30 June 2013

Miho's Panzer IV in Battlefield 1942?

A silly little post
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Miho's Panzer IV from manga and anime Girls and Panzer in Battlefield 1942?

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This is a Panzer IV Ausf F2 in a Battlefield 1942 mod called Battlegroup42. I know someone who works on the mod (which is still active and in development after all these years!), and as a silly proposal asked him to do a quick change on the insignias of their old Panzer IV model to those from Girls und Panzer. This is the result, but please don't mind too much on the misplacement of the tracks; it's most likely a coding error.

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In Girls and Panzer, the Panzer IV Ausf D (an early production variant) is the tank commanded by protagonist Miho Nishizumi for her school team. Originally equipped with the 75mm KwK 37 gun, her Panzer IV is later upgunned with the longer 75mm KwK 40 gun and now resembles the mid-war Ausf F2 variant. Towards the end of the anime it was also equipped with armouered skirts that makes the tank resemble the late war Ausf H type. This one is based on the F2 as seen midstory in the anime.

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Girls und Panzer sure brought a wave of hype in the recent months. I watched it mostly for the WWII tanks. Personally I don't find the characters very memorable, nor is the plot particularly interesting (but that's not a main point in this anime), nevertheless the tank battles, while not understandably not realistic, are quite exciting to watch, and there are quite a lot of WWII references dotted here and there throughout the anime. Some are obvious and spoken out, others are pretty subtle and are only found by the enthusiasts.

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That tank is just a rough placeholder based on the current old model; there is a better Panzer IV model that will be replace it in the next patch of mod. Will the tanks from Girls und Panzer make an appearance? Well, that is possible *if* we have enough people to show interest in it. ^^;

Battlefield 1942 is actually now free on Origin to celebrate its 10th anniversary. In case you're not interested in Battlefield 1942 but still interested in tanks, there is also the World of Tanks, of which there are fans who made Girls und Panzer tank skins for them as well as audio mods.

Pictures are from the Battlegroup42 mod
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29 June 2013

TomyTec 1/144 GIMIX Ace Combat Collaboration

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Tomytec, a subsidiary of TAKARA Tomy that focuses on miniature models, is collaborating with jet fighter video game series Ace Combat to make plane miniatures from the said series. First revealed in Shizuoka Hobby Show in May, the first two planes to make debut are the Galm 1 & Galm 2 (known as Cipher and Pixy respectively) from the PS2 game Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War.

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Cipher's F-15C, callsign "Galm 1"

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Pixy's F-15C, callsign "Galm 2", with a distinctive red colour on the right wing.

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Detailed markings dotted across the plane. This could be one of the most detailed 1/144 plane I've ever seen so far.

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The dorsal air brake can be configured to be open or closed, most likely by part swapping.

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As with many existing plane models, the plane can be configured to be landed or in flight. A nice payload of misisles are included as well.

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Special box art will be available for both of the planes. Judging from that on Galm 1, it appears that the image is based on a screenshot from the PS3 game Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.

Both planes are scheduled to be released in October 2013 for 3675 Yen each (tax included).

Gotta admit that the price is quite steep for a model of such size, but given that it's a pre-painted kit, and with the level of details featured, it will be quite a beauty (or two) to display~ Well, as long as I don't lose any of the parts while building them that is... ^^;

Ace Combat Zero was the first Ace Combat game I played, under the recommendation of a friend. While the Cipher is a silent protagonist feared by his enemies, his wingman Pixy is a calm yet relatively talkative buddy who accompanies the player in majority of the missions, and is best known for the quote "Yo buddy, you still alive?".

Looking forward to see more planes from Ace Combat series making into models!

Pictures from Tomytec and Hobby Search
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28 June 2013

Moonlit Shooting Star

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Good Smile Company (GSC) is hosting a photo contest, where entrants may post pictures with scaled figures distributed by the said company (this also includes Max Factory and FREEing etc).

One may still get to submit pictures up until the deadline on 7th July.

For fun I decided to give it a shot. Since the chibi looking nendoroids and figma action figures cannot be the focus of a picture, I had to see what the few scale figures I have that I can use. Turns out that I have the Black★Rock Shooter -animation version- figure that was released in November 2010 and Max Factory 1/8 Shana (review here) that are eligible for the contest. I didn't enter Shana for contest as there were damages on the figure in the first place.

The setup is basically the figure placed in front of my desktop computer's screen displayed with a moon eclipse in the dark. A bit of photo editing is done by painting the fire with PhotoShop (which I quickly learned on the Internet within 10 minutes), and while it's not pro work, I hope it pays off! ^^;

The title is supposed to be "A Shooting Star Under the Moonlight", but as the title can only be 30 characters long at maximum, I shortened it to "Moonlit Shooting Star".

I like the dynamic pose and flowing shapes of the 1/8 Black★Rock Shooter -animation version- figure. By playing with silhouettes one can explore not just the character, but also the atmosphere as well as the negative space. I hope this makes the character look more mysterious and charismatic at the same time!

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The same figure under normal lighting. Picture from the review post.

I did a photo review of it back in 2011. Can't believe it has been nearly 2 years already o_o;

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usA verification picture is needed for submission, which is basically a picture of the participated figure with a piece of paper of the entrant's name on it.

