1/144 Scale Real Grade Aile Strike Gundam
The Strike Gundam is the first lead Gundam of the Gundam Seed series, a controversial series in of itself but that’s for another day. Piloted by Kira Yamato until half way in the show when he moved on to the Freedom Gundam. It was then passed on to Mu La Flaga for the rest of the series until it’s destruction in which Mu used the Strike to protect the Archangel from the Dominion. Mu somehow miraculously survived and thus close the story the Strike Gundam. Of course, there are other Strike Gundam variations, but I’m talking about this Strike for now.
With this new release, we now have a Strike Gundam in every scale and grade… except the Speed Grade and Mega Size models, but I’m not really count those. Released in April of 2011, priced at 2500 yen or about 30~35 dollars depending on the exchange rates.
Out of the Box
Out of the box, you get 8 runners of parts, a sheet of clear stickers with some metallic ones, and a manual.
The head has more pieces then your typical high grade. And most master grades too. The clear part for the head has light piping if you’re interested in that. Very solid head, maybe a little round looking compare to the other parts but still nice looking nonetheless.
The chest is pretty impressive for the size it’s in. You can open the cockpit by grasping the blue part that has notches on the sides, pull it out, then push the bottom red “door” in so that it opens up. The only thing I don’t like is how plain it looks in comparison to everything else.
The waist area is pretty simple. Here you can see the different shades of white pretty easily. Side skirts can open up to store the Armor Schneiders.
Arms and shoulders. Fairly standard. Although the shoulder can open up, which suggest that the Launcher/Sword pack might come out, or it’s just attention to detail. Another interesting thing is that the bottom part of the arm slides when you bend the arm, while on the RX-78 and the Zakus, it’s the upper arm that slides, so I thought that was an interesting thing. Of course you get the RG hands, the index is separated from the rest of the fingers, but they’re on ball joints so it may pop off if you’re not careful.
The legs gave me a MG RX-78 OYW Gundam vibe. And it’s arguably the more detailed part of the Gundam. So many panel lines, and a good mix of the white and light gray. Not a fan of the feet design, but I’ll go more into those later.
Whoops, forgot the handle and arm connectors to the shield. But other then that, pretty simple stuff. The beam saber handle aren’t whole handles but you swap the top part between each handle depending on the usage. If it’s just storage on the Aile pack, then you use the one without the peg. If you’re putting the sabers in the hands, you obviously use the pegged ones.
Simply amazing. On a typical HG, the these parts might have been two halves and you put on stickers for the little details, but this Aile Pack was pretty amazing. Not to mention it has some very nice details on the insides of the engines and on the wings. The wings can’t really move down for non-deployment mode, but I blame that more on the model design.
And how it looks all snapped together… minus the Aile pack. It does look plain with out the panel lines. Of course I painted this kit, so…
Here’s what my RG Aile Strike looks like. I pretty much used the Strike Rouge scheme as the basis, but I added some Sword Impulse elements like the shoulders and the side knee areas. For colors, I used several different spray cans. For the reds and white, I used Tamiya Spray Bright red for the… well, bright red, Italian Red for the dark red, and Dull Red as my darkest red. Not sure if you can make out with this lighting. The white is Tamiya Spray Pure White, which I just sprayed onto the plastic itself. The light gray is Valspar Gray Primer, and the dark gray is Tamiya Spray Haze Gray. For the inner frame, I used Rust-oleum Black Night Metallic. Yellow is Tamiya Spray Camel Yellow. The black on the Aile pack (shown later) is with Krylon Gloss Black. The eyes, I sprayed on Rust-oleum Gold, and then put clear orange on top of it. Not sure if you can see it during the review, but stands out very nice, much better then if I used clear yellow. Then I outline the eyes with a black Gundam Marker, gave it a gloss coat. Did some detailing with Tamiya Chrome Silver and Leaf Gold bottled paints and clear blue for the forehead cameras and beam rifle scope. After decaling and panel lining, I used Krylon Clear Flat for the top coat.
I have to say that I’m very pleased with how this came out. At first I was afraid that the gray primer would have over powered the color scheme, but I think it works out very well with the reds and the dark inner frame. The only thing that I would have like change is the shoulder armor colors, maybe switch the placements so that the decals could be seen better, but that’s getting nick-picky. And the decals, god I wished there were some water slides for this kit… the knee stickers don’t like to stay on at all, and the borders kinda bother me sometimes. And the panel lining could have been a lot cleaner too… >.< But whatever, on to the review.
