Sunday, December 27, 2015

[Kit Insight] Magic Toys MG 1/100 RX-121 TR-1 [Hazel Custom] (Straight Build)


The Hazel is an intriguing mobile suit: it is huge, bulky and seemingly packed with experimental weaponry and technology. Although a HGUC version of this popular suit (and its Titans Test Team brethren) exist, fans have been calling for more Advance of Z suits, specifically more kits bearing the flag of the Titans. Third party manufacturer Magic Toys has done just that.

For a non-Bandai kit, this offering from a third party brand is quite inspiring. The level of detail imbued into the kit coupled with a relatively smooth building process is a godsend to builders looking to build alternative kits. Fitment is excellent, with little to no issue, although some parts require a little elbow grease to snap shut. Parts-wise, the Hazel comes with many, many parts, especially for the beautiful inner frame. The feet also feature working pistons!

However, articulation is where the kit suffers a little, as the bulky design doesn't permit outlandish and hyper-dynamic poses. Nevertheless, the frame and armor pieces still manage to give you decent room to work with, but the bicep armor's strength and assembly leave quite a bit to be desired. 

Overall, the Hazel Custom is a fun kit, although the assembly itself is more thrilling than the final product. That said, this kit gives you an insight into what some third party companies can offer with the limited resources at their disposal. Imagine what they can accomplish with the deep pockets and backing of a global conglomerate.

[Kit Insight] Bandai HGUC 1/144 RX-78-3 Gundam G3 Full Spec. [Revive Ver.] (Light Build)


When improving a current model, don't stop at changing the colour scheme.

Add more weapons!

Monday, December 14, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGIBO 1/144 STH-05A Hyakuren (Teiwaz Mass Production Ver.) (Painted Build)


The Hyakuren is a unique design, blending samurai armor references with futuristic features. Despite its ostensible bulk, it still manages to achieve amazing dexterity in combat, although it is confined to space operation due to its alternative proportions.

This variant of the Hyakuren is the full mass production version manufactured (and likely sold) by Teiwaz once the Hyakuren production lines are up and running. This Hyakuren also incorporates the combat data gleaned from both Amida's and Azee's prototype units, to give Teiwaz pilots an edge over the many adversaries along the back lanes and shortcuts of the Ariadne Route to Earth.

[Gallery] Bandai SD Ex-Standard RX-78-02[EOD] Gundam (Explosive Ordnance Disposal Type) (Painted Build)


I went through masking hell to get the colours on, turned out alright in the end!

The olive drab makes it look like it has thick, heavyset armor for bomb removal duty!

[Kit Insight] Bandai Tamashii Nations NX Edge Style Gundam Astray Red Frame with HG 1/144 Flight Unit


A semi-SD proportioned version of the Gundam Astray Red Frame, the NX Edge Style variant is immensely fun and playable, and has a solid plastic feel to it as compared to the rubbery touch of the NX Edge Style Strike Freedom Gundam.

The paint job on the main body is decent, but the katana is very well done, making it seem like it comes from a Figma or another toy set. 

A bonus gimmick: the Flight Unit of the HG Astray Red Frame fits very well onto the NX Edge Style version without any modifications!

[Gallery] Bandai MG 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame (Art of Gundam Ver.) with EffectWings MG 1/100 Flight Pack (Light Builds)


It's a plated Astray with clear armor parts, what more is to be said?

Oh wait, adding on the Flight Pack ups the badass factor considerably!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

[Kit Insight] Bandai Star Wars 1/12 First Order Stormtrooper (The Force Awakens) (Light Build)


Not gonna lie, this version of the Stormtrooper is much more badass than its Galactic Empire counterpart: a revised "black tears" helmet design, more tactical use of equipment pouches on the armor as well as a slew of awesome weapons, like that kickass stun baton!

The kit itself is rather plain, with the white parts have a super glossy, almost shiny finish that reminds you of Stormtroopers from the first trilogy. The rest of the kit features a single tone of black, which although is the secondary colour for a Stormtrooper, still leaves much to be desired. The new blaster too, is all black, so some dexterous hand painting is needed.

Overall, it's a very fun build and a fun kit to play with, especially with that stun baton!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

[Metal Build] Bandai Tamashii Nations Metal Build 1/100 Strike Freedom Gundam


It is a Metal Build variant of the insanely popular Strike Freedom Gundam, what more is there to be said?