The picture has been submitted, but the soonest date for the picture to make it in the entry pages may be around 5th July. I'll update the page with link once it's available! The entry page is now up and available: https://event.goodsmile.info/photocon2013summer/entry.php?uid=965

GSC Scale Figure Photo Contest 2013@Summer
Photo Contest Explanation from Mikatan
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27 June 2013

War Room 1/144 M4A3 Sherman

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I know I have not been very active recently; several things in life are getting in the way. In the recent months I have been blogging about some of my 1/144 tanks here and there. Recently I acquired another tank, but this time it's a new release and it's not another German one. But an ordinary American Sherman tank.

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This M4A3 Sherman is released by ACI Toys under the War Room line, which is a relatively new line, but there also exists the Metal Troops which are of highly detailed miniature military vehicles with same scale as well. Somehow this tank is not yet mentioned on the official website, with only the M4A1 Shermans featured (earlier variant with rounded hulls).

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Tank with the hatches and M2 machinegun. There were no instructions as for how to place the parts, and unfortunately due to the small size and light weight I lost one of the half hatches for the turret already (as seen in the next two pictures)...

The tank itself is quite heavy for its size, so it's assumed the body, if not a majority of it, is made of metal. The hatches are made of plastic, and I have a problem of the paint where they flake off rather easily. This did not apply to the tank itself though - just the hatches. A real pity as it's really well painted with weathering features.

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Front sides of the tank

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And back sides

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Closer look at one side of the tank. Really love the decals used as well as the weathering applied on such a small tank.

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I also really appreciate the details of the tools mounted at the back of the tank. I know other more affordable tank miniatures also have tools moulded and painted on the tanks, these are possible some of the finest I've seen so far on a 1/144 scale.

As usual, a quick diorama shot to finish off the post.
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18 June 2013

GSC 1/8 Hatsune Miku Deep Sea Girl ver. preview

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Good Smile Company has recently revealed a coloured sample of the 1/8 Hatsune Miku Deep Sea Girl version, which is scheduled to be released at the end of this year.

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The figure depicts Miku sitting on the seabed in the ocean, and is based on an art from pixiv, which is used for a song of the same name composed and arranged by Yuuyu.

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The figure will be sold for 14800 Yen for December release. It is available for pre-order on online shops such as Hobby Search and AmiAmi, as well as Good Smile Online Shop (the latter will also come with a B3 poster).

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Original art "Deep Sea Girl -Thank you-" (深海少女~ありがとう~) by haruyo on pixiv

However, the figure is not the main point for me; I didn't think much of the figure in the first place. That is until I saw this picture below:
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Someone made this picture and posted on facebook. My perception of this figure has forever been changed by it. ^^;

Pictures are from:
Good Smile Company product page
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13 June 2013

New Gundam Series to be announced

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A new Gundam anime will be announced on 2nd July at 11:59 Japan Standard Time (GMT+9).

The keywords given are "1/144 GUNDAM 機動". 機動 means manuveur or mobile in some ways.

The latest Gundam anime series was Gundam AGE, which was first announced in June 2011.

It looks like that this may be a new series independent from the well known Universal Century timeline. By the way, there is still no news of GUNDAM THE ORIGIN anime adaptation in case you may wonder about that. Shuichi Ikeda, voice actor for Char Aznable, did hint such possibility to happen in 2014 during his stay in Hong Kong though. We shall continue to wait and see what may come for us in the near future.

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7 June 2013

Big Zam Tofu

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After the success of the Zaku Tofu and Z'gok Tofu, tofu manufacturer Sagamiya and Sunrise is making a third collaboration on the popular Zeon tofus, and this time it's bigger! Meet the avocado flavoured Big Zam tofu that is releasing this month!

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The notorious 2-legged, beam spamming beast ravaged in the asteroid base of Solomon in Mobile Suits Gundam anime. Now, in mass production, it would bring even greater terror and undoing of Zeon's enemies!


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Gigazine has a set available for review just before the tofu's official release date.

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Everything in the package: One Big Zam main body tofu, one Big Zam leg unit tofu, a rice cutter (mould for rice with Zeon emblem), and instruction leaflet

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The instruction leaflet informs you how to set up the Big Zam meal with the tofus and rice, and perhaps some touch up to make the Big Zam look epic~

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Main body of the Big Zam. It stands at 58.5mm tall according to the website.

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Leg unit of the Big Zam. The height is 48.7mm.

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Size comparison with an iPhone 5. The leg unit is about the same size as the previous Zaku and Z'gok tofus, but the Big Zam's main body is noticeably bigger.

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The actual tofu for the leg unit.

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Rice moulded by the so-called rice cutter. The emblem can't been seen so well here because it's all white. Perhaps adding some sauce to it to make the emblem stand out better?

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According to the instructions leaflet, one is supposed to place the Big Zam tofu on top of the moulded rice. Add seasoning and sauces etc to beef up your Big Zam!

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As with the Z'gok tofu, there will be a photo contest for the Big Zam tofu diorama. Submissions is available until end of July, with results to announce sometime near the end of August. It will be interesting to see how the battle of Solomon will be replicated by the fans~

Here are some of the examples from the contest website:
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A special Solomon War Set will also be available in a gift box with Zeon emblem near end of June. It comes with one Big Zam main body tofu, 2 leg units tofu, as well as a Zeon emblem rice mould and 4 Zaku tofus. An ideal summer gift for any Zeon fans~ ^^

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The Big Zam tofu starts selling in Japan on 7th June. As with the other tofus, this is Japan only, so those of us outside Japan are out of luck on this.

Images are from:
Sagamiya's Big Zam tofu website
http://big-zam.jp/ Big Zam tofu photo contest website
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