So I've done quite a bit on this model, and plan to do quite a bit more. If you remember from the last post, I had modified the wings to make them sharper and lighter and less rubbish in my opinion. Those horrible dragoons didn't look very nice, kept springing out all over the place with that rather unnecessary spring loaded mechanism that bandai raved about at the time of its release, and the thing just didn't stand up properly. I was only going to slightly modify the whole kit, that is until I received my PG Strike Rouge from HLJ.com.
Whilst snap fitting my new PG (pics to follow) I became increasingly annoyed at Bandai for the Strike Freedom. The level of detail in the two models just don't compare. The PG Strike Rouge is a beautifully designed kit, and just projects quality at every joint and junction. The way the legs move and the separation of all the armour panels is just really well thought out. I then look back at my Strike Freedom and can't help but feel a bit cheated.
I was stupid enough to buy the Strike Freedom on its release date back in 2010, for the at the time discounted price of 20,000 Yen, with shipping - this worked out at about £220, which I didn't mind paying because it was supposedly their biggest and best PG to date supposedly. When you compare that to the £160 I paid for the Strike Rouge, not only is the Strike Freedom more expensive it really lacks the detail and quality you'd expect from a perfect grade, and I didn't realise until I had the Strike Rouge in front of me. So yeah, I feel a bit cheated by the fuss they made about the Freedom and how much they charge for it when it is clearly an inferior product.
So that being said, I decided to really detail this kit up and try and get it looking like a proper perfect grade. I started off by looking at Waylander's PG Strike Freedom, because it is a really nice version of this kit. I took a couple of his ideas because they make a lot of sense (the front skirts and the shoulder pads) but I only used those ideas as a starting point to take it a lot further.
Keeping with the theme 'Icarus Variant', where I see this being a modified version of the original that is lighter and more agile, I decided that I would be mostly taking things away - cutting and scribing - rather than adding loads of pla-plates.
I cut shapes from the leg panels for some armour separation. I don't know what to do with that stupid flappy bit at the back of the leg yet.
I cut down the side cannon things, with a bit more work they are going to be flight stabilisers rather than weapons.
Here's how I did the wings - I kept some internal structure (I'm going to reveal some of that later by cutting panels out), and glued the top and bottom parts together. The only problem with this is that I'll have to eventually glue the whole unit together because of the seam lines where the pieces join. Nice PG engineering bandai, this thing is more like a HG!
Here are the front skirts and shoulder mods that I got from Waylander's build. Mine will be different in the end but it's such a perfect way to break up those large surfaces.
More to come!