Sunday, March 15, 2015

1/100 R-1

This is totally not a Gundam!
DOUBLE T-LINK KNUCKLE!
The R-1 has been the personal machine of Ryusei Date through a good bunch of SRW games and will probably be, until the SRX gets wrecked, but let's take a look at the kit.
First of all, a very quickly out of the box assembly made this R-1 look extremely plain, so I decided to use some weathering all over the edges to try to make it stand out a bit. I like to think this is how it looks after a rough sortie.
In case you are wondering, the paint requirement is minimal, only some gray for the vulcans in the head and thrusters at the back (?) and a little yellow for a piece in the back is required. The color separation of the pieces is certainly impressive.
Having previously worked in the 1/100 Alteisen, I expected this kit to be kinda flimsy too, even more so given the inclusion of the transformation gimmick. Surprisingly, it was not the case. This iteration of the R-1 is a very solid model that will not fall apart the moment you touch it.
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Perhaps the most striking feature right away is how colorful the R-1 is with that combination of white, red and blue, color scheme that is very similar to the one a Gundam would use... mmm, the head is only missing the v-fin.
Also, the shield is another very distinctive feature given how big it is. It inevitably sags down the arm due to how heavy it is, but it certainly is very distinctive, given that it serves as the visor of the SRX and the hilt of the Z.O. Sword it deploys in combination with the Tronium Engine of the R-2. The shield incorporates an array of little pieces that serve as a very flexible mechanical arm, so if you want, you can rotate the shield so it faces forward and can cover a good chunk of the R-1 in a defensive position.
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As for weapons, the R-1 comes with the Boosted Rifle. It is almost as long as the kit itself. The scope stores a little clear green piece for the sensor, not to mention it can be removed. You can store the rifle at the hardpoints located at the elbows or at the one of the left wing.
They also provide you with the Giant Revolvers. These are stored at the holsters that serve as side skirt armors. The barrel can actually rotate and the bullets are molded in the pieces, so you can make them stand out with some gold paint.
The kit also comes with the 2 Cold Metal Knives. These are stored in a little rack located at the thrusters at the back.
While the array of weapons is decent, there is a serious issue to hold them, you see, the rifle and the revolvers come with little holes in the handles that are supposed to fit in the pegs molded in the hands that have articulated fingers. Unfortunately, said pegs don't fit that well, so you will need a lot of patience and balance for the kit to hold its weapons, The rifle in particular is almost held by a miracle. Similarly, forget about the knives, these don't even have the required notch for the hands to hold them.
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The other extra is a pair of green chromed fists that are used to reproduce the signature attack of the R-1, the T-Link Knuckle. These are very shiny, although the halves that compose them have a hard time fitting together.
Even if the kit comes with a display base, it still pales in comparison regarding size to the mighty brick that is the Alteisen, just check them together side to side.
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I didn't even bother to transform the kit for fear of breaking something, not to mention that I'm not really fond of the whole mobile armor thing in any mech. Still, it's too bad this kit didn't come with a part molded in clear green to reproduce the T-Link Sword attack.



Another quirk I can mention is related to the horrible seams. The ones of the shoulders, binders at the back and knees are really horrid.
Articulation for action poses is kinda limited due to how the arms and shoulders connect. Simply put, the shoulders can't move independently from the arms as has been the trend with Bandai's latest kits, that's quite a bummer that prevents you from reproducing the crazy moves Ryusei pulls off in the games.
Finally, the wing binders at the back connect to a polycap behind the shoulder, but their weight is so much, they are already loose.
Nevertheless, this was a pretty fun kit to work with, I'd recommend it only if you are diehard fan of the R-1 AND you are willing to shell at least 70 bucks for it, since Kotobukiya no longer prints it and has become quite a rare SRW kit out there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wild Wurger Arrives!

Having recently bought the 1/100 R-1, I kept my eyes open to acquire any of the other kits Kotobukiya made in that scale from SRW.
I was lucky enough to see this brand new Wild Wurger listed in Mandarake around 2 weeks ago, so I decided to go ahead and bought it. The box is bigger than the one of the R-1. Anyways, I hope the LED to light up the visor isn't as crappy as the one of the 1/100 Alteisen.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

R-1 WIP 2

I managed to work in the limbs of this kit.
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The R-1 is a pretty colorful mech, it practically screams SHOOT ME to anyone that has it in sight. Anyways, it is interesting to see that the arms and legs are double jointed, so they provide you with a wide range of articulation, the latter also have the mechanism that bends backwards at the knee, which is used for the transformation gimmick.
The ankles, however, leave a lot to be deseired as they are joined to the legs by a mere hinge, limiting greatly their movement.
I'm keeping the weathering treatment to the entire mech and I think it look prety good so far, however, I was really annoyed by the gigantic seamlines in the middle of the kneepads. Really Kotobukiya? These had to be halves instead of being molded in a single piece? Geez.
So far, so good, the weapons and wings are next. I'm eager to see the shield finished, as it is the actual head of the SRX.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

DM Sword Strike!

I've always thought the Strike Gundam has a certain charm. It is so simple, but its sleekness and contemporary design make it so distinctive and attractive. And from all the Strike variants out there, the Sword Strike is my absoulte favorite, so I couldn't pass up this kit.


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In case you don't recognize it, this is the Sword Strike MG kit made by Dragon Momoko, not Bandai. Bootleg you say? Can't deny that, truth is this thing caught my attention ever since the first prototype was announced and it showed PG level of detail.
I do know there is a Bandai MG kit of the Sword and Launcher Strike, but the actual Strike model is so outdated I never bothered to buy that kit. Anyways, this is going to be an interesting project, but first, I have to finish that R-1 and then the RG Wing Zero Custom.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

R-1 WIP 1

I managed to get a good progress on this model during the weekend, although I have some some quirks I need to point out.
The 1/100 scale makes it deliciously big, however, as proved by the R-GUN I built previously, the nubs on the Kotobukiya kits tend to be quite big and atrocious, and this R-1 is no exception. The above, combined with the fact that a straight build makes this robot look so bland prompted me to repeat the weathering process I applied to my MG Skullheart, highlighting the edges all over the kit and so far, I'm loving the result, as it also helps to mask and hide the nubs and scratches that result from cutting off the parts from the runners.
Color separation is also excellent, painting is minimal and compared to my 1/100 Alteisen, this R-1 has a much more solid built: it doesn't feel like it will fall apart by merely staring at it. 
It is too bad that this kit doesn't have a LED to light up the eyes and cameras of the head, but I guess that was sacrificed in order to include the transformation gimmick. Still, I applied holographic stickers right behind the clear green pieces, so when the light hits them, they look really good. I'm really looking forward to see this fella completed.