Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Figma Sae Review



Why do I have this figure? I haven't seen Hidamari Sketch, I have not heard of the girl named Sae before owning this figure either, nor do I find her really attractive (although she is kinda cute). Maybe it was the glasses that drew me? The simple yet effective and iconic design? The blue hair? I dunno, but I don't know why I bought this figure at the time of reviewing this, and that was the same mindset I had when I actually held the box in my hands for the first time. Regardless, I have this now, and I'll review it to the best of my ability despite my lack of knowledge on anything related to Hidamari Sketch or this character.


Box:



The box is your average modern figma box. With colors that match Sae's hair, it looks clean, formal, and displays the figure through a clear plastic.




On the back we get some product shots showing off the figure and the things it does.


Product:



After googling how Sae looks and the show she's from, I gotta say that figma once again pull off her appearance spectacularly. Her plain appearance is captured well, and the most distinguishable part of her appearance (her face) is printed as well as figma always print them. The sculpting is also pretty good in the dress, there's a folded, asymmetrical sculpt on the apron and even the sleeves which makes it look like a proper wear, otherwise there's really nothing to say about the figure. It's plain and that's the point, nothing wrong with it, but nothing else to say either other than the fact it portrays the character well.


Articulation:



Her head is on a ball joint as average figma have.




Shoulders go up decently but not a lot, same can be said for the inward movement.




The swivel joint on the shoulder doesn't do a whole lot which is a bit disappointing, but the elbow joint has a bit of swivel so you can try to use that. Bending is also quite decent, but also nothing amazing.




Hands are on the old style peg and hinge style joint, not great but they work.




She doesn't have much of an abcrunch or waist mobility at all due to her apron.




Her skirt is flexible so it doesn't hinder movement much at all, and her knee bend is also pretty damn good.




Feet are a bit tricky (sorry for the bad photo), they don't really rock or move back that much, but they work decently well. Overall poseability is pretty average for a figma with some small limitations due to age and design.


Accessories:



For accessories, we really don't get much aside from the standard figma stuff.




You get a plastic bag for storing the accessories like always.




You get a stand on 3 joints like always and it works like a charm.




You get an adaptor for some reason which is really not needed when you already have a stand like that.




You get 5 pairs of hands. Widespread open hands on the figure, fists, holding hands, victory pose hands, and relaxed open hands.




You also get an alternate face expression, but only one. Asides from the default smiling expression, there's also an embarrassed expression you can use by pulling out the hair fringe and swapping the faces like all figma. On top of that, Sae actually includes two pairs of glasses that fit onto two notches in her hair fringe piece. One of them is see through, and the other is opaque to represent the lens for the types of poses where you might want to see her eyes from certain angles.




You can even take the glasses off if you choose to.




Sadly there aren't any real ways you can get a proper pose for adjusting glasses, so this is the best I could do.




The final accessory is an alternate head part which allows you to change the character to Nori. Yes, this figure is a 2 in 1 technically. Personally, I would've preferred more accessories and facial expressions instead of this, since you'll only display one in the end, and if you want both, you need two figures anyways, so there's no real point in the end.




Still it works, and while the face is swappable, there are no other faces to use it with.




Her pigtails are also moveable, but fall off really easily.


Size Comparison:



Average figma size, not too big, not too small. Just under the size of a standard 1/144 Gundam.


Verdict:


Reviewing and messing a while with this figure, and I've come to the conclusion that really this is just a barebones figma release for the fans of the anime and characters of Sae and Nori, absolutely nothing more. Poseability and appearance are average for a figma of it's time, and while the factors don't do anything too wrong, it doesn't do anything really amazing either. Accessories are a bit lacking, and while it can be argued that it's because she comes from a SOL show where not much happens, I feel like some art tools like a paintbrush or notebook could've done nice. Adding to this, Nori's head is pointless and should've been a separate releases, because in the end you'll be displaying only one, and in any case, you'll just be buying one figure unless you want both, in which case, you need to buy two anyway. If it weren't included, we could either have an extra accessory, or just a cheaper figure, no loss IMHO.

In the end, I bought this figure for little reason, and in turn, I got an average figma by the definition. It doesn't do anything bad, nor does it do anything good. It has little things to offer, and doesn't stand out from the rest. So why did I buy it? I think it was just mild interest and a cheap-ish price that pushed me over the edge to buying this, but also a mixture of wanting to review more stuff of larger variety and experiencing more figma. In any case, I still have no solid reason to why I bought this, as this figure really isn't anything special. I only really recommend this to fans of the character, because really, there aren't any alternatives. But for anyone else, you're better off buying a figma that has a more exciting design or even accessories.

