PG SKYGRASPER + AILE STRIKER
At a measly ~$50, the PG Skygrasper is the least expensive and smallest model in the Perfect Grade line-up bar none. Saying that, I still believe Bandai should have just bundle it with the PG Strike and adjust the cost accordingly >_>. Who in their right mind would just buy the PG Skygrasper without any intention of picking up the PG Strike Gundam? Let’s face it… the majority of the people buying this really only wanted the Aile Striker pack xD. In effect, they should rename this model to “PG Aile Striker + Skygrasper”. Anyway, let’s move on…
OUT OF THE BOX
Not counting the base and beam sabers, there are nine runners of parts in total. No dry transfer decals but you get a giant sheet of boring clear stickers instead.
WORK IN SLOW PROGRESS: SKYGRASPER
Just like that and you have the cockpit/head of the Skygrasper ^^. I’m sure you can figure out how to assemble this model just by looking at the photos instead of consulting the manual. I painted the clear window in flat because I was too lazy to cut out the all-white pilot (Mwu) to stick inside. I also tried clear blue but it came out funny when I handbrushed it due to the large surface area ^^;.
Repeat what I said above for the assembly. I must say though… this model feels very solid. Very rigid when the parts are snapped on and you don’t feel the parts flexing.
The thrusters on the wings… at least I think that’s what they are ^^;. Even though this might be a cheapo PG, it is still a PG nonetheless and packs a few nice details and gimmicks all around.
Yea… this cannon took me like an hour to put together.
Put the above parts together and there you have it- The PG Skygrasper xD. If you focus on it, it should take no longer than two hours to assemble. This is good so you can focus your time and energy on the more important models like the actual Strike Gundam and Aile Striker. You know what’s funny? Even for a PG model, Bandai still haven’t figured out a way to incorporate a gimmick where the landing gears/wheels can fold into the model itself; I still need to cut out the wheels and gears to stick them underneath the Skygrasper ^^;.
The above remaining parts are for the Aile Striker pack.
The main body… lots of little parts. The thrusters are separate individual parts from its outer cover so they are VERY easy to paint and I was tempted to… but I was just too lazy >_>. Nothing too fancy here but there are a lot of parts. I just realized I forgot to take finished pics of the wings as well ^^;.
The lower thrusters. The “fins” are very thin and prone to snapping so gotta handle with caution. As with the upper thrusters, it is easy to paint the parts inside before the outer shell since they are individual whole pieces.
The Aile Striker has a weird mechanism gimmick that allows for its body to change form to dock with either the Skygrasper or Strike. However… in doing so, the lower thrusters must move in uniform and the whole unit is not as free moving as its MG counterpart but this can be a good thing as it keeps everything “straight and symmetrical”.
Complete! It’s very wide… and it is a bit weighty… uh oh.
PG STRIKE GUNDAM
This is my first Perfect Grade model that I bought for $100 way back in like 2006 or so and never really got around to building it. To be honest, I never felt like I was ready for such a big project ^^;. Personally, I do not like the Strike Gundam nor its MG model (I hate it for many reasons)… but the design of this PG has won me over to at least give it a chance. Of course, having a giant sword helps too…
OUT OF THE BOX
The runners sure took a lot of floor space… sorta. kinda. not really. I’ve seen worse from a certain MG.
If I didn’t miscount, there are a total of 24 runners. I love how the clear eyes are molded together with the other part of it! The pre-assembled armor schneiders are very unnecessary though since that makes it harder to paint and bigger nubs to clean. Oh yea, and yellow LED is lame.
Cool die-cast parts and thankfully no screws (except 1 for the LED cover). Two different shades of white (wtf?). Another large sheet of clear stickers but no decals. Pre-assembled hand looks intimidating to cut out…
An instruction manual and a construction manual. Guess which one you need to build the model :P.
