Sunday, May 24, 2015

DM Sword Strike WIP 1

For what is supposed to be knock off kit, this thing is actually REALLY good.
First, a few comments on the kit itself: 
- The plastic is much softer than Bandai's kits, but that actually helps by making the nub removal far easier.
- 80% of the parts are UNDERGATED, how cool is that?
- Some pieces don't fit all that well, so either gaps remain between the armor pieces or they are prone to fall off very easily.
Nevertheless, I'm quite happy with how this kit is turning out. This version of the Strike Gundam looks really sharp and definitely blows out of the water the old MG Strike IWSP I had in terms of detail, proportions and style.
A feature I love of the Strike is all the inner frame that shows all over the body. I decided the bare gray plastic wasn't good enough for what I was planning so I decided to paint it with gunmetal.
In order to make a good contrast against it, I used mica blue and mica red over the red and blue armor parts. I also applied to them a coat of Tamiya Clear Topcoat to achieve a glossy finish that looks really good.
The kit also provides you with a large sheet of waterslide decals. These are also precut, so applying them is a breeze and they certainly make the model look even better.
I'm sure once completed, this will be a real sight to behold thanks to the bigass sword.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ex Exbein

The inheritor of the power of the Huckebein!
Piloted by Ing Egret, the PTX-DEX EX Exbein is a clusterfuck that uses systems and weapons from the all previous Huckebeins. Despite its very unique look, it was definitely a god tier unit in the SRW OG 2nd game and given that SRW kits tend to become rarer to find as time passes, I decided to get it.

The first noticeable thing out of the box is the color of the mech. It is a light bluish violet color that looks even nicer with a dose of flat topcoat over it. In second place is its bulk. While it may not look like it, this thing is beefy as hell once you attach all the 18 (!) T-LINK Sliders all over it, making it look quite massive for a 1/144 kit.

In terms of weapons this thing carries plenty. First, there is the pair of vulcans mounted in the mask of the goggles (that conceal the fact that this thing is totally NOT a Gundam), although Ing only used them in the Ashe (the incomplete, previous version of the EX Exbein).
Second, the 18 T-LINK Sliders that can all be removed from the body and open up. I used some Vallejo white paint to detail them. In some cases, the result wasn't as clean as I hoped but at least the effort was worth it thanks to the contrast they make. Had they all been purple pieces, I think the mech would have looked rather dull.
Be aware that if you were able to buy this kit from the Kotobukiya JP store, they could provide you with a special display stand to expose all the 18 Sliders in mid air, just like in the game.

There is then the massive backpack. As I mentioned in a post earlier, I glued 4 spare metal thrusters I had right there. The constrast of the clear red paint I used is very pleasing against the purple. Said backpack carries the T-LINK Saber and the Strike Shield that serves as the scabbard of said blade. If you remove the Sliders of the forearms, you can attach the latter there.

Finally, there is the Black Hole Buster Cannon. I painted it with silver and gunmetal and used a green sticker for the sensor. This thing is HUGE, its like 22cm long and while the model should be able to wield it, I kept having balance issues to do so. Given that the backpack is so massive, even with the display stand, the model kept falling down, so I decided to simply leave the cannon in another stand, just like when Ing is summoning it to fire a freaking black hole.

Overall, this is an excellent kit, if I had to complain about something is the lack of the Graviton Rifle that came with the Huckebein Mk III. It is a cool looking weapon, but not really needed compared to the sword and cannon they provide you with.
There is also the issue of the model being backheavy, although that may be just my case for adding the metal parts. Nevertheless, I was ready for that, since I inteded to use a display stand for this kit since the beginning.
Finally, having to build and paint the same pieces 18 times over was definitely not fun. It ended up becoming a chore honestly, so be aware of that.
As a final word, I'd recommend this model a lot, even more so if you dig the Huckebeins. It is very solid, has tons of articulation and range movement (Kotobukiya kits have come a long way since the crappy R-GUN and the Wurger...) and makes a impressive display piece, even more so along other SRW kits.
I really want Kotobukiya to keep making SRW kits. Their next one of the Full Possession Cybuster and while I may skip it, I've already preordered their SD Dygenguard that comes out next September.
I think I'll keep hunting down some of their older models to keep the SRW collection growing.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ex Exbein WIP 2

I don't think I'll ever have another model kit with a backpack as ridiculous as this one, I mean, just look at this!

The back heavy problems are evident at a glance, meaning a display base is pretty much a must now, even more so given those metal thrusters I glued there. They were meant for my 1/100 Alteisen from way back, but their size was not the correct one for that model kit. However, they were a perfect match for this Ex Exbein and I think they look great, unfortunately, that added even more weight. Still, the model so far looks really good I think.
The weapons are also quite big, the sword and shield combo is pretty nice, but stored at the back just adds more weight. The Black Hole Cannon is a mighty monster of over 20cm long. It is also quite heavy and the model in the display base has no way to really hold it up, so I decided to put it in the same stand and pose the model just like when Ing summons the weapon in the game.
The "only" thing missing now are the 18 slider/funnels, which seem really bothersome to build.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ex Exbein WIP 1

So far so good with this kit of the ultimate Huckebein.
This is an OOB build, with some minor painting thanks to the great color separation Kotobukiya delivers. The most work in that aspect are the vulcans in the head, which required some black and silver paint. A neat feature is that many of the resulting scratches from cutting off the pieces from the runners end up hidden by others during the assembly process, so the model will look really good even with minimal effort.
In my case, I decided to add some random decals all over the body and I think they really, really improve the looks. The effort was worth it. I also used green stickers for the sensors in the cameras of the head and waist.
I'll work in the backpack next, for which I got an idea I want to try out.

Friday, April 24, 2015

RD Crossbones

Well, with the arrival of this RD X-3 Gundam, I've finally completed the trio.
I love the light blue color and it should be noted that its beam effect parts of the Muramasa Blaster are slightly different from those of the X-1. The way you attach the I-field effect parts is also pretty clever. That aside, it is a very simple, yet accurate reproduction of Tobia's ride.
My main complain is that Bandai decided to make it a web exclusive item, forcing you to pay a higher price for it. Worse thing is, they seem to have a hard on for making anything Crossbone Gundam related web exclusive: that weapon effect part for the X-1 (items that should have been included in the release of the actual figure!), the upcoming RD X-1 Kai, which comes with the cloak, the HG X-1 Kai, which comes with the entire arsenal and the HG X-2 Kai (with no freaking shot lancer!).
Obviously, the eventual HG X-3 will also be web exclusive, and I bet the vanilla X-2 will be too...ugh, still, I'll try complete the set in HG form, since I already have my X-1 and made my very own X-0.