A near complete redesign of an already awesome mobile suit, the Metal Build treatment of the Strike Freedom features many acute angles and keen edges, with nary a curve or rounded corner found throughout its metal composite frame. As an analog to the Demon Lord motif of the Metal Build Destiny Gundam, the Strike Freedom invokes images of an armored archangel, sent to do eternal battle with its mortal nemesis. 

And it has the equipment and accessories to accomplish its task.

The finishing is superb, the quality is great, the joints are tight but the feet is somehow a little too underwhelming to hold up such an amazing figure. Nevertheless, the Strike Freedom is a fantastic addition to any Gundam collection, if you have a deep enough wallet, that is.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

[Metal Build] Bandai Tamashii Nations Metal Build 1/100 Destiny Gudam (Heine Westenfluss Custom) (Tamashii Nation 2015 Exclusive)


The Destiny is one of the greatest mobile suit designs that stemmed from a Gundam series. Although it is essentially a souped-up Perfect Strike with a pair of flashy wings, the Destiny managed to permanently etch itself into the walls of franchise with its badass "blood tears" face unit, the Wings of Light System as well as the fighting style of Shinn Asuka.

Therefore, when the Destiny Gundam saw a release in the Metal Build format, it was a no-brainer to get it. When Tamashii Nation announced the Heine Westenfluss Custom version of the Destiny, it was an absolute MUST to obtain it.

The following pictures will tell you why.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGIBO 1/144 EB-06C[D] Graze Cannon Commander Type (Terran Desert Colours) (Customised Build)


The Graze Cannon is one of the many variable equipment packs that a standard Graze can use to fit its mission profile. A ground-use Graze at base, the Graze Cannon is equipped with a powerful 180mm high velocity cannon along with a 10-tube high explosive missile launcher in addition to the standard Graze loadout. It is also equipped with a shield for additional protection when its mobility is compromised from firing the huge cannon. 

[Kit Insight] P-Bandai MG 1/100 Gundam Fenice Rinascita Alba (Straight Build)


The Fenice Rinascita is a beautiful variant of the classic Wing Gundam design revived with the advent of Gundam Build Fighters. But what if the Rinascita was piloted by Heero Yuy?

The gorgeous Rinascita Alba is the result! Pictures and build courtesy of Ruzvolution!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

[Kit Insight] SD EX-Standard RX-78-2 Gundam (Straight Build)


The new SD line was announced to decidedly mixed reviews. On the one hand, there are people who lauded the new design perspective for these refined SD kits, incorporating elements from the other grades into cutesy frame. On the other hand, the lack of colour separation and the amount of work required to beautify the kit can be deal breakers for some. Nonetheless, the new SD line is the culmination of Bandai's renewed foray to rejuvenate interest in one of the oldest product lines in its inventory.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Highlights: Gunpla Expo 2015 Singapore Edition

 
A snapshot of some of the interesting stuff at the Expo!
 
Do pop by Nex Shopping Centre, level 1 to check it out!

GBWC 2015 Singapore Qualifiers


Entries this year are really beautiful!

Check them out!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

[WIP] HG IBO 1/144 ASW-G-08A Duke Barbatos [Calamity War Rollout Ver.] (Customised Build)


Model Number: ASW-G-08A Duke Barbatos
Designation: Gundam-Frame Type General Purpose Mobile Suit

The latest Gundam to hit the franchise gets a speedy GPN custom (still WIP though)! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

[NEWS] WALL MARIDA


The PG Banshee Norn is now available at local hobby enterprise Hobby Art @ Work (HAW)!

For three days beginning Friday, 2 October 2015, members can purchase the Black Lion at a special price of S$260! 

Even if you're not buying it, it is astounding to behold WALL MARIDA (yes, I know that the Banshee Norn is piloted by Riddhe Marcena but Wall Riddhe sounds Riddhe-culous)!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[Accessory Analysis] 4D 1/6 Weapon Sets


Sourcing weaponry for customisations can be an uphill struggle: there may not be the appropriate weapon in the correct scale for use, or the weapon would fit the look you are gunning for. 

I stumbled upon these 1/6-scale modern weapon sets during my usual online browsing, and decided to give them a go. Fans of modern shooting games would recognise them easily, as would servicemen in the military or gun enthusiasts. The kits themselves come together rather easily, building like actual guns (bolts, receivers, the works), and come with magazines, rounds and all sorts of paraphernalia. What's important though, is the fitment.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

[NEWS] New Gunpla Announcements/Confirmations/Releases


The All Japan Hobby Show is in full swing, and Bandai's marketing machinery has renewed its relentless onslaught on our wallets. The following is a snapshot of all the new toys we'll be getting, I will endeavour to update this post where possible.

