Gaijin Gunpla

I think most Gunplars new it was just a matter of time before we saw the Astray Red Frame in Real Grade form. When I saw it at the Shizuoka Hobby Show this past May I wasn’t surprised it was coming but rather I was more surprised at how soon it came. I was expecting another kit, or two, from the Wing series due to Bandai already hinting that they were doing five of them. I have been enjoying the RG line so much that for me it might not matter which MS comes next. This time it’s the 1/144 RG Gundam Astray Red Frame, so I’m going to enjoy it before the next one is announced in the coming months.

Overall Look: 10/10

I’m not as much a fan of the Astrays as many other Gunplars out there but I can appreciate the uniqueness of the design. It definitely resonates with you. Mobile Suits, for the most part, are complete frames covered in armour for protection. The Astrays, on the other hand, have minimum armour protection which means the frame is much more important to the overall look. Bandai has done an amazing job on this Astray not only because they did it using the RG frame, which I’ll write about later, but also because they’ve kept the same methods and themes that we’ve seen in all the previous RG kits. It looks like an RG of the Astray should.

I’ve already seen some comments and questions regarding the head sculpt and I’m not sure where that concern comes from.

Considering the scale and grade I feel Bandai’s done a fine job with it.

Colours: 9/10

It’s an Astray Red Frame and this kit is all red and that could be all I would need to say to describe it but I’ll write that Bandai incorporates the different tones (again an RG theme) quite well. I do wish instead of giving me two small green stickers for the sides of the backpack that they would have incorporated a small clear green part there.

The only little disappointment I have is with the hands.

While the hands molded on the RG frame runner are molded in both red and white, the fixed-pose hands are all red only.

Weapons: 10/10

All the Astray weapons are here and while simple, look really good. The shield especially looks good once all the stickers are applied (no pic, sorry. coming soon). The best part of the weapons is the Katana. Just like the PG you’ve got a mekki-plated sword with a mei (signature) reading ‘Kiku Ichimonji’ on the nakago (hilt). As if that weren’t enough Bandai has even added a hamon (cutting edge pattern) to this one.

Very well done considering the scale, and just like a real katana the hamon is hard to photograph.

Articulation: 9/10

With minimal armour you would expect the Astray to have good articulation and I’m happy to report that is the case. With nothing hindering the knee joint the leg bends completely.

The toes also bend up quite well for when you want this guy low and ready to spring into action.

If I have a gripe about the articulation it’s that the arm doesn’t seem to move upwards that much.

I think the use of the red inner shoulder piece is what gets in the way but really this is a minor issue that won’t really hinder people when it comes to playing with this guy. He is a lot of fun to pose, especially with that Katana.

Build Design: 9/10

Real Grade kits have the multi-colored armour, and all those marking stickers, and amazing proportions but above all they are all about the frame. Usually you assemble it and put on the armour and stickers and even with the frame functioning wonderfully you don’t really get to see it. The Astray changes all that. The RG Frame needed to be visible and to work and for that Bandai made some design changes. First of all they molded it in two colours. That’s easy to see right out of the box. What you notice when you put it together is how much of it you get to see. The best example is the back of the legs.

That white bar running down the middle of the back of the leg, that’s all RG frame. In fact, the entire back of the leg is all frame molded together on the B runner. It is really impressive.

Also interesting is the engineering in the arm.

Previous RG kits had the arms engineered the same way the legs were, with mechanisms that fit together and slide while the arm bends. With the Astray Bandai does away with that. There are no parts linking together and instead the arm is molded as three sections joined together via a single point. The wrist pivots on the point where it connects to the lower arm. The lower arm pivots at the elbow and the upper arm pivots above the elbow. It’s completely different but probably it was necessary for the Astray and its exposed frame. This design allows you to handle the arm without much fear of damaging some small inner frame area.

I do have two complaints, or maybe just one.

The lesser of the two is I’ve experienced the small part at the bottom of the front torso pop off quite frequently.

It’s right there under the hatch. You can see it has popped out. This seems to happen a lot.

The other area of concern I have is the joining of the upper body with the lower body at the waist.

