30 August 2008

MS IGLOO 2 Episode 1 Trailer


Gunota Headlines has revealed that a new trailer is up for the upcoming OVA series MS IGLOO 2 Juuryoku Sensen (重力戦線, roughly translated as Gravity Battlefront). Same as its predecessor, MS IGLOO 2 takes place in the One Year War of Universal Century (i.e. same timeline as the original Gundam series).

Screenshots and trailer after the jump.

Taking place months before Amuro's Gundam rolls out into the battlefield, MS IGLOO 2 will be on the early conflict between the Principality of Zeon and the EFGF (Earth Federation Ground Force) upon Zeon's first drop operation onto Earth for territorial control. The EFGF was poorly equipped and was caught by surprise, taking heavy casualties and had to spend a lot of time to retreat and to regroup.

Shown from EFGF's perspective, particularly Ben Barberry of an Anti-MS squad, MS IGLOO 2 will for the first time feature battles between ordinary infantrymen against mobile suits (namely the Zaku II). The series will split into 3 episodes of 30 minutes, with the first one to be out on 24th October 2008. This looks like to be one of the most militaristic and realistic Gundam series I will see so far since 08th MS Team (which also takes place in the One Year War). And being really into gunji (military) as well as taking a liking into Gundams, I will definitely take my chance to watch it when it is out.

The ending theme will be "Mr. Lonely Heart" by Haruna Yokota (横田はるな). A very touching song for me even for the short duration, which gives me a feeling that this series is gonna be a tearjerking one ._.

New trailer with subs via YouTube below:


In case for those who have missed the first one:


Read More!

26 August 2008

figma Fate T. Harlaown

I've finally managed to get figma Fate T. Harlaown from Yahoo Auction last week! This Fate is depicted from anime Nanoha StrikerS, which is the 3rd series of the Mahou Shoujo (Magical Girl) Lyrical Nanoha. Usually known as Fate Testarossa or Fate-chan/Feito-chan, she is definitely one of the most popular characters in the series.

Back then, when I first saw the figure on the Internet, I hesitated as I don't really know much about the character or the Nanoha series. Eventually it draws my attention so much that I just want to get it at the end. What I didn't know was that I would have to use one week to find it at a good price as it was quickly sold out in Hong Kong.

figma Fate is released late in July, and it has become a popular figure for many Nanoha fans (and even for non-fans such as myself). The box itself is slightly longer than the other figma boxes (shown with figma Haruhi box for comparison) due to the number of accessories the figure that come with it. This is my second time on doing a 'review' of some sort after Candy Bikini Shana. Hopefully I'm doing it right despite a bit of compromising setup.

Fate comes with a standard set of 8 hands as well as an alternate face and hair. Other accessories include the white Barrier Jacket and the Bardiche, which is available in normal Assault form, Haken form (the scythe), and the huge Zamber form. And yep that's a lot of bags and packaging for the figure and the accessories.

A fair and elegant Fate in battle uniform without the white Barrier Jacket. Maybe it's just me, but for some reasons I don't find her easy to stand by herself with the heels and the uniform. That's where the stand comes in I suppose.

Fate with Bardiche in Haken form and Barrier Jacket. The jacket restricts the shoulder articulation slightly, but it shouldn't be a problem for normal poses.

Bardiche Assault in its normal form. I know I may be a bit picky, but I did wish that the Riot Zamber dual blades are available as accessories. On the other hand, having 3 different forms for the Bardiche is a big plus for this figure.

In order for the Barrier Jacket to stay on firmly, there is a clear supporter to hold the jacket and it is reinforced by two different pegs, which depends on whether you want to pose the figure with the stand or not.

Bardiche Assault in Zamber form. I was told that it was seldom used in StrikerS. Nevertheless it is a huge weapon to wield. Still can't get over with its enormous size.

This has to be one of my favourite poses I have done so far. What makes me worried though is that the Zamber form is so long that it looks as if it may lean downwards.