Pros:

- Details are well sculpted and character is well captured. 

Cons:

- Little to no accessories included.

Neutral:

- Nori head is included, despite the fact there was no reason for it to be so.
- Everything else about the figure.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

HG00 Cherudim Gundam [Trans-Am Mode] Mini Review





Cherudim Gundam, what to say. It has lots of guns, it's got awesome shield bits that not only fire and shoot beams but also defend, it's got an big, long sniper rifle, and it's got a lot of gimmicks and cool scenes. The Lockon trio had always appealed to me in some form, and yet I didn't seem to buy them often. The Trans-Am kits I found were extra hard to find, so when I saw this in the store for a good price, I decided to shoot.




The kit itself is honestly great for it's time, as it hits all the points you'd expect from a HG of its time and doesn't do anything truly wrong. Great color separation, tones of gimmicks, poseability is pretty damn good, but some joints and design choices of the MS can make posing look a bit awkward, like the suit's long feet and the wrist hinge. Still, it's pretty workable does everything that you'd want it to. The construction is a bit dated and experimental, but it's not bad nor is it difficult. It's a standard HG00 build for the most part, and that's a good thing. A positive thing that it's design has is that it's heels actually have a little fin that swings down, which allows for some really stable posing.




It has a lot to offer too as I've stated. For one it's got a handful accessories, the GN Sniper Rifle II, GN Beam Pistol II's that become small axes, and of course the awesome shield bits. With the former GN Sniper Rifle II, you can attach a clear piece onto two extensions from the backpack that swing forward, which replicates the holographic sniping display of the MS. There's also a stand and multiple parts to attach the shield bits to, and lets you get it into a variety of poses. There is one major problem with this kit though, and it's one shared by all trans-am kits. Due to the glossy and metallic injection these kits use, the nubs on this are atrocious and look horrible, and there's no complete remedy. Not even paint can replicate the wavy plastic sheen that the trans-am kits are meant to have, so you're pretty much screwed with them. However, the sheen itself looks great, and the wavy metallic plastic effect does a decent job at replicating the chaotic and iridescent nature of Trans-Am.




Verdict:

Overall though, the HG Cherudim Gundam Trans-Am Mode is a fantastic kit, especially for the time. Honestly while it may seem a hit cliched saying this, it really just doesn't do much wrong. It's got good balance due to the fins on the feet, great poseability, a ton of accessories and gimmicks, and of course it has good color separation for a HG of it's time. If you just want a representation of the second Lockon however, I'd recommend the original Cherudim over this one, as the nubs on the trans-am kit just ruin it a bit. However if you don't mind that and appreciate the wavy trans-am appearance and colors, this kit keeps all the good points of the original, and is an absolutely wonderful addition go any 00 collection.

Pros:

- Feet fins flip down for high stability. (!)
- Comes with a good amount of accessories and gimmicks, including the all the Shield Bits that have a stand to pose them. (!)
- Really nice poseability, although some joints look a bit awkward.
- Great parts separation, especially for HG00.

Cons:

-Trans-Am nubs are horrible looking due to the metallic Trans-Am plastic injection, and have no perfect remedy.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

MG Hazel Custom Review (April Fools)

Bex:



So the MG Hazel has been a kit lots of us never saw coming. At first it was annoying to learn that it was a Dengeki Hobby exclusive kit, but considering the obscurity of AOZ, it wasn't a big surprise. However, it was a surprise learning that it was going to be a 1/144 kit.


Port:



Hang on what the fuck, 2 runners and polycaps in one color? This thing isn't even molded in the right color at all.
































Dave what the fuck is this?

































Cumpleted Produc:



So I just finished the MG Hazel and I gotta say it's really good looking. Poseability is great, you'll be able to always hit that one good looking pose with all of it. Detailing is well done and the proportions are perfect. The gun looks fantastic too and even has a handle, but lets be honest you won't need it with such a beautiful kit.

Vedick:


So do I recommend the MG Hazel?





























No.

















Instead, use the money to buy Saint Quartz to roll for Merlin and JAlter.

EMBRACE THE BUSTER META FELLOW MASTERS!




