If you’re keeping track with the Premium Bandai “Project Pale Rider” kits, then you are aware that after the White Rider and Black Rider from Mobile Suit Gundam BATTLE OPERATION: Code Fairy, the only unit that’s yet to be released is the Red Rider. Unfortunately, these kits have acquired quite a negative impression thanks to their heavy reliance on color correcting stickers. That said, I still think there’s a market for these kits and Bandai Spirits definitely thinks the same as they have opened solicitations for what I think is the last kit in Project Pale Rider.
The RX-80RR Red Rider hails from the manga Mobile Suit Gundam Aggressor that started serialization in 2014 and tells the story of the “Aggressor” unit, a Federation squad of Zeon defectors. The Red Rider is an experimental mobile suit meant to collect data for the development of the RX-80PR Pale Rider and features additional armor similar to those used by the GM Striker.
Much like all the other units in Project Pale Rider, the Red Rider also has yet another computer system serving as a prototype to the HADES System and is also named from a Greek God — the ARES System (spelled as AREUS in the Premium Bandai solicitation). This of course means that, as you can probably see above, two sets of visor parts and matching stickers are included to display the model with the ARES System activated or deactivated.
Its signature weapon is the Zweihänder, an integrated offensive and defensive weapon used by the Red Rider. It’s a shield with a huge beam saber emitter on one side to form a large buster sword. The kit does this with replacement parts, as well as the inclusion of the large beam effect part in sword form.
Other accessories it comes with include the same shield and 90mm bullpup machine gun used by the GM Ground Type, as well as the prototype 100mm machine gun which that can accommodate heat swords placed at the top and bottom of the barrel.
Personally, I’m not the most excited for this kit, due to how it’s more similar to the standard Pale Rider kit outside of the different colors, shoulder armor and weapons. Looking at the MS genealogy at the Project Pale Rider special page, it does seem that this is the last entry in the Project Pale Rider line up. Though there’s still the Pale Rider [VG] which is another color swap of the original with additional weapons. In any case, I hope this frees up the designers over at Bandai Spirts to launch a new online-exclusive kit line up.
HGUC 1/144 Red Rider
October 2022 / ¥2,350