Monday, October 15, 2007

PLAMO Review 25: MG Strike Noir Part 2

Luckily there's no more blackout tonight ^_^

For this round of review, I'll do it in another style:

Q:Who? What? Where? When? Why?
A:GAT-X105E Strike Noir Gundam from the Earth Alliance. It's the lead Gundam mecha in a 3-episode OVA called SEED Stargazer. Its time of appearence runs parallel with the story of SEED Destiny. Originally in the same color scheme as its predecessor Strike, its Variable Phase Shift armor is redesigned as black on grey, to reflect its role for covert operations under Phantom Pain, a secret corps in the Earth Alliance. Although it's configuration enables the usage of almost all the equipment packs of Strike, Strike Noir chooses almost exclusively AQM/E-X09S Noir Striker pack, which can be considered as an upgraded and smaller version of the IWSP.

Q:Why did you buy this Gunpla?
A:I bought this model sometime in the middle of this year, and frankly it was after quite a while of consideration actually. As mentioned in Part 1, only a few parts are directly inherited from the original Strike, and there are many parts (360) to assemble, so there's a lot of fun. Plus, almost all the colors are given, including the interior of the backpack and rear waist armor's thrusters, which is in red. For Strike, you'll have to paint that yourself. Its positive attractions outnumbered the lacking of the huge launch platform/display base originally available in Strike.

Q:So there's no need for painting at all?
A:There are two components which required painting if you want your Strike Noir to look exactly the same as shown in the painting guide: the small verniers on both sides of hi face, and the targeting sensor for the beam pistols (three on each). Optionally, I also applied the good old trick on the hydraulic pipes of the ankles, and a bit for the interior of the shoulders.

Q:Talk a bit about the details of the inner frame and the articulation?
A:Except for the body, the inner frame of Strike Noir is completely different from Strike. Although the construction concept is identical, the details are richer. Like Strike, there are also details on the opposite side of all the armor pieces, but I didn't panel them, as I usually do not take them down after the model is done.
As for the articulation, it's the same as Strike as well, but nonetheless, it's fabulous.

The complete inner frame for Strike Noir. I didn't assemble them at this moment yet, because I will have to detach them again when I'm putting the armors onto them later.

As compared to Strike, Strike Noir's has more armor coverage and less interior exposed. I'll talk more about this in Part 3.

It's nice to play around with the sliding thigh armors again :-D

For the small yellow triangular parts, I applied a bit of glue when plugging them into the shoulder armors, so they do not fell off in the future.

Reaching for the sword with either hand is no-problem-mo for the shoulder joints.

Like Strike, Strike Noir isn't very good in a kneeling position. But surprisingly, the backpack wing unit can help to support the pose "from behind" :-)

Q:What about its armaments?
A:Strike Noir comes with tons of armaments: 2 Duel Gundam-type beam rifles, 1 Strike-type beam rifle, 2 beam pistols, 2 beam swords, 2 wired anchors, plus a pair of rail-guns on the backpack. Also, there are four pairs of hands for you to play around with all these weapons: the normal "general purpose" ^^ MG ones, a pair for holding the rifles/pistols, a pair for wielding the beam swords, and a pair of spread palms for mounting the wired anchors.
Apart from lifting the burden of the pair of usual MG hands in holding all the weapons, the best part is you can apply many different combinations of action based on your liking of which weapons or no weapon at all, and all of them look cool!

Plenty of weapons, plenty of fun ^^

The little knives (Armor Schneider used by Strike) are replaced by a beam pistols, look like some old cowboy movies XD

Q:How does the new hands look on a MG model?
A:Not bad at all, I used to think that they would look bad, like those of the HG 1/100 scale SEED or SEED Destiny Gunplas. I have a HG 1/100 Justice Gundam, and the hands look very fake when it's holding his beam saber. For Strike Noir, the hands for holding the rifles/pistols are quite firm, and so are the ones for the beam swords. They definitely makes the action poses of these weapons to be solid and cool.

Four pairs of hands for your creativity.

Q:What's the most attractive points of this Gunpla?
A:Definitely the backpack.
Not only are the wings and the swords mounted are big in size, there are many parts for the joints for rich articulation. There are two screws for both sides of the joints to tighten them. And I like this new backpack better than the Aile pack used by Strike. Its weight is much balanced as the wings are hanging vertically by default, the Aile pack, however, is more like half a airplane mounted on the back of Strike, which makes the weight being unequally distributed to the top of the model only.

Which one do you like better? Aile Striker or Noir Striker pack?

Q:Why isn't there many marking or decal on this Gunpla?
A:Starting from MG Zaku II, I use less and less markings and decals for my MGs. My previous work, Gundam Ver. OYW uses none at all. I feel that with the amount of details on Gunpla nowadays, markings and decals are becoming less significant as they are for models in the past. Well, it's just my personal preference anyway.

One on either sides of the front shoulder armors... the biggest piece on one of the wings are the only decals I applied. Actually it's still one piece more than my MG Zaku II.

Q:Action poses?
A:Here you are~

The wingspan is really very wide~

The box cover pose is seriously not so cool when Strike Noir is on the ground.

Action poses with the Action Display Stand are way cooler.

Q:MG Strike vs Strike Noir, which one is better?
A:MG Strike is 3,800 Yen (around RM133) while Strike Noir is 700 Yen more expensive (around RM158). It's hard to compare between the two, because Strike is more famous, and as the lead Gundam for SEED for around 20 episodes, it's popularity alone is a reason god enough for the buy, not to mention the traditional Gundam-style profile i.e. the face design, and the color scheme. As for Strike Noir, the rich details and weapons are well worthwhile for the extra 700 Yen.
If you have a MG Strike, you can still give this kit a consideration. It's compatible with the launch platform, and not to mention that the two Gundams can interchange their backpacks as well. I'll discuss more about the two Strikes in Part 3.