I’ve never really liked the Impulse; this gundam was nothing but a “Strike 2.0” (Gundam Mk II) for me when SEED Destiny first aired. It’s not ugly… but it’s not too attractive either. I have the 1/60 Impulse and I wasn’t too fond of that model and made it the last Impulse I’ll ever look at. Then the MG model was announced and… wow. It sure seems like Bandai deliberately went all out on the proportions of this Gundam as it was drastically slimmer than its anime and most (if not all) Gundams’ MG counterpart. Not to mention it comes with the Excalibur! It became a must-have for me and so got it when it was released… but took me almost half a year to get started on it ^^;.
Box and Stuff
This is one of the best boxart I’ve seen this year. It might not be “canonical” but who cares, it looks awesome! That’s all it matters.
Runners are plentiful in this kit (16 full and 4 little ones). The beam parts for this Gundam is infused with glitter and although I don’t really notice it, I’m not too sure if I like it when I actually do see it. A nice thing is that both V-fins for the Impulse won’t have any visible nub marks when you cut them (yay!). There’s something I noticed about the PC runner…
Oh Bandai, you sly, you… The PC runner for Impulse is the same as the one for the Strike. Guess it’s not too difficult to engineer Impulse around this to conserve where it doesn’t matter.
The most disappointing thing about this model is the incredibly dull set of decals and stickers; the markings were basically “ZAFT” and random numbers in plain text in different size. Fail. So I decided to order the water decal and hope it has some more stylized markings… only to see that it’s the exact same as the decals but only 2x the amount. Fail orz. Oh well, I’ll live with it…
Construction – Core Splendor
This is the Impulse’s core as this is where Shinn does the piloting and controlling the other parts of this Gundam.This is a nice looking jet but too bad I won’t be looking at it again once I put the Gundam together. The cockpit hatch fogged up because I forgot to mask it when I sprayed top coat on it ^^;
Not really a big deal after the whole model is assembled but some modelers might find it to be quite an eyesore ^^;
The body is very simple and doesn’t have much parts to it since it is hollow and one sided. Actually, this is more like the “front side” of the body since the Core Splendor makes up the “back” and the Leg Flyer makes up the waist.
Again, simple two layer construction but it works and the arms are solid. This is more efficient and cost effective as the arms have no gimmicks of any sort. The 3-finger piece are cut apart to allow for some extra articuation; this comes quite handy during posing (no pun intended ^^;). Another pair of hands are included to hold the Excalibur (wish Bandai thought of that for the MG Sword Strike too).
You can probably build the beam rifle without the instruction and while blindfolded.
Probably one of the few parts of this model that actually have a gimmick and that is sliding open. Still, there isn’t anything sophisticated here. You have to attach separate mechanical legs if you want to display the chest flyer.
The only foil sticker this kit comes with are the ones for the head (eyes and camera), I only used the eye sticker and painted in the head with clear blue paint. It looks amazing when the light hits it!
The waist unit is quite simple as well. Pretty much HG level stuff here. I didn’t care enough to put the armor schneider together ^^;.
The legs are the only parts with some sophistication with some sliding mechanisms in them as they need to bend a certain (pointless) way to become the “Leg Flyer”. There’s this “hydraulic pump” in front of the ankle that does nothing but provide annoyance when it slips out if you bend the foot down too much.
I have no idea what that red hatch is for.
I didn’t bother detailing this thing because I knew it would go right back into the box (heck, I shouldn’t even have bothered building it). This thing always flies away after detaching the Force Silhouette… wonder how it gets back to Minerva?
Top coating the Force Silhouette is a pain in the rear. There really isn’t any way to hold it with pliers or skewers so I had to hold the end of one wing to spray the opposite side. It also has a large surface area… and multiple sides. This part can eat up quite a lot of that precious liquid.
Simply beautiful. Gotta love how long this sword is (it’s taller than Impulse by about 2″). Wish they included two though… one indication that Bandai might release a MG Sword Impulse in the future is that there’s a rectangular hole on the bottom of the handle for combining. Hmm… just my thought.
I don’t know what else to call this. It’s some made-up back adapter that allows Impulse to use all of Strike’s Striker packs. LOLWUT? It’s a great idea so I’m not complaining ^^.
Fast forward Impulse’s Variable Formation, Final Fusion, or whatever you want to call its combine sequence. I was never fond of that gimmick in the anime and I’m sure all of you have seen it millions of times in its stock footage >_>. Of course, no one bothered to shoot him down during ANY of those times… such is the laws of Mecha.
While this MG looked amazing in magazines, it is even more stunning and impressive in person! Love its sleek proportions. From its design, this Gundam looks better (more clean) without all the markings and so I opted to leave them out at the end but still add on decals like the Faith and ZAFT symbol.
Very clean. Very sharp looking. Too bad I wasn’t able to snap shot the painted head camera sensor.
Force Impulse Gundam
Silhouette Flyer, hasshin douzou!
Impulse makes the Strike look chubby…
While the Aile Striker and Force Silhouette may be very similar to each other, ZAFT’s actually have a more updated look and practicality to it. The Aile Striker obstructs the Gundam’s shoulders because its shoulder piece protrudes almost all the way in the front whereas the Force Silhouette just barely go past the shoulder, allowing for more range of motion.
Now let’s begin the action…
MA-BAR72 high-energy beam rifle
“Vajra” Beam Saber
PHASE 34: NIGHTMARE
Now for some real fun, courtesy of Bandai’s plot device…
Aile Impulse Gundam
Impulse Noir Gundam
Whoops… forgot to adjust the wings properly for the last shot ^^;. Thanks to the inclusion of this part, Impulse’s adaptability has been extended just a little…
But we can go a little further…
Blast Impulse Gundam… almost
Sword Impulse Gundam… kinda
Strike Impulse Gundam
Problem solved… not. But at least it looks a lot better ^^;
The articulation and range of motion in this model is definitely top notch. No matter what pose I can put it in, it will remain stable (unlike Avalanche Exia). I also don’t have any problems with parts obstructing each other for silly reasons; this Gundam can really move freely.
It seems that Bandai paid extra attention to detail (hiding nubs and little use of foil stickers) and extra effort to ensure everything could be as flawless as possible (the model’s stability) while keeping things simple and efficient. Not to mention adding the Excalibur and plot device as a great bonus. Very well done. I don’t think I can find much to complain about; anything I can nitpick on is mostly due to gravity (its hands can’t exactly hold the Excalibur diagonally upward). Oh, and the dullest set of decals I’ve ever seen. Surely this is one of the best Gunplas released in 2008. If you have Strike variations, then this will make this MG all the more better.