awesome to give Kira a chubby mobile suit for their anniversary. Speaking of said serious buisness, I have the full burst extra super delux delux master grade Stridom (or Freike if thats what your into) and while overall I want this model to have my babies and grow old together there is a problem with the fact that the model seems to feel that rifles and hands shouldn't mix. It takes me a lot of diddling to get the rifle properly gripped and posed in a hand and then if I bump it or a cricket farts in a field three miles away the hand loses its grip and the rifles droop half-held half not held and such. Is this a problem with the real grade cause if you can get a solid grip on them (think HG unicorn with smexy beam magnum, or hg build strik with any of its toys) I might buy.

    3. Hey if you don't know, the gundam REAL GRADE are meant to REDESIGN the older mobile suits to have a more MODERN and REDESIGNED look following a more detailed skeleton to increase POSEABILITY

  2. I just picked up this kit and the RG Destiny but wanted to do some research before trying to work on them (years ago I put together a Deathscythe HG, so these are in a much different league!) Anyway, thank you for the review! I wasn't sure if the hands/weapons could be swapped but now I can see it's possible. :)

    If I may, is the action base included in the kit?

    P.S. I totally agree with you about the crappy gold. You named it perfectly.

    1. Thanks, and best of luck with the build. I advice that you go for another HG (preferably newer ones) if you wish to build the RG kits, for training purposes. (Believe me when I say it's borderline hellish to build a RG kit)

      And no, kit doesn't have an action abse

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  4. just completed this kit today after about 11 hours, on & off, build time. i reckon thats not bad for my first RG & only second MS build(first was the HG Fenice Rinascita, about 7 hours). you're absolutely spot on about starting off with an HG as a first kit, it was the very best way for me to get back into kit building after too many years..
    ok, so the SF lacks poseability without a stand, that does limit it somewhat, but those dragoons look so impressive that you would hardly notice if it was strategically leaning against a wall y'know..
    as for the gold, it's all golden for me! i love that there's 3 different types of texture, that's a stone boost for sure!
    i'll be getting more kits real soon, so will be checking your other stuff for inspiration..
    dug your reviewing style too. clear, salient, concise. respect.