It seems the connection is rather weak or at least for me it is. Now, this may be my fault because when I originally assembled it I had the skirt facing the wrong way when I dropped the upper body on. I did flip it around but the problem persisted. I pulled off all the armour around the waist and made sure to trim the gate marks down. There are some difficult to reach gates in that section so take your time and be sure to get them all removed. With that all done it still seems the connection isn’t terribly strong but I can live with it.

And while I just remembered, the ankle armour can pop off its connection quite easily but it’s not really a problem as it doesn’t move much in the first place and there’s not anywhere for it to go if it does come loose.

When you’ve got it together and are posing it you really appreciate what Bandai has done here.

Fun Factor: 9/10

It’s a completely new experience (for the most part) as far as Real Grades go and it’s a great experience to see it all come together as you start with that distinct frame and start putting the frame parts then the few armour parts on. Once done you have just as much fun, probably more, playing with this guy and his sword.

I’ll be posing this guy in a lot of kamae (stances) to see what he is and isn’t capable of.

Extras: 9/10

More stickers than you ever thought you would see on an Astray including options for both the shoulders, the upper left thigh, the side of the right knee, and the left ankle armour.

You’re given a small piece that just hooks on to either side armour so the sword can attach to the hip.

And Bandai gives you two extra hands just for gripping the Katana.

I actually found that the RG frame hands worked well here but the extras are great to have.

Tenchi Jin no Kamae.

Get this kit. You won’t regret it.

57 Responses so far.

  1. Glen says:

    I’m definitely going to get this kit 😀

    In my opnion, bandai should just mold the fingers in white instead of red for the non RG hands…

  2. xiaoxie says:

    finally a review about RG astray red frame, thx 😀

  3. Jacob says:

    ahh,, the gold part of the sword should’ve been a mekki plate too instead of gold injected… don’t you think so Syd?

    • S2 says:

      Not really. In my opinion those parts should be really dark. I’ve never seen a gold tsuba (hand guard). At least this way you can paint them if you want to.

      • Jacob says:

        hehe,,yes in real life they were darker..but I think the one I saw on PG were flashy, they were already plated right? I haven’t built one so I don’t know exactly..

  4. Glen says:

    Just my thought, but will bandai make the flight unit or the tactical arms as P-Bandai? I wonder…

  5. Uno says:

    Mine is waiting to be shipped from my HLJ private warehouse along with the HGUC Rx revive, Gaeon (which I got during their sale month), Guncannon revive, RG Bernern (which took forever to be available), and a new set of hobby knives. So it will all be 1/144 for this month for me BABY! my next MG wont be due til November, Barbatos anyone? :)….im still contemplating if I wait for the Age 1 MG or shipped them now so I can assemble those bad boys!

  6. Ruukasu says:

    Hey syd, great reveiw as always. Looks like the RG 00 Raiser still has the lead!
    What RG gunpla are you looking forward to? 🙂

    • S2 says:

      I would like an RG Victory. I think it would be pretty fun, though really complicated. And an MG Impulse of some kind would be pretty wicked too.

      • Glen says:

        RG Victory would be cool..
        Syd, do you know why Bandai seemed to be a bit biased to old UC series and Seed model for RG? I wanna see more from Wing series too..or from Unicorn series too.. I wonder if we will..

      • Rise says:

        I would like the next RG from antagonist character,

      • Rio says:

        I doubt bandai have technologi to make RG Unicorn that can transform like MG

  7. Kikomachi says:

    I wonder, does it have the same frame design like the ones from all the previous RG SEED?

  8. sablenk87 says:

    The frame mechanism looks pretty impressive for me, but i must agree with “some comments and questions” Syd have mentioned, the RG has ugliest face compare to the other released Astray red frame. Maybe because it needs several parts to build considering it’s small size, and the size of it’s each parts is a bit off. IMHO

    • Glen says:

      yes i think the “mouth” part should have been more close between the upper and lower shaft, or whatever it was called. also the inner red frame part under the eyes and inner cheek were a bit to much.. in my opinion..

  9. Kushal says:

    I built the Red Frame HG for a family member; it came with the Flight Pack but it wouldn’t fit in their suitcase so I held onto it. I wonder if it’s compatible with this kit? I know the BuCUE head probably isn’t.

    Anyway I usually wait until I see a major new release on here before buying it, and I’m not disappointed. Glad I held off on buying the MG!

