30 November 2011
Got a couple of HGUC 1/144 Dra-C recently. These guys will be my latest addition of my grunt units after Jestas and Dreissens of the Gundam franchise.
Dra-C art by raybar on pixiv
Dra-C is a bit of an odd hybrid between an MS and an MA, with the upper body made out of Zaku F2 and the lower body constructed from Gattle fighter-bomber parts.
The Dra-C, which was produced after the One Year War and had mainly participated in Delaz Conflict (i.e. Gundam 0083) as well as other conflicts in smaller numbers such as Haman Karn's forces (as seen in movie version of Zeta Gundam), represents an interim solution of some sort for keeping Zeon remnant forces equipped well enough as an effective fighting force, using spare parts and salvaged from other damaged or obsolete units in order to make a new one.
I bought 2 Dra-Cs rather than 3 due to two reasons: One is the increasing prices of pretty much everything these days so I am conserving a bit of money for my other purchases this coming month (one will be mentioned below, while the other would be the figma Racing Miku 2011). The other reason is that the incompletness will also represent the ragtag nature of remnant forces whose equipment tend to be incomplete or some sort of compromise. I may think of getting a Zeon Zaku F2 to complement them though (I do have an EFSF version to go with my GM Kais).
Unfortunately I'm still waiting for my replacement parts for my GM III to come, which is taking a long time to come from Japan. Once they have arrived (hopefully this month) I can resume progress on them after months of hiatus for these guys.
On the other hand, should I be away or not active in blogging this coming month this would probably be the reason:
Gundam Extreme Vs will be out on 1st December. So if I am not shooting down planes on Assault Horizon, then I'd be blowing up some MS on this instead.
However, a scan from recent Famitsu magazine shows downloadable contents (DLCs) for Gundam Extreme Vs. In the image The-O, Gottrlatan, Freedom, and Arche Gundam are hinted to be some of the DLC units. I guess DLCs are now something that is a bit hard to avoid these days, but that's the way it is. I just hope they won't be too expensive for me to consider unlike those in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, where the prices really put me off (480 Yen for an alternate aircraft skin and at least 720 Yen for a new playable aircraft).
Got a lot to do this December. I hope I have the time to get around them all!
28 November 2011
Digging out one of the older display items I have from the shelf, and it's one of the more unusual ones - a Supersaurus dinosaur figure from Kaiyodo. :o
This Kaiyodo Supersaurus miniture is a limited figure from "The Gigantic Dinosaur Expo 2006" that was held from 15th July to 10th September 2006 in Makuhari Messe. During my Tokyo trip with my family in 2006 Makuhari was one of the few places that we have visited, and while I'm not big into shopping there I noticed big posters promoting this dinosaur event. Since I was a fan of dinosaurs during childhood I thought it won't hurt to give this event a peek. The venue was huge; you can say it's like a whole museum being put on a temporary exhibition!
After going through the whole exhibition, I came upon the gift shop section near the exit. As the supersaurus was the one of the main features of the event I thought I would buy a small miniature of it. Although this is a non-scale figure I'm a fan of things in small sizes with fine details, so it fits my taste pretty well there~
View from the right
View from the left
Head and neck
Torso and base
Clear parts can been seen on the main body along with the neck and front end of the tail where the bones are painted on top of. It makes sense for it to adopt this since the figure is very small.
Viewing from front, with the focus mainly on the head itself
View from the back
Supersaurus with HGUC 1/144 Zaku F2. According to the data the Supersaurus is approximately 33m long, so the two are not in the same scale (the Zaku is about 12.5cm tall); the dinosaur would have to be bigger in order for the two to match.
A random last shot of the Supersaurus with some 1/144 scale German soldiers (I don't have civillians of similar sizes). The two are not in the same scale, but I can always treat it as some similar sauropods in this particular case. Tried to make it seem more mystifying with a quick omni lighting effecto on the Photoshop ^^;
I didn't realise that I have this figure for 5 years already, and that was before I got into bishoujo figures too. Time really flies. :o
For something that is this small with bones that are mere millimetres thick in this size, the level of details on the ribs and vertebrae are really well done, not at least to say the paintwork in order to make it seem like cast bones as seen in museums.
Although I have lost the photos that I have taken in the exhibition, at least I have this to remember the event by. It's also something I can remember my childhood love for dinosaurs back then ^^
24 November 2011
Bandai's Tamashii Web Shouten has put up Robot Damashii Byarlant Custom pre-order page, of which the MS has made a pretty appearance in the 4th episode of Gundam UC released earlier this month.
Robot Damashii Byarlant Custom banner and preview images from Tamashii Web Shouten
The RX-160S Byarlant Custom is a customised and a further development from the RX-160 Byarlant. Like its original it is one of the few MS that can fly and even hover in mid-air on its own without having to transform or rely on a separate support platform. Being left over from the Gryps War back in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, it was not mass produced but 'upgraded' using existing parts for testing and development purposes.