Small shots of the Bardiche and Fate up close.

An elegant yet tough-looking girl with some big mean weapons, no wonder I fell for her. Being the second figma in my possession (with Haruhi being my first), figma Fate is worth the time and money I've spent to look for. It's not easy to find it online now as it's already sold out on sites such as Hobby Search and Hobby Link Japan.

More coverage/photoshoots of figma Fate via Orange Horizon, Cagalli-Bi, zone otaku, and forum member 夏娜 (Shana) Toysdaily . Also some fun ones via: Clear Tranquil, meronpan. Be sure to check them out!

Youtube vlogger Actar from Singapore has made a video review on figma Fate. To be honest I am slightly overwhelmed by his enthusiatic voice ^^;;


All photos are available via my photo album

Read More!

22 August 2008

1/100 Astraea Gundam

PhotobucketDon't worry guys, I'm still alive and well. Have been busy with life. I thank you all again for the comments and support; my search for Fate has finally come to an end! Will make a coverage on her later as I'm still having a nice time with her~ (nothing dirty please)

Typhoon Nuri has managed to hover over Hong Kong like a massive UFO today, so I've finally got some time to do my own stuff. The first thing completed in my build-up list is the Astraea Gundam featured in the prequel of Gundam 00. Let's see how this white Goddess of Justice brings light to us.

It is 15 years before the war waged by Setsuna and his companions.
On Earth, the "Solar Power Generation System Conflict", which was sparked by the space elevator, is taking place.
It is in this age that the days of anguish and conflict of the young Celestial Being members who are continuing their development of Gundam on Gundam 00P in order to eradicate war by force are described.

- Text from box cover of 1/100 Astraea Gundam model

The Astraea Gundam, being a prototype and predecessor of Gundam 00, resembles a lot to its successor, except being a lot whiter. Not surprisingly, it shares a lot of parts with Exia itself in terms of model kit. My gunpla is a straight-assembled one with quick Gundam Marker touchups, so I hope you don't mind too much on my casualness on gunpla building.

Photobucket Photobucket
For standard armaments, Astraea comes with a GN Beam Rifle as well as the Swiss Army knife-style Proto GN Sword. This GN Sword is actually shorter than Exia's counterpart. A review of Astraea and comparison with Exia are available via dalong.net). The shield is similar to Exia's but blunter, and is also shorter than Nadleeh's.

Photobucket Photobucket
The GN Launcher replaces one of Astraea's antenna on its shoulder. It probably is the predecessor to Virtue's GN Bazooka. I find its standby position quite strange though. One can buy the Type-F as well in order to get the double GN Launcher action pose, as seen in Ngee Khiong's post several months ago.

Photobucket Photobucket
Astraea shines in different combination of equipments. With the GN Launcher and the GN Shield available as its other equipments, you can give it its own armament setting to your liking.

Photobucket Photobucket
Beam weapons can take in the form of GN beam sabres or GN daggers.

Overall, Astraea is a very nice alternative to the Exia Gundam. A fine black Gundam Marker pen will greatly boost the details on the vast number of white parts. It's not without problems though. The wrists and antennnas on the side of its head can come off easily if you fiddle around too much. The hip joints are made out two polycaps in different axis instead of ball joints. I don't find much problems with that so far, but it was said that they can become loose and you can wobbly legs, which is the case for the top heavy Avalanche Exia mentioned by Z (I hope I have addressed you correctly) and Prime92.

Youtube vlogger Prime92 has made a video review on Astraea Gundam not long ago. She has made a lot of gunplas reviews, especially the 1/144 ones. Do check them out!

Read More!

16 August 2008

Figma Fate sold out?

Thank you all for the comments and support you have kindly given over the blogosphere. I will return to posting shortly this week.


I've mentioned that I have planned to buy figma Fate T. Harlaown from Nanoha StrikerS in the last post. After spending a whole afternoon going through different shops in various districts of Hong Kong, I came back empty-handed; figma Fate is simply sold out in the market.

