Wednesday, October 10, 2007

PLAMO Review 25: MG Strike Noir Part 1

My current Gunpla work is MG Strike Noir, and like what I did to my previous work, MG Gundam Ver. OYW, I'm going to split the review so that it can cover as much details as possible about this kit. At the moment I'm thinking of three:
Part 1: (today) Panel-lining
Part 2: Assembly and action poses
Part 3: Comparison with MG Strike
Any other suggestion on how you would like me to review this Gunpla is very welcomed! Please give your precious suggestion in the comment section. Thanks in advance ^^

All the empty part trees after removing the parts for Strike Noir. Only three part trees are directly inherited from MG Strike: the inner frame for the thighs, body and waist, elbows, ankles, manipulators, Strike's beam rifle, and the polycaps.

Starting with HGUC Advanced Hazel, I cut out all the parts first and categorized them according to their components of the model, and then panel-line and apply painting onto them if necessary. In the past, I used to panel-line the parts on the part tree before cutting them out, a method I practiced for the past 10 years.

Now, onto my current progress. For the last few days, I was frantically panel-lining this kit so that I can start assembling it during the Hari Raya holidays this coming weekends. As compared to MG Gundam Ver. OYW, Strike Noir has more parts, but surprisingly easy to panel-line. The main reason being there's not many fancy hydraulic pipes to show off, so there's less need to play around with painting silver on this kit. Also, unlike Gundam Ver. OYW, there are less lines and details on the surface of the armors. Plus, the details are spread over on the many parts, so less work is needed for each part.

There are however, "static" hydraulic pipes for the legs, which are much easier to paint than the ones for Gundam Ver. OYW anyway.

Also, gold and silver paints are applied to certain parts in the shoulders' frame, as well as the mecha component of the backpack.
Parts that need such painting are treated first, so that they will have more time to dry off before the final assembly.

I really like the design of this model. Technically, it's just a variation of the original Strike, but Bandai put in quite a bit of effort so that you won't feel like buying a second Strike and repeat the same assembly process again if you had assembled Strike before. Except for the body, the inner frame of Strike Noir is revamped, while the armors are completely different. I used to think that this is just a color variation of Strike from white to black plus a different backpack equipment, but apparently, it's not.

I think the feet of Strike Noir (the two pairs on the left) are most interesting among the many "seemingly" similar parts with Strike. The first visible difference is the holes where the cables are supposed to come out. But upon careful scrutiny, you will find that the the feet are actually narrower than Strike's.

I like the collar of Strike Noir as well. It's much higher than Strike's, plus, it's black. I bet it will make Strike Noir looks much more evil and menacing when viewed from certain angle. I can very much visualize that angle in my head right now ^^

There are many tiny-biny parts for this model. The triangular yellow parts for the sharp shoulder armors really give me a lot of suspense all these day ^^ since I was so afraid of losing any of them when working on them. To prevent crying my eyes out ^^ if any of them went missing XD I counted the total parts at the end of the day before cleaning my table, just in case.

Smaller than the 1 cent coin, you better be careful when dealing with these small parts.
I painted the pilot, Sven Cal Bayang in red and black instead of his official color of purple and black, because I think red is much easier to spot when he's in his cockpit. It's very much up to you actually.

On the contrary, there are also a few larger parts as well, most notably the wing units and the beam swords. For the earlier, I'm really pleased that there are details within the wings, so that when the swords are drawn, the wings are not completely empty. The beam swords are my favorite components out for this kit but I always think that the beam parts are too short ^^;

The wings of Strike Noir's backpack, which by the way, is officially called AQM/E-X09S Noir Striker pack. Aile Striker pack's designated code is AQM/E-X01, which shows how close these two MS are.

The huge beam swords. I have no intention of painting them in silver though ^^

Not to forget the two 57mm high-energy beam rifles with 175mm grenade launcher, which I would rather call Duel Gundam's rifle instead :-D

Parts yet to be panel-lined include the wing unit, the legs and the head. Hopefully I can finish all of them and review on the assembly of Strike Noir this weekend.