1/144 RG Strike Freedom Gundam – model build


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Written by Benjamin D.

The Strike Freedom Gundam is by far one of the best looking Gundams out there. This definitely ranks up there in my Top 10 Gundams of all time. This Gundam is from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and  Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny. It was piloted by the main character, Kira Yamato, in the series. This power house of a Gundam was a one-robot wrecking crew with all its  powerful beam rifles and multiple beam & rail cannons. What made the Strike Freedom stand out for me was the addition of those blue/black wings on its back called “dragoons”. This addition made the Strike Freedom stand out not only from other Gundam in this series, but also from all the other Gundams in other series.

I found this Gundam kit during my recent layover at Narita airport. I’ve always wanted to put a kit together of the Strike Freedom and this gave me a chance to try out my first RG kit as well. If you refer to my article of the art of building Gundams (known as Gunpla) you will see that RG stands for Real Grade and is one of the higher quality kits out there. I normally prefer to do 1/100 size builds, but they only had 1/144 available so I decided to get it, and see how awesome this build turned out.

Gundam SF2
Laying out the packages…

It is pretty standard once you get the box open. You have the instructions that show you how to build it step by step, as well as the plastic sheet runners that include all the pieces to be put together. All together there are about 23 steps to build this kit with 10 sheets holding together a lot of pieces. You’ll also notice the pieces are pretty intricately detailed and are high quality plastic. The color scheme of the pieces match that of what the Strike Freedom looks like, requiring no additional painting (unless you absolutely want to).

Gundam SF3

What I liked about this kit is that the colors of the pieces are great quality and are pretty detailed. The pieces were, sadly, pretty small which made for some careful consideration taking apart the pieces I needed. I always use a good pair of side cutters and a hobby knife to assist me.

Gundam SF4
Side cutters are a huge help!

BE CAREFUL TAKING APART ANY PIECES OF ANY KIT!!! Especially with the smaller size kits. Once a piece breaks off, it can totally destroy your build and completion. It will make you either attempt to glue things together and hope that it wasn’t a part that will show up weird looking in the end, or was a part that actually held the build together! This build itself was very intricate and required a lot of small pieces put together body part by body part. What I liked about the RG kit was the skeletal frame that was built with each section of the body. This frame gave the build a reinforced rigidity and also allowed the finished product to be more articulate with its pose-able movements. It was still easy to follow the instructions despite it being written in Japanese. Each step had visual pictures of what to do and was also labeled well in English. The build itself was built from the feet up with the last steps being the accessories and  back parts (in this case the Dragoon “wings”).

The kit also comes with a page of decals to put on the finished Gundam once it is complete. Sadly, this was the hardest part for me since many of the decals are super small and difficult to place. The instructions have a detailed, colored page dedicated to the decal placement, but truthfully I think that if I actually decided to use and place all of them, I would rather have done it while I was building that particular piece . The level of detail in the completed Gundam is just outrageous. The articulation allowed me to pose my Strike Freedom into numerous poses from the anime. It also gave me a chance to set it up in poses that showed every incredible detail and piece I put together. Even the Dragoon “wings” were pose-able and allowed me to pose it to make my Gundam look like it actually had dragon wings! The detail in the Dragoons themselves was awesome. A blend of metallic gold mixed with the blue and black of the frame made it seem like this build was actually part die cast. I did add something extra to this build with a  Gundam figure stand sold separately to add depth to the pose and give the impression the Gundam was flying.

Gundam SF5

Gundam SF6

The 1/144 RG Strike Freedom Gundam was a very intricate and beautiful build overall.

PROS:

-very detailed parts and pieces easily put together

-highly pose-able figure that holds on its own very well with all types of poses

– quality of the piece’s colors add to the beauty of the build

-easy to intermediate instructions to follow

-one of the better looking Gundam’s out there

-actually looks bigger than a normal 1/144 build because of the Dragoons

CONS:

-small, delicate pieces need extra care when removing

– decals are difficult to place

-for such high detail, I hoped it would have a functional cockpit

There are a lot of things you can do to customize Strike Freedom. From painting the parts for increased detail to fully painting it totally different. You can “burn” parts to make it seems damaged or even add paint to mimic oil and mechanical fluid spills with some rust. The options are practically endless and there’s tons of support for ideas out there on the internet. It was an absolute joy putting the Strike Freedom together with the pros far outweighing the cons and I can’t wait to  begin my next one soon!

I give the RG 1/144 Strike Freedom Gundam 4.9/5 Nerdskulls with a build difficulty of 3.5/5. I highly recommend this kit for any collection and even as a first build kit because the end result will get you hooked for more! Stay tuned for future builds! Please feel free to comment on any Gunpla stories you have or ideas to share for other builders to think about doing! I wanna hear all your creative ideas and pictures if you have them!

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