Tyouhi (Zhang Fei) Gundam Review

21 12 2010

First and foremost, a very big apology to everyone who has been reading due to the lack of updates for the past two months. The reason being I had a major public examination and the months leading up to it, I had kick it into final gear. Now that it’s over with, I can go back to Gunpla unlike the past two months where I never had the time to build any gunpla or even post news about certain Gunpla. My exams ended around two weeks ago, which gave me ample time to begin work on some kits. So, you can surely expect reviews to come flowing in rather smoothly from now with kits ranging everything from SDs, HGs, NGs and MGs.

All right, time to move on to the review. Forย  his review, it’ll be Tyouhi (or Zhang Fei the Chinese name which I prefer) Gundam from the BB Senshi Sangokuden Series. First up, some kit info.

Kit Info

Kit Name: Tyouhi Gundam

Kit Price: 500 Yen

Release Date: June 2007

Kit Availability: Rare / Uncommon

A rather old kit this one, the version which I’ll be reviewing is from the 5 Generals set which is essentially exactly identical to the version showed above. Since it’s launch in 2007, this kit has been released in many different versions already. Currently, there is the standard version (shown above), 5 Tiger Generals version (comes included with some clear gold armour parts), Oath under the Blossom Treeย  version(Clear Colour Version), Shin version (100 Yen more expensive with additional shoulder armour and new foil stickers) and the latestย  Shin Raiso version (whole new design).

Alright time to get kicking with the review,

The whole completed kit with the Serpent Spears in attack mode.

Definitely one of my favourite parts of this kit, the head. It’s very sharp-looking and also carries forth Zeta Gundam’s traits of which this kit is based on.

The V-Fin is exactly identical to Zeta Gundam’s. Foil stickers are used for the eyes and top sensor. But, fluorescent green paint is used for the green “jewel” on the V-Fin.

One of the main gimmicks of Tyouhi Gundam is the ability to remove most of its battle armour

The Serpent Spear in normal form, looks more like a trident now. One thing to note is the lovely detail on the red portion which resembles tow eyes of a snake.

Without the armour, action poses suddenly become much easier.

Detail on the head from any angle isn’t compromised. But, the detail on the rear skirt is a little lacking somewhat. Though, it isn’t too bad because this kit doesn’t have a particularly big rear skirt.

Generic BB Senshi Sangokuden connection slot for the backpack.

Detail isn’t compromised even without the armour on. The torso, head and shoulders have good detail even though it will be covered by the armour.

Contemplation time

Alright, time for some battle armour

Starting with the helmet

Followed by the chest armour

Then, the shoulder armours and the shoulder shield

The backpack attachment together with parts for the Serpent Spear

All pictures above (and for past reviews) are taken using the camera from my Nokia N82

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All picture hence forth below are taken using my Olympus EP-1

Heheh, new camera time.๐Ÿ˜€

As you can see, with the full battle armour on it is a stark contrast with the one without. Red predominantly takes up the whole kit so, it’s essential to get the red right for this kit if you are intending to paint it. For this one, the red is airbrushed on.

At the right angles, the Serpent Spear looks really menacing especially with its large size.

Another close up of the head

Some advice (for newbies or beginners such as myself), when hand painting the silver on this kit (or any other kit with large silver surfaces) make sure you take these precautionary steps.

1. Use a big brush. Using a smaller brush will result in more strokes to cover the area making more brush strokes.

2. Make sure your silver paint is thinned down sufficiently as silver dries quickly and leaves very obvious brush strokes.

3. Use paint retarder in your silver mix to give time for the silver paint to level out before it dries out. Leveling thinner also can be used. *Retarder dries slower than leveling thinner so, it is up to preference*

4. Do many layers. There is no shortcut to good silver hand painting, many layers will give a very nice finish.

5. Sanding down the part beforehand. This helps the base coat to stick better. Alternatively, a primer coat also helps.๐Ÿ™‚

6 (optional). Fix your mistakes using a brush with thinner on it. This may take a few tries to get right but, it helps if you accidentally smudge or leave your fingerprint on the surface.

By now, you would’ve noticed the asymmetrical shoulders

The left one has the gold ring and dragon motive. Story wise, the original armour of Tyouhi Gundam.

