Perfect Grade Strike Freedom
PG Strike Freedom is my first venture into the Perfect Grade line. I am assuming that most people prefer other grades because of cost mostly but also due to complexity and ammount of pieces offered as well. Good news is the newer PGs use modern tech compared to the much older PGs which required not only many screws but wires as well in order to enable lighting throughout the armour or eyes. Here however we have none of those, only snap-fit pieces and tons of them!
The kit is pretty straight forward just make sure like always to read the construction manual very carefully or you could end up like me and realise much later on that on the very first part of the build u forgot to squeeze one tiny piece. This led me then to dismember almost the whole leg just so I could put this thing back in. Not fun. As this was my first PG it took me twice as long to finish it than my second one.
Considering this kit consists of 700+ pieces, it is important you make sure to get rid of those leftover nubs piece by piece so that later in the construction your pieces fit in perfectly with that satisfying "click" sound. The only part that gave me a bit of trouble was the construction of the fingers. Unlike the PG Strike whos finger joints are already put together, here you have to do it yourself. What that means is that you will have to be putting together 3-4 pieces together 10 times. Not only is it not fun to scrape off the nubs off of pieces you can barely hold with 2 fingers, it is also annoying to try and pull them off if you turn them on the wrong side. If pulled too hard the light plastic will stay bent forever. So be carefull and stare at those pictures (if like me you cant read japanese).
After you are done with the body, next come the wings. This takes up as much time as it did building just the body. They are very detailed and repetative to build but once completed and elevated, gives the gundam that extra "umph!" These wings make Strike Freedom the biggest PG out there when wide opened and will consume any display case and become easily your center piece. HOWEVER... I ran into a problem. At the very last part of putting the gundam together, the piece holding one side of the wings im supposed to insert inside the back of Strike Freedom, broke off at the very joint. I was furious! Not only do I now have a $300 kit which is incomplete without the wings, I see no way of getting the replacement part since I dont live in Japan.
So I went online and started searching for a solution. It did not take me long to find out that this piece is infamous for breaking on this kit. The joint is thin and you need some power to push the piece inside. Lesson learned: dont push hard straight in! Twist and turn, twist and turn. Soon it will go in all the way. In the end I found an online service that do worldwide shipping of individual pieces. They charge 180 YEN per piece + shipping. So a big shoutout to GenteiKits (www) for making it possible for me to finish my build!
All this made me wait a whole month in order to put it on the display but once I did, Strike Freedom looked menacing! I am very glad I ventured into the PG world and Im here to stay. I encourage everyone with a MG or RG experience to try out Perfect Grades. You need about the same skill to build one it only takes a bit more time due to ammount of pieces. This kit was so fun to build (especially the versitalie frame) that I bought myself another 4 PGs which I will soon review.