The following may contain spoilers for episode 12 of Gundam the Witch from Mercury.
I just got off watching the first part finale for Gundam the Witch from Mercury and it was bloody, literally. Disturbing imagery aside, one spectacle of the episode was the full reveal of the upgraded Gundam Aerial which was repaired from the team battle with Grassley some episodes ago.
Presenting, XVX-016RN Gundam Aerial Rebuild.
I miss the more creative names given to these upgraded versions like “Gundam Double X” or “Gundam Deathscythe Hell”, but I guess this is because it’s indeed a rebuilt version of Gundam Aerial. This is its Bit-On form but you can still figure out the base mobile suit from the illustration above. One thing I could say is they toned down the red parts to just the head and that part of the waist armor. This is replaced by more blue parts, which is the direction modern lead Gundam designs go.
We did get to see its combat debut in episode 12 and thankfully, it’s not yet in that Strike Freedom Gundam levels of being overpowered. Now, let’s look at the Gunpla.
The kit is basically spot on to the design line art, and given my experience in building the HG Aerial, I can expect the amount of work needed to make this kit color accurate. Most notable being these radiator fin-like details on the feet. We also got a lot more on those on the thruster pods, and I do like how they don’t look like your conventional ones with thruster bells. I expect the articulation and other gimmicks to be the same, which they did lay out in the solicitation.
First and foremost, we get more in-mold parts for the shell units. Based on the CG shown here, we are also getting in-mold parts for the front-facing chest pieces. If you’ve built the HG Gundam Aerial, then you will recall that the front parts of the shell units were just in translucent smoke plastic and didn’t use in-mold parts or stickers. This is probably due to how they’re connected to the rest of the torso.
Aerial Rebuild also has the same gimmicks of the Aerial as far as the GUND-Bits go and how they can be attached to the mobile suit itself for its Bit-On form or to the Beam Rifle as the GUND-Bit Rifle for even more firepower.
Speaking of which, the Beam Rifle can extend and accommodate the GUND-Bits with the use of an extension piece. The side handles can also be deployed with the use of additional parts. For additional display options, they are recommending the use of two sets of “the Witch from Mercury” Display Base to deploy all the GUND-Bits.
As for my thoughts on Gundam Aerial Rebuild and its design, personally I do prefer its predecessor as this one looks a little more traditional, but still very much different from any previous series, and makes sense as a logical upgrade to the Aerial. It’s also unique that they opted for a single faceplate slit over the traditional two, like in Gundam 00 with the introduction of the 00 Gundam.
In any case, I’m still getting this kit because I collect lead Gundams and their upgrades, Hopefully I don’t do a Barbatos Lupus/Lupus Rex and take years before building the upgraded form.
HG 1/144 Gundam Aerial Rebuild
March 2023 / ¥1,700
Order via HobbyLink Japan