30 June 2011
It's been a while since I've first mentioned the 3 Dreissens. I said I will say a little bit more on them, so here it is.
Not much has been done to them other than that I've added some decals "01" to "03" on them.
The HGUC 1/144 Dreissen Gunpla kit was released in May for 2000 Yen. This mobile suit first appeared in Gundam ZZ TV series, and it reappared in Gundamn UC OVA series.
Story-wise the Dreissens are some sort of a descendant of Zeon's well known Dom, with the purple colour, bulky appearance, and the cross-like face. They first served under Harman Khan of Neo Zeon faction in UC0088. They reappeared 8 years later in UC0096 under remnents of two New Zeon movements called the "Sleeves", with their new decorations on the chest and the sleeves to show their new masters.
Dreissen in its original configuration as first seen in Gundam ZZ. The combined beam tomahawk and beam lance thing is pretty long; it's pretty much the height of Dreissen itself.
Back of the Dreissen. Everything of it is bulky.
The 3 tri-blades can be seen mounted on the backpack of the Dreissen.
The Dreissens' backpacks have been modified by UC0096 so that they can mount different weapon racks to suit different pilot's needs. Here a Dom's heat rod mount rack and a rack for the giant bazooka can be seen in place of two tri-blades. The Dreissen's giant bazooka is said to be based on Sinanju's bazooka.
I've left the heat rod uncoloured as adding a paint layer will obstruct it from fitting through the rack.
The beam tomahawk/lance also has its own rack too.
I may be years older than you Jegans, but I am no pushover!
Deploying tri-blades. The deployed tri-blades are separate parts from the packed ones, and if you have those clear rods from HGUC 1/144 Jagd Dogas or Sazabi you can connect them to the tri-blades and the Dreissen's backpack to show the tri-blades being deployed mid-air.
Just like HGUC 1/144 Jegan ECOAS type, each Dreissen kit comes with a little rack that you can store unused parts away, namely the weapon racks, the packed tri-blades, and the hands. There are closed fists parts as seen in this photo but I don't use them.
The beam tomahawk and beam lance can be separated. Well not quite so as the combined weapon is actually a whole separate weapon from its separated counterparts.
A hole is available at the bottom between the legs for action bases, but unlike many other kits there appears to be no parts to cover it up if action base is not used.
The cover of the 3-barrel beam cannon on either forearm can be 'moved' by removing the cover and place it in a different slot. The beam cannon itself does not move though.
Despite the fact the heat rod is not a weapon originally for the Dreissen, it is backward compatible with it, and it gives more of the Dom's homage to its far descendant.
And so here they are - the new Black Tri-Star. I want to give them a team name and perhaps give them some fictional background story, but I think I will keep that aside for now, except that the name "Henker" is floating on top of my head right now, which means "executioner" in German.
Size comparison time: A Dreissen next to a Stark Jegan from the same series.
A GM Kai in front of the Dreissen - the GM Kai looks like a little guy in front of the mean, "big boss" Dreissen... ^^;
Upon completion of the Dreissens, the first impression I had was that they are huge and bulky. Really bulky!
The Dreissen is far from being the most articulated model among the recent HGUC 1/144 releases. Like other Sleeves mobile suits those emblems on the sleeves and the chest of the Dreissen is quite an effort to do if one does not want to use the foil stickers. But the variety of the weapons is a big plus for the kit, and its size towering over other mobile suits is quite intimidating too!
29 June 2011
A new Hastune Miku figma has been announced upon the winning of the recent Super GT race by the GSR (GoodSmile Racing) & Studie with TeamUKYO team with a BMW Z4 GT3, of which the mascot character is Hatsune Miku herself.
The figma Racing Miku 2011 "First Win ver" will be included in 4 different sponsor courses that can be pre-ordered in NicoNico Chokuhan online shop.
So far one closed and one open umbrella have been seen as the accessories. Not much more is known about it right now (, but the hair will be translucent blue similar to that of upcoming Append ver.
Original artwork of Racing Miku 2011 that the figma is based on.
There are 4 different sponsor packages that one can pre-order from NicoNico Chokuhan, which range from 7000 Yen all the way to 50000 Yen.
Pre-order will be available from now to 8th August. Sponsor packages will be released in December this year.
More info can be found on Good Smile Company's website
The sponsor courses can be pre-ordered on NicoNico Chokuhan, which is only for Japanese residents only, so if you are outside Japan and want to buy one, you would most likely have to get one from a proxy service.
