Gaijin Gunpla

I wasn’t sure what to think when I first heard there would be a Real Grade version of the Strike Freedom Gundam. On the one hand, it’s one of the most popular Mobile Suits in the Gundam universe so an RG version was inevitable but, conversely, they would need to do an RG version in gold and as Bandai hasn’t really evolved past the ‘lame’ gold we’ve seen on recent kits, this suit could immediately take away from the level of quality we’ve come to expect from the Real Grade line. So which is it? Maybe it’s a little of both.

Overall Look: 10/10
Who doesn’t love the Strike Freedom. Okay, not everyone. Many will admit that the SF is a little overdone but it sure looks good. And the RG kit of it looks really good as well but I’m torn here. The lame gold is lame, but the plated gold is plated.. I mean awesome. Maybe I’ll talk about the colours in the next section but let’s look at the gold right now.

Leaving aside talk of the gold for now, the proportions of the Strike Freedom are fantastic like the other kits in the RG line.

Colors: 9/10

The RG frame cannot be molded out of that nice plated gold we see on the Dragoons and that is understandable. However, I can’t understand why they did not mold the E runner out of the same gold they used on the inside of Dragoons. Even that would have been a significant improvement. With the armor on the gross gold is, thankfully, less noticeable.

Except for the hands. Those stand out too much for my liking and this would have been remedied by molding the E runner out of the other gold.

Weapons: 8/10

What? Just two rifles? Well, you do get two beam sabers and a shield (not pictured) that is really only one piece of plastic. I’m fine with what they have done with the shield, as I wrote in the RG Destiny review, though in this case there are six stickers to put on instead of four. It does seem a little scarce when it comes to weapons but remember the Strike Freedom carries those giant railguns on his hips so he doesn’t really need anything else when it comes to firearms yet Bandai does include the rifles and also designed them to fit together through some simple changes.

Articulation: 7/10

The RG version of the Strike Freedom Gundam has some good articulation but the big problem is that you’ll probably not be able to use it. While he can pose a bit without the dragoons on that is really not the point.

Unfortunately, (and this is a big negative) the dragoons are so heavy compared to the rest of the suit that it is difficult to get this guy to stand up. Each time I successfully did so he was hunched over looking like an old man.

I think this mostly comes down to the design of the RG frame in the ankle. You have the small peg that fits into the hole in the foot.

But, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, that hole does not allow the whole foot to support the weight of the kit. Most often it is the front of of the foot supporting all the weight leaving the heel out of the question, or not touching the ground whatsoever, and this leads to having to lean the kits forward. Most RG kits are light enough that leaning them forward is not required but you can’t escape it with the Strike Freedom. Oddly enough, if you open up the dragoons the weight is better balanced and he is easier to stand up.

Build Design: 9/10

I think I won’t be too incorrect if I were to state that the Strike Freedom is all about the Dragoons. Bandai couldn’t have done this kit if they didn’t get the Dragoons right and they did a great job with them here.

The assembly incorporating the plated gold pieces is well designed and well implemented. The blue assemblies fit snugly into the dragoons when they’re resting but appear to extend out when you ‘transform’ the dragoons. Instead of using a design that pushes out the blue assemblies like on the PG version of the kit, they instead have you pulling the darker armor parts away from the frame and moving the light blue assemblies only slightly which gives the same effect as the PG.

The dark blue parts attach to the shiny gold frame part using a rod snapped into a semicircular hollow. This means you just need to pull up on the end of the dark blue part to open up the wings.

This also means that you need to be very careful because you’re dealing with very small part in particular the long narrow dark blue part. When you’re popping that into place when assembling the suit be careful not to press to firmly in the wrong direction.

After opening up the dark blue armor parts the lighter blue assemblies are then only pulled out slightly.

If done correctly, they will sit there in place, though the sweet spot is very small so you’ll likely have one or two come off as you’re going through this transformation. One you’re done, though the Dragoons look pretty sweet.

That right there is the reason people wanted this and after the contraption that was the PG Dragoons these are refreshing in their simplicity.

And they do look awesome.

Other areas worth mentioning are the rail guns which, of course, extend.

And to accommodate those rail guns the back skirt assembly was redesigned for this RG. Using a couple swivels the back skirts can drop down.

This moves them out of the way and allows the rail guns to move to the back.

You then can use the original side skirt connectors found on the RG frame to attach the rifles if you so wish.

One area that was a source of frustration were the shoulders. While they can open in a simpler version of what we see on the PG kit they tend to, more often than not, just fall off as you’re playing with the kit, or for this RG, trying to get it to just stand up.

They are easy enough to put back on and there’s no risk of breakage so this is only a minor grumbling here.

I was worried that maybe the Dragoons and backpack in general would be similar to what we saw on the RG Freedom Gundam. While those wings looked good and were light enough to allow the suit to stand up easily they tended to come to pieces when you were moving them around. With the Strike Freedom Dragoons, they won’t come apart like the Freedom’s wings, thank goodness, though they often pop off of the main backpack assembly when you’re moving them. Luckily, they are easy enough to put back on.

