Being an enemy of Celestial Being in the first half of Gundam 00’s first season is a tough gig. Most of the conflicts ended up being merciless curbstomps in the face of the overwhelming technological that existed between the GN-drive powered gundams and the contemporary weapons of the day – it was kind of like a fight between a lightsaber and a foam noodle. However, despite the odds, there arose a few individuals who were proven to be capable of dealing with the pseudo-terrorist menace. Graham Acker and his Over Flag squadron were among them.
The Over Flags were specifically designed to counter the Gundam threat. By thinning the armour of the standard Union Flag, these newer machines sacrifice durability in favour of speed and agility since conventional armour has proven to be useless against the advanced arsenal of the Gundams. A tri-barrel 200mm/60mm linear rifle was also implemented on the Over Flags to give them a little more firepower. These fighting machines were piloted with the Union’s best and represent the pride of the nation, but does the 1/100 scale model live up to the Over Flag’s lofty status in the anime? For the most part, yes.
Aesthetics are the Over Flag strong point. Its sleek black appearance and industrial design makes it reminiscent of real-life stealth aircrafts. Small details such as the turbines and air vents on the shoulders and backpacks are visible upon closer inspection – a definite advantage over not only its 1/144 HG counterpart, but its depiction in the anime as well.
Unfortunately, some of the white parts are not moulded in the correct colours. These include the collar fins, the ends of the defence rod, and the base of the linear rifles. The included foil stickers do not do a very good job at compensating for these inconsistencies as they have to be wrapped around edged or round surfaces. Fortunately, a bit of white paint can easily counteract this problem.
There are two fist-like hands that are capable of gripping onto the weapons, as well as an open-palm right land. However, hand-swapping is extremely difficult. This is because the ball and the wrist are separate parts. This means that if one is to pull on the attached hand, the ball on the joint would come off with it. The only choice then is to bend the hand sideways in hopes of popping it off, but I noticed some stress marks forming as I attempted in doing so. The wrist is a very poorly-conceived design.
The forearms can open up to reveal two foldable sonic blades, once in each arm. Included separately are a pair of beam sabers (technically plasma sabers emitted from the sonic blades). However, each saber consists of only one colourless clear component – this means the handle is clear as well. The fingers on the hands are not articulated. The defence rod can be mounted on either elbow and is rotatable around its centre axis.
There are two stickers for the shaft of the linear rifle, one of which is the standard white colour and the other is Graham Acker’s signature blue. It also has three different foldable handles placed on the sides and bottom, allowing for a number of different configurations with which the gun can be held.
The wings on the Over Flag’s backpacks have been nothing but a pain. The flaps designed to haphazardly fit onto wings. However, they do not have much holding strength and I find myself constantly picking up and re-attaching them. A set of open flaps are also included. The wings themselves can tilt upwards and downwards, and even forward and backwards to accommodate the various flight configurations of the flight form. When in MS form, the lower wings significantly inhibits the movement of the arms since they are right behind the arms in a regular standing pose.
The legs on this kit are very slender and simple, consisting of just one joint in the each knee. The calves unnaturally long, even by Gundam mechanical design standards. This mean that it can be a little tricky coming up with natural-looking action poses due to how far the Over Flag deviates from human proportions. The shins can even open up to reveal two rockets in each, an interesting gimmick that I never noticed being used in the anime series, but a thoughtful inclusion nonetheless. Each ankle consists of a well-hidden ball joint, and the frontal half of each foot can bit tiled upwards and downwards.
The most notable feature of the Overflag is the transformation gimmick. Save for the landing gears, the transformation from MS mode to flight mode requires no part-swapping. The triangular tips of the kneecaps can be replaced with two pieces of the landing gear, and the crotch also opens up in order to accommodate the frontal landing gear. A crotch clamp is included to be used in conjunction with Action Base 1; it works for both forms. Furthermore, a trio of 1/100 scale figures is included, one of which depicts Graham in his pilot suit and the other two depict a pair of Union military crew members.
There is a prevailing issue of inconsistency in joint strength for this kit: the joints are stiff in all but the key parts. The knee and elbow joints are practically glued together, whereas the shoulder joints and the thigh ball-joints needed white-glue in the polycaps in order to preserve a reasonable level of holding strength. Thankfully, the strength of ankles are plenty enough to support the weight of the suit.
Joint strength side, the articulation for the Over Flag is decent. The single-jointed knees can bend around 90 degrees, while the elbows can muster around 120 degrees. Because of the open design of the hips, the thighs can swing freely backwards and sideways. The shoulders can swing forward by around 35 degrees, and the both “backpacks” can be flipped downwards.
Asides from the issue of inconsistent joint strength (which may be a quality control issue rather than design flaws), the Over Flag is a decent kit. There are a plenty of nice mechanical details to satisfy the sci-fi buff in all of us, and the transformation gimmick is simple and well-executed. The colour inaccuracies are a shame, but as this is not a MG kit, they lie within reasonable perimeters . For a price tag of 2200 yen, the Over Flag is a pretty good deal, especially for those looking to try something unconventional for a change.
Sleek and unique design
Plenty of Mechanical details
Transformable without part-swapping
Wildly inconsistent joint strength
Hand-swapping is extremely difficult due to poor wrist design
Wing flaps tend to fall off very easily
Lousy foil stickers