Lets start off with the Combat Knifes. Like I said in the construction, they can be stored in the side skirts, but I don’t bother with that.
This model can Strike a pose pretty easily. One thing to watch out for side skirts, they don’t have lots of free movement so a wide standing pose can pop those off. And that light piping, wished it shines more, but the back camera is pretty small, but still a nice feature.
Beam rifle and shield, pretty standard stuff, but they look nice to me.
The red on the shield was originally the same red on the kit, but that was boring to me, so I painted the little part Bright Red and the big part with Italian Red. The beam rifle, I got rid of the white color by using Krylon Gray Primer, and the main body and the nozzle I used Tamiya Stray German Gray.
Before we get on with anything else, let”s compare the size. First up is my HG 00 Gundam Seven Sword/G. And although the Strike looks a little taller, it’s probably because he’s leaning backwards a bit. They are about the same height if lined up correctly.
Next is my first painted kit, the HGUC Delta Plus. And of course, anything between Char’s Counterattack and F91, the mobile suits are just going to tower.
And just for fun, the HGAW Gundam X. And they look pretty much the same height, but Gundam X is a 17 meter mobile suit compare to the 18 meter Strike Gundam.
Aile Pack, On!
And hello weight issues…
Earlier in the construction, I said that I’m not a fan of the feet on this Real Grade. Well it’s because of this giant backpack. The feet has like three points of movement, that stability with the Aile pack is very finicky. Sometimes when you finally found the correct balance, the Strike is just leaning unnaturally, and the ankle is pretty restricted due to the ankle armor. Once you found that sweet spot however, just make sure to not breathe near it, as it will go tumbling backwards.
Some close ups of the Aile Pack.
For this review, I had to use the Action Base 2, because Bandai only put one adapter. It works better then then the RX-78 action base adapter, but I wished they had one for the Action Base 1… And you’ll need an action base because there’s no way this thing can pose on the ground with that back pack on.
Standard Beam rifle. Personally, I think the rifle looks better with out that giant scope thingy on it.
Like I said, the side skirts are really a problem when trying wide leg poses. One solution is to rotate the side skirts back so that there is enough room for the legs. Even the poses on the box has the side skirts like that.
I think this is my favorite shooting pose I’ve done with a model so far.
Reaching for that beam saber.
I thought that I wasn’t going to be a fan of this beam saber blade, since it’s kinda fat at the middle instead of the base, but it does give off a nicer uh… wooshing(?) effect.
Random grunt: “IT’S A GUNDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!” *Explosion* Wait wrong series lol.
I should note that I didn’t bother with the pegged handles, maybe it’s because I painted this kit, but the hands have no problem holding the non peg handles. Just make sure to wrap the hands around the handle real good.
Obligatory Ore wa Gundam da pose…
So far not a lot of things has fallen off. Too bad there’s no Grand Slam to pose with this, haha.
My second favorite shot. Strike Gundam gracefully landing after a hard day of destroying ZAFT mobile suit. ^^;
Pros and Cons
- The looks of the Real Grade Strike looks fantastic. The proportions is sleek, sharp, and it’s just… striking!
- Lot’s of panel line. I know there are some times where too much panel lines are a bad thing, but so far the RG line is doing very good with the details.
- The multiple shades of white and red is a nice touch, but I think it could have more color variations, like two different blues or three reds. There’s room on this Strike.
- The Aile Pack looks great. The level of detail is very nice, and the construction, while simple, blows the HG version out of the water.
- Great articulations. You can practically move almost everything.
- Massive weight issue with the Aile Pack when attached to the Gundam itself.
- The feet not being stable enough to hold the Strike. It’s very finicky and requires some patient.
- I’ve had the legs pop off a couple of times during posing.
- The peg for the beam rifle is a little tricky to put on, but it’s not impossible.
- No Launcher or Sword Packs.
- No Grand Slam.
Overall I think that this is a great kit. It has excellent articulations and looks very good to boot. Yea it has weight problems with the backpack, but that’s what action bases are for. Being the second Real Grade I’ve build I can’t wait to see what other mobile suits come after this and the Freedom. This is definitely a kit worth owning, and something that Gundam fans can really enjoy. Unless you’re one of those people who hate anything Gundam Seed lol.