Product Line / High Grade Cosmic Era
Scale & Class / 1/144 Scale Plastic Model Kit
Manufacturer / Bandai Spirits
Release Date / 2014
Appearances / Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
The Aile Strike Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is a beautiful mobile suit. That opening shot of its beam rifle-pointing silhouette with the Earth as its backdrop has easily become the de facto standard for Gundam poses. However, the old 2002 HG kit released at the time of broadcast is already outdated and doesn’t give the design justice, especially when compared to its modern contemporaries. And so, the HGCE Aile Strike Gundam was an anticipated kit when it was released in 2014 as part of the HG All Gundam Project. Most were curious about how modern engineering would give a now-classic design justice. Having built and posed the kit years after its release, I can say that even to this day, it still gives the design solid justice.
One drawback of the old High Grade was its lack of color accuracy, particularly the exposed gray inner frame parts. The HGCE version clearly addresses this along with several changes in the proportions and articulation. Having released several more Aile Strike Gundams in other lines, Bandai Spirits has perfected the best proportions for this design and applied it to the HGCE version. While the articulation benefited from the standardized scheme as part of the HG All Gundam Project. HGCE Aile Strike Gundam also comes with all the weapons and accessories seen in the series, most notable being the Aile Striker which also has improved proportions and color accuracy to match the Strike Gundam. That said, you still need to paint the red parts of the main wings to complete the look. With all these considered, the HGCE Aile Strike Gundam is still a highly recommended kit, even if newer versions, like the Entry Grade kit, have been released.