A shiny black/gold beauty
Hello, and a very good day/weekend to all our readers! Finally, I am back with a new review for the Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina (RG)! Building and writing this have been quite a challenge since I have been awfully sick and finding myself unable to work on the past week. Thus, the delay of the build and the review.
Though being sick have taken more time away from me completing this kit, I do find that the time lost was a good thing since it gave me more time to formulate my thoughts and more time to really work on this kit. To start, I should disclose here that I was never a fan of the Gundam Astray series kits mainly because I am not a huge fan of the overall design and look of the Gundam Astray as a whole. So, imagine my excitement when I was contacted by someone to build this for their kid.
Can you imagine it? no? Good, because honestly I wasn’t excited for it especially when I was told that what I would be building is the gold frame version of the Astray series to make matters even worse it is the RG version of it. The best part is when I unboxed the kit oh I remember how my head went blank during the unboxing of the kit, and in my mind, I keep telling myself what the hell I’ve gotten myself into. Looking back at the unboxing, I was really dreading the fact that I would be building something not just had shiny back parts but one that also would have a lot of gold plated parts too. I was expecting this to be a nightmare tbh, at first it wasn’t looking good. That is until I started building this.
But before we get into the review lets first go into a lil’ bit of the history of this awesome Mobile Suit.
History and the development of the MBF-P01-Re2 Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina.
The MBF-P01-Re2 Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina is the repaired and upgraded version of the MBF-P01-REAMATU Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu. After the death of Rondo Gina Shahku Rondo Mina (Rondo Gina’s twin sister) took over piloting duties for the Amatsu Mina.
At first glance, it is hard to find any difference in the outward look between the Gundam Astray Amatsu and the Amatsu Mina but there are some minute changes made as you can see here in comparison picture here.
Can you see it?
As you guys may notice the only major upgrade in between this two is really on the addition of the leg armor for the Amatsu Mina as versus the original Amatsu. This was due to the damage the leg unit sustained during an encounter with the Regenerate Gundam during an operation test for the new equipment. After the battle, the Amatsu Mina was given more armor to protect it further from sustaining major damages.
The other upgrades made for the Amatsu Mina was on the weapons system, on top of the weapons that was inherited from the original Amatsu (the “Magashira no Hoko” Harpoon, “MaganoIkutachi” Energy Absorption Claw, “Igelstellung” 75mm Multi-Barrel CIWS and the “Trikeros Kai” Offensive Shield System) it was given a pair of the “Totsuka no Tsurugi” sabers, a retractable “Tsumuha no Tachi” triple claw mounted on the left forearm and later in CE73 it was given the “Okitsu no Kagami” an offence/defence beam shield system.
It was also said that that the upgrades on the Amatsu Mina given it the capability to do atmospheric flight, as evidenced when it was used to defend a town that was assaulted by ZAFT forces, but it was unsure either this was a new ability that comes with the upgrades or if it was a trait that was inherited from the Gold Frame Amatsu as it was the only version of it ever made.
All and all this is quite an impressive mobile suit. Reading and going through the history really does make me want to read the manga. Anyways with the history lesson done lets head to the review!
Aah the gold frame, this was really my surprise build of this year. If I could go back I time to tell my past self that I would be building this kit in 2017 my past self would have laughed himself to death. Oh, how naïve he is indeed.
I honestly felt that if I were to keep my old mentality of going about things I would most likely have missed this awesome kit. Yes, you read that right, this is an awesome kit overall and one that I really enjoyed myself with!
There is a lot to love and talk about the Amatsu Mina but first lets us touch on the build of the kit. When I first started this, I thought there will be a lot of parts of the build that would make me cringe in pain looking at the ugly nubs on both the gold plated parts and the black shiny parts (though I was ready to paint them up), this is only true when I first started with the feet section of this kit (only on the feet section) but as I progress I find that the nub issues wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, because most of the parts were undergated and the placements of the nubs didn’t hamper the look of the overall parts at all. Towards the end you would really find yourself not using much of the paint.
Though in my defense, the only reason I use the paint is just to make the gold parts look more synchronized (I hate the light gold parts). Though through the painting process I do find my handiwork still needs tons practice. Regardless, on how it looked overall, I was happy to still find that it turned out just the way I imagined it would be.
