Saturday, May 30, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGBF 1/144 Petit'gguy [Future Pink] (Straight Build)

This tiny little thing looks cute and takes about ten minutes to build, but costs around S$10. I can't decide if Bandai is crazy or the people who actually build it at retail price are crazier.

You can build an ARMY of these little fellas!

[Kit Insight] 高高模型 1/100 Akatsuki Gundam (Silver Chrome Ver.) (Straight Build)

For a bootleg, this is pretty good. However, quality control has some jarring issues, as expected of a bootleg. But how often can you build a silver chrome Akatsuki!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[Accessory Analysis] Builders Parts HD 1/144 MS Sword 01

Seems like Bandai is trying to introduce more weapon options apart from their System Weapon series, not that I'm complaining!

These Swords are really nice: long, detailed and exceptionally perceptible. They come with the standard pegs that fit into most polycaps and ports, but that won't stop the hardcore modelers from using new joinery systems altogether. 

The set is quite generous, comes with two long swords, two armatures for them to flip out a la the Exia's GN Sword, two daggers which resemble rocket anchor tips as well as hardpoints for storing them.

I must say, those long swords look really sick!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

[Kit Insight] Takara Tomy 1/72 Liger Red Hiou (Zoids Generations) [Light Build]

I've always held an enduring fascination with Zoids: mechanical constructs designed to look like biological organisms fired up the imagination within my childhood mind, spanning imaginary battles that shook earth and shattered tectonic plates. 
I always wanted a Zoid, but I never got around to getting one.
Until now.
This particular Liger is different from the rest of its trademark mascots: it is pink. A mail-order, festival-exclusive, limited edition Holotech version of the Liger Zero offered by Dengenki Hobby in 2007, the Hiou is hard to find and even harder to get, and you will see why once I get it assembled.
If I can only have one Zoid, make it a limited edition one!
But I must say, the pre-painted parts on the molded parts are a GREAT touch, perfect for lazy or casual modeler who just does not want to do any painting. Bandai should consider doing that as well!
The Hiou is more or less a straight build, with only certain parts of the frame updated with metallic red, the blue bolts improved with Light Metallic Blue, the chest cannon recoloured silver, the thrusters coated with Light Gun Metal and the claws repainted to silver chrome. I also removed the tail cannon as I felt it was unneeded, impractical and cramping the Hiou's sleek look and style.
Sexiness of this magnitude really doesn't need additional embellishment.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

[Kit Insight] Kotobukiya 1/144 Vardant [Linebarrels of Iron] (Straight Build)

To be honest, I've only seen like five minutes of the Linebarrels of Iron anime series, but it looks slick, polished and quite awesome for a mecha series. This particular Linebarrel however, looks to be the meanest of the lot, with a samurai-esque appearance coupled with the patron limit break of all calm, collected pilots: coffin swords.

Kotobukiya kits build similarly to Bandai kits, but their instructions are very much more condensed and the quality of the parts feel a tad fragile as compared to the solid Bandai molds. Nevertheless, the finished product is quite the sight to behold - especially with the arrayed coffins - but suffers from some fitment as well as articulation issues.

[Kit Insight] HGBF 1/144 XM-X1[MS] Crossbone Gundam X1 Full Cloth (Minovsky Stealth Mode) (Painted Build)

The community is still waiting with bated breath for the inevitable release of the HGUC Crossbone Gundam X1 Full Cloth, which is essentially a souped-up, upgraded version of the original X1, itself already a masterpiece of mobile suit design. Therefore, when Lucas Nemesis debuted his own version of the Full Cloth, fans worldwide metaphorically (hopefully not literally) shit their collective pants. Yes, the GBFT version looks a little different from the HGUC version, but its still a Full Cloth, right? Furthermore, the mobile suit managed to hold its own against both the Transient and The End together, that one-on-two battle sequence being one of the most memorable in GBFT.

Friday, May 15, 2015

[Metal Build] Bandai Tamashii Nations Metal Build 1/100 ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam (Second Issue)

I have a love-hate relationship with Metal Builds: I love them for their exceedingly fine detailing, superior articulation and excellent build quality, but hate them for the prices they command. Seriously, a single Metal Build can net you an entire series of HGs, but the return on investment is arguably higher for a Metal Build.

The first release of the Metal Build Freedom Gundam was fraught with quality control issues, chipped paint and loose joints, which really dampens the experience with a Metal Build. Therefore, it came somewhat as a surprise when Bandai & Tamashii Nations re-released the Freedom, with far greater quality control that nullified many of the flaws found in the first release.