Original Byarlant from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, image from MAHQ
Byarlant Custom as seen destroying Zeon remnants attacking Torrington Base in OVA episode 4. With its spectacular "eye candy" performance there were viewers even spculating whether it was the legendary Gundam pilot Amuro Ray piloting the Byarlant Custom.
Byarlant Custom in action:
Byarlant Custom as seen in manga. Some backstory has been given to both the MS and its pilot. The pilot is revealed to be an ex-Titan pilot (named Robin Diez) who later rejoined the EFSF as Unit 1 of Byarlant Custom. There was a Unit 2 as well, but due to startup error it could not be launched, but destroyed the roof of the hangar in order for Unit 1 to sortie.
The Robot Damashii Byarlant Custom will be released in April 2012 for 6090 Yen to those who have pre-ordered it via the web shop (which is mainly for domestic Japanese customers). It will also come with beam sabre effect parts as well as a marking sticker set.
As the Byarlant Custom was not in the original novel, it seems to have appeared specifically for episode 4 of OVA adaptation as well as in the manga adaptation. Too bad the Robot Damashii action figure is web shop limited (i.e. proxy service is required for most overseas collector who want it), and has a big price tag of 6090 Yen. Sure one can justify that the Japanese economy is bad, but seeing more and more things that people like end up being limited only can be quite frustrating.
I must say that I am a little moved by the Byarlant Custom after seeing its performance in the OVA, especially as I am a fan of grunt units in the first place. The story and plot is said to be greatly cut and even altered from the novel, but action scenes don't disappoint most of the time. I am tempted to get it, but I'm now on the fence about it. Sure, I have pulled off stunts for expensive limited stuff several times before, but seeing more and more are ending up this path along with the strong Yen sometimes doesn't encourage me from buying these toys, but to refrain me from buying them instead sometimes. :\
19 November 2011
Goodies of Racing Miku 2011 have arrived last week (a month earlier than I have expected). These are part of the sponsor course set up for 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, which I have mentioned a few months ago, should arrive in late December.
Well, with the goodies come a month ahead of the figma itself, let's have a look at those!
These items are part of the Racing Miku Sponsor courses that were once available for pre-order in NicoNico Chokuhan. There are 4 different courses one can choose, with the more expensives ones having more items over the less expensive ones. All will contain the figma Racing Miku 2011: First Win ver. The one I have pre-ordered was the 7000 Yen course, which is the one with the lowest cost among the four. But still, this is no cheap figma to get along with the fact that oversea buyers would have to go through some kind of proxy service to get their hands on it.
First off, ticket holder and strap. Both have the "Made in China" sticker stuck on the packaging.
Other side of ticket holder and strap unfolded. The holder is wide enough to put a postcard in.
Wrist band and Racing Miku rubber strap
And finally a sticker. The sponsorship ID card is not with this lot; it may come with the figma itself in December.
Image from Good Smile Company's product page
With the goodies having arrived, there's still a month to wait before the figma (which is the main thing) is available. It's a bit odd how the two lots don't come together in one go, but at least they come early so I'm not complaining. Let's hope the figma is worth the wait!
On a side note, the nendoroid version is now out. You can have a look at it in blogs such as cafe Yui.
15 November 2011
Official Desperado image from Gundam AGE official website
Despite the initial mixed to negative reception on the latest Gundam series Gundam AGE, viewers often manage to find something interesting to talk about here and there. Meet the Desperado, the construction use MS that made appearance in Gundam AGE last Sunday.
The CMS-328 Desperado is a construction use mobile suit that made its debut on episode 6 of Gundam AGE. Piloted by Iwark Bria, a man from the underground society of a space colony, the Desperado was used to attack the MS of warring factions Zalam and Euba from previous inter-colony conflict that were responsible for hurting his adopted daughter, as well as his people to be exiled into underground society. Despite being only armed with a heat shovel and pickaxe, Desperado proved capable enough to take down several enemy MS before being overwhelmed by additional MS with machinegun fire and saved by the progtaonist Flit with his Gundam AGE-1.
After episode 6 was aired on Sunday, parody fanarts start to appear. For example "Hyper Desperado", with more shovels attached on the back as wings
"Variants" of Desperado. Gundam 00 designs such as Tieren and Alvaaron are present, along with Leo and Tallgeese from Gundam Wing and even Lancelot from Code Geass.
"Gundam Desperado Exia (Dexia?), digging the target!" Image from pixiv
A touch-up design of Desperado, image from pixiv
One of the manly art of Desperado, image from pixiv
Custom model of Desperado in Super Deformed size is also spotted, as seen here from fg-site using HGUC 1/144 Ball as the main base
Desperado is confirmed to appear in upcoming game G-Generation 3D for Nintendo 3DS
So, away with Trainer GM, Worker Zaku, or Works GINN; you are nothing in front of the Desperado and its mighty heat shovel.
A few more fanarts on pixiv before closing off~
Parodying the first episode of original Mobile Suit: Gundam XD
Sometimes, I am amazed with how people can react to things and come up with all these fanarts and parodies ^^; Well, at least it's something creative and positive out there rather than the usual bashing and criticisms, right?