Thought I would take a little break from figure making and go back to a quick spot of mecha building. And so, taking into account the fact that I am spending a little time in the boonies (Wales) along with the majority of my gundam collection, I thought I would take advantage of the fact and build the Launcher/Sword Striker pack so I could pose it with my Aile Strike Gundam.

Introducing (rather late but meh) The Strike angels. *cue cheesy 70s music*

Excuse the poor photos. I didn’t have access to my usual tools for the group shots.

Some of the more eagle eyed readers may be able to see that the kits above still have a slight plastic look to them. The reason being, due to my Aile strike being built long before I started painting my figures in earnest (and had an airbrush to do so), I thought it would be best to not paint the strikes in order to make sure that they look similar to eachother.

As a result, the only things done to these kits are some very basic panel lining. They are pretty much straight Out Of Box (OOB) builds.

On the plus side, this did mean that this was one of the quickest builds in a long while. It only took me an evening to build 2 strikes and all 3 packs. (incidentally, I now have a spare Aile pack since I purchased another aile strike gundam in order to pose all 3 packs at once).

I’ll forego a review on the aile pack since it’s been doing the rounds for far longer and I think everyone has one by now.

But for those who don’t, lets just say that it’s no frills. The aile pack does hinder arm movement around the shoulder and the head somewhat but it’s pretty minor. Now, onto the new(er) releases!

First up, we have the sword striker.

The pack itself is very simple and minimal. The shoulder pack houses the beam boomerang and clips onto the shoulder rather neatly. Unfortunately, the kit doesn’t come with any item to attach the shield to the side of the arm so it will always appear under the forearm. So some arm twisting is neccessary, as shown in the pic above.

A quick front and back shot.

The weakest part of the sword striker pack however, comes from the connection between the sword and pack.

As the shot above shows, the sword is held by a single piece with the pack suspending the sword by feeding through the holes provided.

This means that the 2 holders are put under quite a bit of stress when the sword is placed on the holder or removed. The reason for the design choice is because that part folds down when the sword is in use so it’s less of an obstruction. But it still means that owners will need to be careful when taking the sword on or off.

The fact that the shield can only be carried under the forearm is also a minor annoyance, but it’s more from an aesthetic point of view rather than a practical design problem like the sword holder. The shield can get in the way from time to time but it isn’t too hard to overcome.

One thing I forgot to mention is that the tip of the shield also detaches as a grapple arm as it does in the show. I didn’t bother to take pics of that though.

But overall, I would say that sword Striker is the strongest pack in terms of the model. It doesn’t hinder the movement of the basic strike model and allows for a wider range of poses compared to the other packs. It’s just a shame that, as a functional unit, sword striker is the weakest of the 3. Hence why it was used the least in the anime!!

Next up, we have the launcher Pack.

Easily the weakest pack in terms of the model kit for reasons I will explain below.

The first issue I had was with the shoulder attachment. Unlike the sword striker, the part must be disassembled before it can be put in place (you can get away with keeping the 3 main parts together with the sword pack). The main section slides into a gap in the shoulder just like the sword part but requires more force in doing so. The front and back attachments are then placed on. Get the initial part right, and it’s very sturdy, get it wrong and the parts will either not go in or the entire part will be loose and fall off easily. It’s just not as easy or simple as the sword pack.

The second issue I had was with the actual launcher part itself. The arm which attaches the pack to the actual launcher is difficult to work around, which makes posing the launcher gundam a real chore. A lot of arm twisting is needed before you can get poses out of this setup and even then, it’s still not great. The pic above looks alright but the right arm is not fully gripped onto the handle, for instance!

The above pose required quite a bit of twisting before it settled but is one of my faves.

Overall, I would say the launcher is the weakest of the 3 packs simply because it is more fiddly and harder to pose. but it is more fun than the sword setup.

And a final pic of the whole getup.

I guess the main question though, is why it took so long for bandai to release the extra packs. I mean, they went through at least 3 variations on the strike before giving us launcher and sword!!

One thing I have noticed though, is that while I have seen various pics of the different packs individually and even a few where the sword and launcher packs were combined, I have not seen one of all 3 packs on 3 separate strikes in 1 pic.

Surely I was not the only one to get an extra strike gundam for that purpose, right?