Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Egyptian Myth Cloth Arrives

These figures seem to have jumped the shark when the EX line got announced, as pretty much almost all of the releases since then have been rather lackluster but hey, at least they maintain a pretty high quality.
Sphinx Pharaoh was released as a web exclusive item, although thanks to my local distributor I was able to get it without problems... save for the price, which was on par with the Gold Saint EX figures.
It is a very nice although simple figure, however, the Egyptian style and details are really sweet. My only complain is the harp, which is rather heavy for the elbow articulation and can sag down the whole arm unless you place it in the right angle.
Is this figure worth its price? I would say no, at most, it should have had the same price as Harpy Valentine, but it seems that unless these releases are web exclusive, Bandai will stop making Myth Cloth figures...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

R-GUN

Kinda amusing that the whole purpose of this unit is to become a BFG for the SRX.
Fire, R-GUN!
The SRX project designed the R-GUN to act as a modular weapon for the almighty combination of the R Series. It has the look of a mech only so it could fight independently and not be a goddamn gun all the time. Like the R-2, it stores a Tronium Engine, although said generator is only used when it transforms in the Metal Genocider mode.
Anyways, this is a Kotobukiya kit that came in 2005, making it effectively a decade old, so how is it?

The sculpting is certainly sharp and very colorful. Kotobukiya kits tend to be more expensive for a good reason: more parts than Bandai's kits, and that means excellent color separation for what is basically, a kinda crappy HG kit.
The downside is the plastic quality. It is not as good as Bandai's: the material feels quite brittle and anytime you cut off pieces from the runners, you will certainly notice how easily some can break if you are not careful. Similarly, the nubs left on the pieces are extremely thick and huge sometimes, making a real pain in the ass to clean them.
The articulation is also very limited, starting from the head, the neck can't even turn, the elbows will only give you a 90° bend and the joint of the torso can only rotate a little. The knees are double jointed at least, but you can't expect any dynamic posing from this kit.
The required painting is minimal. The most work is located in the head, as it comes completely molded in dark blue, and that section needs white, yellow and dark gray. The triangle things that come from the elbows are also supposed to be blue, but they come molded in white. Only those sections need paint if you want to stay true to the lineart. That and some flat topcoat will result in a extremely cool looking mech.
Kotobukiya kits also tend to come with some prepainted parts. In this case, the visor and the piece that acts as the forehead camera came molded with light blue highlights. However, in order to make it stand a bit more, I used the same holographic film I used in the HG Double X for the visor, making it much more striking, although for that, lights needs to hit it directly and since the visor is barely a slit, it is hard to see it.
The camera was easier, as I just used a metallic green sticker, which shines quite a lot. I also used a sticker for the back head camera.
Weapons wise, this thing comes with a pair of vulcan in the head, the Twin Magna Rifle and a pair of Beam Katar Swords stored at the backpack. I painted the gun with gunmetal and added a metallic green sticker for the sensor. This weapon can fire either solid or energy rounds, guess that explains the clip at the far end and the cylinder with bullets at the front. I painted those with silver.
Perhaps the most distinctive trait of the R-GUN is the waist due to the dick cannon it has there. That red thing is from where the actual shot of the Metal Genocider mode comes. Too bad the kit can't transform in said mode, that would have been really, really awesome.
The back of the mech is also quite unique. The backpack is very small and stylish, with the Beam Katar Swords hanging just right above the thrusters. The back of the legs also show some inner frame of what is essentially, the barrel of the giant gun this thing transforms into.
One thing worthy to mention is that unlike many other kits that come with gripping hands that allow you to swap the weapons they can hold, this R-GUN comes with specialized hands designed to exclusively wield certain weapons, that is, you need to interchange the whole hands if you want to display the rifle, the swords, or the T-LINK Boomerang when you combine both blades.
Overall, this is a model I can recommend, only if you don't care about the Hi-Twin Launchers that come with the Powered version of this kit. I would have liked to get that one, since said cannons are HUEG (like, 20 cm tall or so!) but given how rare SRW kits have become, the price is way too much to justify it.
Nevertheless, the vanilla R-GUN looks sharp, stylish and pretty colorful. It is also quite a bit bigger than the usual 1/144 gunpla, so it is very distinctive from the Gundam models. If you can acquire it for a low price, I say go for it. Just be aware of the lower plastic quality and the severe lack of articulation of the arms.
Also, it may be just me, but this unit in particular gives off villain vibes, I may be biased on that opinion for playing the SRW OG games and reading the Record of ATX manga. Still, it was none other than Ingram Prisken's unit way before Viletta and Mai used it, and he had one badass theme song dedicated to this unit:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

HG Crossbone Gundam X-0 Ghost

The long lost brother unit of the Crossbone Gundams!
Tobia's latest ride!
Or not, since there is no official kit of this unit. It simply is a HG Crossbone Gundam X-1 kit painted in the Ghost colors:
- Haze gray for the main body and top of the shoulders.
- Silver for everything else.
- Red for the vents in the chest and the v fin.
- Finally, a dose of flat topcoat to give the silver a dull look, which is how I think this Gundam should look.
For display purposes, I decided to leave the beam shield deployed in this kit, since I really like the unique design of said accessory. The weaponry of this unit is a problem, as the pair of butterfly busters it uses resemble twin barreled pistols that can open up and reveal large beam sabers for melee combat. Since I don't have anything that resembles that kind of weapon, I ended up giving it the beam rifle of the HG F91, leaving also the beam zanber at one of the hardpoints of the skirts.
They are still ancient weapons for the setting in which this X-0 appears, as in the manga, this thing is a 20 year old relic, piloted by notTobia, who is fucking BLIND, and still manages to kick major Zanscare ass, how awesome is that?
The skull in the chest is a little customization I made, using one the spare skull emblem for the forehead of my MG Crossbone Gundam Full Cloth. I just had to sand down the back of the piece, VERY CAREFULLY, since it is extremely thin and the risk of breaking it is quite high. After that, I simply used a drop of superglue right in the middle of the chest to adjust it. I think the result is decent enough, and will probably resemble a lot the eventual HG Crossbone Gundam Full Cloth that Bandai will release.
In the end, yes, this is a mere repaint, but I really enjoyed working on it. Even if Bandai decides to not release the other Crossbone Gundams in HG format, I'll have the whole family complete with the upcoming release of the Robot Damashii X-3 in February.