The origin of this MS was from Orb, one of the five prototype unit. Pilot by the Lowe Guele, appear in the side story of Seed. I actually read some information from MAHQ and i just learn that Astray doesn't have phase shift technology? and as a highly develop country, it need to copy the technology from the alliance for the beam rifle and beam saber? Alright, this sound quite ridiculous but it might be true. The original weapon for it was a one beam rifle, 2 x beam saber, Gatx shield and vulcans but due energy limitation, this unit also equip with "katana" which called as Gerbera Straight. I don't have much information about this MS as i didn't follow its manga story and only few short clip anime showing this unit. I do saw some of it manga story appear in the Dengeki hobby magazines but its seems the story is quite boring (no big scale battle and lots of talking).
As for the kit, I'm really don't understand why Bandai slot in the tactical arms which can transform into a "bow" while there are many other better options such as only offer the MG kit with its basic weapon, then the MG flightpack version comes later. Similar to the PG version that this MG version will get two gerbera straight Katana but no beam rifle, beam saber and shield. There are lot of spare parts which come from the MG astray blue frame second L but those part are insufficient to transform it into second L and a lot of spare part left after the completion. So, lets check the box art and the runners.
Stand is provided for the tactical arms.
Total runners are 21 include one PC runners and runners for the 1/144 stand (use to hold the tactical arms).
The assemble process for this kit is very straight forward and simple. Most of the part has been color separated nicely except the fingers. There are no special gimmicks such as LED light set up, sliding armors or transformation.
In terms of details, Astray is just too good for scoring this section since most of its internal frame was exposed and the outer armor also very limited. Even the Gerbera Straight Katana also need to build by many different part due to the color separation.
In terms of articulations wise, the joint is good and flexible but the problem was the connector of the joint seems a bit too short. At the end, every time i try to make some pose ended up the entire shoulders or legs came off. It really frustrating when this keep on happen. The worse part is the Gerbera Straight Katana will always be a problem as it too long and it always stick with the tactical arms when it attach. Other than that, the articulations and joints are good.
In a world where we have guns, cannon, missile, or beam rifle (or in Cosmic Era), do we need bow? so, a tactical arms can transform become a huge "swords" and there is a "Heat" gun equip as a handle, Why there is a need for this MS to carry a bow?
The concept of this tactical arms, i still feel it ridiculous of having heat beam and a "bow" mode. Using katana for this MS is still reasonable due to the energy usage from the battery.
And again, it should be great if it come with the original flight pack, shield and beam rifle.
Overall of the kit is still great, i mean in terms of the articulation, proportion, structure and joints. Although most of the basic terms or attributes of the kits are great but there is still lot of room for modification such as converting it to Gold Frame Amatsu or different kind of Astray variation.