Find out why things went like so after the jump. Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post.

Hong Kong has usually enjoyed the benefit of getting a lot of anime and game-related imports from Japan in good prices, as well as translated mangas and anime/hobby magazines published from Taiwan.

I can get my gunplas pretty much at the same price as those in Japan, with most of them below their original retail prices. Figma too enjoy their sales over here; Haruhi is still going at hot prices along with her SOS-dan members in many shops I've walked in so far.

Haruhi is still selling strong 4 months after release, seen here owning my 105 Dagger with the famous Char Kick

After asking a number of shops I've found out that Fate is not available via official import agents from Max Factory. I was told that Nanoha from the same series did not sell as well as expected, so Max Factory of Good Smile Company has decided not to have Fate released to Hong Kong. This had led to shops importing them via other methods in a limited number, and sell them at much higher prices. The majority have been sold out within a few days, and the remaining ones out there are inflated to 160% to 190% of their original retail price (which is 2800 Yen). Saber has also met the same "fate" (pun not intended), but this is not so much of a problem as the second batch has arrived not long ago.

Why can't we have stockpile of Fate like this Good Smile Company?? T_T
Pic from Moeyo

What has saddened me though is that a number of people have bought in a large number of the figures not for collection or for friends but to sell them on auctions. It looks like that they knew that Fate will be a "limited release" and they could make a nice profit out of it. This kind of thing has been known with the limited Olympic banknotes as well, where some people have been known to have sold them for 7 times of their original price. A teenager even told a news reporter that "this is even better than getting a job"...

I simply have not expected figma Fate to have sold out like so. I admit that I have come to look for it far too late due to lack of time; I could also have pre-ordered it but I was afraid with how it may actually come out (for example Gordon's Reijin was simply a disaster for him). A lesson has been learnt for me: if there's something that has tickled your interest, don't hesitate and go for it, or else it can be too late to regret. So please don't end up like me having a bad start to a weekend!

If there are more batches importing to Hong Kong I would definitely take my chance to buy one, but one can only hope.

I won't give up!
Pic from forum member 夏娜(Shana) in Toysdaily
Read More!

12 August 2008


PhotobucketSorry for the late posts; I have been a little busy these days. Have about 4 hours or so to catch up with life and reading up blogs before I start using up my sleeping time can be hectic. Wish I have more free time by myself during the weekdays.

On top of that I still have at least 4 gunpla boxes piled up waiting for me. And what's more I am getting a few more stuff in the near future! What a build-up even for my leisure ^^;;

Despite my random rants, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the visiting and commenting on my blog. Without you bloggers and readers out there I won't have these crazy boxes piled beside me already, nor will I plan to have more gunplas and figures to overtake me!

Let's have a look at that pile of gunplas I still have to build beside me:

1/100 Gundam Astraea - After deciding among this, the Type-F (red version of Astraea), and the Avalanche Exia for several weeks, I've finally decided to buy this white Goddess of Justice. Will start building it over this coming weekend.

1/100 Tieren Ground Type - Bought it as soon as it hits the Hong Kong shelves, and all I've touched so far are the packaging and the manual itself orz

1/144 HG Leon's Arms Astray PMC Custom - Bought it just for the sake of it, and mainly because of the fact that I've found it for just 500 Yen in Akihabara, which is a third of its regular price...

1/144 HGUC Ground Type Gundam - I would have built it already if I were not stuck on deciding a good jungle colour scheme for it to fit my Guncannon and my GM Sniper. T_T

That's 4 models waiting for me there; 2 1/100 and 2 1/144. How long would you think they would take for you to build at your own time? For a slow person like me a 1/100 will have to take 2-3 nights, and 1-2 nights for a 1/144. I hope you guys do have more time than I having to wait until the weekends.