I like how they show you the runner that you need for the parts so you don’t have to look through and memorize them.Now to get to work…
WORK IN SLOW PROGRESS: PG STRIKE GUNDAM
I’d say that while this model might be big and has tons of parts to it, I don’t think it is too difficult. I’d say if you work on a moderate no-rush pace, then this model should take between 1-2 weeks top. Although not a hard model, you still need to pay EXTRA ATTENTION because many steps tend to be something like this:
“Snap these two huge parts with these four parts (which are made of these smaller parts) together along with these other parts that you have assembled earlier, but make sure to slip these three parts in first, and have these parts facing this particular way and direction all the while put PC parts here, here and there before you connect them… oh, and don’t forget about that that tiny little piece that goes in the back of all this mess”
If you are like me who cuts out, and clean everything before assembly instead of “working along the way” then you’re more prone to overlooking some of the smaller details like that “one pc part in the small corner”. Since many parts clamp over and on top of each other, if you happen to forget something like a PC part in the first stage… it’s going to be pretty rough trying to pry open some of the parts because many also have an unnecessary amount of pegs ^^;. I had to do it once for the leg.
A lot of little parts make up the feet and the bending gimmicks. No single part is lacking in detail… even the parts that gets hidden like the inside of the red sole! Impressive.
The above are just the knees…
Die-cast parts added some nice weight and solid feel to it. Details are everywhere. The inner mechanisms are truly a wonder to behold (the sliding parts, the moving pistons, the “flow”, etc) when you test the way it bends after assembly. Very smooth and snug… I don’t think the joints will be loose any time soon in the future ^^.
Beside the biggest pieces, I would’ve never guessed any of the parts belongs to the legs ^^;
More sophisticated engineering with rotating rods and all. Who draws out the internal details anyway?!
The last process is applying the bits of the outer armor onto the mechanical frame. At this point, cleaning nubs is becoming sorely irritating ^^;. The legs are still amazing even with the armor on, both mechanically and aesthetically.
You can see the eyesore that is the different shades of white placed randomly throughout the leg -_-;. I wanted to paint it but again… laziness prevails and too troublesome to set up. Besides, it is actually not too bad in person I’ll admit ^^;.
The last die-cast part goes to the waist where they are connectors for the legs. There’s a piece under the crotch that you can slide to let the leg swivel to accomodate different poses.
The shoulders are like the only parts that are straightforward to assemble… relatively speaking.
the number of parts to clean… orz. Make sure to pre-loosen the fingers before assembly otherwise they are very hard to move around on the Gundam.
More of those awesome sliding parts, pistons, etc that makes up for the articulations and motion in this model.
Assembling the body isn’t so bad because the parts are mostly large pieces but it is still a marvel to see how it all goes.
Unnecessary clear parts that will get all covered up later. The inner mechanical body is composed of about two layers. You build the center first, then clamp the outer parts of the skeleton, and then you snap on the rest. Again, so much details!
The body is so thick and chunky… like a squarish ball ^^;. Like all the other parts, it has a nice solid construction to it.
Ditched the yellow-orange LED for a RED one instead. Battery you will have to buy separate (PITA). The LED assembly is oh so easy and simple… back to the basics of electric currents ^^.
There are no foil stickers for this model (thankfully) so the eyes will be clear when the LED is off. This will be the only photo you’ll see my PG Strike with yellow eyes ^^;
Although simple, I think this shield looks gorgeous!
Closing window gimmick!
One can always appreciate a long and slender beam rifle. I think it has a nice military design to it.
Bandai never make their clear color parts dark enough!
Pre-assembled Armor Schneider… leaves huge nubmarks on awkward locations. I painted the blade gunmetal and silver for the finished version so it at least looks a bit better.
The Grand Slash- The most important part of this model >_>. Seen used in Strike’s Gundam Evolve. The only visible nubmark is on the back of the tip of the blade which I covered with multiple layer of silver and I’d say it is about 85% hidden now.
I find the plain plastic handle to be unfitting for the sword so I drybrushed it with gunmetal. Gunmetal is such a handy color…
After assembly, then comes the top coat process for the inner frame, put on armor, add the stupid clear stickers, then top coat again to finish it off.