Hi guys, here's my 2nd Daban kit, MG Astray Red Frame 1st batch ;) Daban is giving out gold-coated parts for the Katana as the 1st batch premium!
Manufacturer: Daban (Another subsidiary/alias of Gao Gao/TT Hongli)
Origin: Gundam SEED Vs Astray
Price: RM85 (Those who are interested can contact me)
Please take note that I did minor detail coloring with gold and metallic red, and for some inner lining so please do not expect that to be pre-colored on your kit ;)
Section 1: Runners
Detailing is very close to the original, that I would say is about 95%. I still managed to see some lost of detailing but at very minor places which is not significant :)
The plastics quality is pretty good ;)
Section 2: Decals
This kit comes with a piece of dry-transfer decal, a piece of dry-sticker, and the usual foil sticker for the sensors. The quality of the decals are pretty good and close to Bandai's quality as compare to the earlier days :)
I'm sure you could observe that the lower right corner of both decal sheets have been cut off (same as the MG Epyon)... I bet Daban rushes for production and did not remove the Bandai logo therefore they cut them off instead :p
Since this kit is very pose-able and a lot of us like to play with it, I'll advise top-coating this kit after applying the decals (especially the dry transfer) or else you'll be accidentally scratching them off :P
Section 3: 1st Batch Premium
On the left is the premium item Daban is giving away for 1st batch of production, the gold coated parts for the Katanas; on the right is the normal gold-colored parts. Do you see the bling-bling?
Do take note that the original version DOES NOT have the gold coated parts.
Katanas with the gold-coated parts ;)
Section 4: Skeleton Build
Well, the usual of the unusual... no more gray colored inner frame... this is RED FRAME ;)
Articulations are FANTASTIC! The feet is a bit small by design so it might be a bit frustrating in certain pose :P
Nicely done, no movement hindrance so far ;)
The pull-out mechanism would allow the shoulder joints to be pulled out for more dynamic posing. The neck employed a dual-joints head could tilt all direction pretty well ;)
There is also joint at the torso making it possible to tilt slightly to the 4 directions.
Straight-forward build :)
Excellent articulations for the arms!
Parts separations is excellent! The v-fin might pops out frequently while posing but you can always glue it in ;)
Very solid red inner frame! I used gold marker for some inner detail lining but you would not see most of them after putting on the external armor :P
Demonstration of High Pose-ability ;)
Naked Red Frame Posing with Katanas ;)
Well, on to the actual build ;)
Section 5: The Legs
The knee armor is too big to my taste but overall this is fantastic :) No movement hindrance after applying the outer armor ;)
Minor issue when fixing the legs... you should be able to see the "T" shape peg at the most right side of the white piece... I am not sure if this is a molding issue, you MIGHT need to trim the longer side of the "T" (you'll know when you see it) in order for the red piece to fit in nicely ;)
Section 6: Waist
As ARF is wearing bikini, there will be no hindrance of hip movement here ;)
Section 7: Chest
Pretty straight forward build. I would recommend using a little bit of super glue for the light gray parts at the side of the abdomen ;)
Section 8: Shoulders
ARF employs simple shoulder, nothing to mention here ;)
Section 9: Arms
No hindrance of movement here but I would recommend super glue the small white piece on the upper arm.
My only dissatisfaction is with the design (by Bandai), where the hands seems too small for such big Katanas and Tactical Arms... the thumb pops out so many time while I am posing for picture taking!
Section 10: Completed Build for the Main Mecha
Posing with Katanas
Section 11: Tactical Arms II L
First of all, this Tactical Arms II L is huge :) And secondly, it can transform into various forms such as the Sword form, Bow & Arrow form, Delta form, V form and Flight form. An action base 2 is provided to hold the Tactical Arms in place for posing ;)
In terms of detailing, it comes close to 95% of the original, and it snap-fitted perfectly... I shall do individual section for each form as there are a lot of pictures to post ;)
Section 12: Tactical Arms II L - Sword Form
This is the form of the Tactical Arms which resemble a Buster Sword.
Posing with Sword Form
Section 13: Tactical Arms II L - Bow & Arrow Form
Instead of the Gatling Gun form for Astray Blue Frame, it turns into Bow & Arrow form for ARF for precision shooting instead of bullet barrage. The transformation from the Sword to Bow & Arrow is pretty smooth and exactly as per the original ;)
Posing with Bow & Arrow
Section 14: Tactical Arms II L - Delta Form
This form resemble a reverse triangle mounted to the back of ARF. It function as an advanced version of Voiture Lumiere that's employed by Starghazer in C.E. 73.
Posing in Delta Form
Section 15: Tactical Arms II L - V Form
This is the basic form of the Tactical Arms II L on the back of ARF this could transformed into other forms in an instance ;)
Posing with V Form
Section 16: Tactical Arms II L - Flight Form
This form adds extreme flight maneuver capability to ARF.
Posing with Flight Form
Section 17: Tactical Arms II L - Sword Arm Form
This form is actually meant for Astray Blue Frame but it can be done with Tactical Arms II L as well but without the beam effect parts that are included in the MG ABF ;)
Section 18: Armor Schneider
These, too, are weapons for ABF. Since ARF is out after ABF, this pair of Armor Schneider also included in the runner ;)
You can also modify this ARF with the Armor Schneider on the feet and the heels as they are also included, but since those are not really meant for ARF, the molding is not so precise and you need additional effort :P
Plastic Quality and Detailing
The plastic quality is better than the usual Gao Gao/TT Hongli quality. The detailing are also nicely done.
Articulations are very good!
- Head/Neck: Excellent!
- Shoulder: Good!
- Arm/Elbow: Excellent!
- Wrist: Normal+.
- Hand: Normal.
- Abdomen: Good.
- Waist: Good.
- Skirt Armour: Normal.
- Hip/Tight: Excellent.
- Knee: Excellent.
- Ankle: Good.
- Feet: Good.
Looks and Feels
The detailing of the inner frame is pretty good compare to Epyon :P The inner frame come close to 95% of the original!
As for the outer armors, it comes as close as 95% of the original with just a little flaw on the snap-fitting of the leg armors which is easily fixed ;)
The snap-fit is done with high precision that not a single part not fitting well with another, except the leg parts mentioned above, but that does not stop me from enjoying the assembly process of this kit ;)
Overall, this comes very close to 95% of the original kit so I highly recommend this kit to those less diehard fan of the series, those of us who love to safe a few bucks, or those of us who wanted to do a custom-made Green Frame and Gold Frame ;)
Still, for those of you who can afford, do buy original ;)