Tuesday, December 23, 2008

PG Astray?! Frame Comparisons

Originally uploaded by Busterbeam

News in the blogosphere travels very fast. I think it was revealed just yesterday that the PG Astray is coming out in March. I got my Hobby Japan in the mail today. It's really impressive actually. I live in Japan and have a subscription to the magazine but by the time I get it, it's already old news! haha More proof of why I should stay away from the 'main' news and just stick to 'supplementary' stuff.

Case in point. Today's blog post is about the PG Astray, but I just wanted to give people a bit more information about the frame itself. The Astray frame is an ORB design based of the research used to make the first GAT series of Mobile Suits in the CE Universe. Those GAT suits being Duel, Blitz, Buster, Aegis and of course Strike. Seed fans will remember that the Alliance had a secret base on the ORB space colony Heliopolis. Dalong has scans from the PG Strike manual but they're kind of low resolution so I've decided to scan my own manual at a higher resolution (with a bit of minor editing for the sake of comprehension) to illustrate just how similar the designs are between the original Astray series (P01 to P04, Gold, Red, Blue and Green respectively. Whether P04 Green Frame deserves to be in that category, because of its late introduction, is up for debate but there it is.)

Now... why PG Astray? The picture should answer that question succinctly enough. It will also explain why Duel is my favourite of all the initial GAT series suits. It was the most like the original design. Better design than Strike IMO. Yep. I said it. And now that I have I realize that PG versions of the other GAT series suits aren't out of the realm of possibility either. Mod a PG Strike into a Duel... Wouldn't take that much effort... hmm...

Bandai made multiple versions of all the PG suits (outside of GP01 and Zeta I believe) why should the Strike be any exception? I mean we already have Strike Rouge. Why not one more? Minor changes to the armour are all thats necessary since the frame is essentially the same. Why not milk it a bit more? Look at what they did with the Zaku v.2 frame! How many versions of that have we seen already? Now the RX78-2 v.2 frame is getting milked with the MG GM v.2. Come on though... It makes sense right? It's just good business.

Huge profits for a minimal amount of work. Also the PG Astray kit is essentially an invitation to colour it any way you want! Don't like Rowe's Red? Than changing it to Gai's Blue is easy enough to do. Or maybe you have a taste for gold (like me :)? No problem. Easily changed. They'll sell double the kits on that aspect alone.

All that said... I am totally getting it. I paid about 15000 yen for PG Mark 2, 20000 for Zeta and 10000 for Strike. I'm willing to go for 15000 for this kit seeing as it's essentially a remake of the Strike frame. Zeta, I could justify 20000 yen for since it transforms. Funny thing though... Despite all this. I've built the 1/100 Red Astray and the PG Strike and found them to be very different frames. I'm curious just how similar the PG Astray's frame is going to be to the Strike's but still maintain the unique design that the Astray's have. When I was building the 1/100 Red Frame I specifically remember thinking "This is no Gundam!".

I'm really very excited about this kit. I wouldn't say its like my prayers have been answered but its close. I was very surprised and pleased at this news. I've wanted a new PG for a while now but haven't been impressed with the selection. GP01 would but nice but the Full Burn option parts and stand display... ugh... its just a waste for the money and plastic as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't use it!

But this is a good thing. I have over 3 months between Sinaju and this so it should be enough time to work through my back log without having something else come in. That is unless Gundam Cherudim Saga suddenly gets released in which case I will buy it IMMEDIATELY but that's not very likely. One can always hope though right?!