The right shoulder has the shield. Story wise, the right shoulder armour was damaged while Tyouhi protected a village. In return, the villagers repaired his armour for him.

Another part taken from Zeta Gundam is the backpack.

There’s a cute little red ribbon at the end of the Serpent Spear which is a nice aesthetic touch and also acts as a lock from preventing the spear from sliding off.

The wrist spike on the left arm is completely static. Pity

The feet are also very similar to Zeta Gundam’s feet.

Even the leg sports a nice amount of detail

Tyouhi Gundam is able to carry the large Serpent Spear with no problem.

After a while, the Serpent Spear still holds up very well which means it will do very well for action poses.

Still holding on.๐Ÿ˜€

The chest detail is very nice. Not too much but also not too little.

Which in return means all the armour detail from various parts come together very well and don’t look too bulky or heavy.

Just a slight change in the head tilt and change to the way the spear is wielded. More friendly and less aggressive poses are also very possible with Tyouhi.

Neck articulation is limited to the docile look up.

Or the aggressive stare down

Bird’s eye view is surprisingly nice.

Some contemplation time before the conclusion,

Alright, enough of contemplation and time for a conclusion.

Contemplaclusion

So, how exactly is this kit?

To put it simply and in one sentence, Tyouhi Gundam is a kit with amazing value for money at only 500 Yen, good details and gimmicks suitable for beginners and experienced modelers alike for its simple approach to detailed painting for the beginners and a well thought up design.

Simply speaking, a good place to start to start and continue.

Until then,

Merry Christmas, HAppy New Year and Happy Gunpla-ing!!๐Ÿ˜€





Upcoming HG 00 Clear Colour Kits in January

20 10 2010

Great news!

Bandai has finally announced the next upcoming line of HG Clear Color kits which consists of HG 00 Qan[T], Zabanya, Harute, Raphael. All the kits will be launched in January and the price is 100 Yen above the standard retail price.

Here’s some info:

Kit Name: HG 00 Qan[T] Clear Colour Version

Price: 1700 Yen

Release Date: January 2011

100 % identical to the Clear Colour Version of 00 Qan[T] launched in conjunction with the Gundam 00 Movie: Awakening the Trailblazer. Below are some extra shots.

Clear white, black, red and green are identical to the current clear colour line up. The clear blue is one slightly lighter colour than the clear blue on HG 00 or Exia.

A stand will come included but, no confirmation on whether it is the above illustration’s normal clear or HG 00 Qan[T]’s sparkle clear green stand.

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Kit Name: HG Zabanya Clear Colour Version

Kit Price: 1900 Yen

Release Date: January 2011

The colour of the clear parts are identical to HG Cherudim Clear Colour. Colours include, red, white, black, green and yellow.

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Kit Name: HG Harute Clear Colour Version

Kit Price: 1900 Yen

Release Date: January 2011

Colour of clear parts are exactly identical to HG Arios Clear Colour Version consisting of clear orange, black, white, red and yellow.

Like Arios, the Mobile Armour Mode looks more menacing in clear colors, well at least that’s what I think.๐Ÿ˜€

 

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Kit Name: HG Raphael Clear Colour Version

Kit Price: 2100 Yen

Release Date: January 2011

First HG Clear Colour kit to feature clear purple. ^^

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Alternatively, there is an option to get all the kits bundled together.

Kit Price: 7600 Yen

Release Date: January 2011

Considering the price is the total of all 4 kits, it should be safe to say that there is no additional goodies.๐Ÿ˜ฆ But, who knows? Perhaps a hybrid box art like the previous Clear Colour bundle releases? only time will tell.

So far, this is a Bandai Hobby Online Shop exclusive thus, there is no confirmed news of whether or not the kits will be sold in hobby stores.

My Take:

For a clear colour kit fan like me, this is like a dream come true. Not one, not two but four kits. While I haven’t mentioned this before, the new generation HGs from the 00 Series are very good at hiding seam lines and nip marks therefore making it look even better in clear colour. So far, 00 Qan[T], Zabanya and Harute catch my eye though, realistically I may only get 00 Qan[T] first. Raphael is little difficult, majority of it’s clear parts are in white and black which don’t really look all impressive in clear colour. Dunno, maybe the clear purple will have to do its work.๐Ÿ˜„

Until then, (with determination) Clear Colour Kits here I come!

