Model Number: MBF-P02
Designation: Orb Union Prototype High Performance Close Combat Attack Use Mobile Suit
This is easily the best model kit iteration of the ever-popular Astray Red Frame, and that's saying a lot considering that it's a Hi-Resolution Model.
Bandai's Hi-Resolution Model (HRM) line of premium model kits sounds like a really good idea on paper: a model kit that features fancy parts treatment with components that go onto a prefabricated inner frame containing die-cast elements. However, released kits-of-the-line have been disappointing at best, with shoddy engineering, a loose inner frame that cannot possibly handle the rigours it was intended for, as well as ill-fitting parts that come off faster than flaky skin. The HRM 1/100 Wing Gundam Zero EW is the best embodiment of the line's flaws: while the end-product is undoutedly gorgeous out of the box, the model kit cannot do much except stand still, which it does with some difficulty. You can see my review of the HRM 1/100 Wing Gundam Zero EW here.
When the HRM 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame was announced, the community was visibly taken aback. Apart from the usual sentiments such as "Why the Red Frame again and not something else?" or "Where's my XX mobile suit in MG?", most of us took notice of a key trait of the HRM 1/100 Astray Red Frame - its #THICC proportions.Way beefier and bulkier than any previous iteration of the Astray Red Frame, the HRM 1/100 treatment of the iconic mobile suit is apparently more faithful to the original line art, which doesn't illustrate the Astray Red Frame as the lanky, nimble unit that it is now known for.
For some reason, I have a fair number of Astray Red Frames in my collection and most of them are (astonishingly) built. It's safe to say that I'm drawn towards the #AstrayAesthetic and also the fact that the Red Frame is a giant robot with a giant sword. The following are most of the Red Frames in my collection:
- Bandai Tamashii Nations NX Edge Style Gundam Astray Red Frame
- Bandai HG 1/144 Gundam Astray Red Frame (Flight Unit)
- Bandai RG 1/144 Gundam Astray Red Frame
- P-Bandai MG 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame
- Bandai MG 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame (Art of Gundam Ver.)
- Bandai Tamashii Nations Metal Build 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame
- Nillson Works 1/60 Astray Red Frame