Bandai Real Grade 1/144 Strike Freedom Gundam Review

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The most recognizable mobile suit from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny makes its appearance in Real Grade 1/144 format
The ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam is Bandai's 14th mobile suit in their Real Grade (RG) line of models. It's the first real grade model to deviate from the standardized price of 2,500 Yen with a higher price of 3,100 Yen for the extra chromed pieces found on the inner frame of Strike Freedom's wings.

If you've seen other photos or reviews of the RG Strike Gundam, you may have read about complaints on Bandai choosing the mustard yellow color for the inner frame rather than chroming those pieces as well.  To fix that issue, I picked up a can of Tamiya TS-84 Gold Metallic and spray painted the yellow runners gold before putting the model together.  Obviously it'll be better to paint after you cut the pieces off the runner but I was worried about inconsistent application of the paint and getting all the pieces confused with each other.

The yellow runners
Here you can see the difference the spray paint makes with the gold on the piece and the still yellow runner around the "B".  Strike Freedom is supposed to have a gold inner frame but to keep costs down the inner frame is made from 3 different yellow runners.

In a couple hours, the legs and hip are complete.

The gold shows up very well within the hip

In another couple hours, the torso is complete.

Gold Hands
Some of the bare yellow is exposed since they were plugged into other parts on the runner.  Be careful when you rotate the fingers on the fully articulated hands because the joints are more stiff with the gold paint and can break at the joints.  As you can see from the hand and the peg, the spray paint adds an additional layer to the pieces so many of the joints will be stiffer than without the paint so be careful when bending joints to not break pieces or chip the paint.

The body
Strike Freedom Gundam is an easier build than the Real Grade RX-78-2.  There is only 2 color separation in Strike Freedom while RX-78-2 has 3.  As you can see, there are a lot of exposed inner frame so spray painting the yellow runners pays off.

Back of the body
The back skirt is a very annoying build with a small hinge which falls off easily.

Head sculpt
I would recommend applying the shiny sky blue stickers on the clear head crest prior to assembling the head or painting it.

What's included:
Also included but not pictured is the clear shield and 2 translucent pink beam effects.  The two guns can be combined by attaching one behind the other just like the anime.

The gold pieces under the wings are chromed out of the box.  Be careful snapping the thin dark blue pieces to the snap into the gold frame because the blue plastic piece is very thin and fragile.


1/144 HG Gundam Wing Custom compared to Strike Freedom Gundam
The real grade (RG) line is a lot more detail than the high grade (HG) line.  The Gundam Wing mobile suit line is generally smaller than others and it's evident here.

Compared to 1/144 Real Grade RX-78-2
The RG RX-78-2 has a more pieces in the leg and bending the legs exposes a lot of the moving pieces in the inner frame that is covered in the Strike Freedom.

Strike Freedom Gundam with box art

Bandai has done an incredible job creating the Real Grade 1/144 Strike Freedom Gundam.  It is the best 1/144 scale Strike Freedom.  The gold metallic paint was an easy and definitely suggested way to improve your Strike Freedom Gundam model.  I have yet to sticker him up and top coat him (I'll update this post once I do that)  Posing him is also challenging because of it's heavy backpack.  The Strike Freedom is a straight forward build that is a fabulous center piece for your 1/144 scale display.

Manufacturer: Bandai
Year:  2013
MSRP: 3,000 Yen


Hi, what gold paint did you use? It looks great

Hey did you use a primer before or gloss coat after painting the inner frame or did you just use the tamiya spray? And how did you go about doing it/ how many coats? I want to do the same thing but this is going to be my first build so I'm unsure

I used Tamiya TS-84 Gold Metallic. I just used the tamiya spray. The spray already makes a each piece thicker do pegs were sometimes too big for the peg holes so I wouldn't suggest a gloss coat. I found 1 coat to turn out really well but some pieces I had to go a second go-over because I didn't spray evenly enough. It's really hard to tell where you sprayed and where you didn't under direct sunlight. Just make sure you don't spray too close to the pieces and spray evenly otherwise you'll get ugly clumps or specks. And try not to handle them too soon after spraying so you don't get your finger prints in them

Thanks Eric, it looks fantastic btw. I would love to see the finished product after stickers and topcoat! are you going to panel line?

I was going to panel line but I haven't been doing an awesome job on the cheap non-line Gundams I have with Gundam markers and another thin marker I bought. I was hoping to finish the stickering and top coat it before the winter but I'll have to wait until next year when it's warmer to spray outside. Taking a short break from Gundams until the RG Gundam Wing EW is released!

so the tamiya gold spray wont break the inner frame doe? i just curious coz all ppl talk bout destroyed inner frame. please reply XD

@Unknown nope. it didn't break the inner frame. But the paint can chip off the frame

Would it be possible to add a top coat to the frame so the paint is protected and still have all the parts fit on it?

@Anonymous I haven't tried that but i just think the ball joints would probably need a bit of shaving so they don't wear out the plastic slots they fit into like the wrist.

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