 





HG Cherudim Clear Colour(Expo) Version Review

17 10 2010

First of all, it’s been ages since I did my last review as I have been busy with studies and other responsibilities. Nevertheless, Gunpla plays a huge part in my life and I try my best to devote any of my free time to it.๐Ÿ˜€

For this review, I will be doing a static review of HG Cherudim Clear Colour(Expo) Version which comes bundled together with HG 00 Raiser Clear also in Clear Colour. Not too long ago, I did a DIY on how to remove nip marks from Clear Colour kits and Cherudim’s GN BIts were the subject. From there, I noticed the UV reactive clear green plastic didn’t look too good under the photo box so, I decided to do an outdoor photo shot with the aid of a lovely morning sun.๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see, Cherudim is on a Sparkle Clear Green Action Base 2 which is used for HG kits and also happens to be the main reason for this review. Why so? Because it is very difficult to put Cherudim in any nice pose without the aid of a stand. Cherudim either falls down or the legs sag when you put it in pose without a stand. So, yeah, if you are in the market for a HG Cherudim of any variant, make sure you invest in that extra 500 Yen for this stand.

P.S. – A note on the stand, most Action Base 2 comes in clear colour but the plastic is non UV reactive ABS plastic so, it doesn’t look any different under any light. Otherwise, a great stand :3

HG Cherudim is capable of many dynamic poses using the GN Pistols but, when it concerns the GN Sniper Rifle, the amount of poses are limited and static.

A quick note on the GN Sniper Rifle – The long barrel which folds(has to be removed and replaced for the HG Version) to switch the GN Sniper Rifle Mode to Sub-Machine Gun(SMG) Mode can get a little loose and fall of when mounted on the shoulder racks. Thus, my Cherudim’s connection slots are tightened using plastic cement.

Warning: If you are going to use plastic cement make sure it 100% dry first if not it will be stuck forever.

The main aim of this review is the clear parts, so how are the clear parts?

1. Black – Standard issue clear black, no big difference under artificial or natural light.

2. White – Same milky clear white used by all current clear colour HG kits. May look a bit dull under normal lighting. Brightens up significantly under natural light. Looks great under high intensity white light.

3. Green – It may look similar but, this is a different clear green from the ones used on MG Exia’s condenser parts. Slightly darker less reflective. Looks mediocre under artificial light (with the exception of high intensity white light). Looks pretty good under natural light.

4. Red – This is an interesting one. Looks very dull under low light but looks radiant under bright light. The degree of shine for this is directly proportional to the light intensity. Very bright and it may become too shiny like in the picture above.

5. Yellow – Ah, the yellow. Wish I had more of it in this kit because it is perhapsย 
the best looking clear part in this kit. Not that there is anything wrong with the clear green but the clear yellow is really radiant under natural light. I always complain about how Bandai makes horrible yellow parts but, their clear yellow is quite the opposite. Sadly, there aren’t any primarily yellow gunpla or Gundams/MS for that matter. HG Artemie Clear Colour perhaps?๐Ÿ˜„

The long tail of GN Bits will be the primary reason why you will need a stand if you get a HG Cherudim. It makes the kit really back heavy and the relatively loose leg joints can’t handle the weight.

Which really isn’t a bad thing. Getting a stand for Cherudim really brings out the best in it and enables very dynamic “spammer” poses.

Another little bit of clear yellow is on Cherudim’s chest vents. ^^

Oh, if you were wondering, the bits hold on just fine so as long as you don’t fiddle too much, it won’t fall off.

I removed the yellow antenna on Cherudim’s head. I like the symmetrical look a little more.

A quick note, the armor guarding the cockpit and chest vent cannot be removed unlike the 1/100 version.

On closeup, the GN Sniper Rifle looks pretty good. Only question is, one wonders why Bandai couldn’t make the aiming sensor clear green. After all, they did change HG Exia Clear Colour’s clear condensers to clear aquamarine.

Overall, a pretty decent kit both in terms of function wise and aesthetics wise. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Cherudim as the design never really appealed to me but, I made an exception considering this is a clear colour kit and the fact that it came bundled together with 00 Raiser(my original target).

After completing this kit, I still didn’t like it very much. The leg joints were loose and weak. The hands couldn’t hold the pistol firmly. The GN Bit and GN Drive tail weighed the kit down to much. The pose with the GN Sniper Rifle was awkward and static. Worst of all, the GN Bits left a horrible nip mark.

