I'm sure many people will agree that Iron Blooded Orphans (IBO) is one of the best Gundam series ever. As much as I love the anime, however, I've never tempted to buy any IBO plamo kits, well, simply because I'm a UC fan and I felt that HGIBO kits have cheaper quality than HGUC. Nevertheless, I would like to try something new this year, and finally, I got a HGIBO kit as present from my wife. That lucky kit is Gundam Flauros.
If you watch IBO anime, you should probably know that Flauros is the latest Gundam of Tekkadan, piloted by the eccentric, Norba Shino. Flauros is quite different from any Gundam frames activated so far due to its special artillery role and transformation mechanism. It has a pair of 'Dainsleif' rail gun, one of the most powerful weapons during the calamity war era. The weapon is so powerful, it can even pierce nano laminate armor and considered inhuman by Gjallarhorn hence their use was prohibited. I am personally a fan of artillery-type mobile suits thus I felt delightful for having Flauros as my first kit of 2017. Furthermore, its color scheme was a reminder of my first kit, RG Justice, which I built 4 years ago.
The box contains 5 runners in total: A for inner frame, B for body armor, C for arms and backpack armor, D for weapons and a polycaps runner. As expected, there's no decal sticker, only foils and there are many of them. The largest foils are intended for the rail guns on the backpack, while the rest are for the eyes, head sensor, some parts of shoulder armor and of course the ryusei-go's trademark eyes on V-fin and back armor.
On my previous post of HGUC Zeta Plus C1, I've mentioned about English translation of manual it has and now, I'm pretty sure that Bandai have started to provide bilingual manual for every new kits they release. In my opinion, it's a great decision since gunpla is currently worldwide recognized and Bandai should pay more attention to the international customers.
The building process of Flauros was quite simple, but the detailing itself was quite a pain since there are many panel lines existed. I initially didn't like the look of the face of Flauros. I felt the eye sticker is too big, making the face looked more like a skull than a war machine, thus I trimmed the eye sticker a bit to give Flauros smaller eyes, hence giving more menacing looks as depicted on the manual artworks. Another tricky job was putting foils on the rail guns part. Seriously, Bandai should be able to provide rail gun part on runners instead of giving us that ugly foils. I don't mind to pay more for the parts than having cheap kit with lots of foil stickers.
The fully assembled Flauros is truly awesome. I like the details on the inner frame, especially the waist. It's so sexy. The backpack looks fantastic and despite the enormous size, I have no problem with it (which was complained by several reviews). No wobbling and it's sturdy because the waist and feet are strong enough to hold the weight of backpack. The articulation of this kit is really great. All body parts could move freely, including the backpack which has its own articulation.
Another downside of this kit is the lack of accessories. No extra hands, you only get standard hands to grab the rifles. Well, I think that's why the price of IBO kits are so cheap.
The major feature of this kit is its transformation mechanism to Shelling Mode, where Flauros changed to quadruped form. While it looks pretty similar with Gundam Gaia of SEED Destiny, the true intention of this form is to absorb the rail guns recoil by having more grip to the ground. In my opinion, it much more similar with Siege Tank in Starcraft game. The transformation is quite simple and easy, thanks to the great articulation.
So now the verdict.
This kit is great, and I truly say it as a UC fan. The proportion looks beautiful, articulation is superb, backpack and big guns are fantastic, it's sturdy, solid and pretty detailed. While I hate the number of foil stickers, I think they're still forgivable and of course, you can paint them instead. The price is slightly more expensive than typical HGIBO kits, thanks to the enormous backpack but the end result is not disappointing.
Overall, I feel happy for having this kit and I really recommend it for any gundam fans, especially the fans of IBO series.
ASW-G-64 Gundam Flauros (Ryusei-Go)
- Greatly detailed with lots of panel lines
- Nice proportion, sturdy and superbly articulated
- Fantastic guns and backpack
- Pretty cool and easy transformation mechanism
- Foil stickers!!
- Quite lame color (if you hate pink)