Bandai have released a string of good SEED Master Grade kits this past year. For the most part they have all been solid, enjoyable kits with the Buster holding a special place in the corner of my heart. With the release of the MG Aile Strike Gundam Ver. RM are we seeing the last of the MG SEED kits for a while? If so, is the SEED series of MG kits going out with a bang or a burp?
Overall Look: 9/10
How do you assess a kit like this? You get the mobile suit which can stand alone and you get the Striker Pack which can be mounted on the kit. Is one version better visually than the other? Well, luckily for me I don’t have to ponder that too much because the Aile Strike looks great with and without the Pack.
Highlights for me would be the great proportions and the head.
I have always liked the look of the Strike’s head. In my opinion it’s one of the best looking heads (and suits) out there. So why only 9 out of 10? Well, I’ve previously encountered a really awesome looking Aile Strike. And if you compare the look of this MG version to that of the Real Grade, well the MG falls a little short. More could have been done.
I’m giving the MG RM Aile the same score the RG received as there’s no difference in color, unless you count the fact that there’s only one color for the white armor parts on the RM. Is it fair to compare it to the Real Grade? This may turn out to be a recurring them in this review.
Though not exceptional the shield and rifle look good and work fine. They do, however, lack the detail found on the RG weapons which is a shame considering how much more room Bandai has to work with on the MG scale. Would have loved having that big sword included.
Glad to report the Armor Schneiders are included.
This kit is very posable. Check out the range of motion in the shoulders the naked Aile Strike has.
When playing with and posing this kit I did encounter only one problem. Or I didn’t. Actually I’m not sure. The area of controversy? The side skirts.
Unlike other side skirt designs which have the contact point at the top leaving the side skirt just to move mostly up and down the Aile Strike’s side skirts are designed to have the skirt assembly change shape. The skirt will fold as the bottom moves up with the leg movement while the top moves downward when it comes into contact with the lower part of the torso. This is really cool. Or is it? While this allows the legs to splay out quite impressively, when you move the leg forward the side skirts don’t flex that way and you’ll find they come apart at the connection point.
It’s easy enough to put back together but that ease of assembly is also the biggest reason why it comes apart. I also found that the dark frame parts at the top of the leg tend to pop off when they come into contact with that side skirt, which reminds me; I’ve got to order one to replace the one I lost.
I had a concern about the kit’s ability to stand up, and pose, with the striker pack on but I’m happy to report that the kit stands solidly and can assume some action type poses with the pack attached.
Build Design: 9/10
The Aile Strike RM shares, in most areas, the same frame as the other recent SEED MG kits and that’s not a bad thing. The design is solid and works really well but the Aile Strike has to also incorporate that thing that gives it its name, the Aile Striker Pack. Bandai’s done a great job with it.
Just pop it into the back of the Strike and away you go. Everything that moved on the PG version does here as well and it one-ups the RG Striker Pack thanks to the flaps that move here.
That said, the flaps are also an area you need to watch out for. Well, not the flaps themselves but the pieces that attach to them on either side. The design for the construction of the Wings leaves only a tiny edge of plastic as the connection point between the black and red parts and when you start moving the wings you’ll notice that they start to separate.
You may find yourself reassembling these from time to time.
I’ve already mentioned the side skirt issue so those issues aside the Strike is pretty solid. I do wonder about durability however. Will the poly-caps used in the hips and ankles remain sturdy enough to support this kit as it ages? I’m already experiencing issues in these areas with my Duel Gundam and it shares the same design.
Fun Factor: 9/10
You could say that because the Aile Strike RM isn’t different enough from the previous SEED MGs that it doesn’t offer a unique experience. And some would say that perhaps it’s not advanced enough beyond the original Aile Strike to warrant extra praise. (I can’t voice an opinion on this matter as I haven’t built the older kit). But when it comes to ‘fun’ this kit has it and why is that. Dat Stand!
But maybe that’s best discussed in the next segment.
Extras: 10/10 (10+++)
Bandai gives you parts that you can use with the upcoming Online Shop Exclusive. That’s pretty cool. They also give you the extra pilots.
That is also cool. And plenty of markings (though nowhere near the abundance found in the RG kits unfortunately.)
But Bandai outdoes themselves for giving you the stand. It’s great and it’s not just an action base but an actual launch which you can put together and you will use it when you play with this kit. They even give you the cable and parts allowing you to connect it to the back of the Aile.
And the arm connects to the same area of the Aile thanks to the use of the adaptor.
Why include an adaptor for stand that is made for use with the Aile. I dunno, but I surmise it’s because you may be able to use this great stand with you other gundams. Fantastic!
The stand is a gamechanger in my opinion. It allows you to take the experience of the Aile Strike to the next level. I’m already looking forward to trying to get some awesome poses I’ve seen in various places.
Recognize that? Now maybe I can do it, too!
The Aile Strike RM turned out to be a solid build and great fun and well worth it. To be honest I had mixed feelings when the box arrived in my hands. Having built the Real Grade the detail on the MG RM seems like a bit of a letdown and seeing the 1/100 MG Gundam RX-78-2 Ver.3.0 at the recent Shizuoka Hobby Show showed that bandai has plans to redo their MGs to match their Real Grades so in my opinion the timing of the Aile RM release was a bit confusing. Could they have delayed the release slightly and turned it into a 3.0 style MG? Yes. Or could they have planned to release the Aile RM as a 3.0 and then if it turned out to be a success could they have followed it with the RX-78-2? They could have. It’s not a terrible idea from a marketing standpoint. But they didn’t and in the end we got a solid kit, perhaps not revolutionary, but well worth checking out if you’re a fan of the suit and the anime and we also got something we rarely see, a high quality accessory that totally changes how you enjoy the final product.
(ya, I’m using another shot of this pose again. Because it’s awesome.)