And so I was finally able to give this assembleborg guy some proper joints, and I even have just about enough left to attempt a modifiation on my SIC kuuga, but I'll get to that after the yearly trip up to Baguio.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Okay, I think I've played around with this guy long enough to form some opinions about him so here it goes.
Boy, I was excited, I was really excited. And now here he is and suddenly my enthusiasm becomes lukewarm. Not because of the figure itself, no it has a lot of strong points, it's just that after the Horse Orphnoch figure was previewed, suddenly (spoilers for anyone who hasn't watched the show) Takumi's figure didn't seem all that great.
For sure it's beautifully sculpted, even more than the regular rider figures, his look really does bring him closer to the Garo kiwamis though. But, as a design, there isn't really anywhere you can push in terms of making him look more SIC, since well... Orphnochs are pretty SIC already. What they just did was take the wolf orphnoch design and make it pointier. And it's really really pointy (probably why he's 95% soft pvc).
And despite these guys being absolutely boring in terms of color (every monster's palette is composed of varying shades of dull grays ), they did a great job with the colors, cutting up the predominant ash gray color with some worn silver/steel, a black detail wash, stark white eyes and if you look closely, gradients of rust.
I'm only a little put off by how glossy the ink wash is, since it doesn't (for me at least) really add depth so much as scream WE ARE BREAKING UP THE GRAY. It does, however give the figure a certain "drawn" look, since the ink wash makes the detailing pop.
This is pretty much the extent of the figure's lateral movement, which is limited for obvious reasons, but hell, I've seen it happen so much on every other release that I've almost stopped caring about it. The range is pretty believable though when you put the design into consideration.
The way they were able to conceal the joints is pretty awesome though, and it shows especially on the knees, where the design isn't really broken up at all. I wish that joint was a bit dirtier though, as it is it's too clean and smooth.
The motion in the neck is pretty good as well, despite having a thick neck, the double ball post and sleeve design really makes it more flexible than it appears, which is crucial if you want to make him do a howling pose.
unfortunately here's the downside (and I'm hoping it's just a problem with mine), his joints go floppy real quick. He felt a bit loose out of the box and the more I played with it the quicker they got worse. But no worries, I just keep dripping pledge/ future finish into the joints to tighten them, though this shouldn't really be have to be something the buyer must fix themselves.
Here he is standing next to faiz, the dude is pretty tall with his legs straight but I prefer arching his knees in a more dog-like stance and hunching his torso to make him look more feral. And that way, he sees eye to eye with Faiz and Kaixa. Just to give you an idea how big he is,
Standing next to a Joe, he is monstrous.
The only accessories he comes with is an extra pair of open hands which doesn't really do much (even if you have a vivid imagination).
It took me 20 minutes just to get him to balance for that.
Worth getting? Well at the price of 800 php (18 dollars) which is already at discount price, I can't really say.
Sure the design is great, paint apps are awesome though the color is outright dull, he doesn't have any other accessories, the amount of plastic used doesn't really feel like a lot, and he goes floppy fast. Buy at your leisure, but I'd suggest waiting until it goes for a good sale price, even if you are a 555 fan.
It really isn't justiΦed for now.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Ah, finally got him. Guess that rounds out my wishlist for 2011, next year will bring some more stuff, namely Sidebasher and Horse Orphnoch. I'll review Takumi here by next week, there's a lot I have to say about this guy, but I figure I'll be more articulate with my opinions after I play around with this figure for a bit.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Had to happen sometime. I've been practicing this for over a week, and I think I'm getting the hang of resin recasting, using cheap RTV silicone caulk from tubes for making molds, and using Easycast Epoxy Resin (which is nice and flexible making it an ideal material for stuff like this) for the actual casts.
I'm starting small and reproducing extra parts. particularly, I recast Kaixa's fist so that Faiz would finally have a pair for himself. In the pic above you can see the results of the project, with the original placed next to the resin recast and in turn being placed next to another recast set that I resculpted a little to make it look different from the Kaixa set.
The recasts are surprisingly a good fit, nice and snug and what's great about it is, as I've mentioned the material is flexible and can withstand a good amount of bend and pull without deforming or tearing. If I could try and describe how the material feels it's almost like pvc, which is great since the majority of the figure itself is PVC too.
now here's the other resin fist set that I modified, raising the 'photon blood' vessels on the hand and making the fingers themselves rounder and less claw-like. After that was done all that was left was a quick paintjob and viola!
