When I first saw the name, I thought “isn’t it the Second L?” but apparently, this is actually a revision of the 2nd L with a better Tactical Arms (correct me if I’m wrong please). Anyway, HOORAY FOR ASTRAYS GETTING THE MG TREATMENT! The original Blue Frame 2nd L had so many issues that it was begging for an MG treatment. I love the SEED Astray series for its badass Gundam designs, characters, MSV, and generally a better storyline than the original (in other words, I think it’s better than its mainstream series in every aspect). Shame that this sidestory is still not animated though.
OUT OF THE BOX
There are a total of 20 separate runners of various sizes. When I first saw the parts, some looked smaller than usual 1/100 parts… and they are; it is almost like looking at parts for the MG F91 or Crossbone X-1. You have your regular assortment of foil stickers, giant sheet of fine-cut clear stickers and really plain decals.
Many tiny parts that make up the actual body. I’m not sure if it’s the shade of blue or what but the plastic looks cheaper than normal… like it’s too soft or something and too much shine. Top coat fixes the problem somewhat though. The original 1/100 BF 2nd L just had the TA basically sitting on the Gundam’s back while the MG TA actually plugs into it- sweet!
I love the design of the Blue Frame’s head! It’s just stylish. An improvement over the regular 1/100 I immediately noticed is that the “chin strap” is a solid piece now as opposed to being able to swivel… and break or fall off. Lame: the eye foil sticker just oh so barely covers the clear part… and it looks like it is not sticking because of a bulge on the eyes.
Very first thing I did with this model before anything else: separate and paint the fingers. I did it with a Gundam marker first but wasn’t too happy with the results so I switched to handbrush and paint… which isn’t any better >_>. The paintjob is a bit rough but overall, it blends well with the model so I’m fine with it. I had to panel line as I go for this part because the pieces just pile up on top of each other. I feel that you can’t just do the panel lines selectively on this model and that you must fill in everything or nothing at all because then it looks a half-assed. I thought I could be satisfied with just filling in the “circles” on the forearm… but then I ended up panel lining the entire arm.
err… nothing to talk about here ^^;.
I’ll say it now… I hate the sides on this waist because they are so poorly held to the waist (ball and socket). It is not snug but it can just be brushed off by accident easily… or heck it can even pop off just by adjusting it.
Cool! Hidden blades on both ends!
Obligatory “SD” Blue Frame…
I generally dread assembling the legs… but especially so for this model. Just like the arms, I have to panel line as I go (and I hate vents). The parts are tiny and nubs are abundant. With the amount of parts, the legs easily take the longest time and the most effort. Glad I got it over with >_>. The solid ankle armor on the regular 1/100 was ridiculously obstructive and restricted movement so I am glad that the ankle armor for the MG is movable.
Stylish combat knives there. The other thing are clips for the Gatling and are supposed to be attached to the back of the waist if not in used… but screw them because they can easily be knocked right off.
TACTICAL ARMS II
The only thing of value in this model… oh wait, this is the only other thing you can assemble aside from the main model ^^;. This is actually a 4-in-1 though: Flight pack, Sword Arms w/ beams, Gatling gun, and a giant Sword. Every aspect of this Tactical Arms (design, joints, sturdiness, aesthetics, etc) are better than the regular 1/100 one. It is still overweight though…
ACTION BASE 2
As a bonus and a remedy for the Tactical Arms, Bandai included an Action Base 2 with parts to modify it for use with the weapon. The holders for 1/144 models are also included so you can use ’em for those if you want.
Or just use it to display the Tactical Arms ^^
STRAIGHT BUILT MODEL
I gotta say… it looks good even without the decals and stuff because there is already plenty of panel lines, angles, and little tidbits here and there. This is why I decided to use the marking sheets sparingly to preserve a cleaner look (the detailing map in the back of the manual makes it look like a mess).
Subtlety at its finest.
*sheds a tear* it’s such a stunning model ^^. I love its slim-yet-muscular proportions… it is almost like the fine point between the MG Exia and MG Impulse. I don’t think anyone can be offended by the aesthetics of this Gundam. Not to mention the Blue Frame’s color scheme is a lot more welcoming than the usual RWB.
The decals and stickers were in such awkward places like between slits and seams so thought I just apply them however I see fit.
A look at the details. The model will be a bit springy at first from the double-ball-jointed ankles but over time, it’ll worn a bit and the Gundam will have a more sturdy stance. There’s no doubt that this model will be backheavy with the TA II on but I’m impressed that it can still hold itself up pretty well and not tilt… too much. If you lift the TA II up too much, then it might be a bit problematic but that’s physics for you.