WARNING: potentially poisonous images after the jump!

[Kit Insight] HGUC 1/144 MS-09R-35 Rick Dom [Hi-Mobility Type] (Customised Build)


Model No.: MS-09R-35 Rick Dom [Hi-Mobility Type]
Designation: Principality of Zeon Attack Use Heavy Mobile Suit

HGBF model kits represent possible alternate evolutions to their base designs. 

Take the R-GyaGya for example. Had the Neo Zeon obtained enough funding, they could have further weaponised the R-Jarja into a mobilr suit that would have given its adversaries more trouble. 

The Dom R35 is the latest update to the formidable Dom template, featuring the addition of numerous high output thrusters and verniers to compensate for an increased bulk due to additional armor plating. Therefore, the decision to create the Rick Dom (Hi Mobility Type) from the Dom R35 practically made itself! 

Designed to strike fast, hit hard and return to base intact for further sorties, the Rick Dom (Hi Mobility Type) would only be issued to commanders and veterans of the One Year War, pilots who would be able to handle the suit's very impressive perfomance and output. The Rick Dom would have wreaked havoc on Federation forces, blasting GMs, Balls and warships to oblivion with its huge rapid fire rocket bazooka. 

A Dom just isn't a Dom without a big gun.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

[Metal Build] Bandai Tamashii Nations Metal Build 1/100 Gundam Exia [Trans-AM Mode]


Metal Builds are expensive, but beautiful.

This purple one looks great, although it's basically a recoloured and watered-down version of the regular Metal Build Exia, for a higher price due to its limited status.

[Kit Insight] Konami ModeLock Skygirls Action Character Model 03 - GK21 Fujin (Straight Build)


The amount of plamo Japan has is nigh unfathomable: just when you thought you've seen it all, something totally unexpected makes its appearance and takes your money. 

The Konami ModeLock series is one such product of ubiquitous Japanese imagination and supreme engineering.

[Store Insight] Sydney Hobby Store (Singapore)


The quest to find cheaper, more affordable Gunpla is ever-present. Even with the advent of online shopping, I still find myself seeking the (cheap) thrill of browsing a physical brick-and-mortar hobby shop, looking through the rows upon stacks of boxed Gunpla, all waiting to be freed from their mortal shackles. 
 
Therefore, it is extremely delightful and exciting to find a local hobby store that brings in the latest releases for a low, low price. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

[Kit Insight] Bandai MG 1/100 GX-9901-DX Gundam Double X (Straight Build)


The Double X always has an intriguing unconventional design. When the HG kit was released, fans everywhere snapped it up, but gaped at some of the balance issues and design limitations that appeared. 

Seemingly to address these while giving fans another reason to cheer, the MG Double X was released to much surprise, and subsequently to much adulation.

Ruzvolution is here once more to share a Kit Insight on this beautiful kit!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

[Kit Insight] Audley A-Type 1/100 UNX-1S Pioneer Kainar Ver.GPN (Painted Build)


The Kainar series has always been something of an enigma: it doesn't really count as a bootleg but it parallels Bandai kits in many aspects. The first season saw a release of about 20 model kits across the different grades, accompanied by an anime series that didn't really take off here in Singapore. However, the model kits enjoyed some success, being swept up by modelers for their customisation/cannibalism needs.

Season 2 holds more promise, if the Pioneer Kainar is any indication. Having more parts than a big box Bandai MG kit (MG Amazing Red Warrior, MG Blitz, MG Build Strike Full Package, etc.), the Pioneer is ostensibly inspired by the Unicorn/Banshee Gundam, sporting clear orange psychoframe parts that take up three entire runners. The Pioneer is able to morph into a pseudo-NTD mode, where sections of the armor lift up/slide away to reveal more of the sexy psychoframe, the parts on the psychoframe gated to minimise nubs and damage to the more visible parts. The NTD gimmick is most apparent in the awesome-as-hell backpack binders, blooming like a flower to push out a central psychoframe piece. If there has to be a reason to get the Pioneer, this is it (apart from that huge beam cannon).

