NOTE: Those with keen eyes and who are familiar with SF’s design spotted that I raised the wrong wing ^^;. It should’ve been the back wings that goes up instead of the front. Goes to show how little I pay attention. The assembly is still correct though. And no… I don’t think I’m going to retake all the photos… since it doesn’t look any different >_>
I won’t get into how I do not like this Gundam at all or how the design has too much going on; I’ll just say that this Gundam seems to be Bandai’s visualization of a little kid’s dream Gundam (overpowered, powerful looking, and loaded with all sorts of stuff regardless of whether it conflicts or not). For this review, I’m going to put my opinion of the Gundam aside and just focus on the merits of the model itself.
Anyway, huge Gundam box is huge… PG size actually. Did you know this Gundam was released before MGs like the Strike Noir and Crossbone Gundam X-1? Shocking! So this is actually 2007 model and I’ve had it since then. I bought this version because I want the “full” set… and the USD was relatively strong compared to the yen back then so this was actually very affordable (not so much today).
OUT OF THE BOX
A lot of runners (20+). Comparison of the gold runners vs the crap-colored runners. A navy blue action base and regular base is also included. Dragoon effect parts. Giant useless poster. A cool catalog of all the MGs and other stuff. Your usual decals, stickers, and foils. Yay for curved beam effect parts and blue shield.
This model is famous for being “half-assed” with the gold plating so I was ready with my choice of gold to paint the parts as I go along. To be fair, I think the more appropriate word would be “inconsistent”… Sure, Bandai only gold-plated a few parts but they actually put in the effort to mold a new runner with undergate connections so you are also left with some spare parts. So they did that instead of just being lazy and coat the available runners.
I’ll be pointing out all the exposed parts that needs to be painted as I go along in the WIP.
Parts to paint: The chest vents on the inner frame, the top of the body/neck area, and the exposed gold parts on the side of the body.
The body has a solid construction thanks to the way it is assembled- you just build your way from the core to the outer armor.
Paint: The connection points to the elbow from both the lower and upper arm (hope I didn’t worded that too confusingly… ^^;)
Very simple construction but it works; there is nothing special in particular to take note about but all the articulation you want is there.
Paint: Pretty much everything…
The waist is your standard MG stuff except that the rear armor can slide down so you can rotate the railguns to the back so the beam rifles can hang on the side.
Paint: The inner gold frames… they get exposed when you slide the rail guns out.
This is probably one of the few design changes I can like about the SF. The railguns only fold out once unlike the Freedom’s which fold out like 2-3 times, making it really long. This redesign is not as aesthetically pleasing, but I like how it is relatively more practical with the shorter length.
Paint: The front side vents, the connection points to the knee, the ankles, gold on top of the foot, the ankle armor, the connection points to the waist, the back of the knee armor, the back thrusters, and the area below the knee on the front (it exposes when you bend the leg all the way)… Just paint the whole leg >_>.
If I didn’t have to paint so many parts, then the legs would’ve been just as easy as the arms. Straight forward construction, yet nicely designed for some really nice articulation.
So nice of them to include gold-plated side vents for the head but not for the chest nor anywhere else that is not immediately exposed (inconsistent). I hate how blunt the white v-fin is… it is literally cut off at the end. I didn’t have the guts to sand it down… ^^;
Some parts of the wings are too small for the marker’s tip to get to so I squeezed out the paint and work at the crap-gold with a paint brush. You should just paint every non-gold parts for the wings since it’ll probably take longer to figure out where to paint and where you can skimp. DO NOT paint on any parts that slides though (as in… the actual surface the parts contact and slide on)… you might add too much friction and that could add more stress to the already stressful mechanisms.
Before and After. Now repeat for all eight sections…
Assembled all the Dragoons while I wait for the gold parts to dry…
SEED Blue Gundam Marker is handy for covering up nubmarks.
The other half… Just repeat this on the other side.
The wings took me the whole day… and I accidentally broke one side, which fixed a problem I was having with it ^^;.
Beam Rifle. I thought something looked wrong when I was cutting out the parts… the main body is in the wrong color! It is supposed to be GRAY but it comes in this really dark blue (not quite black). This is almost a bigger offense than the crap-gold runner since at least that is trying… this is just wrong. It’s 2007 and you still need foil stickers for the white covers. Lame. I tried painting it but failed so I had to use the foils… trust me… it hurts >_<.
Beam saber… yea.
ALL YOUR BASES ARE BELONG TO ME
The simple one that also comes with the regular version of the SF. I like this base more than the Action Base because it is more simple and takes up less room.
While you get two stands, there is only one dedicated connector for the SF so you will have to swap between the two. I actually used the decal to get the name on the stand ^^. One thing to note is that connector does not rotate but instead, you have to pull it out and switch “gears” (of which there is three) that puts the Gundam in different angles. I thought this was nice until I see how much of a pain it is to keep pulling it out to adjust it… not to mention the degrees between each gear is very far apart.
The “special” Action Base.
I’ll be lying if I said this model doesn’t look good. I think it has great proportions and it looks rather sleeky with a touch of bulk. What I didn’t like was how the clear stickers come only in gold and applying it on anything other than white looks horrible. The decals are kinda cool since it is silver and it is very reflective… meaning you can’t really see it when light hits it.
Close-up on the details. I’d say the gold Gundam marker I used matches about 75-80% of the gold plated parts. Some parts look better than others but with my limited skills, there’s not much I can do about it haha. The gold-plated parts themselves have slightly different shades among parts (some are more orange, other areas are more yellow… but you can’t really tell unless you look).
Strike Freedom vs. Freedom. One is definitely more aggressive than the other…
Head and upper body
Haha… don’t expect any ground poses out of this Gundam. It doesn’t really pull it off well and it looks… off.