  10. Antonio says:

    Speaking for myself, I believe the Master Grade Astray Red Frame Kai has a superior head sculpt for the following reasons.
    -Slimmer V fin
    -Smaller groves on the front mouth-plate

    Also, from some angles, the facial expression of the Real Grade Red Frame seems rather depressed while the Master Grade’s head sculpt seems far more menacing from most angles.

    Either way, I’m still going to buy this kit. The Astray Red Frame is my favorite Gundam.

  11. Chase says:

    Hmmmm.. Im guessing that RG Unicorn Gundam won’t take long to arrive in our shelves.. While I do understand that Bandai announced that they will RGfy the 5 endless waltz units, i see that ALL (or almost) PERFECT GRADE kits have their RG counterpart.. Wing, OOraiser and Astray strengthen my guess, because, they actually completed the PG Line up before unicorn. EXCITEMENT of building PG EMBODIED in building an RG

    just my 2 cents

    • Glen says:

      I see.. it makes sense bro… PG, then RG.. didn’t crossed my mind

    • Ben says:

      I’m a bit interested if they’ll do one at all. The HG Unicorn (destroy) is already quite the kit to build, adding an inner frame and probably transforming armor will turn a flimsy and complex HG into an absolute nightmare of tiny parts falling off left and right.

      • Chase says:

        I dont know about that.. I was able to complete my RG A.R.F. And i have to agree with syd that this kit is an innovation to the current rg line.. On topic – the fact that they innovate means that they can also perfect an rg unicorn.. I mean, its stressful to transform the MG unicorn, I know.. But just like the red frame, some parts just have to be ommited to recreate the NTD Mode; some armor parts just have to be included in the internal frame for the transformation to work flawlessly. While the Zeta is inarguably the flimsiest RG there is, you have to admit that Bandai perfected the transformation.. And unicorn does not have a waverider mode.. It simply “morphs” to a gundam

        Sorry for my long post..

      • S2 says:

        This is exactly my line of thinking on the subject of an RG Unicorn. Bandai proved their capabilities with the RG Zeta. I don’t doubt they can make a Unicorn work.

  12. Patrick says:

    Hey I hope you don’t mind some constructive criticism. You really need to work on the gunpla poses in these reviews. I feel like some of these kits look even worse cause of awkward poses and they aren’t given justice. I appreciate your reviews, just a suggestion on how you can improve them 😀

    • S2 says:

      I get some comments (and some crap) every now and then about my pictures or the posing of the Gundams in my reviews. I would like to point out that a review is just that, a review. it’s my evaluation of the kit and not me trying to portray it as something it’s not. If you see a Gundam in an awkward pose it usually means that kit is awkward to pose. I don’t have a lot of time to photograph the kits for reviews and want to concentrate more on the text and not the photos. As such, kits that don’t cooperate often end up with fewer photographs overall. In fact, much of my articulation score for the review comes from the time I spend trying to get a kit to do something specific.

    • Jacob says:

      @Patrick, sometimes, the “awkward” poses Syd shown were meant to show us how great/bad the articulations of the kits which being reviewed. Try to take a look at Hyaku Shiki 2.0 on their articulation part.

  13. RJ says:

    That head kinda look sad?

  14. Mike says:


    Do you think the flight pack included in the hg astray can fit in the rg? The rg astray backpack can be pulled down right?

    • S2 says:

      I saw one on display at a hobby show that had the flight pack on it. I think it is also featured in the latest issue of Hobby Japan Magazine.

  15. firstlarc says:

    The hand or rather the finger originally are white, u can see the animation

  16. Fisch says:

    This RG is my first RG, and Astray Red was my first Bandai HG gunpla I got so I’m pretty excited to get it. How do you deal with that rigidness in the frames, though? I tried to follow the guide and just from the leg frame I already feel so cautious since it’s so hard to move. I’m worried I might break something, which will be so ugly to happen.

    • S2 says:

      When building RG kits I always take time before putting any parts on the frame to bend the joints and loosen any stiffness. It’s easier to see how the joint is meant to function when it’s in its bare bones form rather than once you’ve got pieces in place.

      • Fisch says:

        That’s what I did too, but I’ve never had any RG before, so I tried to see which parts moves where and which parts aren’t supposed to move. Looking at how the frame works is an excitement for me, but it sure is scary how I really had to give quite a lot of force to make them move the first time.

