Sunday, August 30, 2015

SD Alteisen Riese WIP

Now this a really cool SD kit!
With these kits, it seems that Kotobukiya wants to reproduce how the mechas look in the latest SRW OG game and I think they nailed it, this Alteisen Riese looks like it came straight out of the screen.
As usual, there are a ton of parts for each component of the model, however, color separation is not as good as I expected, you will need to do plenty of touch ups everywhere with black, white, yellow and gray paint, far more than those required for its older 1/144 counterpart.
Regarding the articulation, while it has double jointed (!) elbows and knees, the lack of a second balljoint in the torso allowing the model to do a forward crunch severely limits the poses you can get with the mighty brick. Nevertheless, that is not an issue, as I will display it using the claymore attack effect parts, which also require some paint, but I bet the final result will look awesome.
I also still have to finish the backpack and the wing binders, but those will be a breeze.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New Loot

Some new stuff arrived.
I was especially eager for the Robot Damashii figures, the 3 of them are really cool.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Gold Frame Arrives

And to complete the trio of golden mobile suits, this finally arrived.
This is the most pricey item I've bought so far and will probably retain that honor for a good chunk of time. The Metal Build line is quite expensive and for a good reason: simply getting a hold of the figure and feeling its sheer weight due to all the diecast it uses leaves any plastic model green with envy.
The sculpt is really sharp, along all the nice extras and details it packs, including the markings all over the body. The gold in particular is also very nice, as you get 3 different shades of it. However, you will really need a display case for it along gloves, as the glossy black armor is a fingerprint and dust magnet.
Seeing that the soon to be released Strike Freedom is even more expensive, I fear this line will end up going to the gutter, I can see them releasing a Nu Gundam in this format and asking 40,000 yen for it, definitely not worth it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

DM Akatsuki

ORB's secret golden weapon!
The ORB-01 Akatsuki Gundam seems like a SEED attempt to do something akin to the Hyaku Shiki, as the golden armor of this suit is composed of millions of tiny mirrors used to reflect beam attacks, even from freaking warships.
I still think it is weird that Bandai never gave this Gundam a proper MG. Perhaps the gold coating was deemed too expensive to produce it? That did not stop them from making the HG 1/100, from which I'm almost sure this Dragon Momoko release copied the backpacks almost entirely.
Anyways, as I said before, this Akatsuki reuses almost the entire inner frame of the previous DM Strike save for some sections that are unique for this Gundam, such as the shoulders, elbows and upper torso. As a result, it shares the same HORRID hip joints. These are so fragile that will fall from their sockets at the waist any time you touch the legs, so trying to get any pose is quite frustrating, reason why I decided to leave this kit in the display stand.
The most prominent feature are the gold parts. The bright yellow ones have a grainy texture and their finish is almost identical to the Tamiya gold spray paint. Most of these are undergated, but you end up with some really horrible nubs at certain spots that don't make much sense, mostly in the legs and the Shiranui backpack, but I'll get on that later.
There are another set of darker golden parts, which are used only to provide a contrast among all the yellow gold. While the idea is good, again, these are not undergated, resulting in glaring nubs in the shoulders and wrists, so I had to paint those parts.
The weapons are pretty standard, a beam rifle, a shield and 2 beam sabers that can combine in a single one. Out of these, the shield is quite lovely, and the beam effect parts DM included look just wild, especially the curved ones. These are upscaled versions of the Kotobukiya Weapon Unit 25 set and are molded in a strong pink transparent color. While I normally paint these things with clear red, I think the pink color makes a good contrast with the gold color.
Now, the backpacks. Since the start, I planned to display this model with the Shiranui equipment. Once attached, the damn thing makes the model really backheavy, so the display base is a must. It is also a royal mess of nubs and seamlines everywhere. This was a real letdown, as the boosters and DRAGOONs are just halves slapped together that sometimes don't even fit properly. The lack of effect parts to display some of the DRAGOONs in midair is also a negative point for me, but perhaps that was too much to ask. Still, the overall look the entire thing provides once complete is really something.
As for the Oowashi backpack, it is the better looking of the two. It does not suffer from that many seamlines save for the cannons, which have a lot of range of movement thanks to the double ball joint system they use to be attached. They can even extend a little and deploy handles for the Gundam to get a hold on, a la F91. With a wingspan of around 25cm and the fact that it looks like a fighter by itself makes it a decent display piece.
Also, I may be a slowpoke, but after building this, it just hit me that the Full Package of the Build Strike Gundam completely ripped off this backpack, as it works and attaches to the mobile suit in the exact same way.
So final thoughts. I would only recommend this kit to those people that desperately need want a MG Akatsuki. Despite its faults, it is a great representation of the suit and once complete, it simply looks amazing. However, be aware of all the nubs and seamlines the whole thing has. There is no way around these save for stripping the gold paint and fixing the entire thing, so if you want your golden Gundam to look perfect, prepare for a ton of work to do.
I'm certain DM will continue milking the DM Strike inner frame and I'm betting one of their future releases is gonna be the Strike Noir, since it is a dated kit that would look great with the update the frame can provide.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

DM Akatsuki WIP 2

The hip joints on these DM kits are awful.
Well, like the Hyaku Shiki 2.0, not all the gold parts are undergated in this Akatsuki. The real problem is that you end with some nubs is really bad places, especially on the thigh armor of the legs and the front (!) of the ankle guards.
The beam effect parts are really nice. In fact, they are upscaled versions of the Kotobukiya Weapon Unit 25 (Saber & Hammer), made to fit a 1/100 model.With the legs and weapons done, it is time for the Shiranui backpack.