NG 1/100 Blue (err… Red?) Frame 2nd L…
meet MG 1/100 Blue Frame 2nd Revise.
You can definitely see plenty of aesthetic improvements. I’ve already shoved my RF 2nd L back into its box so I didn’t bother to get comparison pics of it… though I’m sure it’s more than obvious the NG 1/100 is quite ugly compared to its MG counterpart xD.
Way more panel lines!
Legs are also improved.
The red TA looks like a toy sword…
Talk about contrasting differences…
More stylish than the Strike’s and just as deadly!
Too bad its design almost hindered functionality. The hands must be carefully wrapped around the handle otherwise the fingers might get obstructed by a part above the handle and the Blue Frame will be holding the knives with open palms.
The Gundam is not exactly great on wide stances but with some careful fiddling, it should be able to hold itself up.
This isn’t as overly impressive as it seems since you need to move the waist’s side armor in order for the leg to go all the way up. Tried doing it with the TA on but it was a bit too hard ^^;. This is still a cool kick though!
Should it ever fall from this stance…
Then it’ll just end up doing the splits.
The setup is more impressive in person than in photos!
The model can hold the handle fairly well but its size makes it a bit cumbersome to move around or pose.
More like BLADE TONFA!
Like the Gatling, the Sword Arms are also a lot longer than they actually look.
I don’t like the beam effect parts on this thing simply because they don’t look like such… and you see where the two sides connect. Was it really so hard to mold the part as one piece?o_O
Even without the Gatling attached, the Arms are still a bit heavy to hold horizontally (too much leverage).
Not sure if it can actually be used like this but it looks cool too!
TACTICAL ARMS II- SWORD FORM
Here it is!
Damn… it’s hella heavy…
That one pose. Tip: Just let the TA rest on its back.
As with the Armor Schneider, you need to slip the fingers in and wrap it around the handle first before plugging it into the peg or the fingers might be blocked halfway by the outer handle part… and accidentally chip away the paint on the fingers if you think you can force it through orz. Even so, this TA is infinite times better than the 1/100 one.
I’m sure you’re all aware of the pros so I’ll skip to the negative stuff:
– A few obstructions by design: the shoulder can’t really rotate forward, head movement is limited, weapon handles aren’t easy to grasp (but fits really snug), waist armor are easily knocked off, same goes for the Gatling clips attached to the back of the waist.
– Tactical Arms II is still too heavy. Oh well… can’t really help that I supposed.
– Not quite a con but Bandai could’ve applied its “undergate” technology to the other runners as well, since some needs it more than the other (like the coated semi-metallic-dark-bronze parts that leave a painful black nub that is impossible to cover). It’s great that Bandai is implementing it (possibly for Gold Frame) but the runners that does have it don’t really need it, and the ones that do have nub marks out in the opening. Just thought I’d like to point this out.
And that’s it ^^.
It seems like for the MG iteration of the Blue Frame, Bandai made sure to fix just about every possible issue that existed in the NG 1/100 Blue Frame (granted it is a relatively old model so vast improvements can be easy to make) and thus, making the latter pretty much obsolete. If all you do is display your models (like I do) and not play around too much, then the cons are virtually non-existent. If you do like to pose your models, then this one is also a treat. Basically, you have every reason to pick this model up if you are pondering about it.
PART 1- THE DELAY
“HEY YOU! WHAT’S YO FACE! GAI DAIGOJI!”
“Are you talking to me, bub?”
“YEA! YOU! MAITO GAI!”
“The name is Gai Murakumo…”
“WHATEVER! I don’t care if your name is GaoGaiGar! Gimme that flight pack or I’ll grill me some serpent tails!”
“Come get it! I have a junker to save so make this quick! SHOW ME YOUR MOVES!”
“SERPENT TAILS FOR DINNNNNER!!!”
“YOU BASTARD! YOU ALMOST TURNED ME INTO THAT EXIA FREAK!”
“Getting annoying… TACTICAL ARMS!!!”
“WAVERIDER MODE! SWITCH ON!”
“… oh I wonder if my shield can do that…” :O
“WAVERIDER CRASH!!!” “You may take my life but I will take your soul!”
“NOT DONE YET! CUT BACK….”
“If I can’t take you down, then I am NOT A CHAR! JEEG BREAKER!! DIEEE GAI SHISHIO!”
“For the last time, it’s Gai Murakumo! TACTICAL ARMS!!!”
CODE: KIRIN! *some disturbingly excruciating sound that sounds like a painful scream*
“You better recognize!”
“That was a complete waste of time… Time to catch up to Lowe…”
TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT FRAME…