After building the Astray Red Frame of Daban Model, I knew that my client will someday get the ABF 2nd L or also known as Gundam Astray Blue Frame Second Revise. I started building the kit this last September but it took me a long time to finish it because I have a lot of work and I am trying to sand each o f the parts.
This kit is also a part of my “wishlist” and getting to build it firsthand to learn more about its issues helped me decide whether I should get the Daban Model or purse the Bandai one. So I hope this review will help you guys get a quick look about its issues.
As always, I am not a professional builder so there are still nubs on my finished product. I have not copied any quotations, texts, or any other information and then claiming it as mine. All of the things I have written here are based from my own experience. If there are any errors on any terminologies used, please do correct me.
This is one of Daban Model’s earlier products so quality isn’t as good as the new ones they have released starting from Sazabi and so forth.
There are no unusual stuffs here in the box aside from the word “fighter” and the huge number on the top right.
I noticed again that Daban is still compressing 4 runners inside one plastic bag. As you already know, this can lead to breakage of certain parts or pegs, scratches on the parts, and the usual stress marks. There are 5 plastic bags and only one of the bags has 3 runners inside.
They also copied Bandai’s “adapter components” (I don’t know what to call them LOL ) where you can attach other backpack units on the ABF.
The next images will be the runners and other items inside the kit. I will try to add what runners they are via caption and do this for all of my reviews for better information sharing. :v
LIST: From left to right, top to bottom
BP-ADP, Runner A, Runner B, Runner C, Runner D, Runner E, Runner F, Runner G, Runner H, Runner I, Runner J, Runner K, Runner L, Runner M, PC-204
If you guys have read my review on the Astray Red Frame, the H runner was one of the fragile ones. The H1 runner on the ARF that I’ve built broke in half. Take note of this runner when you are building.
You also get a sheet of clear stickers, a sheet of dry transfer decals, and the common foil stickers.
Like I said on my apology, I am doing my best on my pictures. Just bear with me for a little longer. :(
Okay, so the head here has a different design compared to the ARF. The clear part on the forehead is smaller and the cheeks have a different design as well.
As for the snap fitting, there aren’t any major issues but I did add some thin layer of super glue on this small part at the back of his lower head part. It doesn’t pop off but the design of the clamp also doesn’t give any assurance it will hold nicely. A certain part called A16 seems to be tight as well.
The design of the ABF’s head kind of looks like a Japanese soldier and his helmet has a strap under its chin. I added some metallic green on the forehead and on the eyes using my Uniball Signo pen.
So here are the parts for the body unit. It shows the same parts like the ARF although you get black parts on the side of the body. The ARF has a light grayish color for these parts.
Now if you recall that H1 part where you will add the tactical arm rack (sort of), I have trimmed the female peg a bit to make sure it will fit in without breaking. But be sure to trim the male peg where you will place H1 (F21/F22). If you trim just the H1 part, you will also reduce its width making it more fragile. I suggest to trim the male peg from F22 instead to be sure.
Compared to the ARF I have built, this one can now move the peg perfectly. :)
That’s the only issue I’m really concerned in this section, so overall snap fitting is still good.
Regarding the articulation, you can pull the shoulder pegs outward and the body can be tilted sideways, front /back to a certain degree.
The rack for the Tactical Arms which also serves like a backpack can be lifter upwards. Not only that, the main mechanical arm connected to the lower body that holds this rack can be removed, giving you extended range when you tilt the body. But, you will also lose the support given by the lower body if removed.
So these are the parts for both of the arms. They are the same with the ARF and the color of the inner frame and polycaps are just changed to blue.
So here’s one of the arms already built and you can see how many parts used just to build it. I will try to make this format on my future reviews same like dalong.
COFFE BREAK! As you can see, this image is already late. The ARF review was posted a couple of months ago.
Anyways, you can see that there’s metallic green on the upper part of the arm and there’s that metallic blue on the white armor. These are from the Unibagll Signo pens I have. There are no snap fitting issues here and adding super glue on some of the parts are optional.
As for the articulation, they feature the same range like ARF obviously. Even the wrist part is also articulated.
Shoulder Armor/Upper Body Unit:
Unlike the Astray Red Frame, the Blue Frame has 2nd Revise have a different design and features more parts.
There were several loose parts here including those yellowish parts. Be sure to take note of this black part (L6) where you will insert the arm’s main male peg. It sometimes pops off during posing.
I added some metallic blue detailing here again just to add more color. I placed the green foil stickers here. I’m supposed to avoid the foil stickers but I had certain doubts.
The shoulder armor features nice articulation where you can move the flaps on the back. The encircle part can be moved too and the same thing goes for the back. This blue flap under the shoulder can be pushed inside but I haven’t tested it much what changes does it give to the arm’s articulation.