Even the black shiny parts were as well surprisingly good. Though I do have a few mishaps with some of the parts and in turn, I end up with a few bad nub marks but because it was more in the inner parts of the kits, the ugly nub marks were hidden well and you really have to make an effort if you really want to take the time to really find them ugly nubs. So, even if you choose to just build the kit as is, without considering on painting the kit you are still good, well as long you can tolerate one ugly nub mark on the feet section haha.
Unfortunately for my version of this kit, there is something that happened while building this kit is where I did find that the heel part of the feet section was a quite fragile. The reason for this is as I was completing the right leg section the joint that connects the heel armor and the heel’s inner frame, the inner frame join just decided to give in and break apart. In turn forcing me to glue the whole heel section up. Strangely enough, the left leg was completed with no issues or whatsoever, so I was wondering if i am the only one facing this issue or if you guys as well have faced this before, do let me know here if it has happened to you too.
Now let’s talk about the articulation of this RG kit. Usually, this is something that I do dread in doing as some of the RG armor sections are usually a bitch to handle and in turn limits the articulation of some of the RG kits. Fortunately, however, the articulation of the Amatsu Mina was impressive overall. For something that carries a HUGE backpack unit, I thought that it would limit the movement of the arm as I thought that the shoulder armor would collide with the backpack unit and thus limit the movement. Fortunately, it wasn’t the case here, as there is some significant space between the backpack unit and the arm unit so because of that the arm unit has more freedom of movement. The leg as well had a lot of freedom of movement as well though it does at times feel flimsy. There is no limit to what you can do with the leg unit on the Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina. This is vastly different to what you get on the Shinanju (RG) that I built earlier this year where the armors of the leg do limit certain movements of the leg unit, mainly because the armors would just simply come off.
You would find this isn’t the case with the Amatsu Mina. Honestly even with some of the parts feels a bit lose and annoying but overall the kit feels solid and one of those kit that you can pose to your heart’s content. The only thing that I do think that is an issue is the overall weight issue with the kit, all thanks to its big backpack system for the Amatsu Mina. Without it, the Amatsu mina is able to stand without any assistance well, up until you install the backpack unit to the kit and then it became an unbalanced mess. It’s quite annoying since if you want to fully utilize/pose the kit, you need to get a stand and take up more space then it supposed to. If you don’t mind so much about how much space it would take within your Gunpla collection or if you are having this kit for the first time do take note that it is essential that you get the RG/HG stand if you want to get it to look awesome AF.
The other thing I liked with this kit is the weapon sets. Usually, you build them and that’s about it, not with this one, the weapons that it has I find really quite fun to play around with especially the harpoons on the Amatsu Mina’s backpack, that thing is dope af. Even the Shield blaster thing looks awesome but to me the real best part of the weapons system if the Amatsu Mina really is the “Okitsu no Kagami” polearm/shield hybrid thing. It is so good that it had its own action stand to use when you want to pose the weapon when its detached from its main body. That itself is quite impressive.
Towards the end, I do find myself enjoying my time with this kit and thanking the commissioner for this project to me. This is really is one that I really find myself having a lot of fun with and finding myself fallen in love with towards the end of the day. I do highly recommend getting the Amatsu Mina to those that haven’t and honestly I would even say this is one of the best 2017 kits that I have built this year!
With the amount of fun, I have with this I am starting to look forward to getting more Gundam Astray kits, maybe on the next build I’ll get the Astray Red Frame MG kit? Huhu that is one that we shall see in the near future. I really can’t state enough on how much this one has turned me into a believer of the Astray kits. I really wish that Bandai/sunrise would release the Gundam Seed Astray Anime already and give us more Gundam SEED kits.
With that ends the review for this awesome kit, what do you guys think of the points that I brought up for this kit? Do you agree with it? What are your own experiences with the kit? Do you find the same issues with what I find with this? Or am I the only one? Haha, I do look forward to reading your thoughts of this review and of the kit! So, write away!
We will be back with a new edition of let’s Talk Gunpla in this coming Wednesday and hopefully a completed written review of the MS-06-R-2 Zaku II Johnny Ridden Custom unit (MG) Ver.2.0 in this coming Sunday! Thanks again to all of you here and we hope to see you guys again soon! May you guys have an awesome weekend and as well have an awesome gunpla time! Till next time!