Miku has a new race queen look for every year since 2009 I think, and this one has a more cyber look to it. In some ways her dress reminds me of the Append ver. too. It looks interesting, though the face seems to be more mature or even with a bit of a western look to me. Putting it together with expensive sponsor packages to celebrate the first victory sure pleases the fans, but the price for one would like to get just for the figma is not exactly pretty. I think I will wait for a coloured sample before deciding whether I should go ahead or not.
Pictures are from official figma blog
Update: We have a coloured sample of the figma. It looks pretty good to me!
Image from Good Smile Company's product page.
23 June 2011
Info has been leaked out recently that Mobile Suit Gundam: THE ORIGIN will be animated. The source of this info appears to be from the August issue of Gundam Ace magazine.
Just like how Gundam AGE has been revealed on CoroCoro Comic magazine before the official announcement on Bandai Live Channel and Gundam Info, it is very likely that the Gundam THE ORIGIN anime will be the new Gundam project that is to be announced on 25th June.
This makes more sense as for why Bandai would want to release a GFFMC RX-78-2 Gundam based on the ORIGIN manga series. Note that there are some differences with the ORIGINS Gundam and that in the anime series, ranging from additional back cannon, different core fighter appearance, and several more.
Magazine scan from Hobby Japan August Issue
A quick info on Gundam THE ORIGIN - it is the 3rd manga adaptation of the original 1979 TV anime series. The manga series started in 2002, and it has been serialised on Gundam Ace magazine. There are some changes to the story, with some events swapping places so that one takes place earlier than others compared to the anime or even the compilation movie (which also had some plot changes too, but are rather minor). Apparently the manga will end on the August issue, which comes with the annoucement that with the end of the series comes the anime adaptation for it. So in short, we will have an anime adaptation of the manga adapatation of the original anime series.
This should hopefully be some good news to those who are really disappointed with the Gundam AGE announcement and/or are looking for something more to do with UC (Universal Century) universe. Kinda felt that Sunrise had something in their sleeves to please the old fans again after the Gundam AGE announcement ^^; We will have to wait and see whether this will be a TV anime series or some kind of an OVA though.
As for now, let's wait until more gets revealed on 25th June!
CYBERGUNDAM BLOG (1st and 3rd image)
21 June 2011
I have bought a number of shokugans over some time, but haven't got around to open them. You know the feeling - buy a model, but don't feel like you have the time or the space for them at that moment, so you leave them off for another day. The pile slowly accumulates, and I felt that it's about time I should start clearing the little pile off.
First off, the C-47 Skytrain. These serve as the main transport plane for the US and her allies back in WWII, and a variant was also used for dropping paratroopers too.
Next are the Kittyhawk Mk I (British version of the P-40 Warhawk) and BF109E-4. These ones represent the fighter planes that fight for the African desert sky.
B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. One of the landing gears was missing from the runners, which was rather unfortunate, but it's only on the underside, so it's not visible from most angles normally. There are also the He 100 and Dreissen from the same scale next to it for size comparison.
I still have a few more planes to do, but that I would have to call it a day for now. Haven't done them for a while, and handling parts that are just a few millimetres long is really daunting!
The thing with shokugans is that they don't cost too much, and with their small sizes they don't seem so much with just a couple or two, but eventually one may have a collection of them before he realises it. That was what happened with my tanks ^^;
As for the Gunpla pile? Well... Let's leave that for another day ^^;;;
If there is one thing I want to say, then it's to unbox your toys as soon as possible (unless you really don't intend to do so for various reasons); try not to leave them piled up and add to your backlog!
N.B. I have been a little occupied by other stuff recently, so I have not been active on blogs for the past week. Will try to catch up with the blogs and comments eventually!
14 June 2011
As mentioned in the previous post, the new Gundam animated series to be aired this October will be called Gundam AGE, which is aimed primarily for children. But this is going to be more than just an anime series; in fact a lot of things have been planned and announced already in the official announcement on Bandai Channel Live and Gundam Info yesterday.
The rough story below may not be fully accurate:
It was A.G. 101 (Advanced Generation), where mankind has colonised the space for hundreds of years, and the moments of peace after many years in the Earth Sphere has come to realisation, only to be shattered again by the arrival of an unknown force, conveniently named "Unknown Enemy" (UE).
