Sunday, December 16, 2018

[Kit Insight] Bandai Figure-Rise Standard 1/12 Ultraman [B Type] (Painted Build)

The Ultraman represents a bold new Figure-rise Standard for humanoid model kits.

A sequel to the classic Ultraman series that many oldies like me grew up with, the new Ultraman raises more questions than it answers, such as why the armour? Is the armour as durable as the Ultraman's skin? Why? 

The ongoing manga series serves to answer some of those questions but I'll leave that reading to you in your own free time. In summary, the Ultraman suit is used by the son of Ultraman's human host who now has the Ultra Factor with which he uses to battle extraterrestrial threats.

Right off the bat, the Ultraman [B Type] looks and feels very much like an Iron Man suit, with boxy angles layered over the sleek curves of organic muscle. It actually looks like Ultraman in a custom-made Iron Man suit, and that's pretty close to the truth. Nevertheless, the techno-organic design of the new Ultraman checks many of my boxes and the model kit hits it out of the park.

While Bandai is not the first manufacturer to produce an Ultraman [B Type] model kit, it is the first to produce it in the 1/12 scale that is easier to store. The set also comes with a signed poster of the box art by the designer, which only slightly justifies the pretty lofty price point of S$55.  

The LED unit bundled with the set is arguably the main draw of the kit, featuring a twin LED setup that lights up both the head and torso of the Ultraman. The torso LED also changes colour with a tap of the button, replicating the red crisis colour!

In terms of part count and separation, one can expect a little more than the usual treatment Bandai accords to modern High Grade model kits. Out of the box, the Ultraman model kit comes with parts molded in coated silver and glossy red, which is already pretty decent. However, there are some nub marks that mar an otherwise fantastic stock kit, necessitating a complete paint-over:
  1. Tamiya Silver Leaf
  2. Red Fox Bright Silver
  3. Bosny Aluminium Silver
  4. Tamiya Metallic Red
  5. Tamiya Pure Metallic Red
  6. Tamiya Gun Metal
  7. Red Fox Flat Black
  8. Mr. DIY Sparkling Black 

The Ultraman B Type comes with a variety of accessories, including fists, open hands along with three pairs of interchangeable forearm parts and a plethora of clear blue Specium effect parts. These consist of a pair of disc cutters and beam blades, the latter of which tend to break easily if pushed too hard in its housing unit. The best accessory within the Ultraman's arsenal is definitely the Specium Beam, the legendary special attack. The huge part can be mounted on either forearm.

The Ultraman also comes with a huge beam cannon called the MARS-133 Kai Specium Rifle, which is actually a little overkill. While big and long, the weapon is actually pretty easy to wield.

At 1/12 scale, the Ultraman towers over HG 1/144 mobile suits, although the Super Fumina is slightly larger. The Ultraman actually scales perfectly with Kotobukiya Frame Arms Girls!


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