Take two of the “biggest” PG kit Bandai has released to date! This build (which is the same kit as the SF ‘Pride’, I stripped the paint off for the most part and replaced a few parts that needed it. No way am I buying this thing twice!) saw much more attention to detail and care put in to it at even the most basic levels. You can see Pride before the fall here and read my thoughts on the kit after I finished it the first time here. Why does it have the name it does? Well, All in all, the fire died out at the end of the GoA GB. I didn’t even paint the white on the kit and simply put the stickers on it and called it good. Even worse was the the chrome on the wing’s frame had gotten smudged over time from posing the wings and I was so fed up with messing with it that I just let it be. Fast forward to months later and I was utterly sick of looking at the wasted potential of the kit. So this is my atonement for slacking on such a big build between my peers.
I made sure this time around that there was no part unpainted on the frame despite the fact that chroming everything properly took forever and a day. The next big thing was stepping up and painting the white on the kit which is something I very rarely (read: never) do. This brought the general look of the kit to a whole new level, combined with how well the chrome, gold, and chromed purple came together with the rest of the build.
The main body of the kit didn’t see much change in color distribution. A few spots got color that didn’t previously have them and I didn’t leave any areas unpainted this time around either (chest vents, sections on the middle of the backpack) so that automatically helped things there. A downer is that I haven’t had time to pick up a violet LED for the head yet- but it’s on my list of things to do.
The underlying detail of this kit is more finished this time around. Instead of leaving things half finished or hastily done I took the time to get them done right and that extra effort makes the finished kit all the better.
The wings are, in all honesty, the main part of this kit. They’re the reason this model is the largest PG Bandai has released, the chief problem a lot of builders have with this kit and exactly why this thing looks so god damned impressive when given the proper attention. I still say they’re too big for their own good, but ample tightening of the joints on all fronts has helped immensely in the kit maintaining some sort of stability. By now everyone is familiar with the flawed joint on the backpack of the kit that is notorious for breakage. When it came to this part, I filled in the gaps with metal epoxy putty and that has eliminated the sagging and bowing issues I had previously. Aside from the wing joints, I also tightened up the hips to help it stand on it’s own but if you really want to make sure it stands fine without having to position the legs oddly you should tighten the ankles as you build it. I realized this useful little tidbit well after I had everything together and there was no way in hell I was going to take the legs apart again to mess with that when it’s going to spend all of it’s time on the stand anyway.
Photographing the kit with the wings in any sort of deployed form is a real trial. That’s the nature of any of these kits Bandai has done with wings that are so huge but Strike Freedom really takes the cake with just how giant they are plus the way you’re able to pose them. Even my PG sized (or so I thought it was) lightbox wasn’t big enough to get good shots in and I had to resort to alternate methods that allowed me to have the backing be about two and a half to three feet high and probably somewhere around five or six feet long. Regardless of any difficulties in the photographing department you can see why I will always praise this kit for at least looking impressive in every sense of the word.
Do I recommend this kit to others? Yes, but conditionally. I of course am of the mind set that people should (and will) do whatever they want with their kits. However with something this large and this expensive I feel that if you’re going to drop the green on this thing you should be prepared to go all out- or at the least be ready to give it some basic attention like painting the frame to unify the gold (or whatever color you’re painting it), panel lines and for the love of god pose it well. It deserves at least that much attention, though I think any PG deserves more work than just simple snapbuilds.
In any case, this iteration of the Strike Freedom is something I’m truly pleased with and something I’d feel confident taking to a convention for a contest or the like and I’m glad I went back to it to tackle it again and make it better than it had previously been. This is something that’s on a whole different level from any other kit I’ve built and I’ll be proud of it for quite some time.