But, that all changed when I got the stand which is my recommendation to you if you do happen to get a HG Cherudim. Seriously, a stand is a must and with it the whole kit makes much more sense. With the stand, everything else is pretty much secondary. Problems like the weak legs and heavy back are instantly solved with the stand and it enables more dynamic poses more suited for Cherudim are possible. Regarding the GN Sniper Rifle, it looks good mounted on the shoulders so lets leave it there shall we? ^^

After all, Lockon does prefer the GN Pistols.

A few questions to end the review,

1. Would I recommend it?

Yes and no.

2. Why?

Type(1) If you are a fan of clear colour kits but not really a fan of Cherudim and have cash to spare, the answer is YES. I will recommend it as it is a really fun and enjoyable build.

Type(2) If you are a fan of clear colour kits and Cherudim, the answer is a clear and simple YES. Same reasons as above, fun and enjoyable. A keeper.๐Ÿ˜€

Type(3) If you are a fan of Cherudim but not a fan of clear colour kits, the answer is NO. Honestly , you’re better of spending a bit more for the superior HG Cherudim GNHW/R.

Type(4) If you are not a fan of Cherudim or clear colour kits, I’m frankly impressed you made it so far. But, the answer is surprisingly YES. This may not be the best kit to introduce you to the world of clear colour kits but it’s worth a try.

3. You got me interested, price?

Be ready to fork out quite a lot because HG Cherudim Clear Colour can only be purchased bundled together with 00 Raiser Clear Colour. You’ll have to be ready to fork out minimum 3000 Yen for both kits.

4. Is it worth?

Yes, every last cent of it. This is because HG 00 Raiser Clear Colour comes bundled together with it and it is perhaps one of the nicest clear colour HG kits ever. Not forgetting, HG Cherudim is good too. ^^

5. Great! Anything I need toย  know before getting one?

Everything I’ve mentioned above, you’ll most probably face it so make sure you purchase a stand. The nip marks can also be very horrible so you can refer to my previous post, https://kidskits.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/howto-remove-nip-marks-from-clear-gunpla-kits/ , on how to solve it.

Until then,

Lockon, sniping the target!





Razer Freebies Giveaway – Razer L33T Giveaway

4 10 2010

Fancy owning a full professional gaming set by the one and only Razer?

Well, then take this perfect opportunity as Razer will be giving away 1337 Razer Gaming Sets from now until the 25th of October 2010 as part of their Razer L33T Giveaway

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Extract from Razerzone.com

Signing up only takes a few minutes by filling in your full name, email address and country. Really simple.

You can sign up here at this link:

http://l33t.razerzone.com/index.php?user_dtl=6f274d32b4df474bfaa7f23cb62715ab

What are you waiting for? Sign up now and stand a chance to be one of the lucky 1337.





Composite Ver. Ka Commander Haruhi’s Customized General Purpose Humanoid Type Decisive Battle Use Exoskeleton

2 10 2010

Before anything else. Wow! That must be like the longest post tile ever and for that reason I shall be addressing it as Ver. Ka Haruhi instead of the absurdly long ๏ปฟ๏ปฟComposite Ver. Ka Commander Haruhi’s Customized General Purpose Humanoid Type Decisive Battle Use Exoskeleton.

Recently, Tamashii Nations announced a collaboration between Katoki Hajime and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. If you have read my past posts, then you would already know that I’m “quite” a big of Katoki Hajime. For those who don’t know who he is, to keep it short, he is one of the top mech designers around specifically doing Gundam designs and contributes his designs mostly to the Master grade lineup of Gunpla or his GFF and Ver. Ka Composite figurines More information on him here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katoki_Hajime. Now The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, I’m sure, needs no introduction. Generally, when this collaboration was introduced, I was shocked and excited to see the outcome.

And here it is,

Yup, a bunny girl mech with a bunny girl in it. Honestly, when it was first revealed, I was a little surprised but, I seem to like it even more and more especially that rifle.๐Ÿ˜€

The mech and Haruhi can be separated which is a nice gimmick but, I doubt it has much actual usage. Note the yellow ribbons on the side of the mech and the typical S.O.S. and Haruhi insignia all over the mech.

