Kira's upgrade from Gundam SEED is ready to sortie!
I was pretty excited since Bandai first announced this 2.0 release of the Freedom, as the old MG was pretty dated, not to mention that the updated proportions and stylized design gave it the air of a Metal Build figure, so this was pretty much a must buy for me.
I wasn't disappointed, as this kit is basically gorgeous. A straight build is more than enough to turn it into a impressive display, however, I advice to whoever gets it to be wary of the hip joints. While the way they are engineered provides maximum range of movement, they are also extremely fragile, so handle with care. In my case I decided to stick with the pose of the boxart and leave it like that.
The main difference is of course, the blade of the beam saber. The kit provides you with the boring standard tube-shaped blades. Honestly, those are terrible. Fortunately, I had the spare beam effects of the DM Akatsuki kit, so I just painted them with clear red to get a much more agressive blade that fits the new style of this Freedom.
The beam rifle and shield got little updates in the design too, with the former being able to fold the handle when storing it in the back and the latter getting an actual layered surface. The plasma cannons behind the wings got the most changes, as they incorporate new fins, their barrels can extend and the middle section is able to open up.
The basic principle of the Freedom is to combine the Duel's agility with the firepower of the Buster. While attaching mutliple weapons can do the latter, the former is more important and tricky to surpass. It is here where the 10 wings shine. These are the defining trait of this Gundam and in my opinion, the reason why the Freedom will always be a superior design to the Strike Freedom.
The wings attach to the backpack, which is fairly small, but once the whole thing is put together, the weight makes the display base a must. Fully extended, the whole span is pretty impressive and will demand a large area in the shelf. The kit provides with some markings to number the wings. Just be careful when applying them, as there is a risk of confusing the left wings with the right wings since they look identical and are symmetrical.
After putting this thing together I also realized how desperately this kit needs its nemesis: the Providence. Such a kit would probably be quite pricey since it is bigger than the Freedom and its remote weaponry surpasses that of the Nu or the Hi Nu. Still, I would gladly buy it, but knowing our luck, it would be a P-Bandai item.