Happy April Fools everyone. <3

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

1/144 NG Gundam Spiegel Review



The Gundam Spiegel was always one of the MS in G Gundam that I loved from the moment I saw it on the Gundam wiki. It managed to pull of the stealthy ninja aesthetic while being a bulky german looking mecha from the 90's, and it mixed them perfectly. Instantly this design had captured me and I found it to be cool. However, it only got a vintage NG and a seldom-restocked MG back then, so I had always had the trouble finding a kit of it for my shelf. However when Bandai announced their restocking of old G Gundam kits, I knew instantly I wanted to get the NG Spiegel on my shelf, especially after hearing from both r/Gunpla and a few reviews that it was quite decent for it's time. I went into Fook Le, found this thing for $3.6, and I instantly bought it for myself, and after about a week, I began building it.


Box:



The box is your standard 1/144 G Gundam NG boxart. A small sized kit with some old drawn art, in it you see the Spiegel dueling the Dragon Gundam, about to cut off it's dragon claws.


Parts:



For parts, you get two multi-colored runners using the same mold like most vintage 1/144 NG's...




...a dark blue runner, and a standard G Gundam polycap runner.




You also get a decently big sticket sheet, not great to look at, but decent for the time


Manual:



The manual has a shot of the kit in a diorama in a horrible pose, with a bit of description of the MS with its "Ultimate Technology", and his mysterious pilot, Schwarz Bruder.




You also get some more art with some beyblade-like MS stats, as well as more info on the Gundam. Spiegel seems really powerful.




And as always, you get the beautiful color guide in text, as well as the part count.


Completed Product:



The completed kit looks actually pretty damn solid for a G Gundam NG. Proportions may look a bit off, but they're actually very lineart accurate, however the shoulders are really disconnected from the shoulders, but other than that, it looks basically perfect with the stickers applied. Granted they aren't the best stickers in the world, but I found only the chin sticker and the crotch stickers to be offensive, everything else behaved fine. It's a surprisingly nice model of the Spiegel for it's time with above average color separation, and it has cool details like a rough patterning on the helmet to make it look like a real military german helmet, which even the MG didn't do. It's a surprisingly neat detail, and it's definitely one that just makes this a bit better than you'd think.


Articulation:



Head's on a ball joint, moves like one.




The big shoulders do hinder movement.




There's a swivel at the elbow joint itself, which only bends a dissappointing 75˚. C'mon Bandai, you did better than this before.




Knees are better though at the average 90˚ and kick up decently.




Foot spread however is nonexistent.


Gimmicks:



The Spiegel doesn't have any accessories, so instead we'll delve into the gimmicks. First is the Core Lander, which simply detaches from the back when you pull it out.




Flip up the thrusters and flip down the cockpit, and you're done. It's unpainted, but for it's size, grade, and the kit's price, it's nice they included it to begin with.




Second gimmick are the Spiegel's weapons that are attached to the arms, the Spiegel blades.




They're quite simple really, just swing them down, and turn them around so the kit ca grip the handles from the back.




Like so.




Now he can slashy slashy and stabby stabby.


Size Comparison:



The Spiegel is small for a 1/144 kit, although this is to scale with it's original size. Funnily enough, the HG Shining is actually meant to be smaller than the Spiegel.


Verdict:


The 1/144 NG Gundam Spiegel did not disappoint, for it's time, this was definitely a good kit compared to it's fellow 1/144 G Gundam NG brethren. It's detailing and color separation for it's time are definitely above average, even surpassing 1/144 Wing kits and early HG's, which is something not many NG's can brag about. It's got nice detailing like the rough molding on the helmet, and the little gimmick of the core lander was a nice addon. The proportions are more accurate compared to the MG with it's bulkier appearance, although the MG has more normalised proportions are what I personally prefer. It's poseability isn't exactly something to speak home off, and a small number of it's stickers are not fun to deal with. Overall I'd still say the MG is the better kit and you should get it over this 1/144 NG, however if you're a 1/144 only collector, or want a cheaper kit and don't mind it's problems, you'll have a surprisingly good NG to buy instead.

Pros:

- Super cheap, only 500 yen retail. (!)
- Color separation is great for it's age.
- Surprising detail with certain areas, like a rough patterning on the helmet.
- Has a working Core Lander gimmick.

Cons:

- A few bad stickers, specifically the chin sticker and the groin stickers.
- Poseability is not that great.
- Seamlines are not friendly.

Neutral:

- Proportions are less human and skew more to the lineart.