It's been awhile since I have uploaded to this blog, but its for good reason. I have recently entered into a competition hosted by goodguydan, and Model Grade, through Reddit at /r/gunpla. The theme this year was a Halloween Build. After getting a new airbrush, I was ready to embark on a new custom build!
I was very excited for this, as I had purchased two kits from my New York trip over the Summer. One was the Beargguy F, which I used for the Halloween Build, and the second was the HG AGE-FX which we will be looking at today!
Here's a little peek at what I did:
for more images, check it out here!
Anyways, onto the review!
Many people don't really care for Gundam AGE as an anime series, but for me it holds a very special place in my heart. My Freshman year in college, I was really bored and decided to snoop around for a new anime to watch. Lo and behold a new Gundam series had just started! I ended up watching it, as it had been years since I had seen a Gundam series. Sure, Gundam AGE suffered a lot, character development-wise, and plot-wise it was really rushed at the end, but the suit designs (at least for the good guys) and fight scenes really drew me in. There were also a lot of memorable characters that you couldn't help but root for, like Asemu and Woolf.
I ended up falling in love with the main protagonist suits, and now have completed my collection of the four main suits. I plan on getting some Master Grades too!
Many people also draw connections from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series up through ZZ to Gundam AGE. Unfortunately, AGE tried to compress what had happened in those three series into one. Typically people say that the AGE-1 is the RX-78-2, the AGE-2 is the Zeta Gundam and that the AGE-3 is the ZZ Gundam, and likely so, as you can definitely see some similarities. If that is true, then that must mean the AGE-FX is the Strike Freedom... wait...
So you're trying to tell me that the main character is some whiny pacifist child-like pilot who's naive enough to believe that he can win a war without killing the enemy? You really expect me to believe that the pilot of this SUPER SUIT with brain controlled funnels that could literally decimate opposing legions of mobile suits is going to be used strictly to target areas of the suit to prevent the pilot's death and merely disable the suit from fighting? You want me to think they would create ANOTHER KIRA YAMATO!?
Uh... yeah... if you haven't watched the 3rd arc of Gundam AGE, that's kinda what happens...
so... review time?
So I actually started to build this kit before I took the picture of the parts... But basically you will get runners A-F, a polycap runner and a sticker sheet. Runner A is multicolored in blue, yellow, dark blue and grey. Runner B is all white, Runner C is grey and contains the action base. Runner D is the clear green funnel effect pieces. Runner E is all clear parts, and contains the stand for the effect funnels. Runner F is grey and contains the rifle parts.
The cool thing about this kit is that it comes with the core fighter, which plugs directly into the back of the suit, just like in the anime!
The AGE-FX is about the same size as the AGE-3, as it is based off of it. The thing I like about it, is that it isn't as bulky as the AGE-3, but still carries a lot of width with all those funnels sticking out.
Weapons and Manipulators
This kit comes with 14 C-funnels, 6 are large, and 8 are small. Each of the small funnels require you to put stickers on them to give them that blue section on it. The kit also comes with 5 hands: 2 fists, 2 hands for holding weapons, and 1 open palm. It also comes with its Stungle Rifle, with Daidal bazooka attachment.
The large C-funnels really perplexed me. On one side, the kit instructs you to pop on that dark blue plastic part, but then you have to put a sticker on the other side... really?
This is about as far as the arm can bend up. As you can see the white armor pieces meet.
You can lift the shoulder armor fairly high because of the connection between it and the torso. This allows the arm to reach straight out to the sides.
The leg gets a fairly good bend, despite how bulky the armor is. As you can see, the knee has two bending points.
You can lift the front skirts up, individually, and bring the leg all the way forward.
The side skirts are a different story, as the C-funnel gets in the way of the leg doing a full split.
Color and Quality
This kit looks pretty bland when you finish building the main suit. It has some good color separation with the blues and whites, and a little bit of yellow in some places. Of course, the real draw of this kit is when you pop on all those C-funnels across the armor. This kit goes from fairly bland, to literally shining. This is what the kit will look like when you follow the instructions on where to place the funnels, however, there are additional points across the kit where you can pop them in too! You just have to use your imagination.
For example, I decided I wanted a close combat mode, where the funnels would act as sabers on the arms, and also provide additional thrust from the legs. The ability to mix and match where these funnels go really makes this kit superb!
However, there are some drawbacks. The funnels tend to pop off from some of the areas, and also get in the way when you move the kit around, which can be annoying. I haven't really dealt with them falling off too much, but it does happen. Another thing that confuses me, is that the head pops off a lot. I'm not sure why...
Pros and Cons
This kit is really really cool. All those green funnels really make it pop, and add a lot of posing and play opportunities. The kit even comes with its own action base, and clear base for posing with the funnels deployed. With the stand and all the places you can stick the funnels, you'll probably find yourself reposing this kit and creating awesome scenes.
But again, these funnels kind of get in the way, and also can pop off from different areas. Thankfully, they don't pop off the clear stand unless you don't push it in all the way. I was disappointed in the lack of additional weapons, like beam sabers, but I think I have enough extras that it isn't too big of an issue. The biggest concern, is the amount of stickers you need. If you count the 8 small funnels, and putting stickers on one side of the 6 larger funnels, that's already 19 stickers you need to place, and it can get really boring really fast...
Another thing is that this kit seems to be fairly hard to find at a good price, which is baffling. I guess $35 from Amazon isn't too bad, but I usually don't find this on most of the major gunpla retailers online.
This kit is probably one of my favorites right now. I'm a sucker for an HG kit with so many play opportunities, and that comes with so many effect pieces! The lack of weapons, and amount of seals is kind of disappointing, but really once you get done with it, I have to say it might just be worth it. I haven't yet had to deal with the stickers peeling off, which I dread, but right now this kit just looks too good. I forget if this is true, but I think it might be getting restocked? But who knows, if you can find it in a store like I did, pick it up! You won't be sorry!
Did I mention that the stand has various pivot points, so you can create cool action shots with it??
Until next time!