The 1/144 RG ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam is one of those kits I built and for some reason neglected to review even though I took the time to do all the panel lining, apply all the stickers. Having done reviews on the other RGs (Zakus aside), it’s just not fair for the Freedom to not be included and so I decided I’d do a review of this guy so he can take his rightful place. Having been 6 months since I finished the Freedom the build wasn’t fresh in my mind and so I built the kit again from the beginning using a second one I had picked up at release when I thought I might give it a special paint job. Well, that never happened but it was great to have the second kit sitting there when I decided it deserved a review.
Overall Look: 9/10
The Freedom is one of those Mobile Suits which you could attach the adjective Epic to and it wouldn’t be a lie. With those massive wings and the weapons in the place of side skirts this guy is more everything than most mobile suits and that’s why so many people love the Freedom and Strike Freedom. However, those things are probably the only reasons I don’t like the look of the suit as much as others. While I do love the idea of the wings, when they are in a neutral position they just seem too large and the same can be said for the side skirts. Of course, when you use everything as it was intended to be used…
Okay, that’s pretty awesome.
With the dark blue dominating while the red is used sparingly the Freedom is serious bizness. The light ‘Gundam’ blue that is usually the predominant color does appear here but only on the feet and wings while the only place you’ll find yellow is on that sexy head.
One of the sexier heads if you ask me.
The Freedom is short on included weapons when you compare it to say the RG Freedom or even the Aile Strike which has the Armor Schneiders but I for one need to keep in mind that the big guns on this guy are attached to him at the waist. Even with those big guns you still get a rifle, two beam sabers (one handle has been, er, misplaced for the time being), and a shield though I can’t say they’re better in any way than the weapons from its RG brethren. They do attach simply and firmly so you needn’t worry about the shield or rifle dropping off as you play with the big guns on the sides.
This is one category that is difficult to evaluate. While it has more or less the same amount of articulation as other RG kits it’s tough to test it due to those big wings on the big. Actually those are both a hindrance and a help. With the wings in the neutral position the weight is behind the suit by quite a bit which would cause it to fall backwards if not for the fact that the wings are long enough to touch the ground and act as a support. This reminds me of both the Aile Strike which was also back heavy and had no support and the Justice which was very back heavy and needed that support. I guess the true test of the range of articulation is to pose the suit with the Wings out and that actually puts the center of gravity of the kit right back at the torso meaning this guy can stand pretty well.
But keep in mind those side weapons will get in the way and there’s not much you can do about it.
It’s interesting to see that the Freedom had the same feet issues I encountered again with the Freedom recently. Basically the design of the frame means the weight of the kit is above the middle of the foot where the frames meet rendering the front of the foot unnecessary when it comes to most poses. I often see the feet kind of sticking up because of this.
While this isn’t a problem it does seem kind of unnatural given how us humans distribute our weight on our feet. Maybe it’s an aesthetic thing.
Build Design: 8.5/10
The big feature on the Freedom is the wings so I’ll leave those for now and instead talk about another interesting design element which is the side skirts.
A clever design has them unfolding to extend outwards and though the parts involved are very small and light there’s no worry of breaking anything.
There’s even a tiny handle that flips out so you can have your Freedom grip its weapons.
And now we come to the wings and with the experiences of building the kit twice I must admit I am still confused as to how exactly they are meant to function. For example, there is this ‘connection’.
Are these meant to move independently and separate when the wings are opened up? Looking at an image in the manual it appears that could be the case.
But looking at an image from the anime right beside that image perhaps it is not?
Because the the two pieces kind of just lay on top of each other there will be times when they separate and times when they don’t.
Speaking personally, I prefer the look of them together but that doesn’t mean that’s how it should be.
There is also the issue of the parts for the wings being so narrow. Because they are so small the connection are very small as well meaning often you may encounter parts of the wings just falling off.
While it’s easy enough to get them back together again it does mean you have to be careful when you start playing with the kit. I have found that the best way to handle the wings is to handle and position the big guns that are between. This will have an effect on the position of the wings and the weapons are not as fragile feeling as the wings.
Despite this lengthy text detailing my problems with the wings I actually feel Bandai did a good job with them. Making a suit like the Freedom with functioning wings in 1/144 scale with RG detail is quite a feat and Bandai did what they had to do to pull it off. They should be commended rather than condemned.
Fun Factor: 9/10
When building the suit itself there’s not much new but you can’t expect each RG to be a completely unique experience when they all use pretty much the same frame. It’s the wings that make the build of the Freedom and it’s a pretty sweet experience. You go into the build wondering just how Bandai will pull off the wings and as you’re in the middle of building them and realizing what Bandai is done you can’t help but come away with a sense of admiration. To put it more simply, it’s just good fun. Fun factor may be reduced slightly when you start playing with those wings, though.
Considering that the majority of the ‘extras’ that are found on the RG Freedom are built into the design of the suit itself it’s understandable that there won’t be a lot of other stuff in the box. You do get the extra molded hands, etc. But the best extra would be the stickers. You get extra, extra stickers.
More correctly, you get the option of marking your Freedom belonging to either Kira or Zaft and which one you go with affects which sticker you’ll use for the shoulders, front skirt, and wings. Choice in Gunpla is a great thing and Bandai gives it to you.
All in all, I’m glad I went back and built this kit again. I was reminded of just how good a kit it was and one that I think indicated what we ccould expect from the RG line as it continued. It’s a worthy predecessor to the likes of the RG Destiny and suits Bandai decides are worthy of the RG badge.
I’ll leave some gallery images here but if you want to see the Freedom in all its panel-lined and stickered glory, click here.