Sunday, May 30, 2010

HG 1/144 Gundam Astraea Type F Review - Part 1

"Astraea is officially War Machine!" - Z
Price: 1800 Yen

I finally found some free time currently so I thought I better post up the first part of the review since the photos have already been taken for a while already. I have yet to take the required photos for the next part however so that will have to wait. Nonetheless, let's go on with the first part.

GNY-001F - Gundam Astraea Type F
Pilot: Fon Spaak
Faction: Fereshete
Height: 18.3m
Weight: 55.1t
Arms: GN Launcher, GN Beam Saber (2), GN Beam Rifle, Proto GN Sword, GN Shield, GN Hand Missile, GN Beam Pistol (2), *NGN Bazooka, GN Hammer
*NGN stands for Non-GN which means that the bazooka is able to use physical shells without the need of using GN particles. It can, however, use it to enhance its effectiveness IIRC (credit to the Gundam Animesuki forums).

About the Gundam:
Unlike the Gundam Astraea Type F and F2 seen in 00F, the one depicated here is actually the Black Gundam Astraea which is fitted with a fake solar furnace AKA GN Drive Tau. After the final battle in 00F, it seems that Fon steals that Black Gundam Astraea and made it his own since his own Astraea is not usable anymore (due to the need of giving back the original solar furnace to Celestial Being). As for its ridiculous amount of armaments... it looks like Fon has been happily scavenging lots of places lately...

Part 1: Box
Lots of stuff on the box itself thanks to the Astraea being quite heavily armed.

Part 2: Box Open!
A good amount of runners to greet you once you open the box which relates to the price rather well IMHO.

Some shots of the manual. It has a total of 10 pages which is the same amount that the 007SG also had. Both of them are heavily armed but this Astraea is packing lotsa guns instead.

Part 3: Runners
As you can see above, all of Exia's runners are here minus the rubber parts. So, if you want, you can make Exia from this kit (though I don't think its something you would do under normal circumstances). You can, however, enjoy the "extra weapons". XD

I'm digging the red colors as well as the translucent green parts for the GN Hammer. Very nice part separation for these new parts as well.
From the close-up shot of the runners above, you will notice that the F runner totally reads out "HG 1/144 Gundam Astraea" which tells you that the normal Astraea will follow suit (which is does and will soon be released). The G runner also reads "HG 1/144 00 Weapons Set" (may be wrong with the Kanji there).

Too bad Bandai didn't color in those clear parts translucent green even though it is quite possible as those parts are only meant to be green. Can't complain much though since I'll only be using one of them for the chest since I prefer the normal Type F than the Type F2.

Hey, look at that, beam parts for the beam saber! From the initial promotional photos, most of us were worried that Bandai would cheap out and just let us use the toothpick saber from the B runner but luckily they gave us the beam parts in the end. Good, good. =)

A good amount of stickers are also given. I'm actually quite happy that Bandai did this since I do not have a brown-ish paint to paint in the parts that need it. I was thinking of getting a specific color GM for that but was unable to.

Part 4: Building Process Part 4.1: Preparations & Exia's Parts
I accidentally painted them ALL and I only used the chest orb. What a... mistake? Ah well, I'll just let them be. Kinda sad that I'm not using them since I think these are probably the best I've done. ^^;

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I took some close-up shots of the Exia parts as well. As shown by other reviews, you can indeed build a bloody red Exia though it might look quite awkward since the colors are not contrasted properly for Exia.

Part 4.2: Torso
New parts at the vents, the chest fins and the cockpit hatch. I really like how sharp the chest fins are but I didn't sharpen them in the end (even though I could). I kinda like it at default. Oddly enough, Bandai didn't give any foil stickers for the GN Drive exhausts which they do give for the 1/100. I opt to paint them with the metallic green Gundam Marker in the end as well as for the chest vents to follow the box-art.

Part 4.3: Head
A green face mask. Different from the supposed black face mask but I don't dislike it. However, you can argue that Bandai is being sleezy with the color accuracy here.
As you may have noticed, I'm using the Type F2's V-Fin which I think looks pretty awesome WITHOUT painting the tips yellow. It doesn't have an excess blunt point that most HG V-Fins have which was a pleasant surprise so no sharpening was needed for it. =D

I decided to paint roughly the GN Cables on the helmet. It is a little messy but I am quite satisfied with the outcome (I darkened it with a purple permanent marker in the third pic). Better than a bare red helmet, I guess. XP

Part 4.4: Arms
Did you guys noticed anything from the above shots? No, not the shoulder section, look at the elbow section, the part where the "GN Cap" is. Its gray! It is supposed to be brown! -.-
I am disappoint Bandai, quite disappointed. Then again, you'll probably won't otice the error much when you start to fully arm it.

Part 4.5: Legs
Can't do much for the feet without that brown paint. Nonetheless, it looks alright with minimal panel lining.

The color inaccuracy follow suit for the "GN Cap" near the knees. Lazy Bandai. This won't be a problem when the normal Astraea is released later on but come on...
I'm also not too happy that they didn't use the updated hip connection that the Exia R2 uses. I guess Bandai just cheap it out by using the original connection which is not all that bad but not good enough. =/

Part 4.6: Waist
I decided to paint the thrusters with metallic green as well. However, foil stickers should have been given for this since the 1/100 has them for this section. I do have to note that you should be careful whenever you touch the waist section as those beam saber pegs may break as the connection is pretty small and thin.