From the side, it is rather thin but, that is acceptable. Though, the design of the whole mech looks very Unicorn Era design themed. The legs especially really shout ReZEL and Unicorn.

The mech’s entry system looks pretty simple and something which caught my eye was the feet, kinda small. Oh, And the bunny ears move!

If you’ve already noticed it, they are all using a Soul Stage stand which makes me wonder will there be the signature Composite Ver. Ka and GFF style stand which Katoki is known for. Hopefully so.:\

Well, this may actually turn out to be the first Haruhi figurine I’ve ever gotten. Overall, the display sample looks good. There are one or two things amiss like the feet looks a bit small and the articulation wouldn’t be too good. But, the nice design more than makes up for it (as like all other Katoki Hajime figurines) and that rifle, especially that rifle. So far, no price has been announced but, like all other Compostie Ver. Ka figurines, the price should be north of 4500 Yen. Hopefully, by then there will be more weapons and that much-needed stand.๐Ÿ˜€

So, what say you? Get or not to get?

Images are from GA Graphic





PG Strike Freedom Full Color

17 09 2010

Bandai’s Hobby Division just released full colour pictures of the upcoming PG Strike Freedom.

The talked about wing sliding mechanism which enables seamless transformation from Normal Mode to Full Burst Mode

Sliding mechanism is also incorporated into the frame

Katoki Hajime’s full color lineart. Looks clean and very much like the final product

As usual, a full color CG of it. Looks nice and the colors don’t stray too far from the original Strike Freedom colors





New Pictures of Prototype PG Strike Freedom

17 09 2010

This time, with wings too.๐Ÿ˜€

Bandai has just released pictures of a full prototype of the upcoming PG Strike Freedom designed by Katoki Hajime and Co. While the previous prototype did not display Strike Freedom’s signature wings which the whole Gunpla world has been going on about, this one finally has and it’s no let down. One look and the difference in the wings are obvious compared to the other versions of Strike Freedoms, well partly cause I’m a Strike Freedom fan.๐Ÿ˜„

The 3 most noticeable differences are,

1. The overall design – The current design for the wings follows Katoki Hajime’s “expose-more-frame” style which is great considering Strike Freedom has a gold frame. More good news, similar to MG Strike Freedom Full Burst Mode, this one will also have Extra Finish Gold Frame Parts on all exposed joints and frame. In order to prevent the gold parts from being scratched off by movements in the wings, there will be a special sliding mechanism for seamless change of the wings from Normal Mode to Full Burst Mode.

2. The proportions – Without me having to tell you, this is going to be the biggest PG so far and with such a dramatic wing span, you wonder how come you haven’t noticed it on a MG Strike Freedom yet. The truth is, length wise, I believe both the PG and MG wings are more or less the same length when scaled down. The key to it is the proportions, which as you can see, Katoki Hajime has taken the liberty to sharpen and reveal more frame to give it a more majestic look and feel. I must say I am impressed.

3. Wing gimmick? – This took me so time to notice. As you can see from the above picture, the PG Strike Freedom’s are currently in Full Burst Mode. On closer inspection, you’ll notice the gap is a little large and there seems to be a locking mechanism within the wings. My take? Wings of Light, definitely. But, for the price tag, I’m pretty sure the wings will not come bundled with the kit. More likely, it’ll be a special parts issue like every other PG launched so far. oh, the price if you ask?

25, 000ย  Yen (exclusive of tax)

Yup, it isn’t going to be a chap kit especially since it will be coming with 55 Runners, LED mechanism, spring (not sure if it is spring lock) mechanism and clear stickers.๐Ÿ˜€

Comparatively, PG RX-78-2 has 24 runners (including beam sabers)

While, PG Astray Red Frame has 36 runners (including beam sabers of 1 runner each and katana)

Not forgetting the most recently launched, 00 Raiser has 32 runners (inclusive of beam sabers and beam swords)

Speaking of comparison,

It is huge and if you’re wondering what else this pricey PG kit will have installed.๐Ÿ˜‰

It’ll come with a brand new joint system to handle the weight and stress of the whole kit while retaining the overall posing capabilities and articulation. A custom stand will also be included but no news has been given regarding the stand or whether it will be the one PG Strike freedom is currently on.

So far, so good. Let me know what you think of PG Strike Freedom so far.