The articulation is also pretty amazing, with Pioneer being able to easily execute the knee bend, touch its own shoulders and move its head in ways other MG kits cannot. The MG-style hands on the Pioneer are pretty good, much better than the crappy Dragon Momoko MG 3.0 hands that snap off like dried twigs. 

The Pioneer however, suffers from a number of ridiculous design flaws, particularly in the front skirt armor. The lower section of said armor is attached to the upper section by a thin piece of plastic that is less than a millimetre thick, which in turn is attached to the front crotch section by another piece of plastic that is no better. As a result, my Pioneer is now without its left front skirt armor, snapped off by the rigors of dynamic posing.

But hey, for S$40, who's complaining?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

[Kit Insight] RG 1/144 MBF-02 Gundam Astray Red Frame [Ver.GPN] (Painted Build)


The Red Frame is a timeless and immensely popular design, therefore it is no wonder that a RG variant will be released; it was only a matter of time.

The RG Astray Red Frame represents the most updated Red Frame to date, albeit in a slightly fragile and shaky package.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGRC 1/144 MSAM-041 Dahack "Yellowjacket" (Customised Build)


Model Number: MSAM-041 Dahack "Yellowjacket"
Designation: Amerian Army Mass Produced Attack-Use Mobile Suit

Yes, it's based on the Yellowjacket from Marvel's Ant-Man!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

[Kit Insight] P-Bandai MG 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame (Painted Build)


From time to time, the Gundam Universe surprises us with a supremely badass design that manages to ingrain itself into the very essence of the franchise. 

The Astray Red Frame is one of these designs.

Ostensibly the most popular Astray variant - and to some extension one of the most popular mecha designs coming from the Cosmic Era - the Red Frame combines multiple design cues into a sleek, compact, yet innately detailed and highly mobile giant robot, with a kickass katana to boot.

Therefore, it is no wonder that the Red Frame kits continue to sell like hot cakes, spanning every single grade, scale and variant which have been lapped up eagerly by Red Frame fans everywhere. So it came as a pleasant surprise (or not) when Bandai announced the P-Bandai version of the Astray Red Frame, basically a stripped down version of the regular release Astray Red Frame Kai with the Tactical Arms. 

But it is really one and the same?

Fellow Gunplanerd Ruz (@ruzvolution on Instagram) will tell you that this P-Bandai Red Frame is the only Red Frame you should get.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

[Accessory Analysis] Pla-Act Option Series 01, 02, 03 (Straight Builds)


As part of my enduring quest to find cheaper alternatives for almost everything related to Gunpla, I stumbled upon this particular series of plastic model kits. Call Pla-Act, this is a relatively low-profile line of mecha model kits and associated products, featuring robots done up in the style of Sengoku Era warriors. In fact, all four model kits currently available are named after a well-known figure of said era: Masamune Date, Hiroyuki Sanada, Nobunaga Oda and Shingen Takeda, which is pretty cool if not for the fact that the model kits themselves are pricey, costing upwards of S$30 for a completed model that is more LBX than Gundam. 

Neverthless, the Pla-Act Option Series range of weapon add-ons is where this particular line of plamo shines. Molded with the same injection technology as Bandai, these weapons are a breath of fresh air to the usual beam rifles, cannons, missile launchers and bazookas of the Gundam Universe, instead focusing on more traditional weapons with a modernised twist, allowing them to not look out of place on a 1/144 scale model kit from Bandai. The downside however, is still the cost, as a single weapon set can set you back upwards of S$11.

But god damn it, they are gorgeous.

Pictures of each Option Series after the jump!

[Metal Build] Bandai Tamashii Nations Metal Build 1/100 Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina


For a made-in-China product, Bandai manages to continually push the envelope with each new release of its heavily-priced Metal Build series of premium action figures. Not for the faint of heart or thin wallets, these Hot Toys-esque bad boys feature revised proportions, reimagined designs and multiple gimmicks packed into a high quality 1/100 scale die-cast frame that the Iron Legion can only envy.

The latest release, the relatively popular Gundam Astray Gold Frame Amatsu Mina, manages to exceed all expectations of its quality, and then some. Simply put, it is an amazing piece of engineering machined with such precision and dedication that no one will believe its place of manufacture. A sleek design, sharp edges and numerous gimmicks result in a Metal Build figure that is almost value for money (S$330).