        Oh, and now that I’ve finished mine, I do have similar problem as you here, that piece below the hatch and the waist connection being kinda weak. I’m not really sure, but I think both have some odd fit for me, like how it already “clicked” but when I look at it, it’s not exactly fit. And I don’t know if it’s supposed to be like that, but the gap on that part below the hatch seems a bit too wide, so I’m thinking it might be too wide or something, can’t really see it there.

  17. JC says:

    Bandai should have included “Tiger Piece” in its arsenal.

  18. Arie says:

    after this looks like RG Epyon Gonna pop up, Perhaps ??

  19. Wing says:

    I can’t decide between the RG and MG version of this.

    Any input please???

  20. bryanmerel says:

    Tip, to all who would build this kit, paint the eye if you the skill for it instead, or use the the suplied foil eye(ignore the one with the dark shade, just the eye foil). The way the face plate constructed pushes the uper side of the large eye decal, causing it to peel up, affecting the Face’s overall effect. Using the foil eye sticker alone eliminates the problem.

  21. DT says:

    There had better be a decal for the sword sheath that reads ‘Gerbera Straight’…
    Tell me there is…

  22. Daniel Lapham says:

    I just built this kit. It’s my second RG (Rx-78-2 was my first) and while I absolutely love it, I’ve had the exact same issues with the abdomen piece popping off and the torso separating from the waist. I think the plastic on the inner frame at the waist is of a slightly softer variety and one of the little nubs on the pelvis is starting to degrade a bit (in the U shaped area where the piece that holds the side skirts clips in).

    I’ve also had an issue where the red end piece on the scabbard has developed a hairline slit on one side due to pressure and the more rigid red plastic. It still stays in place and is barely noticeable, but might be something to watch out for. That said, it’s still a great kit, wonderfully flexible and detailed. I’m still new to gunpla so perhaps I just wasn’t careful enough. Things like the foil stickers still give me some trouble as I can’t seem to get them on without sometimes rubbing off a good bit of the foil, specifically the one’s that are required to bend over an uneven surface.

  23. Paul G. says:

    I’ve built 2 RG Astrays, and the last one didn’t have any problems. It can do ab crunches, just not in a conventional way most RGs do: the rear skirts move up and down, and the solid red bar (where the upper torso connects) moves along with it. It’s pretty solid, and that small red piece that keeps popping off? Never pops off.

    The first one, however, had all those problems, and a faulty inner frame. Specifically, the inner frame for the right leg. One of the joints were fucked and snapped clean off. Now the articulation for that leg is messed up and unfixable.

    I can’t wait for the inevitable RG Red Frame Equipment set (Caletvwlch, Tactical Arms IIL, the Tiger Pierce katana, and a Flight Unit) that will be P-Bandai.

  24. Samuel says:

    I cannot recommend this RG astray frame for main reason: the joint connecting the leg to the hip is darn fragile, I mean thin. Mine’s break within 3 months and I ended up applying super glue on it.

  25. Victor says:

    Hey guys, my RG Astray red frame fell to the ground and I lost one piece of his left shoulder (rigth should if you are looking at its face), some kind soul may help me to sell/build one to me?

  26. Hans says:

    Hi Syd, I have started to build my RG astray Red frame (just the inner frame for now) and found the same problem with the waist. After reading your build on RG blue frame (which you said that it was your fault in the red frame), I was wondering is it really because our fault in building or maybe the connector is faulty by design? and is there any way to fix it? (glue maybe??)

    • S2 says:

      I do know that I thought that I didn’t remove the nubs properly on the red frame and I cut off a little plastic nub-like thing that actually needed to be there. I was quite careful with the blue frame and it seemed to work better. I suppose you could use a small amount of cement to hold that connection better but I wouldn’t overdo it.

  27. Gerald says:

    I’ve done my rg astray red…but…the red piece before the shoulder are wiggly. It’s look like not sit properly, but i already follow the manual. Am i right in assembled it? Or…something that i don’t understand/ skipped frombthe instructions? Thxs

  28. katon melon says:

    uhmn, next time maybe
    the joint that falling of easily is “no” for me

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