Seriously, I can’t think of a good title for this thing! It’s such a ridiculously poor taste in design!! I mean, C’MON!! Gold Joints??
*ahem* I mean to say that since I left the comforts of my regular abode for the extra long weekend (Britain got an extra day off due to some guy getting married to some girl he met at university somewhere up north) and went back to see the folks, I also found some time to build a kit which has been sitting patiently until I actually had enough spare time to build it. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, it was the perfect grade Strike Freedom!
Again, due to my lack of access to my usual kit, the photos aren’t quite up to par with what I usually do but please bare with it. I’ll just post a few pics this time around and note a few things but I won’t get into too much detail.
I have to admit that I was somewhat torn when they announced strike freedom as the latest addition to the PG line. I was never a big fan of the design, mostly due to those idiotic gold joints! The price tag was also a bit of a sticking point (SF is the most expensive kit in the line, even beating the previous kit) and the PG 00 Raiser gundam left a very bitter taste in my mouth. I really disliked that kit and I still think it’s one of the worst PG kits, even when compared to the ancient PG kits like the MkII and original Gundam. But in the end, my love of the PG line won out and I bought one!
In terms of design, Bandai went back to the more old fashioned tech and abandoned the ideas seen in the PG 00 Gundam and I was very glad they did! For the frame, they did the same thing as when they released the Master Grade Strike Freedom full burst kit and gave the sections which are visible a better shiny gold look while the hidden inner parts got the puke gold colour.
Obligatory back shot. For the main body, reverting back to old tech means that the body is rather similar to the master grade in terms of how things fit. Of course, the PG has much greater inner detail and the parts generally work better but it doesn’t stand out much against its smaller (and cheaper) little brother.
Most of the pics were done with SF on its base and the reason for that is simple; as expected, the weight distribution for the kit isn’t great. It’s not as bad as the 00 Gundam which, with the raiser unit as physically incapable of standing on its own 2 feet and even arcs back when on the stand, but it’s exceptionally difficult to get the kit to stand on it’s own without it looking awkward unless you make the wings flat to bring the center of gravity forward.
The wings, of course, are where most of the design ideas for this PG went to. A new mechanism was put into the wings which allowed the parts to spread out more when the mounts were pulled away. The idea was put into the the MG as well, but that was just a way to expose the gold parts a little better for dramatic effect. The PG mechanism allows for all the parts to expand. You can see the expanded look in the above 2 pics.
However, one thing which the PG kit sorely lacks are stands for the dragoons for proper action shots.
A back shot with the Dragoons detached. You can see bits of the mechanism and the “skeleton” which hold the dragoons in place.
A closeup of the wing. The hook like section holds the back of the Dragoons in place when they are at rest, along with the peg further down on the wing.
And here it is with the dragoon in place. With the wing pushed inwards, the Dragoon will end up resting on the wing and there will be no gap between the 2. There are also springs in the dragoons to help with the removal of the dragoon. Of course, this is dependent on how well the parts are constructed. I have to admit that a couple of the Dragoons in my build are very “stubborn” and can be a pain to remove from the main frame.
Obligatory pose. One thing which is definitely worth mentioning is the size of the thing. The body itself isn’t all that impressive but thanks to the wingspan, the PG strike freedom takes one HELL of a lot of space. So much so, in fact, I can’t fit it along with the rest of my gunpla! So unless you don’t mind posing the kit with the wings held down, I hope you have plenty of space to display it!
In all, it’s hard to fault the PG strike freedom (though the pricetag could use some tweaking) yet, at the same time, there’s not much which one can really recommend it either. It lacks the aesthetic beauty of the Strike gundam and red frame and it loses out to the GP01 for gimmicks and overall grandeur. It’s still miles better than the accursed PG 00 Gundam IMO. It’s a middling kit. One for fans of either the gundam or the show from which it comes from (surely, there can’t be many actual fans of Seed Destiny, right??). Those who just want a cool PG or are starting out are better served with other kits. Strike Freedom isn’t bad. In fact it’s pretty good and would look good in any gunpla collection, but it just doesn’t stand out.
Still, I’d rather have an endless supply of these over a single 00 Raiser kit anyday! But for now, I’ll just settle for another PG kit. Heck, I would have preferred a Freedom Gundam!