The Amatsu Mina's gold frame comes in three tones of gold: chrome, matt and metallic. This treatment can be seen as a testbed for the upcoming Strike Freedom Gundam, which will ostensibly use the same gold or similar format for its golden inner frame.

I will let the pictures do the talking, many images of this black beauty after the jump!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gunplanerd Gunpla Contest Season 1: Entrants!



Thank you for the support for the very first season of this contest, the complete list of Entrants (a total of 57!) is just after the jump! Do note that Entrants are not listed in any particular order.

The Finalists will be made known soonest!

Monday, June 22, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGUC 1/144 MS-14C-2 Gelgoog Cannon Commander Type [A Baoa Qu Defense Ver.] (Customised Build)


Model Number: MS-14C-2 Gelgoog Cannon Commander Type
Designation: Limited Mass Production Long Range Defense Use Mobile Suit

The Gelgoog has always been one of my favourite monoeyes: the bulky frame, boar-ish head and general ferocity makes it one of the more memorable Zeon units that came out of the One Year War, itself spinning into multiple variants and models as the UC timeline progressed.

A customised version of the original Gelgoog Cannon, this particular variant is developed for a small group build between some of us older builders. With the theme GM vs Gelgoog, we set about to create and customise our corresponding models, and due to share them this weekend. Nevertheless, my entry (of sorts) is ready for rollout!

Essentially a mobile suit fitted for one last stand against impossible odds, the A Baoa Qu Defense Ver. of the Gelgoog Cannon is largely the same as its full mass production brethren, but has a number of enhancements and upgrades to improve its performance. Issued only to veterans who have survived most of the One Year War instead of the student pilots tasked to pilot the standard Gelgoogs (to ill effect), the Commander-customised machine featured integrated small group command and control systems to facilitate the transmission of orders and combat data to the whole platoon. Retrofitted for semi-zero-gravity combat on Zeon's final fortress, this Gelgoog Cannon variant is equipped with more powerful skirt and leg thrusters, in addition to two more high-torque verniers affixed to the back of the skirt armor below the beam naginta. This allows the Commander to move swiftly from point to point, issuing orders and supplementing the defense of that particular sector.

This Commander version of the Gelgoog Cannon features many more weapons over the regular rank and file. Retaining the right shoulder-mounted high-power beam cannon and the three-tube rocket launcher mounted on its left forearm, the Commander is also outfitted with a double-barreled beam cannon with an integrated mini-shield, a six-tube armor-piercing missile launcher mounted on the left shoulder as well as a handheld experimental mega bazooka designed to sink Salamis-class cruisers with a well-placed shot.

This version of the Gelgoog Cannon only saw action during the defense of A Baoa Qu, valiantly stemming the tide of RGM-79 GMs, RB-79 Balls and their Salamis-class cruiser motherships. Despite its heavy loadout and improve combat performance, the Zeon forces were still unable to overcome the overwhelming military might of the Federation and their White Devil.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

[Kit Insight] Dragon Momoko 1/144 Little Bears (Straight Build)


When the Petit'gguy first appeared on an episode of Gundam Build Fighters Try, builders everywhere cooed after looking at how cute it is, but cringed a little when it delivered a Seiken-Zuki to surfer dude Turn A Gundam's southern extremities. Nonetheless, the community is since enamored with these cuties, with Bandai responding to this demand by releasing the HGBC 1/144 Petit'gguy on its own with a selling price of S$11.95 a pop.

Taiwanese model kit manufacturer Dragon Momoko, riding on the wave of success for their excellent MG /100 Launcher and Sword Strike Gundams, released their own versions of the Petit'gguy, called Little Bears due to copyright reasons. Each set contains three bears instead of one, coming in Pink, Beige and Cyan, which is enough to give Bandai Petit'gguys a run for their money.

The main difference between the DM Little Bears and the Bandai Petit'gguys is the presence of undergated parts. However, this is wholly unnecessary as it means additional steps to complete a Bear, exacerbated by the relatively softer plastic that the DM Bears are cast in. However, this is only a small issue and can easily be overlooked cos three in a set you guys!

By and large a Petit'gguy, the DM Little Bears build in exactly the same way and feature slightly larger eyes but smaller noses, and have better articulation than their Bandai cousins. Each also comes with its own chair, connector paw for the regular Beargguy III or Beargguy F as well as backpack ribbon. It doesn't come with the jigsaw puzzle piece stand like the original but who cares cos three in a set you guys!

