My sincerest apologies for not updating on things for nearly a year. Had to deal with more IRL stuff, and procrastinations courtesy of new games and anime series. Still, consider this as my New Year's Eve gift to compensate for my Hiatus...
Not much of a history here as to the suit itself; but if you must, feel free to check the review on its HGFA 1/144 version...
As to this very kit though, well to be honest I never expected this to come out earlier than it did, more so on Christmas last year. I even speculated that it would probably be another suit from the recent Gundam series being marketed at that time. For obvious reasons though, I never got to pre-order one.
So when 2015 came, I made it a point that I have to have the kit at least before Valentines' Day. (Yeah, call me a fething sour prude for that.) And get the kit, I did. And built for about 3-4 hours on the night of Valentines' itself with only a can of Beer in between brief breaks.
On to the review...
No questioning the amount of detail that went to designing this Real Grade. Clean as it should be. Used the old green marker for some of the clear parts (particularly the chest-mounted search eye and the sensors on the head and forearms.) Also, there at least two shades of blue and three shades of white used here; although at first glance it is hard to spot such detail.
Articulation on some of the control surfaces are as you'd expect on a kit from the RG line. Surprised that they managed to scale down the angel wings from its MG brother (which in turn was adopted from the version used in the Gundam Evolve one-shot videos.) And with added detail on the surface as befits of a RG kit.
Loose joints and small parts are bound to be the usual problem on this kit with such levels of articulation, but so far have not experienced the same. Apart from one or two of the feather tips, and the red crotch piece (lost them a few days after doing the initial photoshoot; the latter three photos in this review are proof.) Also, those wings are surprisingly one of the trickiest I have built; though not as tricky as the wings on the RG Strike Freedom.
Armaments and Accessories
No-frills affair here. Just your basic beam saber-plus-BFG setup. And as of recent RG offerings, 3 pairs of fixed and the usual articulared hand set.
There is one attachment unique to this suit though:
The gray bit attached to the action base shown above.
The part allows the kit to be attached to the base via notches on the back, underneath the wing assmbly, as shown.
As a result, the legs can be moved more freely as there is no action base to protrude in between, unlike most kits of the same scale. And seeing as this kit is better posed while in flight, the attachment is definitely a welcome addition.
Really does look natural in aerial poses without anything attached to its crotch, to be honest.
Beam Saber Action
Kind of refreshing for this kit to be the only RG with green beam saber effects, in contrast to the bright pink on the rest of the RGs (the RG 00 Raiser's GN Sword III would have counted, but its blade is apparently made with the same colored plastic as the green orbs.) Also worthy to note that the beam saber handles can be stored on the small wing arms, as it should be.
Twin Buster Rifle (Dual-Wield mode)
Compared to the rifles on most of the RGs, it's reasonably light. Although they could have molded the sensors in clear, at the least.
As for the rifle combining sequence, all that is needed is a flip of a side part.
Twin Buster Rifle (Combined mode)
Now here is where weight issues come to play, as the combined rifle do tend to drag down the hands without anything to support the other end.
Still doesn't stop from making it look like it's about to deliver a full serving of f***-you to hapless mooks.
As to replicating its iconic "last flight" pose, there is a problem:
Having one hand on the TBR's handles is fine. Having two isn't, as the knuckles are pushing against each other forcing the rifle to split and making it a bit of a chore connecting them to the arms.
Nonetheless, making this pose isn't as hard as one thinks thanks to a fairly neat trick:
Remember that the fixed grip hands have about three pieces: one for the hand guard, and two for the hands themselves. What I did here was to remove the inner hand part so as to make it easier for both hands to hold the TBR. Not exactly helpful in gripping the rifle, but thankfully the pegs on the TBR handles will support the weight.
"Let me confirm... Your shelter shields are activated?"
Comparo photo with the HGFA version (the one on the right.) So far, the only thing that the old one has an edge over the new one would be in the design of the shoulders; the RG's looks a wee bit too round.
Group Photo with the other RG units of the Skunkworks: the Granddaddy and the Strike Freedom. Of the three, I'd say the Zero was the easiest to build, while the SF was the hardest. Must be due to the complexity of the design and parts fitment on both.
I definitely enjoyed building and posing this kit. Quite solid as it should be, considering it's one of the later RG kits to be released, and definitely a worthy, value-for-money alternative compared to its bigger brothers in the MG and PG line. The lack of added accessories do tend to let down the long-term fun factor of this kit, but it's to be expected for a kit which as a very minimal loadout to begin with.
Still one heck of a keeper if you ask me.