I remember the first post for the Seven6398 was using NG 1/100 Akatsuki, I can't believe the first post about model kit in this Seven6398 ver.2 will be NG 1/100 Akatsuki.
Although it's not pilot by main character or being the main character mobile suit but this still caught many attention from the audience i guess. It's the only gold plated kit in the Gundam Seed Destiny series even in gunpla. At the end of the day, the unit was pilot a man who also wear his mask during the combat really reminding Mr. Quattro as believe to be Char in its Hyaku shiki which also a gold plated mobile suit in Gundam Zeta series. The first appearance of this mobile suit was quite "deep", as it is the sword for the savior to protect Orb from burning again. Even a song that have the similar name with this mobile suit was played. The role created for this mobile suit and its pilot was quite great in my opinion.
Back to the mobile suit itself, maybe i should let the information collected in Mahq explain it all:
Before his death in C.E. 71, Orb Union leader Uzumi Nara Athha commissions the construction of the ORB-01 Akatsuki to serve as the final defense of Orb, should the need arise. Developed in secret, the Akatsuki is hidden underneath the Orb mainland until C.E. 74. The Akatsuki's design is similar to the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam that Orb assisted the Earth Alliance in developing. Aside from visual similarities, the Akatsuki is capable of using several packs similar to the Strike Gundam's Striker packs. Perhaps the most unique feature of the Akatsuki is its "Yata-no-Kagami" anti-beam defensive reflection system, which is coated on the armor. Comprised of many tiny mirrors, the armor coating the Akatsuki allows it to reflect any beam energy fired at it. The armaments of the Akatsuki's main body include a pair of vulcan guns, a twin beam saber, a beam rifle and shield. When equipped with the "Owashi" sky pack, the Akatsuki can also use a pair of high-energy beam cannons. In addition, the "Owashi" pack can separate and function as a separate fighter. In space, the Akatsuki can equip the "Shiranui" pack, which is armed with a guided mobile beam turret system similar to ZAFT's DRAGOON (Disconnected Rapid Armament Group Overlook Operation Network) system. In addition to functioning as beam cannons, the units can be used to create a defensive shield. The Akatsuki is first used in by Cagalli Yula Athha to defend Orb from a ZAFT attack during Operation Fury. During the battle, the Akatsuki engages Shinn Asuka's ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam and receives minor damage. Soon after, the battleship Archangel heads to space, and Cagalli gives the Akatsuki to ace pilot Neo Roanoke (aka Mu La Flaga). In a battle between ZAFT and the Orb space fleet, Neo and Athrun Zala destroy the Requiem cannon that ZAFT captures from the Alliance. Soon after, the death of PLANT Supreme Council Chairman Gilbert Durandal and the destruction of the mobile space fortress Messiah mark the end of the war.
Boxart, runners and manual
I think that explanation should be sufficient for this mobile suit. Personally, with its weapon system it can said that it might unbeatable or even as strong as Strike Freedom (which is my favorite mobile suit in Gundam Seed Destiny). A unit that have beam reflector to protect it from any beam attack and even a guided mobile beam turret system which can use to create a large "prism" as a energy shield, it can be said one of the safest mobile suit in the war if the pilot worry about getting shot by others.
I think the most special part of the boxart is the back of the Boxart. I have about 7 to 8 item from the gunpla show behind the box and this image really remind me how great those kit are when there are no MG treatment for them.
From the manual here, I think its good enough to explain how bad is the articulation for the legs. (will explain in detail below)
One thing i like about NG 1/100 is the assemble process is a lot more easier than the MG, lesser part and more straight forward but this also means lesser detail or gimmick. (its not necessary means it bad for articulation as the NG OO gundam series has a lot of good articulation NG 1/100 gunpla)
I always wish it can pose like this. I think the 1/144 HG version should be able to make this pose but i think the simplest way will be, Bandai please release the MG or RG version of this kit!!!
There are 16 runners which included runners for the display base and PC parts. 7 of the runners are plated which 6 of it are gold plated and the other one is orange plated colors.
Assemble process, structures and details
Since it's not a MG kit, the assemble process is very simple and straightforward. No overlap inner frame, complicated joints and lesser tiny parts but with highly rely on PC parts for most of the joints might be good for the kit in terms of flexibilities. The most annoying part during the assemble process is clearing the nub marks which is similar to MG Hyaku shiki gold plated version and worse part is some nub marks can't be hide since those area can't be repair by normal painting. Without the support of the inner frame, removing nub marks must be done extra carefully if we want to remain it's original gold plated parts.
As for the structure of this kit was pretty simple, no sliding armors or complicated joints. Things are pretty straightforward with most of the main parts like hands, legs body and backpack come with large and strong joints (but still rely on PC parts) which make it more "solid". Weight distribution was quite normal even with different backpack. The waist joint was using socket joint instead of ball joint really helps a lot for the kit to hold different backpack while maintaining its stability.
Since it is a old school NG 1/100 kit, we cant expect that it have lots of gimmick or detail. I think the only so called "gimmick" that this kit have will be its gold plated armors. There are no inner frames means there is no inner frame details like hydraulic pumps or vernier.
as what you can see here, only few parts needed to build the waist.
You may consider this as the inner frame for the legs.
but too bad, this is the best it can do.
"The worst assemble process is here, clearing nub marks for the same things for seven times, its really fusfrating".
The back was using the same socket joint as most of the 1/100 Strike use, therefore it can use different backpack from Strike such as Aile Striker, Launch Striker, Sword Striker and IWSP.
With Shiranui pack while Oowashi pack transform into fighter forms.
Articulation, proportion and pose
All i can said about the articulation was good on the top and bad at the bottom ( i mean lower part, below the waist). Upper torso especially the shoulder joint is as great as those MG Freedom or MG Strike which include the hands as well. As for the legs, it using ball type joint as the main joint to connect to the lower torso. Since the tight armors are design so huge till it reduce the flexibilities of the legs, the ball type joint make things even worse.
Proportion wise, nothing much to worry about but it can look even more sharper (it might be if it receive MG or RG treatment). I'm not too sure what other people thing about the shoulders, some people might think it is too big but as for me i feel it good enough. By the way, if you watch the latest Seed HD remastered version, there are lot of scene show the gundam have better proportion in the anime which also similar to the currect gunpla unit.
As for the pose, since the articulation for the legs is so bad, its really hard to get it in a very dynamic pose. The normal standing or "floating pose" with display base was great. The pose show from the manual? equals to impossible for this kit. What i said here doesn't mean you can just give up on posing this kit, it still look great with its limited articulation in some pose but some camera angle adjustment needed to pull out some dynamic angle shots.
One of my favorite shots, angle and pose.
This is all i can do to duplicate the pose from the manual.
Alright that's all for the first part review, it can consider as full review with what i think about this kit. For the current moment, I don't think i will do any painting for my own unit. It's almost time for the delivery and 3 more gunpla to build for my boss.
Next kit, MG Double O Raiserrrrrrrrrrrr!!! stay tune.......