After 11 years on, this still is a fun kit to build
Kimi here and am back once again this week with the review of the HG 1/144 SVMS-01 Union Flag! This was a really one project that I’ve been looking forward to since it has really been a while since I built another Union Flag! Why wouldn’t I be? Especially since the last time I worked on the HG Union Flag, it was 11 years ago.
Despite that its old age, I was surprised that this was still a pretty fun kit to build. Today I will talk about what makes this fun and still awesome even after 11 years on.
But before we get to the review, let us now do what we always do and first talk about some of the History and development of this awesome MS shall we?
So, without further ado, let us get into it, shall we?
History and Development of the SVMS-01 Union Flag
Model name : SVMS-01
Classification : Mass Production Transformable Aerial Mobile Suit
Weapon systems : 20mm Machine Gun, Defence Rod, Linear Rifle, Sonic Blade (Plasma Sword), Missiles
Height : 17.9m
Armour Material : E-Carbon Armour
Powerplant : Solar Energy System
Total Thrust : 79900 kg Total
Effective Sensor Radius : 6300m
Crew : 1
SVMS-01 Union Flag is an MS that was developed in the year AD 2307 and was at the time one of the most advanced MS that was ever developed by any side. However, it only managed to hold that title up until the introduction of the celestial being’s Gundams during its many conflict intervention. Even with said the Union Flag was the only non-GN Drive powered MS that was the closest in defeating the Celestial Being’s Gundam Model MS’s.
The Union Flag was originally developed to help Union replace their aging mainstay Union Renaldo’s. The Flag was developed to be a High-performance MS that could as well transform itself into a High-Speed jet Fighter. Both modes are capable of aerial flight with the mobile suit mode providing greater mobility and the jet fighter mode providing greater speed. Thus, this enables the Union Flag to conduct a variety of combat duties from MS to MS close quarters combat, to high attitude bombing or close air support for the ground-based assault units.
Though the Flag possesses two operation modes, it originally wasn’t meant to be able to transform itself mid-flight. This was mainly due to the fact that doing so will cause immense stress to the MS/airframe which could cause it to spin out of control. But unlike most of its predecessor at the time, the Union Flag was the only MS that doesn’t require parts change if it so chooses to transform into a different mode of operation.
However, in the right hands, it was said that the flag is able to perform the mid-Flight transformation. It was said that this feat was made possible by Union’s Ace Pilot Graham Aker, he managed to somehow find a way to execute it effectively by only solely relying on his insane piloting skill.
The weapons that were equipped on the Union Flag is as well some of the most impressive that we have seen so far, like the Linear Rifle for an instance. It was a rifle that was developed to solely fire electromagnetically-accelerated rounds and was at the time of introduction one of the most advanced projectile based weaponry (before the introduction of beam weapons of course). It was as well equipped for close combat, the vibration based sonic blade which had an ability to focus plasma into a sword shape.
It was really an impressive MS when compared it to its peers.
Even though the Flag was proven time and time again to be quite inferior to the Celestial Being’s MS there is one pilot that really tries to prove otherwise. That said pilot is Graham Aker, the union pilot that famously developed the mid-flight transformation technique. Went out of his way to go against the Exia, alone, using only a slightly modified version of the Union Flag.
Even though the Flag was undeniably an inferior MS when compared to the Exia, Graham was shown to be a tenaciously skilled pilot. Fully utilizing the Flag’s speed to dodge most of Exia’s attack, the flag did momentarily managed to overpower the much more powerful Exia and was almost successful in tearing off a part of the Exia’s armor. However, during the last minute, Exia manages to pull one of its beam sabers and promptly destroyed the Flag’s linear Rifle and forced Graham to retreat to fight another day.
Regardless, the Flag continued to be the Union’s frontline unit against the Gundams up until the introduction of the more advanced GN-X series in AD 2308. But even up until AD 2312, there was still a significant number of Flags was seen being in service in the Earth Sphere Federation Army. However, during this time the Flag is mostly used as a stopgap up until the newer models could reach some ESF units. The other reason of why The Flag is still widely used in the ESF is really because the flag used solar energy as its main source of power for its weapons so, in turn, its operational time was a lot longer when even compared to the GN powered MS’s at the time. However, the flag wasn’t given a lot of frontline duties and it was mostly relegated only to support and Long Distance Patrol Duties.
It should as well be said the flag wasn’t just mostly used by the ESF, it as well is seen in both sides of the coin, like in AD 2312 seen being used as a mainstay MS FOR Katharon in and in AD 2314 by Celestial Being.
With that ends the History lesson, and now let us get into the review, shall we?
I was really happy when I found this
Honestly, out of all the kit that I’ve gotten and built here this is the one that I have been looking forward to building the most. I am really not sure if I’ve talked about it here before, but I have been looking for this kit even well before I started with this blog. In fact, this was one of the first kits that I really wanted to write about when I start working on this blog.
However, this was a pretty hard kit to find. I did go through a lot of pain trying to find it and for many years my efforts were in vain. Funnily enough, its when I wasn’t looking for it is when I come across this.
Though all of that effort was not in vain, because even now I found out that this, is still quite a blast to build. I’m sure to those here might already thinking, but Kimi, since you have built the HG Union Flag you must’ve known that this would be an awesome kit to build. Yes, that is true, but what I’m trying to say is that this kit is as good as the newer more current kits.
