Kit review: HGCE 1/144 Rising Freedom Gundam

Using all previous operational data from the ZGMF-X20A Strike Freedom Gundam, the unit was designed to incorporate convertible technology acquired by Orb through the MVF-M11C Murasame. This machine marks the return of Kira Yamato 20 years after we last saw him in Gundam Seed Destiny.
The HGCE 1/144 Rising Freedom Gundam is the first model kit of the Gundam Seed Freedom (movie) series, along with the HGCE 1/144 Immortal Justice.

– Info: 
HGCE 1/144 Rising Freedom Gundam 
Series: Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Freedom 
Price: 2640 yen 
Release date: Jan 28, 2024

– Design:
On the exterior, the Rising Freedom has the design of the original Freedom Gundam with a beam rifle, large shield, and wings that can open to reveal two plasma beam cannons inside. Its main colour scheme has more bright blue patches on the upper body than the black-and-white colour scheme of the original Freedom. However, because it is still based on Strike Freedom, many details include V-fin, arm armour with beam shield, and 2 rail cannons on the sides.
In addition, it also has different characteristics compared to both previous Freedom models: blue eyes, thruster-exposed shoulder armour, pointed toes, and two additional large thrusters mounted on the back.

– Build quality: The plastic quality of this kit is very good, and the nubs are easy to handle (except for the green parts. You need to be careful when handling or they will easily leave white streaks). One point that made everyone the most worried when its latest images were released was the decal sheet. It uses a lot of decals, mainly white lines on the wings and the thrusters. However, due to inheriting new technologies after the HG TWFM series, Rising Freedom still separates parts very well, so you do not need to use decals (the sample illustrated in this review only uses eye decals). Of course, to have the most complete kit, I encourage you to paint it.

– Articulation: As advertised when first launched, Rising Freedom uses a new joint system to increase the range of motion of this new HGCE line called “SEED Action System”. To visualise, this matching system will be quite similar to HGCE Destiny and HGCE Infinite Justice but more complete: 

+ The neck joint can be pushed deeper so it no longer gets entangled with the body.

+ The shoulder joint uses a double joint system to help increase the shoulder’s range of motion, especially moving forward (like Destiny and Infinite Justice).

+ The torso joint uses a new joint system with 2 inner core parts to help it fold deeper in all 4 directions.

+ The hip joint has also been changed with 2 parts that can be pushed up and down at any time to help increase leg amplitude without getting caught by the surrounding armour parts.

+ The ankle joint is changed to a c-clip type to move deeper to the sides, helping it increase the amplitude of the contact surface of the foot. In particular, this joint has been cleverly designed by partially hollowing out the inner contact surface so that the c-clip part does not have to endure pressure leading to joint fracture.

– Gimmicks: In addition to changes to the articulation system, Rising Freedom also has a lot of “interesting” gimmicks.:

+ Wings: Of course, because this is Freedom, it cannot lack wings. Although it is based on the Strike Freedom, the Rising Freedom’s wing structure is similar to that of the original Freedom. It consists of three layers: two large outer layers and one small inner layer with a Hyper Impulse Gun on each side. The wings can be deployed in a joint system to create typical Freedom dynamic poses.

+ Full Burst Mode: This attack move is Freedom’s 20-year brand. At this time, 2 Hyper Impulse Guns on the wingsuit, and 2 Railguns on the sides along with the beam rifle will be pushed up in the same direction to attack.

+ MA Mode: The most special feature of Rising Freedom compared to other Freedom models is that it has a transformation mechanism into a Mobile Armour (Air fighter-like mobile suit). When transformed, it will only fold the aircraft’s head above its head, extend the two rear thrusters, and attach the shield with the gun below. Not only that, the 2 extra wings at the front of the plane and 2 other extra wings on each leg are pulled up. Relatively mechanism is similar to Re-Z Gundam instead of Murasame (data transformation mechanism). In this form, the wings can still be opened comfortably.

Accessories: Due to the original Freedom’s style, Rising Freedom’s equipment is almost identical:

+ X1 High Energy Beam Rifle: A beam rifle commonly used by MS in the SEED series. The difference is that the gun’s head is a large block instead of a long gun head.

+ X2 “Viper 3” Railgun: Two railguns are mounted on both sides of the hips. Its design is similar to Strike Freedom’s two railguns, with two beam sabers mounted on the sides (instead of the top like the original Freedom). The gun body, when pushed up, can be extended to increase its length (this gimmick is quite similar to MG Strike Freedom).

+ X2 Hyper Impulse Gun “Sturmsvaha”: 2 cannons are mounted on the inside of the wings. When in use it will be folded forward with a swivel joint. It can be used any time the wings are open or folded.

+ X2 Beam Saber: 2 beam sabers similar to those of HGCE Strike Freedom. The tail of each has a connecting pin to attach two beams like in the anime.

+ X1 “Invictus” Beam Shield: Similar to Strike Freedom, Rising Freedom has 2 beam shields mounted on both arms. However, similar to HGCE Strike Freedom, Bandai only gives us an effect part that can only be used on one arm by attaching it between the arm armor and the red part above.

+ X1 Flash Edge G-3 Shield Boomerang: This is a shield that integrates many functions like Infinite Justice’s shield. It can be used as a shield mounted on the left hand like the original Freedom or as a large boomerang. When in Boomerang form, it can open the two wings on both sides of the shield and attach a beam effect. Its usage is similar to Infinite Justice’s Fatum-01 backpack.

In addition, we will only have one additional opening hand on the left arm and a base connection part for MA Mode.
–> Overall: HGCE Rising Freedom Gundam is the first HG model kit in the SEED FREEDOM series. Although it is slightly more expensive than the average HG kit, it demonstrates extremely good new technologies, from design to gimmick. Compared to HGCE Freedom or HGCE Strike Freedom launched many years ago, it has shown a remarkable improvement in manufacturing Bandai’s HG model kit. This kit will be a worthy model for you to start collecting Gunpla even if you are not a fan of the Gundam SEED FREEDOM series due to its high-quality and building experience.