I built the first RG, the RX-78-2, three times (!) and for some reason let the Char Zaku sit under my workbench for too long. Well, the third Real Grade kit is the GAT-X105 Aile Strike and the test shots were so impressive, I had to jump on it right away.
Overall Look: 10/10
What else is there to say? It looks awesome. The Strike gundams have a unique look with some sharper angles than older Suits. I was pondering the evolution of the Mobile Suit and if you compare the older RX-78-2 type suits with those of the Strike and 00 Gundams you can definitely see a progression going from a blocky, squarish look to a very sharp, angled look. The Strike falls right in the middle and I think that might be why I like them most overall. Bandai has made this kit look amazing with plenty of detail and markings in all the right places.
Again it’s the same white/blue/red/yellow combination but it works so well on this design. The different shades of white/gray on the armor are well done and the black on the Striker Pack sets off the cooler colors of the suit itself.
Love the design of the shield and the rifle is not far behind. Two Armor Schnieders and Beam Sabers are great, but I have a complaint. Why give me four of the bottom portion of the handle and only two of the top part. I mentioned this in my second build post and someone responded that two handles are for the Striker Pack and two for the Beam Sabers themselves, which is true of course, but I present to you this shot of the manual.
If I am reading this correctly, you should use the upper part of the handle regardless of whether it is going in the Striker Pack or holding the Beam Saber. So why not give me enough parts to make four complete handles? Or, pondering this again, is it possible I just didn’t see the other two C35 parts? I need confirmation!
I’m of two minds about this actually. Of course, you can see the articulation is good. The kit is very posable, mostly in the legs though, and is fun to play with but all that articulation is moot once the Striker Pack is on. You definitely need a stand to get the most out of the Strike/Striker Pack combination. One thing that makes it lose marks is that it can’t seem to stay flat-footed when you start widening the stance.
Build Design: 10/10
This kit is very solid and it seems Bandai cleared up some issues with the previous RG kits. On the RX-78-2 the shoulder armor was always coming apart as well as the skirt armor simply coming off. None of those issues affects the Aile Strike, I am glad to say.
This kit was more enjoyable to put together than the previous RG I have done and I didn’t get the feeling I was forcing anything nor was I getting confused when following the manual (for the most part ; ) )
Fun Factor: 9/10
The RG line is still new so even though the three kits are similar they are still much different from the regular kits we have spent so much time with and because of this the experience is enjoyable throughout. Having a Striker Pack to build as well also ups the fun factor quite a bit.
Having an opening cockpit hatch on such a small kit is great and the side skirts open up to hold the Armor Schneiders is sweet.
It comes with that tiny yet full sticker sheet so you can add all that detail to your kit or as much as you choose to, of course. The stickers aren’t cut the same as the RX-78-2, which featured stickers large enough to cover entire surfaces allowing you to get the alignment perfect, and several times I had to ponder just how to get the sticker on the right way. Foil stickers for the back of the shield = additional excellence.
The gold stickers on the elbow joints are also easier to apply that those on the RX-78-2, but being the perfectionist I am, I poked them around with my design knife trying to get them perfect and I marked them up a bit. Oh well.
If you were to ask me right now which RG kit to get the Aile Strike would easily be my recommendation. It’s a great suit design and a great kit design without any areas which could lead to frustration or burn out. Now that Bandai has shown once again what this line is capable of I am eagerly awaiting more kits!