By Christopher Troy
And welcome to part 2. We only have 2 kits to look at this time, so let’s cut to the chase right?
This is the MBF-02 Strike Rogue, which appeared in Gundam SEED towards the end of the series. It’s piloted by Cagallai Yula Athha for the most part, although Kira does so for several minutes in Destiny, before he acquires the Strike Freedom.
At first, the Rogue may look like the standard 1/144th mold used in the original Strike Gunpla with a different color scheme, but there some changes. Upon further inspection, you’ll learn that the thighs, hips and head are unique pieces, where as the rest of the kit is essentially the same as the Strike, down to the shield and rifle. The rest of the weapons make the difference, as instead of a beam saber, the Rogue comes with 2 anti-ship swords that can snap to the side of the the Rogue, a beam boomerang, as well as the I.W.S.P.- The Integrated Weapons System Pack!
The ISWP is neat little add-on that more or less combines the Sword, Launcher and Alle. It consists of a flight pack with 2 beam cannons mounted on to the top of it, as well as a pair of rail cannons. In addition, the shield can be switch for one that has a Gatling gun attached to it. With those attachments, the Rogue is given a look completely different than it’s “brother’s”, making it more than just a pink variant of the Strike.
Speaking of the Strike, another cool feature is that since the Strike and Strike Rogue are practically the same kit, their accessories are interchangeable. Well sort of….
Here’s the Rogue with the Alle pack. Not problems here, as the flight pack slide in there without any problems. As for the IWSP and the standard Strike…
Not as easy. The pack hangs out a bit, and as you can tell from the head’s position, the rail cannons have some problem sliding past the head. With is unfortunate, as I mentioned last time, there is no Strike gunpla with the IWSP available on the 1/144th scale. Still, the Rogue itself a cool little kit, and I recommend it regardless.
However, without a doubt, my favorite of the Strike variants is the GAT-X105E Strike E Gundam, aka the Strike Noir. The Noir originates from the ONA (Original Net Animation) MS Gundam SEED C.E. 73: Stargazer, which was a web-only side story to Gundam SEED Destiny.
Unlike the Rogue, there’s little to no similar parts that the standard Strike and Noir share. The color scheme is completely different as well, and the same applies to the selection of weapons given. Instead of beam sabers and rifles, the Noir comes with 2 handgun-esque “Shorty” rifles, as well as 2 hybrid beam swords/anti-ships swords that are concealed on the CIWS.
The CIWS is a great feature to the kit, as the 2 bladed weapons easily slip into their respected areas and lock in with ease. The winged look makes a huge difference compared to the Strike Alle pack.
The Shorty rifles also snap on the sides of the Noir, for easy storage/access.
This is a base. The Noir is the ONLY kit to date I’ve purchased that has come with it’s own base. Granted Bandai now sells based more poseable and series specific, it’s nice to have one thrown in for display. There’s a tiny peg atop of the stand the pops into the crotch of the Noir kit, which easily supports the Gundam. This helps for making a variety of dynamic poses.
The Noir is harder to find than the other Gunplas we’ve reviewed, and I recommend picking up either the 1/144th or the 1/100th scale kits if you can find them. It’s a shame the most unique of Strike kits is the most obscure, but that sort of thing happens from time to time with this hobby. That’s all for this article, next week expect a review on the 1/100th Cherudim Gundam from Gundam 00, as well as some cool news related to Forbidden Planet and Gundams!