Just in time for Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury to begin airing, Bandai Hobby has released several original new Gunpla from the show. With its high-tech details, Lfrith snagged our attention from the new show’s prologue. In this review, Nerissa investigates whether the suit’s corresponding 1/144 HG Gundam Lfrith measures up to Lfrith’s impressive anime debut.
At first blush, the HG Gundam Lfrith is both simple and modern. There are very few stickers: the majority are for the green light effects on the chest and head. I decided to build this right after building a run of older kits, so what caught my attention most was the color coding in the manual and a list of which runners you would need for each step. Older kits don’t provide these features, which made finding runners easy—no more rummaging for me!—and streamlined my building process in an incredibly satisfying way.
Color and Design
The Lfrith is tidy and attractive with its white, pink, and green color scheme. My favorite aspect is the stylish shield, segmented to easily change to “Bit-On Form.” The legs joints are quite low, cutting a distinctive silhouette. There are quite a few molded details, especially on the head, that give the design some extra flair.
The chest also has a beautiful luminous centerpiece that left me wondering, “How on earth did they make this?” The answer would appear to be in-mold decoration, which brings a delightful level of detail to the chest. That’s right, the shimmering black-and-red chest piece is not a sticker, but a custom plate made just for the Lfrith Gunpla. The piece is optional and can be replaced without the in-mold lighting, but I’m certainly never swapping mine out.
This kit does its utmost to make building as easy as possible. There were no pain points, no difficult-to-place stickers, and the kit only took me two hours. One slight issue is the shield; while its segments are a fun idea, it takes a bit of delicacy to slot them together without falling off again. Once together, however, it holds itself firm.
The limb pairs are nearly identical and the instruction manual speeds up the process of duplicate pieces as much as possible—for example, there’s a full step dedicated to making all the duplicate arm pieces before you begin actually assembling the arms. Just pay attention while you’re putting the legs together—the knee-joint piece looks about the same upside down, so I spent longer than I’d like to admit wondering why it wouldn’t slot in.
This is where the Lfrith began to let me down. The chest can’t bend forward independent of the waist, preventing twisting poses. Instead, the chest can swivel a full 360 degrees, but I would have preferred the ability to bend it forward and backward.
The legs have incredible back-and-forth freedom, but the feet can’t turn left or right at all. I suspect this is due to the kit having no polycaps, so instead of a ball joint, the feet connect on a C-shaped hinge. The feet are also delicate; they’re wobbly and can’t bend at the heel.
This makes posing the Lfrith on the ground a challenge, as it’s liable to fall over and have balance difficulties. For dynamic poses, the Lfrith is definitely more suitable for an Action Base display.
Extras (weapons, hands, effect parts)
This kit only comes with one pair of closed-hand parts. This was disappointing, especially as the slightly purple-tinged plastic used means there’s little chance of stealing hands off another HG you have.
The weapons quickly helped me forget this disappointment. As stated before, the bit staves are customizable and can be placed on the Lfrith’s back or in its large gun. I prefer the blue beam edge, which adds an edge of violence to the otherwise serene design. The kit also comes with two beam sabers which can be slotted into the backpack when not in use. In fact, basically everything can be put onto the backpack if you want, including the huge gun, which is a fun and helpful addition.
Overall, this kit was a breath of fresh air. The advances in manual design and the shield gimmick make it an easy and customizable kit, and while I expected a few more extras, the suit itself is an exciting glimpse into what The Witch From Mercury has in store.
Nerissa Mercer is an avid Gundam and mecha fan, who got hooked into Gunpla with the Seven Eleven Acguy and hasn’t looked back since. They can be found at @rainmirage_art on Twitter.