Aren't you guys lucky! Two MG kit reviews in a row! Anyway, here's the deal [to my understanding] with this kit. Some time between the end of SEED and the beginning of SEED Destiny, the Strike gets fixed up and repainted, and the folks who make the striker packs decide to combine all three into one. Thus, the IWSP [Integrated Weapons Striker Pack] is born! It allows for the Strike Gundam to have swords, flight, and cannons all at the same time, which is exciting for a Gundam that, by itself, can't really do much =\. Anyway, onto the review~
So let's take a look at the MG Strike Gundam first. That's what this really is, and I think this version eventually becomes the Strike E and then the Strike Noir. Regardless, it looks quite nice~
I like how much of the frame shows through. It looks like a very basic Gundam that almost asks for upgrade packs. Moving right along to the articulation, the Strike has loads of it. The head is on a ball joint and the neck itself can move back and forth. The cockpit hatch can open [though it's a pain to pop the red part open], and the entire upper body is on a ball joint that attaches to the hips. Back up to the shoulders, they can swing up and down and swivel forward and backward quite nicely for a great range of motion. The shoulder pads are separate from the arms, attaching to the arm peg with a little plate. The shoulder pads's white armor plating can move up to reveal some inner detail, and the bars on top can also swing open to allow for the Sword/Launcher Striker packs to be attached. The arms can rotate right below the shoulder, and have a double jointed elbow that is unrestricted [it can practically do a 180˚ bend with its arm]. The hands are on ball joints, and the thumb and index finger are separate and the other three fingers are molded together [they can all still move]. There's no peg in the hands, though; this must have been before Bandai decided that pegging the accessories into the kit's hands was a good idea. The waist's skirt armor can all move around somewhat: the front skirts are ball jointed and can get out of the way nicely, the side skirts are polycapped on and can't move much, and the back skirts are attached together and can also move nicely. The side skirts are worth mentioning, though, because they house the Armor Schneider knives.
Moving right along, the hip connection is a ball joint, and the legs can move pretty nicely at the hips. The knees are double jointed, and the knee armor is on its own strange little joint and just does its own thing when the legs bend. The ankles are also double jointed, and the ankle armor can move around. The feet can bend in half and are ball jointed on to the ankles.
As I'm sure you can see, the Strike is quite posable. Heck, I'd recommend any MG Strike Gundam, it's just so well designed.
Anyway, it's a very well-balanced kit and he really has no trouble at all keeping any pose you can think of. The v-fin tends to come a little bit loose from time to time, though, which bothered me for a while [and then the v-fin had a date with some extra thin Tamiya cement].
I think the Strike + IWSP is definitely in the running for most accessories. For now, though, let's start with the Armor Schneider knives! Located in the sideskirts, they can be pulled out and unfolded and ready for action!
I think the Armor Schneiders are kind of cool, but they're a bit dinky for combat knives. Oh well... I guess if you're battling in giant robots you're not so worried about the size of an armor piercing blade =\
Next up is the Strike Gundam's standard issue beam rifle. It's really nothing special, but it still looks nice with the decals and a matte coat :D. And the beam rifle also has an action-y feel to it and really doesn't get in the way of posing at all!
Next up is something even more exciting than the beam rifle. It's the Strike Gundam's regular shield! I really haven't got anything to say about it, so enjoy some pictures of a pretty red shield ^__^
And now, for the better shield: the combined shield!
Ok, so I don't know why the combined shield makes its way into Strike's arsenal, but it's awesome. It's so damn cool. It's a shield with a gatling gun and a beam boomerang all in one! It's really heavy and since it's so big Strike can't move all that much with it, but it's still awesome. Let's check it out!
Next up is a personal favorite of mine, the Grand Slam sword. This bad boy shows up in the Gundam:Evolve animation for Strike Gundam, but I'm unsure as to whether or not this version of the Strike actually uses it or not.
The sword is massive, without a doubt. It barely fit inside my photoshoot box for these next few pictures ^__^;;. Also, because Strike has no hand pegs, the sword tends to roll around a bit in the hands, which can get a wee bit annoying.
And this is it. The mother of all Striker packs. The IWSP.
Four cannons, two anti-ship swords, and a whole bunch of thrusters. It's truly a sight to behold. However, since it's so darn big when I attached it to the Strike it just didn't fit in the box, so here's an alternative backdrop in the box's place~
Adding the IWSP makes the Strike incredibly topheavy, and since the Strike's upper body is on a ball joint it tends to roll backwards a bit sometimes =\. Also, the IWSP's wings and lower cannons can get in the way of arm movement, so that can be somewhat hindered depending on what you want to do.
Anyway, I'm gonna show you the anti-ship swords now. They looks like shorter katanas, and I think they're just plain awesome.
Fully armed Strike Gundam, ready to kick some ZAFT ass!
Personally, I really didn't like Gundam SEED or SEED Destiny very much, but putting that aside the Strike by itself is a very nice kit. The addition of the IWSP, the combined shield, and the Grand Slam sword was really a dealbreaker for me, and I'm glad I made the purchase. The MG Strike IWSP retails for around $45-50, but it's totally worth it with all of the stuff you get for it. It also comes with a stand [something I'm hoping most of you picked up on~]. Yes, it's an older kit but Bandai did a great job with the Strike's posability and with combining all three Striker packs into one grey and white monster. Once again, definitely worth it.
And that, my friends, is all I have to say about the MG Strike Gundam + IWSP. If you've got any questions or comments, let me know about 'em! Otherwise, see ya later~