Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A3 Takemikazuchi Type-00R

Seeing that the A3 Volks figures are so cheap in the aftermarket, I decided to go and pick up one.
For mere 1,800 yen I can say I'm pretty pleased with this figure. The Type-00R is the most iconic mech of the Muv Luv Alternative franchise, constantly appearing in most of the promotional material despite actually having a extremely shortlived appearance in the story.
Anyways, the A3 line by Volks always caught my interest, but I remember that the price of these figures was simple too much to attempt to get them. That seems to have changed in the last 2 or 3 years, as now you can get them as used items for a fraction of their original price. This seems weird to me, given how prized these things were originally, but I can't complain since they are now more accessible.
Unfortunately, my unit sports one glaring flaw in the head, as the horn and chin are not even aligned and look really off, although that is only noticeable from a full frontal look. Oh well, I guess I can't complain for the price I paid for it.
Still, I'm quite hapy with this purchase, mostly due to the size of the figure. I thought these were smaller but no, its around 16-17cm tall, almost as tall as the Kotobukiya non scale kit. The sculpt and propotions are sleeker than the kit, which is beefier, as Volks seems to aim to resemble the original lineart as much as possible. This, along with the gorgeous purple paintjob make it quite a sight. The multicolored burnt metal effect in the jump units is especially nice.
Unfortunately, it is in the articulation where the figure proves to be disappointing. While the joints are solid enough (they make weird clicking sounds since they are of the ratchet type), their range of movement is very poor, this is most noticeable in the shoulder section, as you can't even lift up the arms. Similarly, there is no articulation at the waist, so the torso can´t even rotate, or pull off a crunch like almost any modern plamo. I think that even with a display base, it will be hard to strike a decent action pose. Nevertheless, the Type-00R looks really cool by merely standing up.
As for extras, I find strange that the weapons already come molded with the hands holding them or stored in the racks, but I find even stranger the inclusion of the shield and hands holding daggers, as those are weapons this TSF in particular NEVER used and yet, it lacks the rifles mounted in the weapon racks to store them at the back of the figure.
Despite those shortcomings, I'm quite pleased with what was the very first A3 release and as far as I know, the later releases managed to improve over time, so I think I'm going to try to acquire a few more A3 figures in the future.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

HG 00 Gundam 7 Sword

This should have been the actual upgrade of the series.
This configuration of the 00 Gundam is directly related to the Seven Sword System of the Exia, however, it only appears in side stories, despite being in my opinion, more pleasing that the whole jet fighter monstrosity that was the 0 Raiser.
Anyways, this kit is basically an out of the box build, although I did some minor painting to try to improve how it looks. I used some gray for the stripes in the legs, yellow for the V fin instead of the horrid sticker you get and clear red for the jewel in the forehead. Similarly, I also used a green Gundam marker for the GN Drives, as well as some leftover stickers.
Once complete, its load out gives a very asymmetrical look due to the massive GN Buster Sword II that hangs from the left GN Drive. Surprisingly, it does not have balancing issues despite its size.
Let's make one thing clear, you obviously buy this kit in order to pose it with the GN Buster Sword II, however, in my case, the hands the kit came with were simply AWFUL and were not able to hold the weight of the weapon. Perhaps that was only my case, but it surely was disappointing not being able to properly display the main feature of the kit.
However, the solution came in the so called Jigen Build Knuckles weapon set from the Build Fighters series. This pack provides you with a whooping total of 36 hands in different positions and for my great surprise, the gripping hands can hold the Buster Sword perfectly!
Normally I use display stands for any HG kit, but this one is an exception, as it looks pretty good in a ground pose two-handing its massive sword, which makes me think than rather than cutting, this thing is more like a giant hammer that will crush anything in a hit.
I prefer this configuration a lot more than the 00 Raiser, so I recommend it to anyone who wants the bigass sword, however, be aware that the kit may not be able to even lift it and you may need the set with the extra hands. Fortunately, those are pretty cheap.