Hello everyone, first of all I have been away for a long long time and have not been doing much in the area of Gunpla building. IF you really must know what is happening, well I have been watching a few “pieces” of anime, namely Code Geass and Valvrave the Liberator.
I have also been busy with building and painting my Tau Army as well as my Eldar allies for 40k wargaming with my friends and brother. I guess building warhammer 40k kits is a bit different as the kits cannot move after being put together and they require painting, which is a paint and takes a lot of time to complete.
Nevertheless, I have been able to take sometime to complete my Red Frame Astray which I have bought about 4 months ago (talk about lagging behind). I actually built this kit in my office while doing overtime at the same time which will be quite different in presentation compared to all my previous builds. most of this blog entry would be mainly about the build itself, what I encountered as well as what I noticed and perhaps my opinions on the kit in general.
Lets start with a bit of background about the kit for those who do not know. The red Frame Astray is one of the 3 (or 4) astray gundams which were secretly manufactured on the colony Heliopolis where the other 5 Titular mobile suits (Strike, Aegis, Duel, Buster and Blitz) were being developed as well. During the attack to steal the before mentioned mobile suits, the red frame astray fell into the hands of Lowe Guele, who modified the suit to its current form.
I believe this suit did not make a debut in the original Seed animation but has a short 15 minute OVA produced on it (can be found on youtube if anyone is interested).
For this kit, I panel lined it whilst it is still on the sprue as that is easier done now than later when it might get obstructed by other pieces when completed.
Going on straight to the build is the torso of the suit itself. This kit i believe is extremely detailed as all inner frame parts as well as the reverse of the armour platings have got details moulded into them.
If you are into building kits to expose the inner parts for display, this will be one of the best kits for stripping down to its inner frame to do one of those battle damaged dioramas.
It seems that the Astray has been designed with very little armour plating so that the mobile suit/kit itself is able to articulate to pose itself in almost any way you can think of.
The torso build itself is quite complicated in a way as there are many small bits that go together as well as requiring attention to install in the right direction.
Here’s the torso completed after about 30 minutes of working on it.
I think I might order the white chest plates from the Blue Frame to replace the dark coloured ones as I think that looks better… hmmmm
The arms are not as complicated compared to the torso and most parts fit together with much trouble. The only thing that you would have to remind yourself is that the kit has its parts injection moulded different as you will have to cut the part with the sprue out from the runner AND cut the sprue from the side of the piece. Failure to do that will result in the piece not being able to close onto one another thereby giving you a small gap.
Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of it to explain what I mean but do keep an eye out for this if you get this kit to build. I believe it is the same with the Astray Blue Frame.
You can see roughly from the pictures that the left arm (the one on the right :P) did not get panel lined yet, mainly the red parts. That’s because I am not sure if panel lining the red parts would have any affect on the accent or not. Well, looks like I will be panel lining the red parts in future as I think the one that is lined looks much better than the one without lol.
Right next is the waist. The waist itself is also another design to enable the Astray gundam to be able to pose in very dynamic poses. the side skirts have been minimized and both the front and rear skirts are almost non-existent, allowing the Astray to literally do splits lol.
Apologies for the confusing picture as the module is actually upside down to capture the details on the “top” 😛
The exposed thigh to hip ball joints are actually cleverly hidden behind the thigh armour platings so you need not worry about them looking ugly and mechanical.
FEET and COMPLETION
Unfortunately, I havent been able to capture any pics between the next one which shows the feet as I am suppose to be working and I have been only able to use the spare time to build the kit rather than take photos.
The feet itself looks quite stable and full of details as well. The only thing to note whilst building the feet is that the ankle module is quite strangely designed.
In order for more articulation, the ankle module is designed with a missing part on purpose and that causes one of the armour platings to be quite loose imo. I think they (Bandai) should have thought of a better design for this imo.
Nothing untoward to report about the main leg build and also the weapon or tactical arms module as it is called is quite simple to put together.
Here’s the kit completed and the tiny 1/100 scale lowe guele posed together with it. The kit itself is quite back heavy so it is best to counter it by posing the legs angling backwards a little.
Another way of countering that back heavy problem would be to mount the tactical arms on an action base to simulate it on its flight pack mode.
Generally, this kit is a must have kit for Master Grade fans as there is no Master Grade that is as poseable as this and has 2 beautiful katanas as its weapons lol. The selling point for this kit i believe would be the 2 katanas as well as its articulation. It is no wonder Bandai released a Perfect Grade for this kit as well.
Well I have come to the end of the build and for anyone who would like to know more, do feel free to add a comment here or email me 🙂 I will try and answer any queries you have before you get one to build 😉