You can get a bunch of these and create your own Bear army!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

[Kit Insight] HG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam Ver. SG50 (Painted Build)


As our only national Gundam, I cannot just do a straight build and call it a day! 

Thankfully the greys still work well with the reddish-orange and white parts! 

The decals leave a little to be desired, some just wrap around details in the armor while others will likely come off with time, so it's best to topcoat this beauty once you are done with it. Weapons-wise, I can't understand Bandai's regression on the beam saber, but the metal chain for the Gundam Hammer is a nice touch. The stock bazooka was been replaced with a nicer-coloured third party version that is more in line with the overall colour scheme.

The SG50 Gundam is nice, meaningful way for us Singaporeans to celebrate the  nation's 50th year of independence, scalpers notwithstanding.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Really Singapore?


Within the span of less than five days, 6000 units (or so presumed) sets of the uniquely-Singapore HG 1/144 RX-78-2 Gundam Ver.SG50 have been snapped up, smashing every single sales record in the history of the Gundam Docks exhibition. 

That is the happy part. 

The sad part is that many of the model kits sold have been purchased by individuals or groups that only have vested financial interest in the hobby, thereby depriving true fans of the franchise their only chance of obtaining a truly Singapore model kit. 

This SG50 Gundam is a one-off happenstance that is unlikely to happen again in my lifetime, that is why it is so coveted by many builders, especially this year when it is the 50th year of our nation's independence. 

Anticipating the scalping that will undoubtedly occur as evidenced from past events (Hello Kitty, SNSD concert tickets), I was one of the first 50 people to line up for the kits on day one, when the limit per person was 10 units. On hindsight, the organisers could have limited that number to the current two right from the start, in order to deter the scalpers looking only to gain financially. I personally saw (and captured on photo) someone carting away five full cartons of the kits. I will let that sink in for a bit. 

Personally, I bought the maximum of 10 sets, but apart from keeping two for myself, the other eight sets were resold to true fans at cost price - I made no profit whatsoever from this exercise. All I want is for true fans to own a piece of Gunpla history. Too bad the others aren't so altruistic. 

It really saddens me to see the amount of scalpers turning my beloved hobby into a goddamned MapleStory free market.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

[NEWS] HG 1/144 RX-78-2 GUNDAM [VER.SG50]


Pretty neat of Bandai and the venerable Kunio Okawara to design and release this repaint of the Ver.GFT RX-78-2 for the 50th year of Singapore's independence!

This is really one exclusive that cannot be missed!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGBF 1/144 NK-13J Denial Gundam [Ver. GPN]


Not gonna lie, the Denial Gundam is my favourite MS design to come out from that mecha battle royale that is Gundam Build Fighters Try. The unconventional colour scheme, alternative front and side skirt armor along with the ferocity of Junya Inose made the Denial a force to be reckoned with, as the Try Burning Gundam painfully realised.


One of the gripes with the model kit release of the Denial is that the purple parts come in exactly zero shades of purple, resulting in a stock kit that is more "commander type" than "evil long lost friend-turned-enemy". Therefore, a complete recolour was done, the combination of the two hues of purple (Candy Purple and Violet Blue) working in harmony to bring out the evilness of the Denial. The main grey was also darkened to Honda Grey in order to accentuate the fearsomeness, while Candy Red served to bring out the splash of crimson like a pool of blood. The rest of the colours used include Gunship Grey 1 and 2 for the shin armor and the head, Silver Chrome for the V-Fin, chest vents and central armor pieces, Sparkling Black for the limb frames, Gun Metal for the fists as well as Metallic Black for, well, the black bits.

A pair of foot spikes was also added to the feet as I felt that they were too vanilla and not befitting of a powerful, evil mobile suit designed to pummel its enemies into the ground. 

But I have to say, I'm not really a fan of the thigh-based side skirt armor: it can be burdensome to manipulate at times and more often than not comes across as a hindrance. I will use the more conventional waist unit of the Try Burning for the next Denial custom to improve its stability and bring it back to its Cathedral Gundam roots.

Yes, I like the design so such that I intend to create a customised version of the Denial, not simply a Ver. GPN colour correction build (new class of project by the way!).

Gundam Abnegation (working name).

Saturday, May 30, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGBF 1/144 Petit'gguy [Future Pink] (Straight Build)


This tiny little thing looks cute and takes about ten minutes to build, but costs around S$10. I can't decide if Bandai is crazy or the people who actually build it at retail price are crazier.

