31 December 2012

End of 2012

Akihabara at night from one of my previous posts.

2012 is coming to an end. Looking back, 2012 has been a more interesting year than the year before, but I also have less time to do things I want, making things seem more rushed than before. Nevertheless there are various events I've attended, meeting new friends or old ones alike. It's a relatively colourful year, I'd say.

Let's have a look at some of the highlights!

Earlier in the year J-Rock band L'arc~en~Ciel came to Hong Kong for the second time as part of their world tour. I was lucky to manage to watch the concert in person!

And of course there is also Mikupa concert 7 months later, which is very entertaining to attend too.

Top: Tokyo Skytree ; Below: Black★Rock Shooter and Haku-san's Sora as Nagisa in Hobby Tengoku

Went to Tokyo with my family in late November for a week. It was a rushed week for me, but it's great meeting Haku-san and the other mates towards the end of the trip!

Most expensive and biggest purchase of the year: 1/3 ★Rock Cannon for my Black★Rock Shooter doll

One of the most satisfied purchase after longing it for 9 years: Dragon Can.Do 1/144 Panther Ausf F

Craziest feat: Building 9 HGUC 1/144 GM IIIs in one go. Not doing that again (I hope)!

I wish you a Happy New Year 2013! Let us hope this will be a good year for us!
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30 December 2012

Nendoroid Snow Miku Fluffy Coat Version

I've been protcrastinating on reviewing the 2012 version of Snow Miku since I got it, but with 2012 coming to an end soon, I thought it should be time to have a look at it. Despite the lack of snow in sub-tropical Hong Kong, the cold season should somewhat fit the nendoroid's theme... I suppose. ^^;

The Nendoroid Snow Miku Fluffy Coat Version is the 3rd Snow Miku to make appearance, and is basically the 2012 version as there is a new one every year since 2010. Unlike the previous two versions, this Fluffy Coat version has a new set of clothings rather than recoloured version of her normal attire, and is based on a winning entry for the costume design contest.

The accessories laid out except for the standard base and the special base which will be seen later.

Can't remember how long it took, but the replacement parts for the shovel / microphone stand, as well as the ribbon and twin tail joints are received some time after the Snow Miku arrived. They are the main issues that are addressed from the web order lot.

Front view of Snow Miku

And back view


There are some nice details to this figure, such as the decals and markings on the clothes, as well as the blue gem and ribbon on the head (which is a replacement part as the one in the box has a rather cloudy look). The twin tails are translucent with some paint over it, giving it gradation in colour and in transparency.

Microphone with stand. The microphone can be held on the hand as well.

The shovel supposedly shares the same "stem" with the microphone stand, which means one is supposed to swap parts to "transform" it into a different accessory, but thanks to the replacement parts one can simply assemble one to remove this hassle.

A special right hand mitten with a hole is used to hold the shovel or the microphone in place.

One of the facial expressions is the surprised look. It's one of my favourite expressions of the three in the box.

The third expression is a grumpy look.

The mittens and ear warmers canbe swapped out for hands and Miku's original headsets.

An "ice sculpture" of Hatsune Miku also comes with the Snow Miku. The size should be the same as the nendoroid puchis, which are essentially smaller versions of nendoroids that are usually sold as shokugans (trading figures in this case).

Let's sing together! ^^

The snowman has a face! o_o

The snowman with the Hachune Miku's face is from the 2011 version of Snow Miku, aka Playtime Edition.

Why is Snow Miku grumpy? Because another Snow Miku stole the stage!

Playing with ice scultpure!

Dashing away~ The multi-jointed stand and square base is now the new standard for recent nendoroids, but the peg in the stand barely connects with the hole at the back of Snow Miku...

Comparison with 2011 version. I decided not to put the original 2010 version up as it's mostly the same with 2011 version, but with fewer joints and accessories.

And last but not least, Snow Miku with all her main accessories on the special stage, which comes with LED that can light up when 3 AA batteries are connected. The stage floor has a furry feel, which sort of mimics the snow on the ground. A nice display to show off the nendoroid I'd say!

