Saturday, April 2, 2016

Metal Build Strike Freedom Gundam Get

May as well try to keep up with the releases.
Just a day after the Red Frame I acquired this one. Just like every other Metal Build, it is very impressive, especially with its bulky proportions and more stylized profile. It should be noted that it is perhaps one of the heaviest releases once put together, maybe even more than the Gold Frame. Problem is, the span of the wings demand a lot of space for it to be displayed in all its glory.
I will try to get the Exia too, which will be reissued next August, problem is the preorders vanished in seconds...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Metal Build Gundam Red Frame Get

Another one down in this line up.
The ever popular Gundam Red Frame looks superb thanks to the Metal Build treatment. Just like the Exia Repair, compared to the MG version, this one has bulkier proportions, not to mention the satisfying diecast weight and like the Metal Build Gold Frame, the different shades of metallic red color all over it.
I was surprised they decided to sell its flight backpack separately as a regular release. I didn't buy that since I think the bare Red Frame looks perfect, as its simplicity is part of its charm, especially compared to the royal mess that are the other Frames.
Now I guess they will eventually release the Blue Frame to complete the trio, I just wonder if it will be the Blue Frame Second  L, which is the one that comes with the massive Tactical Arms or some other version.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

1/144 Huckebein Mk II

The accursed Vanishing Trooper!
Or not. That nickname actually belongs to the predecessor of this unit, the original Huckebein, but that incident was so huge that the following mechs of this line would end up carrying that name.
This is the RTX-010 Huckebein Mk II, a extremely watered down version compared to the real thing, as it is not equipped with the infamous Black Hole Engine, just a nuclear fusion reactor like a standard unit. Nevertheless, its performance is still superior to the average Personal Trooper.
The most distinctive feature of the Mk II is that it is equipped with the Gravicon System, which functions as a gravity controller, creating a defensive barrier around the unit known as Gravity Wall that can minimize or absorb attacks and damage dealt to the mech.
The Mk II not only served as the testbed for plenty of technologies, such as the T-Link System and the G-Wall, but was also the prototype for the Mk II M mass-production model (which was complete crap by the way).
In the OG games, Brooklyn Luckfield was assigned as the default pilot of this unit, with Elzam Branstein also using one in the Trombe colors. The uncanny resemblance to a Gundam extended also to its specs, as the Mk II was fairly agile, but also fragile and without access to much firepower, to the point that by the middle of the second game, you most probably benched it in favor of more powerful units.

Things got even worse during the events of 2nd SRW OG, as the 5 Huckebeins got destroyed. Nevertheless, the EX Exbein would inherit all of their technology, including the Gravicon System of this Mk II.
In terms of armament, the Mk II is fairly standard. First, it comes with a pair of 60mm vulcan guns in the head. These little holes are molded in the white piece of the head, so you need black paint and some fine tip to highlight them.
There is also a pair of beam sabers. I didn't bother with them, as you can't store the rectangular hilts in the actual kit, although you get a pair of hard, clear pink beam effect parts for them. You also get the photon rifle, which is quite large and can use some paint for extra detailing, such as in the magazine, and in my case, an aurora sticker inside the scope.
There is also the Chakram Shooter stored in the left arm. It incorporates a mechanism to open the storage compartment and reveal the disk. While there is no way to display it in midair, you get 2 versions of the disc. One closed for storing it, and another that comes with the blades open, when it is being used for attacking.
Finally, you have the G-Impact Cannon, which unleashes a powerful gravity wave against the target after docking directly to the Mk II. For doing this, you need to build the actual split handle so the model can grab a hold of it and insert an extra peg right in its crotch. The pose looks ridiculous, so I decided to just leave the kit grabbing a hold of the cannon in its closed state. As you can see, it is almost as tall as the Mk II itself.
And that's basically it. The kit is fairly simple, but looks really sharp and menacing by merely standing up. In this regard, since it is a rather old entry of Kotobukiya in the SRW plamo line, the articulation is very limited, so don't expect any crazy poses with it unless you heavily modify it. I remember seeing in the web pictures of someone who was able to attach the thigh and ankle connections of a HG 00 Gundam to this thing, so it was able to do the splits, but that would require plenty of work and modifications.
The main problem with this kit are the thick nubs and seams you end up with in very glaring places, such as in the weapons and legs, but the backpack is definitely the worst section of all, as the curved and irregular surface there makes them very obvious. A mere glance hints the nightmare it has to be to try to make that part look perfect.
Would I recommend it? Yes, if you like the Huckebein Mk II, although maybe you could try to look for the 1/100 kit, but be aware that all the Huckebein kits of Kotobukiya not only got discontinued, but also retconned from existence, so you will only find them in 2nd hand stores for fairly high prices.
I should also mention that comparing this kit to the EX Exbein makes it clear how far Kotobukiya has come with the SRW model kits, as the latter is missing all the faults I found in this Mk II. Still, I love this particular unit since it shamelessly states that it is a Gundam ripoff, also, it has a kickass theme song!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

1/144 Huckebein Mk II WIP 2

It ended up being far more colorful than I expected.
As I said, the seams and thick nubs are really evident in the legs. The brittle plastic does not help at all when cleaning those sections. Still, I like how it looks so far, although once put together, it is clear this thing can't really pose at all, so a neutral stance will be a must.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

1/144 Huckebein Mk II WIP 1

I decided to work in the Vanishing Trooper first before daring to tackle another big kit in the backlog.
As expected, being an old kit, the construction itself is very simple, perhaps a little too much, as the articulation suffers and is really basic, no more than 90° in the elbows and that seems to be the same case for the knees.
Similarly, the plastic itself feels kinda... raw. It is a bit too brittle and gate placement is not exactly the best, as you will end with some really thick nubs all over the place.
The worst seems to be the seamlines all over the kit, the ones on top of the shoulders, knees and thighs are definitely bad, so a bit of paint there to at least try to make them more subtle seems like a right choice.
As for pros, the sculpt itself is very sharp. I love how angular the head looks. It is worthy to mention that the front and back head cameras come painted in a green dull color. While it is a nice detail, you can definitely improve how they look with two small bits of a green Aurora sticker.
Being a Kotobukiya kit, color separation is really good, and it only requires minimal panting, mostly black for the vents or white for the cheeks in the face.
It may be a bit dated, but I can't wait to complete this notaGundam kit and put it together with the other SRW models.