You can build an ARMY of these little fellas!

[Kit Insight] 高高模型 1/100 Akatsuki Gundam (Silver Chrome Ver.) (Straight Build)



For a bootleg, this is pretty good. However, quality control has some jarring issues, as expected of a bootleg. But how often can you build a silver chrome Akatsuki!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[Accessory Analysis] Builders Parts HD 1/144 MS Sword 01


Seems like Bandai is trying to introduce more weapon options apart from their System Weapon series, not that I'm complaining!

These Swords are really nice: long, detailed and exceptionally perceptible. They come with the standard pegs that fit into most polycaps and ports, but that won't stop the hardcore modelers from using new joinery systems altogether. 

The set is quite generous, comes with two long swords, two armatures for them to flip out a la the Exia's GN Sword, two daggers which resemble rocket anchor tips as well as hardpoints for storing them.

I must say, those long swords look really sick!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

[Kit Insight] Takara Tomy 1/72 Liger Red Hiou (Zoids Generations) [Light Build]

I've always held an enduring fascination with Zoids: mechanical constructs designed to look like biological organisms fired up the imagination within my childhood mind, spanning imaginary battles that shook earth and shattered tectonic plates. 
I always wanted a Zoid, but I never got around to getting one.
Until now.
This particular Liger is different from the rest of its trademark mascots: it is pink. A mail-order, festival-exclusive, limited edition Holotech version of the Liger Zero offered by Dengenki Hobby in 2007, the Hiou is hard to find and even harder to get, and you will see why once I get it assembled.
If I can only have one Zoid, make it a limited edition one!
But I must say, the pre-painted parts on the molded parts are a GREAT touch, perfect for lazy or casual modeler who just does not want to do any painting. Bandai should consider doing that as well!
The Hiou is more or less a straight build, with only certain parts of the frame updated with metallic red, the blue bolts improved with Light Metallic Blue, the chest cannon recoloured silver, the thrusters coated with Light Gun Metal and the claws repainted to silver chrome. I also removed the tail cannon as I felt it was unneeded, impractical and cramping the Hiou's sleek look and style.
Sexiness of this magnitude really doesn't need additional embellishment.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

[Kit Insight] Kotobukiya 1/144 Vardant [Linebarrels of Iron] (Straight Build)


To be honest, I've only seen like five minutes of the Linebarrels of Iron anime series, but it looks slick, polished and quite awesome for a mecha series. This particular Linebarrel however, looks to be the meanest of the lot, with a samurai-esque appearance coupled with the patron limit break of all calm, collected pilots: coffin swords.

Kotobukiya kits build similarly to Bandai kits, but their instructions are very much more condensed and the quality of the parts feel a tad fragile as compared to the solid Bandai molds. Nevertheless, the finished product is quite the sight to behold - especially with the arrayed coffins - but suffers from some fitment as well as articulation issues.

[Kit Insight] HGBF 1/144 XM-X1[MS] Crossbone Gundam X1 Full Cloth (Minovsky Stealth Mode) (Painted Build)



The community is still waiting with bated breath for the inevitable release of the HGUC Crossbone Gundam X1 Full Cloth, which is essentially a souped-up, upgraded version of the original X1, itself already a masterpiece of mobile suit design. Therefore, when Lucas Nemesis debuted his own version of the Full Cloth, fans worldwide metaphorically (hopefully not literally) shit their collective pants. Yes, the GBFT version looks a little different from the HGUC version, but its still a Full Cloth, right? Furthermore, the mobile suit managed to hold its own against both the Transient and The End together, that one-on-two battle sequence being one of the most memorable in GBFT.

Friday, May 15, 2015

[Metal Build] Bandai Tamashii Nations Metal Build 1/100 ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam (Second Issue)


I have a love-hate relationship with Metal Builds: I love them for their exceedingly fine detailing, superior articulation and excellent build quality, but hate them for the prices they command. Seriously, a single Metal Build can net you an entire series of HGs, but the return on investment is arguably higher for a Metal Build.

The first release of the Metal Build Freedom Gundam was fraught with quality control issues, chipped paint and loose joints, which really dampens the experience with a Metal Build. Therefore, it came somewhat as a surprise when Bandai & Tamashii Nations re-released the Freedom, with far greater quality control that nullified many of the flaws found in the first release.