Halfway done. :)
|all leg parts|
|single leg parts|
I used the metallic blue on this part and I like the outcome.
So here’s the finished right leg and the left one is on the other side.
As for issues, this piston gave me a lot of pain. I can’t get it pass through the tube so I had to trim the hole it’s supposed to go through. Just be careful when doing so or else you might break the piston. The black parts for the feet are very tight as well.
The vents attached on the back of the leg tend to pop off quickly. I didn’t make any changes on the slots (trimming, sanding) but they still pops off, so I had no choice but to apply some super glue. I’m not sure if this issue also occurs on Bandai.
These are just minor issues for my side and what's important is the artcilation or range of movement for the legs. Generally, they are pretty much the same like ARF.
And unlike the ARF (Astray Red Frame), each foot have blades for close combat.
Well you get the same parts here for the waist with the inner frame and polycaps changed to blue. But you get another black part that you can attach on the back.
As for the issues, well there were only several tight parts and that’s it. That means snap fitting is okay for me.
LOL. I attached this black part upside down but it kind of looked cool. I will do it right once I completed the whole mode. :D
The articulation is so-so in my opinion or I guess it was just fitting for ABF, because the front and side skirts are already small. The front and side skirts uses a ball-joint system so moving it to your desired range is limited.
The ABF can now stand and the weapons are next.
So here are your parts for the Tactical Arms. If compared to Astray Red Frame’s TA II L, this one features lesser parts.
Fitting the mechanical arm’s pegs into the polycaps was a real pain because they were really tight. I had doubts if I should trim them just to fit them neatly. Well, after a few struggle I managed to fit them inside. Although, I will have to remove the other half of the blades again just to show the swords mode.
Overall snap fitting is good and the only issue here is the white fins that tend to pop off. There are some cases when you pull the handle (when transforming to Flight mode), this rod-like part is pulled off from the polycaps. This is not of a big issue and I’m just saying other stuff I’ve noticed.
When it comes to articulation, the tactical arms features nice movable parts because of the different modes you can do. I will show them later in the Completed Model section.
Two close-combat knives are also added to the Astray Blue Frame 2nd L and that is the Armor Schneider. They have a different design compared to the Armor Schneider of Strike Gundam that can be folded. This one shares a similar design to the real combat army knives. Great detailing but can't be folded though.
The two other parts you see are some sort of ammunition (not sure) that you can attach on the tactical arms. I forgot to add them on the Waist Unit section. :v
I’m also not sure but I think this is the action base design for 1/144s. Correct me if I’m wrong. :v
Anyways, both ARF and ABF share the same action base design. You will need to use this action base to support the model when posing using the TA. After all, the Tactical Arms is a heavy weapon that will surely pull him down.
A little issue here is that the part underneath that connects these two bases is a bit loose. I added some blutac to hold them firmly.
As you see in the pictures, these are the range of movement you can do on the stand.
The dry transfers were not bad, but not that good either. The orange or reddish markings are easily removed from the backing paper after a few scrubs. The white markings on the other hand take a lot of time until they stick to the surface of the part.
As for the clear stickers, I did used them because they were not that bad as well. It was requested by the client anyways.
I can only lift the leg this high up in front and you get to lift it sideways up to this point (check images). Maybe I'm just doing it wrong. :v
It doesn’t have any problems if you bend the legs and the articulation range remains the same.
As for the arms, the movement range is reduced because of the shoulder armors or upper body unit.
You may be able to pull the arms outward due to the body’s mechanism where a portion of the shoulder joints can be moved.
The Tactical Arms:
I haven’t shown the features or gimmicks this weapon can do earlier so I will show some of them. The huge Tactical Arms needs the action base in order to pose it like this.
The thrusters can be moved sideways and the fins, as mentioned earlier, can be moved as well. The Tactical Arms is composed of 3 segments and 2 of them are the bladed sides.
The middle section of the Tactical Arms has the Gatling gun and the handle at its end. It features a really nice articulation because of the forms it can do. I will show a few images of them.
First, you get the Flight Form which is seen in the back of the construction manual. Sorry for the blurry images by the way.
I don’t have any decent action bases left so that’s my only image to show for the Flight Form. Sorry about that. :/
The other form is where you can use the TA as gatling gun. The two blades on the sides will act as stand on the ground. The black parts attached on the back skirt can be placed on top on the middle section. This was the only near-decent image I have and the rest were deleted due to bad quality. :/
There aren’t any issues here except for that handle. It’s a bit long so I had trouble moving the arms.
One of the forms I love here in ABF is the Sword Form that kind of looks like a giant bladed tonfa. :v
It’s quite heavy so you will have to insert the Tactical Arm’s pegs to the back of the arms. It has the same idea you do on the GN Sword from 00 7S I think.