Part 4.7: Armaments
Very straightforward build. I like how the connection of the Proto GN Sword is done as it allows you to equip it at either side of the arms, not just the right arm. Neat. If you have two Astraeas, you know what you can do. As you can see, the shield has a longer connector which is most likely due to the "GN Cap" making the arm area a little wider.

The big guns are nicely molded and the launcher is quite articulated. The brown handle doesn't seem right though... but looking back at the box shots, it seems to be right.

I don't think these needs much explanations from the pics above but I will.
The GN Hand Missile connects pretty much like how Kyrios's GN Sub-machinegun does. It can be hand-held or attached to the side of the arms. Good little gimmick to free up the hands allowing the Gundam to hold more weapons at a time (which the Astraea Type F here is shown to do).
The brown round parts there are for the side of the legs which allows you to put the GN Hammer and GN beam Rifle on standby when not in hand use.
I also find the GN Hammer to be a little loose when connected to the handle. It is quite fine with the wire however. So be careful if you decide to put the it on the sides or on the arms on standby as the ball may plop off.

Part 5: Preview
Okay, that's all for now. From what you have just read, you can hear quite a lot of complaints from me. It is actually not that bad even though there are some color inaccuracies but lets see how it fares by then end of this review.

Until the next post~


Zoidiect Archaea said...

Astraea.....IT SPAMS~!!!

dont wanna try like BusterBeam did? packing up all the weapons available on the runner to the MS itself? XD

mangyver5223 said...

m.............many complaints, but how about articulation? is it sucks too? Yeah I want to mention you this, I establish(sounds like that?) a new blog named The Gunplayers. Its a English version of my first blog. I'm just posting my Exia review and trying to finish my post on 0 Gundam today. hope you drop by ^_^. Links :

Shirogane Len said...

Hohoho.....Spark sure really is Killer Machine...wakakakaka...

Cass said...

@ZD: I'll actually do that in the next part (hence why it isn't ready yet). XD

@gyver: The complaints thus far are mostly just color inaccuracies which doesn't really affect the model kit in its entirety. The articulation is the same as Exia so its quite fair in mobility already.

@Liang: Yep, he sure is (which is why he's a cool character). XD

Marzz said...

Looking good.... Really nice job on the GN condensers, ptiy you only used one. And mine is still in the box,waiting to be built.... Wonder when will that time come? Haha....

Gunstray said...

NaNaNa nanana~ Could help humming Ironman through this review^^;

Sucks they didn't bother adding one more kyrios launcher.

Note: Bandai had plans about adding new weapons for the s1 00 Gundams near the end of the series, too bad they were never released would have love to have the missile canister kyrios used.

Cass said...

@Marzz: Yeah, oh well. :P
Huhu, well, you'll eventually build it but there's no need to rush. Build it when ye have the time and mood. =D

@GunStray: It does give that Ironman vibe. I even considered painting some part with gold trims (I bet someone did and will do it). XD

Yeah, I was kinda sad that there was only one GN Hand Missile. It makes sense for the Astraea Type F to only have one but now I couldn't really give it to my Kyrios, now can I? It feels kinda half-there if I do. XP

True, I noticed that when I was looking at the runner names (took a close-up pic of it too), especially the weapons runner. It reads "HG 1/144 00 Weapons Set" (I'm roughly guessing the Kanji since I can't read Kanji).

divinelight said...

I'm a fan of swords spamming, so I bought 00-7swords.

then, this model is truly for the fans of weapons spamming ;]

Zeon_Two_Six said...

No wonder Z called it War Machine; a few more beam cannons and it can even out-spam Strike Freedom! XD

P.S. Will you try to pit it against "Mr. Tall, Blood Red, and Bulky" again? XD

Cass said...

@divine: I'm also a fan of swords spamming. XD
Well, as for this guy, there are just so many things you can spam especially if you include Exia's weapons it came with (which I just built a few days back). >D

@Zeon: All it needs now is a glorified backpack and the king of beam spam is dethroned (though that won't happen). XD

I might, but we'll have to see if I can get the counterpart for this guy by the time I make it do battle. ^^

chubbybots said...

Hmm I think i'll migrate some of this guy's weapons to Heavyarms :D He can sure use some updating hehe ^^

I initially didn't thought of getting this but hmm...i sense a bit of poison coming....the dark side is calling...

Chris said...

The only reason I don't feel like buying this is because of its colour scheme. It's too bland... Besides, I had enough of any sort of Exia variation. =∀=;

AstrayP03 said...

Man, this kit is packed! >.<

Can't blame it's poor articulation tho. It IS packed with weapons afterall :P

too bad I have the NG ver already tho.

Cass said...

@chubbs: Get, get, get! XD

@Chris: I can understand you there but I personally find the mostly red Astraea Type F quite nice. XP
Well, then again, I have too many Exias and its variations right now and another will add-on soon enough (since I didn't get the 1/100 before). >.>

@Astray: Get get! Even if you already got the 1/100, get this one also! >D
(Nah, if you don't want to get, it's fine.)

Jason Wee said...

What color did you use for the green clearpats you have? Its so dam nice!

Cass said...

The metallic green Sangokuden Gundam marker w/o shaking. ^^
Try to apply it "lightly".

Jason Wee said...

Thank you for the info! Btw, do you apply the paint underneath the clear piece or apply on its surface?

Anonymous said...

Man you are lucky af! Chances are when I get this I'm just gonna be using a swiss army knife and a few sharpies!

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