The Freedom 2.0 seemed to come out of nowhere but it wowed us in a way we hadn’t seen in some time. Well, it looks like that was just the start and Bandai is going to be producing more SEED MGs in that style including some we’ve never seen in Master Grade form before. The first of those is the MG Providence Gundam. For this review I’ll be showing the Premium Edition which may disappear after some time as no one has indicated it will stick around past the first production run but other than a few extras is the exact same kit as the regular Providence Gundam release.
Overall Look: 10/10
Before I talk about how cool this kit looks I’ll mention that I really thought I’d have to stand this guy like this:
Or on a stand like this:
I am glad to report he stands, but that’s for a separate section so let’s go back to talking about how he looks which can be summed up in one word. That word is ‘Awesome’. It definitely follows the Freedom 2.0 in terms of proportions and details and panel-lining. He’s got that mean head.
He’s neat looking piping on the underside of the torso.
Dragoons a plenty!
Nice details in the leg areas among other places.
Despite that huge backpack he doesn’t look odd, or lop-sided, or out of place. I really like to just look at it which is a testament to how pleasing it is to the eye.
(I thought I’d have to pose him like this:)
While somewhat bland as far as colour choice goes I do like how the colours work on this kit. The blue, red, and yellow stand out against the sea of gray (Bandai says it’s gray but it is more like a bluish gray to me). With most of the colour concentrated in the torso your eyes are drawn in to the center of the suit where a lot of nice details can be seen. The mass of gray that makes up the majority of the suit isn’t broke up by colour but instead by a lot of nice panel details.
That is a lot of stuff. A lot. First let’s focus on the big two as I call them.
Those two are the Ma-M221 Judicium Beam Rifle and the MA-MV05A Composite Armed Shield System. Let’s start with the rifle.
Here you are using the main section of the Freedom 2.0’s rifle but aside from that and the front handle the rest is new to the Providence.
There is some colour by way of sticker on the scope.
That look of depth is a nice touch.
Getting it into the hands (or hand) of the Providence can be a little tough. You’re given one trigger hand.
You put that finger part around the handle of the rifle and then attach it to the Providence’s hand
However, the rifle is so big that getting that finger part back onto the Providence’s hand can be tricky.
You can see it just comes off the tab.
I opted to take the entire hand off the Providence and work it that way.
Now for the Composite Armed Shield System. I’m just going to call it the shield
This features a hatch and folding sides.
On the inside of one of those flaps is a tab.
That tab fits into a slot on the back of the arm of the Providence. However, given that the tab is only one side, you really only have the option to use the shield on the left arm.
Plug the tab in.
Fold the sides in.
And close the hatch and it is on there!
You won’t see this thing fall off.
Stand tall Providence. No one can touch you.
Unfortunately the shield is so heavy that you can’t really point it anywhere.
Which is a shame because that massive effect part fits into the end.
Being that this kit is essentially the same frame as the Freedom 2.0 it’s not surprising that it shares the same amount, for the most part, of articulation. You may find that those large shoulders can get in the way but it’s actually the guns on the top of the torso that prevent more movement upwards.
But those guns move too!
The elbow bends well even with what looks to be rather big forearms.
The lower body has a great range of motion thanks to the nice knee joints and the hip armour moving well out of the way.
There is a piece at the bottom of the back of the leg that moves slightly as well.
This really doesn’t add anything to the articulation of the leg but it’s interesting how it’s there.
He can bend forward somewhat mid-torso as well.
And like the Freedom 2.0 each side of the chest moves independently.
And the backpack features a hinged joint that allows it to separate somewhat from the kit and tilt a bit.
It can even rotate back there!
You would think this kit would have problems standing with that backpack on and it’s my job to verify that.
Let’s start with the basic backpack.
Okay, let’s add the larger Dragoons.
Now the smaller ones.
He’s doing good so far.
Did I mention the smaller Dragoons there can tilt forward?
So how does he move with all that on? Not, bad actually.
I am actually quite impressed.
Build Design: 10/10
Again, I have to give top marks for the design here. The Freedom 2.0 was fantastic and seeing that design used again is completely understandable but seeing it work so well on the Providence shows just how good this design really is. I’ve written a lot about the design in the Freedom 2.0 review so I’ll use this space to talk about some aspects new to the Providence. Let’s look at how those large Dragoons go on.
Here is the connection.
It is a simple connection but attaching the heavy Dragoon you’ll not have to worry about that connection being loose.
The same goes for the smaller Dragoons located around his skirt.
In fact, when I tried to take the rear Dragoons off the skirt the frame part stayed attached and only the armour part slid off. That’s a tight connection.
The backpack attachment has already been mentioned so I’ll not repeat myself except to say that Bandai made sure to design it quite large so it would be sturdy.
I will also show how the stand attachment goes on. It can slide up under the backpack and attach to the bottom of the torso. I’ve left off the backpack to show that.
You won’t have to worry about the heavy Providence balancing by his crotch on an action base.
And check out this gimmick! If you open up the thrusters on the bottom of that large backpack you’ll find smaller thrusters popping out!
And I’ll say that while I don’t think the rubber parts around the torso are particularly necessary they do give it a little something that makes this kit all the more cool.
And while I’m discussing the torso let me mention that the cockpit hatch opens.
And the cuffs at the end of the forearms can pivot allowing you a little more flexibility when trying to pose that massive weapon.
I do find that sometimes the back skirt will come off a little too easily but it’s easy enough to snap back on. I don’t see why they would have needed an all new frame design there.
Fun Factor: 9/10
I was super excited for this kit not realizing that it was so close the Freedom 2.0 when it came to build design. That’s not bad thing, of course. The Freedom 2.0 is one of the best MG kits around. However, getting a never-done-before-in-MG mobile suit with the same frame could be a bit of a let down for some. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all and really shows just how solid that design is. I guess the only thing that could bring you down when it comes to enjoying it is that it’s weapons are just so large that you may not get some good poses out of those arms.
It’s not a Ver. Ka so for markings you are getting stickers and dry transfers. I’ve mentioned before how most of the MG release over the last couple of years had only water-slides for markings, something not everyone is prepared to deal with.
This return to dry transfers is actually very welcome.
You’re also given clear parts to mount your backpack Dragoons on if you choose to do so which is a nice touch but doesn’t make or break this kit.
That clear runner even contains an optional part that can be used when assembling the head.
And you’re given the extra hands that come on the Freedom 2.0 runner.
I’ve been showing the Premium version which comes with a special stand.
This features the SEED emblem as a base with an action base arm attached to it.
This Action base is the one that originally released with the MG Fenice Renascita and is probably the best action base there is.
But I’m happy to report that the regular release of this kit comes with a stand as well. It’s not an action base but it will allow you to stand your Providence in his cooler poses.
The Premium Edition does come with an A4 sized sheet of Water-slide markings however, none of the markings on there are for the Providence Gundam. Those instead are coming with the Dragoon Effect set on Bandai’s webshop site.
Not cool, Bandai!
I’ll throw in some pictures of what you have left over when assembly is finished (for those who have a spare parts bin).
The Freedom 2.0 felt really special. Like it was a step in a new direction for Master Grade kits. The follow-up Providence seems to continue in that direction giving you another newly-engineered, high quality MG kit. It’s even more exciting due to the fact that until now the only 1/100 scale kit we had of the Providence was the No Grade which, in retrospect, wasn’t that bad.
However, with this new MG the Providence finally gets the kit it deserves and fans of Master Grade kits get another reason to celebrate.