Product Line / High Grade THE WITCH FROM MERCURY
Scale & Class / 1/144 Scale Plastic Model Kit
Manufacturer / Bandai Spirits
Release Date / 2022
Appearances / Mobile Suit Gundam the Witch from Mercury
The start of a new Gundam series not only sets fan expectations with the story, characters, and mechanical designs, but it very much sets expectations with the accompanying Gunpla. While the gap between Gundam IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS and Gundam the Witch from Mercury still saw a continuous influx of Gunpla kits, fans often expect something new with the introduction of a new line. And that expectation is always the highest with the first kit. Similar to what they did with the High Grade kits from AMAIM Warrior in the Borderline, the High Grade THE WITCH FROM MERCURY line opened not with the main protagonist Gundam, but with something from a side story, or in this case, the PROLOGUE special. The progenitor of all Gundam units in the Ad Stella timeline, Gundam Lfrith.
Primarily, HG Gundam Lfrith captures all the nuances of the original design. From the rather feminine proportions to the color separation in key areas, to the great articulation. These are positive talking points that builders have praised and hoped to see more in the line. They also introduced new in-line molded parts for the GUND-ARM shell units, where the intricate color patterns are molded in as the name implies, like a sticker sandwiched between plastic parts. These don’t eliminate the use of color correcting stickers though, as with most High Grades. And for the other shell units, ‘reversed stickers’ are used where the colors are applied to the adhesive side and placed on the underside of clear parts. Articulation is also excellent, not only because of the unimpeded design, but with the choice to forego any polycaps in the joints. They also introduced the use of C-clip joints which is common with 30 Minute Missions kits and while they’re good on the get go, they do have tendencies to get loose eventually and are quite hard to repair once broken. Gundam Lfrith comes with several accessories, the most notable being the Compo GUND-BIT Shield which is basically all the bits combined to form the shield. Each GUND-BIT can function as a separate accessory though parts to display them deployed are sold separately. They can also combine with Gundam Lfrith itself for its Bit-On form, or to the Receiver Gun to form the GUND-BIT Rifle. It also has a couple of effect parts for the Beam Sabers and the Beam Blade, the latter for use with the Receiver Gun.