donderdag 25 augustus 2011

And now for something completely different.

Hello friends and followers, all 5 of you :-) It's the end of the month and you all know what that means. It's time for a new entry for A Regiment A Month. Those of you who came here today expecting the next Confederate regiment for my Confederate ACW army will have to wait a little bit longer. My short attention span has made sure that the next batch of the Perry's little fellas will remain on my paint station a little while longer. After seeing Patrick's Khador battlegroup last month I was thinking (yes I actually do that from time to time) "Hey, I've got a Cygnar army somewhere gathering dust.". So I decided on revamping my Cygnar jacks. Not only my old Jacks but also some new additions from eBay. But then Tomsche (him again) came with an idea. He wanted to start taking some pictures for his Gundamiun projects and asked to bring along any Gundams we had ready. Ready you say? Strike Rouge was assembled, and there was some paint on it, well only a layer of grey primer, but primer is also paint, ... anyway, lot's of work to be done.

MBF-02 Strike Rouge

The Strike Rouge is a mobile suit using spare parts from the GAT-X105 Strike that was in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and its sequel Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Its primary pilot is the Princess of Orb Cagalli Yula Athha. After the first Strike was destroyed outside the territory of the Orb Union, a different Strike model was built, using spare parts of the originial suit. This Strike variant, called the Strike Rouge, was built on the Kusanagi during the last days of the first Bloody Valentine War and piloted by Cagalli, who used the suit for a short time during the Second Battle of Jachin Due. Among her actions was the rescue of Athrun Zala, who detonated his suit inside GENESIS to prevent it from firing on Earth.

Weapons wise, the Strike Rouge features the exact same weaponry as the original GAT-X105 Strike. This includes the two head-mounted CIWS guns, two combat knifes and a beam rifle.
Like the Strike, the Strike Rouge was always equipped with a Striker Pack. The most commonly used was the Aile Striker, which added additional two beam sabers to the armament. Besides the Aile Striker, the suit also was known to be equipped with the Integrated Weapons Striker Pack, or IWSP. This pack combined the best aspects of the Aile, Launcher and Sword packs from the original Strike. It included a large number of additional weaponry to the suit's armament, including railguns, cannons, anti-ship swords and a combined shield, mounting a gatling gun and a beam boomerang.
Like the Strike, the Strike Rouge was equipped with Phase Shift armor, although the active colours were red and pink (due to minor improvements in the efficiency of the Phase Shift armor system, which would later developed into Variable Phase Shift although some say this is because the makers simply wanted a girly pink suit for a female pilot, the Princess of Orb no less) rather than the blue, red and white of the first Strike. The suit also features a "power extender" system to increase battery life, as well as a Natural-OS and a pilot-assisting AI computer system.

The Strike Rouge remained operational until mid CE 74, and was used as Cagalli's personal mobile suit after she and the crew of the Archangel left Orb. She launched in her suit several times to convince the Orb forces not to fight against the Minerva, although with little success. When the Archangel returned to Orb Kira launched into space with the Strike Rouge and used it briefly to protect the Eternal. Those who watched the series may have noticed that Strike Rouge at this point no longer sported the red/pink armor it had while Cagali was it's pilot but rather the original red/blue/white armor. According to the makers of the show this was because prior to launch Kira adjusted the settings for the Phaseshift Armor to his own preferred specifications. We can't have our hero flying around in a girly pink Gundam, now could we :-) The Strike Rouge however was no match against ZAFT's newer and more powerful mobile suits and was heavily damaged in this battle. Aboard the Eternal Kira switched to piloting the new Strike Freedom while on Earth Cagaly was now flying the ORB-01 Akatsuki. With both of its pilots equipped with newer and more powerful mobile suits, the Strike Rouge did not see battle again and it remains questionable if it was ever repaired or simply decommissioned.

Cagali Yula Athha's shield devise : The Lion of Orb

Rear view of the Strike Rouge with IWSP. Fans of the series may notice the  colors of the IWSP  are different. I've opted to use red to match the colors of the original Aiel Striker Pack rather than the grey/white of the IWSP.

Strike Rouge with IWSP, beam rifle and combined gatling-shield. The "wing" sticking out of the shield is the rear end of the Beam Boomerang

Strike Rouge with beam rifle and normal shield. As I didn't glue the joints, the model is still capable of many different poses. For this reason I have also opted not to give it a base for now.
Strike Rouge with IWSP, beam rifle and gatling-shield
Strike Rouge with IWSP and dual anti-ship swords

Another pic of Strike Rouge with rifle and original shield
Strike Rouge with IWSP, gatling-shield and dual anti-ship swords

One last thing about the IWSP. Nowhere during GUNDAM SEED and GUNDAM SEED Destiny does Cagali fly her Gundam equiped with the IWSP. While the IWSP was designed by Morgenroete Inc, to increase the capabilities of the Strike design by combining the other Striker packs into one multi-role pack, the advanced weapons controls proved too complicated for Cagali to master in the short time between the packs completion and the end of the war, so she never used the IWSP in an actual combat even though it was made for her Strike Rouge. During the next war, Orb provided the IWSP to Phantom Pain. They equiped it on Waid Rabby Nadaga's Slaughterdagger and later on the Strike-E, also known as Strike Noir.

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