And because these weapons are heavy, you can use the middle part (gatling gun) of the Tactical Arms to add weight on the back. This will also give you the option of using the action base’s peg and attach it on the back of the TA as extra support.
Finally, you get the other form where ABF uses it as a huge buster or great sword. It’s really heavy and you will need the action base to hold it.
I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to hold the Tactical Arms on the front so I just used this pose instead. :v
I would like to apologize I rushed things again because the following day when I finished this kit is the last day for submission of entries in GBWC 2016. I had some errand on this event.
So this is the my short review about Daban Model’s Astray Blue Frame Second L.
And now, here are my personal ratings. I had to change some few things again here on my final comments.
|design inspired from GDC cards|
Plastic Quality: 6/10
Because the kit was an earlier product of Daban Model, the plastic quality isn’t that as good as you expect from the new Daban Model kits. The plastic is glossy so that’s a good pointer when compared to TT Hongli. When it comes to the plastic’s _______, it’s not that soft so trimming it with only the hobby knife isn’t a problem. There were still some darkish spots if even if you use progressive sanding on the nubs, but it shows better finish than my usual hobby knife trimming.
There were several loose parts particularly on the thumb. Both thumbs on the arms unit have a tendency to be pulled out during posing. That’s the only problem that needs to be taken care of quickly.
As for the inner frame, the problems for was the piston and the polycaps. I had several painful experiences when fitting the pegs into these polycaps. Everywhere else fits just fine if there aren’t any polycaps involed. I had fun building it even though I already tried the Astray Red Frame before.
I haven’t checked the other Gundam Astrays because they were in the 1/100 no-scale line. The Astray Red Frame Kai was the only kit I have seen and built. I love the ARF more than the ABF. On the other hand, I love the ABF’s Tactical Arms because of the gatling. The Shoulder Armor was way too big and it could have been nice it has a smaller one like ARF.
As for the detailing when compared to Bandai, not all edges are sharp and the panel lines aren’t that visible. There were uneven molded edges and several flashes here and there. I think the kit is at least 80% close to Bandai’s work. It could be lower than 80% because of the visible plastic issues like the flashes.
I was a bit disappointed when checking the arm’s movement range. The yellow part on top of the shoulder hits the body thus hindering its posing. The legs however, have good articulation and movement range
I asked for some corrections regarding these segments and I was told that the Gimmicks segment should be about the features the MS or the actual MS from the series doesn’t have. Well as for my experience here in ABF Second L, I didn’t find any unusual gimmicks. I guess I didn’t have time to explore the kit because like I said, I was in a hurry. Maybe some of these gimmicks are in the Tactical Arms. So you can point me out on any of them.
The ARF features two cool katanas and ABF have these armor Schneider that doesn’t give much of a cool factor for me. The ABF have melee or close-range weapons on the feet though. Other than that, the Tactical Arms is the only main weapon for ABF that gives the most points because of the forms it can do.
Extras : 5/10
Yes, this kit features an extra runner copied from Bandai. You can use these different backpack adapters giving you the option for other wings and backpack units. But even with these add-ons, I had to give a low rating because that was just it. :P
Patience : 5/10
I'm giving it a 5 because it's not that hard to finish. Sanding doesn't take too much time either because most of the gates (or would be nubs) are small.
Beginners could try this out but should be careful on the mentioned parts with issues, particularly on Runner H's number 1 piece.
Overall Rating: 7/10
I like the Astray Red Frame more than the Blue Frame but I’m giving it a good rating because of the neat features it still possess. And it would be great if you would get Bandai to avoid a lot of cleaning.
It was nice of Bandai to feature it with backpack adapters giving the builders some options when it comes to mash-ups, then Daban just copied it here.
I can’t say much for this kit but it was a good one that even the beginners could start with it. The flaws can’t be avoided quickly considering the fact this is a bootleg kit. But you can use the challenges to train yourself when you get the chance to have a Bandai kit. I’m not saying you should get the bootleg version before getting the Bandai version. Think of it like this – if the bootleg kits are the Hard mode of a certain game, then you will remember the things you must avoid and things you must always do. If you apply them as a habit each time you build a new kit whether they are bootleg or Bandai, the result would be less troublesome. This advice isn’t just about Daban Model’s Astray Blue Frame, but to all the kits in the bootleg side.
Okay, if you are planning to paint the kit, a colleague of mine mentioned that it should be sanded very nicely. And like I said, there are lots of flashes so you must check them out. If you are planning to use Daban Model’s ABF to get parts for your Bandai one, only the inner frame would be good. The detailing on the outside isn’t as sharp as Bandai so it will be recognizable among keen eyes. If there are scraps, then using the kit for modding isn’t a problem I think. :P
Anyways, that’s all for my review here in Gundam or Fighter Astray Blue Frame Second L. I hope this short review can help you out.