7 years later, mankind is still fighting against the UE, and the protagonist's mother was killed in the midst of warfare. Her mother passed on the "AGE Device" and the blueprinst of the ancient mobile suit "Gundam" to her son Frit (?) shortly before her death.
In A.G. 115, the Gundam has finally been materialised and completed after many years of hard work and research by Frit in the peaceful colony of Nora. The Gundam is revolutionary for able to self-evolve with the AGE system that is implemented inside it. But it is soon that the peaceful colony would be attacked by the UE, and Frit would have to pilot the Gundam to fight against them.
HG 1/144 and Mega Size 1/48 of Gundam AGE-1 Normal. Now that I get to see it more clearly, I have to say that the back of the Gundam looks a bit like a car's spoiler ^^;
MG 1/100 model has also been announced, but no pictures are available at the moment.
A new line of Gunpla is also announced called AG (Advanced Grade), which is also 1/144 scale. Judging on the prices I would assume that they are simpler than the HG 1/144 models. There also is an emphasis of having bigger parts for beginners to handle with as a contrast to many small parts for the RG (Real Grade) line of the same scale.
Next are the GB (GAGE-ING Builder, ゲイジングビルダー) 1/100 pre-assembled figure series.
Part swapping is emphasised as a feature so you can customise your own Gundam.
The GB action figure and the AG Gunpla line will have "GAGE-ING Chip" on the Gundams themselves so you can connect them to "GAGE-ING Battle Base" (ゲイジング バトルベース) machines in shops and arcade centres (presumably) or the "GAGE-ING HARO" (ゲイジング ハロ). AG lines will have 1 chip on each model, whereas BG line will have 4 on each figure.
The "GAGE-ING HARO" will allow one to play simulation battle on LCD after scanning the chips of one of the Gundams from the AG or GB line.
Next is the activation equipment "Age Device" (エイジデバイス), which is the item the protagonist uses to start up the Gundam in the anime trailer I think. Apparently one can get to play up to 7 different games with this as a personal ID item I think, so you can save your game(s) progress and get unlocks etc. The "Gaging Haro" is one of the games that you can connect the "Age Device" with.
The other game that one can use the "Age Device" as well as the chips on the AG Gunpla or the GB Gundam figures will be the Gaging Battle Base. You get your Gundam scanned on a special scanning area (as seen in the picture above), sign on the game with your "Age Device" on the yellow slot at the right of the scanner, and play as the Gundam that you have scanned in the virtual battle.
Another arcade game that will be announced will be the Gundam Triage (?). It is a card battle game, which will have Gundam AGE featured there as well.
Whoa, that sure is a big and ambitious Gundam project there. With so much stuff having announced before the anime gets aired, and a lot of merchandise have been materialised already (and it's a lot more than, say, Gundam 00 too).
If you ask me, I am getting a slight information overload already, not to talk about the radical change of Gundam recently that is getting harder to swallow. I will probably watch a couple of episodes to test the waters, but given that this is specifically aimed for children, it is likely that Gundam AGE will be a miss for me, but I won't bet on that.
But there's more! There will be another Gundam project to be announced on 25th June on Gundam Info. It doesn't say whether this project will be an anime or not, so we will have to wait and see. Maybe those who are disappointed with the annoucement of Gundam AGE can look forward to this one instead? Or maybe just stick with Gundam UC OVA for the time being.
Regarding on reactions from "fans", it's not surprising that many will be disappointed that the new Gundam anime series that is to be aired this October will eb a "kiddy" show, and that the enemy will be alien look-alikes just like the Gundam 00 Movie, which got a lot of extreme views from audience.
While the difference from the Gundam series that we are used to is vast, I think it's too early to jump into conclusion and judge the book by the cover even before the anime series has even aired. Looking back at G Gundam, which had a strong super robot style to it while lacking the theme of war in it, was it a disaster though? Sure it was different, but at the end many people accepted and even liked it means that Gundam can still be different and be good I think, but those who are very used to, say, the Universal Century era and its well established lore may find the new substance too different from the rooted settings that they were used to, and resist it. Money-milking talk aside (I personally would like to avoid this as it is one thing that tends to draw a lot of tensions), I think that the Gundam fandom has turned to a low end with a lot of conflicts and unecessary hatred out of entertainment and hobby nowadays.
There I have said it, and I will like to move on.
