After noticing a disturbing lack of mecha (one of my fave anime genres, if not my #1) I though I would go back and start on a gunpla! I’ve actually had strike freedom for quite some time after preordering it last year! I even remember ordering the “special edition” version before anyone even knew what was so special about it, but at long last, Strike Freedom Full burst is starting to show!

I’ll be honest here, I’m not a big fan of Strike Freedom. I much prefer the original incarnation (which I already have the MG for).  My dislike for the mecha may have stemmed from the show it appeared in, but I do tend to keep to a pseudo “hate the pilot, not the mecha” approach, except in this case…

Nevertheless, I picked up the MG and what is shown above is the “out of the box” look for the kit.

So far very little is done to it, but that will change.

One thing I despised  about the design of strike freedom (and I believe it’s the same for many gundam fans out there) is the inclusion of gold joints! They were ugly in Seed destiny and there was a strong feeling that it would not translate well into the model kit either. So, after being inspired by this photoshopped pic I found while browsing some random internet forum, I decided to do something about it!

Yup, the traditional Grey looks so much better! The Original pic can be seen here

But, I’m not unfairly harsh, After putting the model together, I will admit that the plated parts didn’t look half bad and I found myself reluctant to paint over them. Luckily, bandai included the regular colour parts as well, so those went in instead! I may give the joints a metallic look instead, to match the recently released Destiny gundam but we’ll wait and see how things turn out. Also, the gold plated parts in the wings were very good and will probably remain when I am done with the kit.

In terms of mechanics and build. Strike freedom is pretty impressive. I haven’t built a master grade kit since Crossbone X1 but I was impressed with the design for the hands, which now closely resemble to ones used in Perfect grade kits. ball joints at the knuckles. I was also impressed with the mechanism found in the wings which cause the DRAGOON parts to spread out as the wings are rotated! The action stand which came with the kit is also worth noting (and it is really high at max length!)

The kit is not without faults though. Whoever thought that it was a good idea to only plate some of the strike freedom frame should be sacked!

they probably thought that since the parts are small, they don’t need to plate them, but all that ended up happening was that, now, the non plated parts really stand out when viewed. Poor choice by the designer.

Also, the mechanism for the wings may be impressive, but putting it together was an almighty chore which could have been made so much easier! I’m sure that key parts in the hinge are probably worn almost to the point of being broken after the number of attempts it took me to actually get them together…

Finally, and it’s pretty obvious, but this kit is too damn back heavy. It’s almost impossible to stand the kit on it’s own. I have managed to get the EX-S gundam to stand on it’s own 2 legs but this was another challenge all together!  It is possible to stand the kit on it’s own, but it means that the wings must be perpendicular to the body, which severely limits the poses it can do.

There are a few minor mods which I will do to the kit to improve it a little but nothing major. And I will need to paint this all over…

In any case, we’ll see what happens. It is possible that I will end up keeping the gold joints, but that’s unlikely. Does anyone actually like that design “characteristic” of Strike Freedom?