As for what I will be and may be getting:

1/144 HG Ginn High-Maneuver from the SEED-MSV. A grunt machine I like which is no longer available around my area so I've asked a friend of mine a favour to find one for me. Will buy it from him tomorrow~
Chance of getting this: Confirmed

1/144 HGUC GM Striker from Harmony of Gundam and arcade game 戦場の絆 (Bonds of the Battlefield). A nice green and toughened GM to team up with my green gunplas. May modify it *slightly* by replacing some parts from a RX-79 model though.
Chance of getting this: High

figma Fate T. Harlaown from Nanoha StrikerS. I haven't watched any of the Nanoha series, but this figma has managed to catch my attention. An attractive figure to with big weapons, I won't be surprised that a lot of people will be getting this while not knowing the character herself (like me, but I'm still deciding). What did catch me by surprise though is that Fate is already no longer available via Hobby Search or Hoppy Link Japan while it is only released for 2 weeks. o_o
Chance of getting this: Medium

And last but not least,
Max Factory Shana from Shakugan no Shana which is long sold out many months ago. I am lucky that a friend of my sister has helped me to win one via Yahoo Auction Japan. Really looking forward to see it in person~
Chance of getting this: Confirmed

Phew, that's a lot for not from pre-ordering. Gotta thank Hong Kong for having most of them available via hobby shops, and my friends who have spent their time to help me on the unreachables! Sure things are building up for me to build (for Gundams) and to review on (for figures), but it's not necessarily a bad thing right?

All boxart and figure images are from Hobby Search
Read More!

9 August 2008

MG Strike series


Those of us who build gunpla models would know that Bandai is well known for reusing its model parts to roll out new model kits. I have mentioned the 1/35 Lancelot series from Code Geass a short while ago, but that is only a small example of its common strategy. Today I present you the 1/100 Master Grade (MG) Strike Gundam series from the Gundam SEED universe.

Aile Strike Gundam, released in October 2003
Comes with a launch catapult which is pretty cool as a stand.

Strike Rouge, released in September 2004
Pretty much the same as the previous release (including the launch catapult) but with pink/red colour scheme.

Strike Gundam IWSP, released in October 2006
Same Gundam but with a different Striker pack and a darker blue colour. Comes with a normal action stand, which is the one for the newer releases as well.

Strike Noir, released in March 2007
A more orignal design and also my favourite out of all Strike Gundams, but it is also the only one without a stand of any kind.

Strike E IWSP, released in February 2008
Combine Strike Noir with Strike IWSP with some recolouring and you'll get this.

Launcher & Sword Strike Gundam, released in April 2008
Same Strike Gundam again, but finally with the other Striker packs that some fans have been waiting for a long time. It is also the most expensive one out of all MG Strikes.

I personally like Strike Gundam's design, despite it being a remake of the original RX-78-2 Gundam, but I would get tired of seeing the same model with different equipments over the years; I mean, that's 6 Master Grades for the Strike Gundam over four and a half years, or 7 if you count the event-limited "Deactive Mode" of Aile Strike Gundam as well (thanks you SEVEN6398 for mentioning this on dannychoo.com)!

This is one of the most re-released MG Gundam I have seen after the RX-78 Gundams (which has a lot more variations). Bandai is trying pretty hard at milking the money out of its customers by releasing variations and variations of it, mainly because of its Striker packs which are exchangeable with other MG Strike models. On a side note as mentioned by フェイダムさん, the Striker packs are also compatible with the later MG Impulse Gundam via an adapter piece (but no place for the shoulder equipments of Launcher and Sword pack), making the previous MG Strike seemingly more buyable. Unfortunately, the Force silhouette of Impulse is not backward compatible with the Strike(s).

I have a feeling that the remaining variations such as the Lightning and Gunbarrel Strike Gundam can be potential candidates for MG release too, but that could be too far-fetched for the modelling empire. Whatever you do Bandai, just don't get us started on the Raigo Speculum Gundam; that thing is deem to be a failure upon first sight...

All boxart images are from Hobby Search
Read More!