Sources and info from Gigazine
9 June 2011
New Gundam series teaser picture from Sunrise official website
A new Gundam anime series has been announced with cooperation from CoroCoro Comic magazine (コロコロコミック), which is now known Mobile Suit Gundam AGE (機動戦士ガンダムAGE).
This new series is supposed to debut from an official annoucement on 13th June via Bandai Channel Live and Gundam Info, but an early release of a magazine, presumably the July 2011 issue of CoroCoro Comic, shows what the new series is going to be.
And a blurry picture of a Gundam (original source unknown), presumably that of the protagonist. The Gundam is seen to have 2 extra forms - Suparo (Sparrow?) and Taitasu (Titus?), as seen in the 2nd magazine scan
The anime series will go on air this autumn, and it will be produced by Level-5, which is known for making Inazuma Eleven and Professor Layton series (game and animation).
Manga and merchandise are being planned and have taken shapes already, as seen in the 3rd scan.
早耳ガンプラ情報局 has some info on Gundam AGE already, of which you can read the English translation on Gundam Guy.
Well, I suppose many Gundams fans will be disappointed, or even angry by this newly announced Gundam series. Although there were annoucements earlier that Gundam will have a joint project with CoroCoro Comic, I did not fully anticipate that the joint project will be the new anime series, but given that CoroCoro Comic is a magazine catered primarily for children, it is not too surprising that Gundam AGE will be targeting children as the main audience, as suggested from the character designs.
And my reaction? Let's just say I could not fully anticipate such radical changes, and it's a little hard to swallow. I really am not sure whether this will be the kind of thing for me for now (due to the target audience the series is aiming for), but I'll wait and see. Besides we only have 3 magazine scans and a really blurry image of the protagonist's Gundam (
So, has the Gundam franchise really turned into "a new low" as some "diehard fans" will call it? Or that Sunrise and Bandai are planning something ambitious to cater specifically for younger audience this time while Gundam UC OVA is around? Could this be something with great potential that perhaps we are not able to see through for now? I do not know what to say as for now, but I'll leave it here for now, and see what more we shall see when 13th June comes around.
Magazine scans from Futaba Channel (2chan)
5 June 2011
A fallen ginkgo leaf near Tsukiji Honganji on Shin-Ohashi road (新大橋通り), taken last year while I was leaving Tsukiji in Tokyo trip last year
Ginkgo (銀杏) is a particular kind of tree seen in some areas of Asia such as China, Korea, and Japan. In fact it now has no living relatives so it's a rather unique species and is also considered a living fossil. Its fan shape leaf is a distinctive feature of this species.
Ginkgo leaves turn yellow in autumn. Picture from Wikipedia
Gingko is originally cultivated in China, and while now widely cultivated, it is apparently rarely seen in the wild. It shares the same name (character-wise) in Chinese and Japanese as 銀杏, which literally means "Silver Apricot". The English name "ginkgo" is apparently a mispelling of "ginkyo / ginkyou" when a German botanist saw it in a Japanese garden in late 17th century, and the name stuck ever since.
One of the 6 surviving ginkgo trees that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Picture source here
Perseverance is something associated with this tree: When the atomic bomb Little Boy as dropped on Hiroshima in the closing month of WWII, devastating damage had occured, and many lives were lost. However 6 ginkgo trees have managed to survive, rejuvenate, and are still alive to this day. They are labelled "A-bombed Ginkgo trees", and as they presevere desptie much brutality they are sometimes known as the "bearer of hope" for the locals. More details on those trees can be found here if you are interested.
Picture of a tooth from a Gingko-toothed beaked whale. Note the similarity with the Gingko leaf (hence the name of the whale).
As for something unrelated, a whale species called Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale is named due to its protruding teeth midway down the jaw having the shape of a gingko leaf. Beaked whales are in general one of the least observed and studied species due to its remote and deep sea habitat, and this one is no exception.
With its longevity and preseverance, ginkgo somehow reminds me of how they represent the Japanese people in a way. Both are known to be long-lived, and both are known to endure through a lot of hardship and face them through somehow. This is perhaps something worth thinking about... And even though there are a lot more stuff one can write about on this tree, I think I'd leave it here for today.
P.S. How have I become so pseudo-philosophical all of a sudden?! o_o;; Oh well, this is a bit of a random post, but this has somehow stuck to my head recently, and I thought I might share it out. Hope you'd like it though!