KAKERU BE, FREEDOM!
I like how it can just stand there and look cool… that’s my favorite type of model! And yes… I forgot to slide out the wings.. ^^;. I can’t say I really understand the mechanics in the wings since I didn’t want to mess around too much with it. If you rotate the rear wing, the front wing also goes with it but the front wing can rotate without affecting the rear one. I don’t remember the actual process but the opening/closing are also linked so no need to fuss too much from trying to make both wings look symmetrical :D.
I like how the beam rifle’s handle can rotate/swing since that helps with fitment in the palm.
Dual wielding… I don’t think it ever used just one rifle at a time…
This is only one of two handheld weapons the SF has… the other is the beam saber.
As easy as sticking one behind the other. Twin buster rifle?
It was surprisingly easy to get the hands to hold the beam rifle in this form… but there’s not much of a variety in poses.
Hey look! the gold parts on the wings are exposed now! Anyway… The beam rifle is a bit easy to knock out of Freedom’s hand but it is problem-free most of the time.
I think I like it just standing better ^^;. Pose taken from an image of the PG Strike Freedom actually…
Whenever Freedom does this, countless grunts are screwed…
While you’re looking at this, just imagine a plasma beam coming out of its stomach as well xD.
*flies down from the sky*
Curved beams make posing with regular beam sabers look decent and more dynamic.
I also like how it is not glittery like the MG IJ and MG Impulse.
Blue beam shield and the sword combination that I don’t think it ever did in the anime…
Probably my favorite shot so far…
FULL BURST MODE
I personally like the wings like this more!
I think it’s better to set up the whole display first and then bend the plastic rods however you see fit.
I didn’t follow the measures in the manual and just bend the rods however I like. You can actually bend/unbend the rods as many times as you want but doing it will weaken some of the spots I would assume… not to mention the rods will begin to look untidy.
The entire display took up a lot more room than I thought…
It is not as eye-catching in person as I thought it would be, other than it takes a lot of space. What I don’t like is how the dragoons are upside down (this can’t be helped I supposed…) and are all below Freedom… makes everything look a bit blah.
GO! FIN FUNNEL! DRAGOONS!
SEIGI TO JIYUU
I supposed this review can’t be complete without a photoshoot with its partner Gundam ^^.
It is very hard trying to focus on two subjects at once…
The end of the battle.
PROS AND CONS
- Best rendition of the Strike Freedom.
- Model is very well articulated.
- Joints are snug and are able to hold midair poses.
- Dedicated gold-plated runner with undergate wherever possible.
- The gold parts look nice.
- The wings are easier to move around and set up than the Freedom’s.
- Wrong color and foil stickers for the beam rifle.
- Not all exposed parts are gold plated… requiring you to paint extensively throughout the model.
- Wings are fragile and go through a lot of stress… be careful.
- Too expensive.
- All the clear stickers are gold… looks tacky on everything but the white parts.
- Ever so slightly backheavy… but not to the point where it needs to bear its chest or fall. It does have problem with ground poses though… but then again, this Gundam rarely/hardly/never fought on the ground in the anime xP
- Full Burst Mode is not really all that exciting… maybe it’s just me…
Do not buy this model- There… I said it. I mean… do not buy this version at least. It is not worth the extra $20-35 premium over the regular MG Strike Freedom model… that is for sure. You can save that extra money for a few cans of gold paint and your own custom display base… and you’ll still have money left over. If you must have this, then it’s best you paint it… why leave a model you paid almost $100 for in a half-assed state? Complete it! The model itself, though, is great. Very playable and the wings aren’t as problematic as other made it out to be… even if I did broke one little section. The only real offense is the beam rifle. Again… awesome rendition of the Strike Freedom but just not worth the price. I hate the Strike Freedom and even I can like this model!
SEIGI TAI JIYUU
“TODAY! RIGHT HERE! MY DESTINY TO DEFEAT YOU WILL FINALLY BE FULFILLED!”
“This guy… damnit… and I was just on my way to pick up my Freedom…”
“IT’S OVER NOW!!!”
“Wait! You don’t want to do this! You have the freedom to choose your destiny!”
“There is no freedom! Only Destiny! That is the providence!” “SHINN!”
“There is no Justice in this battle…”
“Wait… where did Kira go?”
*Freedom activates on auto-pilot*
“If strength alone nor emotions alone works… then this will!”
“FREIKE!… or is it STRIDOOM?” “The name is… STRIKE FREEDOM!”
“KIRA! I’m getting you back for what you did to my Saviour!”
“Is this your sense of justice, Athrun?! You have more beams than I do!”
“This is not my sense of justice… I AM JUSTICE!”
“He’s aiming for the cockpit!”
*Breaks away and ditches the beam rifles on the hips* “EAT IT!!!”
“It would’ve been over if that was a beam… IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY?!”
“He got one of my railguns!”
*blades locked* “ATHRUN!” “KIRA!”
“ATHRUNNNN!!!” “Kira…” ._.
“Dude! I can hear you! Stop screaming my name! We’re not in bed together!”
“Not so fast with that railgun!”
“That’s cowardly! You have wayyy too many beams!”
“Then why don’t you use your DRAGOONS?!”
“You asked for it! DRAGOONS!”
“Forgot that we’re on Earth?” *snickers* “Well then… I’ll show you… MY GREATEST WEAPON! And that is…”
“YUUKI NO CHIKARA DA!!!”
“That’s just running away!!!”
“GA GA GA GA GA!”
“Athrun! Forgive me… we’re best friends! We shouldn’t be fighting so meaninglessly! Cagalli is crying right now!”
“You’re right…” *turns off the beams*
“SUCKER PUNCH!” “KIRA!!!”