Articulation for nendoroids are usually quite limited, but with this Snow Miku, the collar for her furry coat is quite big and does obstruct with arm movements, so a different one is available with bigger openings for this purpose via part swapping.

As mentioned in my post back in September, this Nendoroid Snow Miku Fluffy Coat Version from the web order lot does suffer some quality issues compared with the first lot from Wonder Festival Winter earlier this year. This partly dampen my enthusiam towards this nendoroid, even after I got the replacement parts.

While my Snow Miku does not have most of the terrible defects as seen from other unfortunate owners who made their complaints on the Internet, mine was not perfect either, with a bit of paint chipped here and there. They are minor enough to overlook them in most cases, but this... Incident does make me anxious whether to order more in the future, such as Sakura Miku and the new Snow Miku for next year - Snow Miku "Ichigo Shiromuku Version" as seen on Mikatan's blog. This Snow Miku does have a nice change in costume design from the other ones, with choice in expressions and accessories a nice thought too, so it's a pity that the whole thing ended up like so.

The costume for the new Snow Miku next year is very different and traditional, with Miku wearing a shiromuku (essentially a white kimono for formal ceremonies), which is the winning entry for this year's design competition. Thinking whether I should order it when it's available for order in a few months' time...
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25 December 2012

Season's Greetings

It's 25th December, which is now 4 days past the apparent apocalypse derived from the Mayan calender. No end of the world, nothing serious happened (I hoped).

I wish a Merry Christmas, and to those who do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you would have Happy Holidays! ^^

(Hm... I do wonder whether the Tiger II is a little inappropriate to go with Christmas.)

Had a Christmas themed dessert tonight, with stawbery and cream as Santa and a special tart and cream as a Christmas tree. Pretty interesting, but also fairly tasty too!
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19 December 2012

Volks Hobby Tengoku Photo Shoot

During the trip in Tokyo I managed to make contact with Haku-san from Yokohama and meet up together in Akihabara. After learning from him that my trip would coincide with the local doll event, I decided to bring my Black★Rock Shooter doll with me, and we had a photo shoot together in Volk's "Hobby Tengoku".

So here it is: My Black★Rock Shooter on the left and Haku-san's Sora cosplaying as Nagisa from Phantasy Star Portable 2 on the right.

While I've participated a couple of doll photo shoots outdoor before, this was my first time doing one indoor. The top floor of Volk's "Hobby Tengoku" in Akihabara is all dedicated to dolls, which also offers several photo booths in its shop for people to bring their dolls and take pictures. It's free to use the booths, but one must first ask the staff at the desk to book sessions, which are 30 minutes each. We had no one using the booths that afternoon, so we took our time taking pictures of the dolls.


... And Black★Rock Shooter

I like Haku-san's attention to details on the decorations, such as the ribbon bars and badges

The booth also has a DDS Akira in one corner, though this one is for display only, and we did not take photos of her.

Closer up of the two together

Sora sitting on the chair with Black★Rock Shooter standing behind her

Reading Volks News together~ ^^

It was only when I was taking these photos I realised that both of the girls have their left eyes covered, and can only read with their right eyes ^^;

The tea cups and plates that the booth has are of quite delicate and detailed, like the real things but shrunk in size.

We also changed to another booth for a few more shots, but my point-and-shoot camera seems to struggle with the lighting there, so there aren't so many photos for this one

The armchair got in the way for Sora's sword, so my B★RS took her turn to sit this time.

As my B★RS uses the older unmodified DD2 body frame, she cannot cross her arms like Sora can with her newer body, so I decided to just do a hair brushing pose as a compromise.

Afterwards Haku-san showed me around the 2 doll accessory shops he often visits when he goes to Akihabara. Unlike the usual popular shopping area centred around the Chuo-dori at the west of the AKihabara station, the two shops are situated at the east and south of the station, which I would have never thought of coming across them myself due to their rather obscure locations. Nevertheless they do provide nice wigs, eyes, shoes and accessories.

It has been a great time meeting Haku-san in person, and I thank him for coming out to see me despite being really busy recently. I do hope I will get to see him again in the future!

Album: Volks Hobby Tengoku Doll Photoshoot

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