Fun Factor: 8/10

I actually quite enjoyed building this guy and comparing him against his RG brother, the Freedom, and also the PG version of the suit and once finished it is beautiful to behold. Now if it would just stand up. After building so many kits I’ve come to understand that there are two types of Gundam Model Kits, those you can play with and those which are better suited to being displayed like works of art. The RG Strike Freedom is definitely the latter. In a way, I belong to both camps in that when I modify, paint, and decal a kit I want it to be considered a work of art and be displayed somewhere I can see it and appreciate it often but I also think that any Gundam Model kit out of the box should be one you can play with. It is articulated after all. They aren’t fixed figures like we see with anime statues and so the RG Strike Freedom was a little disappointing to me in that regard, but if you’re not one to play with your kit and instead are content to bask in its radiance then you’ll have no problem enjoying the SF.

Extras: 7/10

Lots o’ decals. Yes, this is standard for RG kits but I still am impressed each time I look at an RG sticker sheet the first time. The most important ‘extra’ in this kit; the stand adaptor! You need this thing!

Having been focused on SEED suits for some time Bandai had to build an RG version of the Strike Freedom. Not doing it would have left a hole in the line. Bandai did do a great job on the kit aesthetically and in the function of the Dragoons but it would be much more enjoyable to me personally if it could stand up. I still think it’s beautiful, though.

20 Responses so far.

  1. Kiko says:

    Very nice review Syd. Thanks!

  2. PaulSG says:

    Great Review Syd! I was actually having trouble in choosing between the MG Strike Freedom and this RG. Due to my Impatient nature I decided to go with the 6 yr old MG and I have to say its really worth your time (this is the normal version, not the FBM)

    Would like to see you do a review of the old MG one compared to the new RG!

    Happy modeling!

  3. Michael says:

    Thanks for the review Syd! I’m getting it before new year, but I’m planning to paint the frame. Did you get the gentei effect parts for the it? I got my package a few days ago, and turns out that beside the effect parts and an action base, there’s a special extra runner (by the look of it – from Damashii stands) with the parts that will allow you to attach dragoons to the action base, just like on the action base included with MG Nu ver.Ka.

  4. TanMX says:

    Hi, can i know the actual weight(including with the box) of this Gunpla? I helped a friend of mine to order this from a quite famous online shop and they charged me for price of 800g shipping fee. Is this Gunpla really that heavy?

    • syd says:

      450 grams. Gunpla are quite light. The box used to ship it might be almost as heavy.

    • Zyf says:

      Hey, I think they charged you 800g because some postage services have a minimum weight, for instance 800g, so even if the enitre set is less than 800g, they will still charge you the full cost of delivering a 800g item.

  5. bryanmerel says:

    one question, can this RG version can actually deploy those dragoons? 0.0

  6. Ken says:

    I recently built this kit myself, and I found that the lower elbow joints both snapped on me when flexing. Did you end up having any issues with the arms, or did I just get a kit with bad elbows? I did paint over the joint, but considering it didn’t affect the top elbow joint, I doubt this was the issue…

    • syd says:

      I didn’t have a problem with the elbows but admittedly I was very tentative with them after over-bending one knee and breaking it. The RG line are very articulate but that is held back somewhat by the inner working of that RG frame.

      • Ken says:

        Agreed, I didn’t have this issue with the Freedom, so I suppose the plastic’s a bit softer here. I read one of your earlier posts, and I think I probably just bent one of them past the straining point too quickly and the upper elbow joint wasn’t able to move (too stiff I suppose), although why the other elbow did that is beyond me.

    • DJ says:

      I was making this kit earlier today and I had a similar problem with the left elbow. The hinge for the lower joint broke and I have no idea how to fix it. Any advise? My right wing also broke at the area that connects it to the center piece that holds both left and right wings.

    • DJ says:

      I had this issue as well with my RG SF for the left arm. My right wing also broke at the tiny turning piece that connects it to the middle piece holding the left and right wings. Any advice on how to fix? Thanks

  7. Mike says:

    I’ve been debating between this and the MG Proto Zero. Which one would you recommend?

  8. Huey says:

    Hey, I just received this as a gift from my brother and I am very excited to build it. However, having built the Destiny, I am at a loss on how this would fare on an Action Base. I have to do a lot of fiddling and and somehow defy rules of physics to get my Destiny to stay on the base. I’ve tried everything short of gluing the adaptor to the Destiny’s crotch. How do I make use of the stand properly?

  9. Bruce says:

    Awesome review!
    Just built this kit and I want to fully see the gold inner frame, just wondering how you took the lower torso’s part off? My SF’s lower torso is really stuck on. I don’t want to apply a lot of force since the inner frame might snap off, any advice??

  10. Eren says:

    Does it have a stand included cuz I am planing on buying a few so I don’t know how many extra stand I need

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