And at S$168, this is one of the more affordable Metal Builds in the market.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

[Kit Insight] MC Model HG 1/144 AMX-004-2 Quebeley MK-II (Light Build)

MC Model has always been an outstanding third party model kit manufacturer, all things considered. Not content with just ripping off Bandai by the runner and producing inferior copies of already-released model kits, MC Model has researched, created and produced reimaginations of popular mobile suits, most notably the Nu Gundam and Hi-Nu Gundam. These revised variants feature far greater detail, proportions and accessories than the original, and for only half the price. Therefore, if you have to buy a third party kit, let MC Model be your choice,

When MC Model released the AMX-004 Quebeley (Haman Karn Custom), the Gunpla community got really excited. Largely superior to the Bandai version in terms of proportions, size and visual aesthetics, the HG-scale was only constrained by weak mobility and poor articulation, especially within the near-static elbows. However, the action base with butterfly effect packaged with the kit made up for it somewhat, and the funnel display parts allowed the Quebeley's core weapons to be more than just inert Newtype devices.

So when MC Model announced the AMX-004-2 Quebeley MK-II, the community was once again thrilled. Showcasing revised joints that improved elbow articulation, the MK-II also came in a special hue of glossy purple, and builders had the option to create either the regular MK-II or the mass production version that comes with a different head unit, feet unit, 30 funnels and a pair of movable cannons mounted on armatures stemming from the back of the torso. Furthermore, for the price of Bandai's own HGUC Quebeley MK-II, this MC Model version was significantly more value for money.

Despite the hype, the MK-II is still sadly lacking. Although many flaws in the first Quebeley have been fixed (elbows, head tilt, etc.), many inherent problems still exist. Even if the kit looks great, the torso doesn't have sufficient mass and strength to hold up the entire kit. Promotional material for the MK-II almost always illustrates the kit in a flight pose or on a display stand, this is probably the reason.

As with third party kits, parts do not have the luxury of Bandai-grade engineering and quality control, with some tricky bits (the 30 funnels) requiring careful positioning and then some elbow grease and bruised fingertips to get in. Some parts just do not fit in at all: the ball part of the ankle joints CANNOT fit into the according socket. It is really frustrating.

The result is a Quebeley that can look better if it manages to stand up straight. Well, at least the hands are beautiful.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGUC 1/144 LM312V04-D2 V-Dash Gundam Type 2 [Intra-Colony Warfare Spec.] (Painted Build)

Model Number: LM312V04-D2 V-Dash Gundam Type 2 [Intra-Colony Warfare Spec.]
Designation: League Militaire Mass Produced Mobile Suit for Colony Combat

A mass production variant of the original V-Dash Gundam piloted by Uso Ewin, this cheaper, simplified version (referred to as Type 2 for convenience) retains the well-rounded combat superiority of the original while keeping costs down to enable the League Militaire to mass produce and field more of these high performance mobile suits against their BESPA adversaries. 

This particular V-Dash series is outfitted and tuned for combat within colonies, with the Overhang backpack and all verniers/thrusters calibrated to compensate for the increased gravitation within colonies. This allows for greater maneuverability and agility in high-G environments, giving the Type 2 a much needed edge in mobile suit combat against BESPA adversaries. 

The Type 2's colour scheme is also updated to a more tactical one, helping the mobile suit to better blend into the urban sprawl of colony habitats. Retaining all of the weapons from the original, the Intra-Colony Warfare Spec Dash is equipped with a lower output (cheaper) Beam Smart Gun, a lower powered pair of Overhang beam cannons, the standard beam rifle, beam sabers as well as beam shields. The head unit has been changed to a cheaper "rabbit ear" Hexa version to improve survivability, as BESPA mobile suits usually view mobile suits with V-Fins as high priority targets. Commander versions of the Type 2 however, can have Gundam-type head units, if the pilot so requests.

This kit holds the distinction of being the first custom painted only with Anchor DPI spray paint, I usually use Tamiya with only a little Anchor.

[Kit Insight] Bandai 1/500 Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Light Build)

The Yamato is a classic, be it the World War 2 monster or the sci-fi rendition of that World War 2 monster. It is the amalgamation of Japanese military ambition, manifested in a seemingly obsolete weapon of war that still manages to strike fear into the engine rooms of any contemporary warship it faced. It was huge, insanely well-armed and armoured, as well as crewed by the most exceptional of men. The Yamato had a few big sticks, and was not afraid to use it.