You might be wondering, why the heck could I come up with that conclusion you may ask?
Well, one of the reason is that, while building this one can’t help to feel like all the parts and joints were so well designed here. There aren’t any serious fitting issues with the parts and really everything here just comes together like a glove. Although, there is one section of the kit that does have a seam line issue, which you will find on the backpack unit. But it isn’t really a serious matter and it is an issue that could easily be rectified if I were, to be honest. What’s more, since the parts were cast quite well here, the seam line on my current build of the HG Union Flag isn’t as prominent or as bad.
Another thing that should be said here is that is that some of the parts on the HG Union Flag aren’t color coordinated. So, to rectify this issue, Bandai did provide the kit with some stickers, but since I know from my past experience with the stickers that it would be crap, so I instead opted to paint some of the parts up. I do recommend you guys to do the same and avoid using the stickers for some of the parts here, but if you are building on a cheap…well you can opt for the stickers, but like I said the stickers is shit here.
This is as well one of the HG kits that I know that really doesn’t use a lot of the soft PVC parts in the joints, like what we are seeing more and more often with the current HG kits. But unlike the ones we see on the newer HG kits that use the same principle; The joints here didn’t end up being really super stiff, but at the same time it wasn’t super loose too.
Which means that I do find that the said parts to be easily moveable and poseable. Really don’t have to go out of your way to just break the parts in, unlike the ones that I encounter with the newer HG kits. But due to its very slim frame, one must learn to be a bit careful when handling this kit. Since any wrong move can easily fuck this up bad, though the parts on this current build were quite solid, I do remember breaking some joints up with the first kit. So please be careful and really take your time with some of the Union Flag’s parts.
Another thing that really gets me is that, despite its looks, it is quite a stable kit. Well, that is only if you were to just pose it in a standing straight pose…. with minimal hand gestures. Anything else that got to do with posing the legs, is best to use a proper stand for it. Regardless, it was still quite impressive to see this being able to just stand itself upright with it not needing support. Especially a kit that looked as such.
Though yes there are some clear issues with the articulation for this kit. Even though I did say that at times the kit does feel quite solid and somewhat poseable, but you will find that you can’t really stretch the parts up too much since it is limited by its own joints. Stretch it up too much and off goes the part. The articulation is as well limited by some sections of the kit being in the way of the kit, this is especially obvious when you want to move the arm parts. You will find that the waist wings section of the Flag will hamper most of the arm movements of the Flag. Which in turn can be quite annoying.
The other thing that I found to be kind of a bitch here is the Flag’s hands. Yes, the hands here is really is the weakest link for the HG Union Flag. For starters, the Flag’s hands really can’t be relied on to hold anything…properly. Really all you actually do here is to just slide the weapons in the hands and pose it in a way that, hopefully, the weapons don’t fall off out from it.
All of this kind of limits the pose-ability of the HG Union Flag, due to the limitations of its joints and its stock manipulators. A shame, since we do feel like the kit has a lot of potentials.
Regardless, all of this isn’t really a bad thing since we have to remember that this was a kit that was released 11 years ago. I wasn’t expecting this to blow my mind with some new gimmicks, because as you may already know, I already have built this kit before.
However, what I do find impressive is that an 11-year-old kit is as awesome to build now then it did back when I first built it, despite all its faults. Really. I do find that surprising.
Though I think I may know the reason for this. Well, it could be because since I have been building a lot of a more conventional looking gunplas, I may have felt a little bit burned out by it. Building something that looks insanely different than what you are accustomed to does feel quite refreshing. Especially right after I was feeling quite bummed out after the LABO review.
Funnily enough, when I got the LABO I was hoping it to be something different, something to stimulate my mind with, instead, it left me feeling disappointed. However, I found that feeling with the much older HG Union Flag instead, which I do find it quite funny.
Regardless, I was really glad that I picked this up again and honestly, it is one that I highly recommend people to get! Because really, you will have a great time with this uniquely handsome HG kit and its a lot cheaper kit than the LABO, honestly.
With that ends the review for the HG 1/144 SVMS-01 Union Flag. What do you think at both the kit and the review? Honestly, I was glad to have once again come around to work on this again. This really was a fun kit for me to come back to and really even now I still find it to be quite a fun kit!
Without fail this kit still manages to bring a smile on my face and really, up until now I’m still finding myself smiling like a moron, it was really that good.
Anyways, we will be back again this week more Let’s Talk Gunpla Segment on the coming Wednesday and we will be back as well on the coming Sunday with a NEW unboxing and First Impressions post! So do look forward to that! 😀
As ever please do leave us a like if you enjoyed this article and oh do follow us here on the blog or on FB or on Instagram if you enjoy this kind of content from us! As well do feel free to give us some feedback and comment if you think there are areas in the post that we can work on so to further improve our posts in the future! As well your comment and feedback will ensure that we would be able to give you all here a much-improved content in the future! As well, we want you to know that your likes and shares would be highly appreciated in supporting and helping us grow further, honestly, your love and support means the world to all of us here in Kimi the Builder Blog editorial team.
We hope by sharing our love and passion for gunplas here, it’ll inspire you to pick up the hobby or reignite your love for gunpla!
Anyways, we shall see all of you again next week, and we hope that you all have an awesome week and weekend ahead! Have an awesome Gunpla building time there as well and until next time!