As a preference, I don't usually do RG kits, although I won't deny their superior quality and the lower effort required to make them look great on a shelf. Nonetheless, I embrace kits from all grades in order to give a more holistic take on this hobby.
The Aile Strike Gundam has always been a favourite from the Gundam SEED Series, with its striking design, traditional Gundam colours and the ability to use interchangeable Striker Packs. It is also a protagonist unit, making it the hero of sorts and boosting its popularity further.
During the run of the SEED anime series almost a decade ago, Bandai released a HG Seed 1/144 model kit of the Aile Strike Gundam (along with the rest of its brethren). It wasn't a terribly detailed or articulated kit, but it gave hobbyists everywhere an Aile Strike Gundam to work with, to replicate that by-now-done-to-death shooting pose (as below).
The RG Aile Strike Gundam is many notches up from its HG Seed Predecessor, but it costs almost four times more. Then again, you get what you pay for.
The RG Aile Strike is a typical RG kit: the armor goes over the Advanced MS Joint and the various parts combine together to form the completed Aile Strike. The kit comes with excellent colour separation, with white, light grey, red, dark red, black, blue, yellow and dark grey components instead of the white, grey, black, red, blue and yellow of the HG Seed and the more recent HGCE Aile Strike kits.
As a preference, I repaint most of my RG kits prior to construction as they already look great, so a little paint serves to bring out their look even more. For the RG Aile Strike, I performed the following recolours:
- White: Tamiya Matt White
- Red: Tamiya Metallic Red
- Dark Grey: Tamiya Gunmetal
- Blue: Tamiya Deep Metallic Blue
- Yellow: Tamiya Titanium Gold
As an RG kit, the level of detail is bordering on insane for a 1/144-scale kit. There are plenty of panel lines, mechanical detailing and markings all over the inner frame and armor components, which are further accentuated by the realistic decals and foil stickers that have become characteristic of RG kits.
The multi-coloured parts also serve to provide some variation on the kit's overall colour scheme, although the light grey armor panels look white to the untrained eye.
The RG Aile Strike Gundam can effortlessly pull off the classic shooting pose seen in the opening cinematic of the Gundam SEED anime series. The inner frame also allows it to pull off poses its HG counterpart can only dream off, and armor plates surprisingly stay on even after executing hyper-dynamic poses. Said armor plates also slide back and forth upon joint movement, which serves to improve mobility and prolong the longevity of the armor plating.
For some odd reason, the RG Aile Strike is supplied only with closed fists and the standard RG hands. No pre-molded saber hands, trigger hands or open hands are given with the kit, which is a little odd.
The beam rifle has a movable peg within the pistol grip that serves to anchor the weapon into the RG hand a la the MG Nu Gundam Ver. Ka, but it is a little fragile and mine actually broke after some force is applied. The rifle can still be gripped, but some Blu-Tack is needed to hold it in place.
Four beam saber hilts are provided: two pegged ones for wielding and two normal ones for storage in the Aile Striker Pack. Two saber blades are also provided, along with two Armor Schneider folding knives that actually fold up and stow away in the side armor panels.
The RG Aile Strike is a decent kit which doesn't take nearly as long to complete as compared to its other RG brethren. If you are thinking of getting a RG kit, you can consider the RG Aile Strike Gundam as your starter.