Bandai only ever released the MG Build Strike Gundam once, in its Full Package configuration. But given that its mid-season upgrade – the Star Build Strike – is pretty much 90% the same, Bandai decided to spare their poor, blindly loyal fanbase and release all the necessary components for the Star Build Strike as a separate stand-alone package. This would come in the form of the MG Universe Booster.
Starting off with a look at the actual Universe Booster first. This would be the spiritual successor to the actual Build Booster featured on the Full Package, though Sei went ahead and toned it down by a lot.
I did actually end up doing a fair bit of paint detailing on this thing, most notably on the clear orange canopy area. I’m pretty sure Bandai just gave it all as one clear orange piece (I built this a while ago so I’m dredging up the build process from the deepest abysses of my short-lived memory) so I had to go in and paint the gray outline by hand.
For something so small and compact, it does have a fairly complex build, thanks in no small part to all those little clear red bits adoring the fuselage.
The undersides of the clear red pieces were also painted gray to give them a more even look; normally, you would’ve been able to easily see their peg slots through the clear plastic.
Of course, as I mentioned earlier, this set does come with everything you need to convert the original Build Strike into the Star Build.
The only real differences are a pair of swappable calf armors, some new bits to convert the Chobham Shield into the Absorb Shield, and a new rifle add-on that replaces the Enhanced casing we got on the Full Package.
The grand sticker load-out on this kit. Made me so happy. Just as with the Full Package, green bits are included for the lights on the gun, and those two white bits are for the shield. Painted them all for mine though, of course.
Star Build Strike complete.
I like how the suit changes so dramatically from the simple swapping of a booster. The massively predominant blue from the Full Package is all but gone now, replaced by a whole mess of white.
I’m not gonna lie, the Star Build Strike’s rifle is really weird. (It’s officially called the Star Beam Rifle. How cute.) I honestly don’t get the design of having that bit on the top, but I suppose it looks unique? There’s only one barrel as far as I can tell, and I painted it in gray at the tip.
The Absorb Shield is nice; it actually opens! If I recall correctly, the HGBF kit requires part swapping to make this happen. The opening flaps are connected to each other by gears, so pulling one out will automatically move the other.
Star Beam Cannons deployed (official naming schemes strike again).
These cannons can actually slide forward for a bit more length, similar to the MG Strike Freedom’s railguns.
All in all, I’m pretty fond of the new design. The vent clamps that go over the shoulders from the Universe Booster are especially neat.
A part of me still prefers the Full Package though. Something about the Star Build Strike just reeks overpowered to me; I mean yeah its RG system isn’t even activated (I avoided doing a BUILD KNUCKLE-O shot on purpose) but it still feels like it could curb-stomp any other kit in my collection if Gunpla Battle were ever a real thing.
Then again, the real fun’s barely started. It wouldn’t be worth the money if the Universe Booster came with just the booster and those extra conversion parts. No, we need some clear goodness up in here to put the Star in Star Build Strike.
The Plavsky Wing add-ons are rather space-consuming and massive things.
We get a few runners (or maybe just one, I can’t quite remember) of clear blue pieces that you put together to form the wing bases. Another set of clear packets are included with blue holographic wings that you clip into the harder plastic bits with.
Bandai actually went out of their way to include two options for the main wings – articulated or seamless. The articulated version doesn’t look that bad or artificial at all, so I’m not really sure why they even bothered with a rigid bit, but I suppose options are nice.
*cue theme music*
To attach the wings you need to remove a lot of the red bits from the Universe Booster, as technically those are Plavsky particle emitters (I think) that generate the wings.
The articulation in the main wings allows for some nice flapping motion if positioned correctly. Gives me Wing Zero Custom vibes.
Just as it could do in-series, the Absorb Shield’s plug can jack into the Star Beam Rifle for some crazy discharged output.
But that effect wouldn’t be complete without the Plavsky Power Gate.
I’m kind of surprised these pieces were even made in this scale, since they are well and truly massive clear yellow bits. We get a dedicated clear support arm for each.
While the clear pole arms are very articulated and pretty much allow for any configuration you can think of with these things, it is anything but a fun process arranging them. Getting them to line up perfectly with one another is a godly and inhuman feat that only the most accomplished and well-versed Guntokas will be able to accomplish.
The greatest only comes when you combine both the Plavsky Wings and Plavsky Power Gates though. Enough clear connection pegs are included for you to do so, though this configuration is obviously pretty insane.
Not gonna lie though, I find it just a bit humorous how the Plavsky Wing and Plavsky Power Gates are publicized so much in Gunpla form and yet played such minor roles in the series proper. If I recall correctly, the Star Build Strike would only materialize its wings for a moment, and the gate only appeared when it discharged.
Nevertheless, the effect parts are no doubt a major point for this add-on set, and the wings especially look worlds better than its HGBF counterpart. Displaying just the plain ‘ol Star Build Strike on its own without the clear pieces is almost criminal, given the sheer amount of extras that are included.
And, just because it was such an awesome moment in-series…
YOU AND I CAN DO THIS!