And at S$168, this is one of the more affordable Metal Builds in the market.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

[Kit Insight] MC Model HG 1/144 AMX-004-2 Quebeley MK-II (Light Build)


MC Model has always been an outstanding third party model kit manufacturer, all things considered. Not content with just ripping off Bandai by the runner and producing inferior copies of already-released model kits, MC Model has researched, created and produced reimaginations of popular mobile suits, most notably the Nu Gundam and Hi-Nu Gundam. These revised variants feature far greater detail, proportions and accessories than the original, and for only half the price. Therefore, if you have to buy a third party kit, let MC Model be your choice,

When MC Model released the AMX-004 Quebeley (Haman Karn Custom), the Gunpla community got really excited. Largely superior to the Bandai version in terms of proportions, size and visual aesthetics, the HG-scale was only constrained by weak mobility and poor articulation, especially within the near-static elbows. However, the action base with butterfly effect packaged with the kit made up for it somewhat, and the funnel display parts allowed the Quebeley's core weapons to be more than just inert Newtype devices.

So when MC Model announced the AMX-004-2 Quebeley MK-II, the community was once again thrilled. Showcasing revised joints that improved elbow articulation, the MK-II also came in a special hue of glossy purple, and builders had the option to create either the regular MK-II or the mass production version that comes with a different head unit, feet unit, 30 funnels and a pair of movable cannons mounted on armatures stemming from the back of the torso. Furthermore, for the price of Bandai's own HGUC Quebeley MK-II, this MC Model version was significantly more value for money.

Despite the hype, the MK-II is still sadly lacking. Although many flaws in the first Quebeley have been fixed (elbows, head tilt, etc.), many inherent problems still exist. Even if the kit looks great, the torso doesn't have sufficient mass and strength to hold up the entire kit. Promotional material for the MK-II almost always illustrates the kit in a flight pose or on a display stand, this is probably the reason.

As with third party kits, parts do not have the luxury of Bandai-grade engineering and quality control, with some tricky bits (the 30 funnels) requiring careful positioning and then some elbow grease and bruised fingertips to get in. Some parts just do not fit in at all: the ball part of the ankle joints CANNOT fit into the according socket. It is really frustrating.

The result is a Quebeley that can look better if it manages to stand up straight. Well, at least the hands are beautiful.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

[Kit Insight] HGUC 1/144 LM312V04-D2 V-Dash Gundam Type 2 [Intra-Colony Warfare Spec.] (Painted Build)


Model Number: LM312V04-D2 V-Dash Gundam Type 2 [Intra-Colony Warfare Spec.]
Designation: League Militaire Mass Produced Mobile Suit for Colony Combat


A mass production variant of the original V-Dash Gundam piloted by Uso Ewin, this cheaper, simplified version (referred to as Type 2 for convenience) retains the well-rounded combat superiority of the original while keeping costs down to enable the League Militaire to mass produce and field more of these high performance mobile suits against their BESPA adversaries. 

This particular V-Dash series is outfitted and tuned for combat within colonies, with the Overhang backpack and all verniers/thrusters calibrated to compensate for the increased gravitation within colonies. This allows for greater maneuverability and agility in high-G environments, giving the Type 2 a much needed edge in mobile suit combat against BESPA adversaries. 

The Type 2's colour scheme is also updated to a more tactical one, helping the mobile suit to better blend into the urban sprawl of colony habitats. Retaining all of the weapons from the original, the Intra-Colony Warfare Spec Dash is equipped with a lower output (cheaper) Beam Smart Gun, a lower powered pair of Overhang beam cannons, the standard beam rifle, beam sabers as well as beam shields. The head unit has been changed to a cheaper "rabbit ear" Hexa version to improve survivability, as BESPA mobile suits usually view mobile suits with V-Fins as high priority targets. Commander versions of the Type 2 however, can have Gundam-type head units, if the pilot so requests.

This kit holds the distinction of being the first custom painted only with Anchor DPI spray paint, I usually use Tamiya with only a little Anchor.

[Kit Insight] Bandai 1/500 Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Light Build)


The Yamato is a classic, be it the World War 2 monster or the sci-fi rendition of that World War 2 monster. It is the amalgamation of Japanese military ambition, manifested in a seemingly obsolete weapon of war that still manages to strike fear into the engine rooms of any contemporary warship it faced. It was huge, insanely well-armed and armoured, as well as crewed by the most exceptional of men. The Yamato had a few big sticks, and was not afraid to use it.