Now Faiz has three sets of hands (Still need to make a bit more for riotroopers and the hand armed with a faiz shot). next to him is my modified Kaixa, with replacement torso joint and brightened eyes.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Sometimes, retro toys are way cool. Bought this from a friend, it's a 1999 reissue of the Microman Rescue Line, one of the clear variants. I actually bought 2 of them,but gave the clear black one to a friend of mine. Thinking about making a review of this guy but I'll save that for a rainy day.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Oh man, I've been anticipating this guy for a while now, having high hopes and such that he'd surpass Faiz in coolness, and in some ways he does, bringing a lot of nice features into what is primarily a heavy retool/remold of the old 2009 Faiz design. In other ways though he falls short (literally!) of what I had thought he'd be.
He looks badass enough though, with the black, steel, and gunmetal color scheme and golden trim, the mean-looking arched antennae and broad, pointed shoulders Kaixa definitely has a grimdark feel to him which I like. It also helps that he looks like a dwarf with his noticeable lack of lower torso.
The helmet and chest detailing is absolutely amazing, with cracks and seamlines everywhere, the tech greeble making him look very assymetrical and such, really making it feel like his armor assembles itself in layers and sections instead of single unified pieces. The eyes are a nice shade of dark purple, which is cool but I would have liked a lighter shade of purple, if only to enhance the ring detailing underneath the lens.
Now this is one of those improvements in design I'm talking about, having the neck joint as a double ball post with the "meat" of the neck only acting as a sleeve really adds to the poseability of the figure, too bad the neck still ended up looking a tad short though.
Another fun thing to note about these figures from the 555 series is that the designers paid attention to their specific personalities, providing enough mobility for them to do their trademark poses, like Takumi's pre-kick pose or his wrist flicking, or Kusaka's collar-popping pose. Unfortunately, no matter how well he can do it I am very very distracted by how so damn squat he looks. This is mostly because of him almost having no waist or ab crunch to speak of.
Going back to poseability, this figure suffers a little. What you see above is the limit of the figure's lateral motion. It's not as limited as say Blade or Knight but it really falls short of Hibiki, Agito or Faiz, at least to me.
Frontal motion though, not much of a problem, he can do high-kicks and stuff, punching poses are also negligible. Also another nice detail is the tech greeble on his foot soles, very nice.
Kaixa comes with a lot of accessories, namely two sets of hands aside from the fists (yes, fists. Something faiz could have used) with hands that are noticeably more bony and claw-like, his Kaixa Gear which includes; the Kaixa -shot, -phone (with blaster mode), -pointer (which opens up for his Gold Smash kick) the -blaygun holster, the -blaygun, and the sword blade.
One fun detail I like is how the blaygun, pointer and phones all have individual Kaixa mission memories molded on them. Faiz only had it on his phone and phone blaster. Weird.
Here's the Blaygun in action, the holster was really a great touch and I think the figure would lose a lot if they only made a peg on the side of the blaygun to attach to the waist instead of molding a separate holster part.
The Blaygun in sword mode. The yellow transluscent blade fits a little too loosely on the bottom of the gun, it hasn't exactly fallen off everytime, but it's less than snug in the mounting hole.
the Phone blaster. I never understood exactly how the phone would look good as a swing-type phone, but the blaster mode makes a lot more sense. It reminds me of a Sentai weapon.
Kaixa's really a decent figure overall, but there's just one teeny tiny detail that derails all of the good points about him.
|The only consolation for this is if they made Delta.|
What. The. Fuck.
Why is he short? Why is the greatest antagonist of Faiz (no, Kiba doesn't count. He was more of a rival, Kusaka though was an absolute dick) so damn tiny? He looks like friggin' Wolverine standing there next to Faiz. What the hell? It's not even funny how squat he looks.
Would I recommend him?
Nice, detailed molding, decent articulation (slightly better than Faiz), a lot of fun accessories, but he's short.
at 680 php ($16 more or less) he's a good buy, definitely a fun toy, and worth picking up. Get him if only for his eventual ride: Sidebasher. There will be more reason to pick him up once Kiba (Horse Orphenoch) and Takumi (Wolf Orphenoch) reach your specialty stores.
Just ignore the height issue and you will be fine.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Meet Derpy. He's one of the three, month-old kittens we have hanging around the house. I haven't even bothered naming the other two yet, only because I lack creativity in that department and they haven't really had any defining characteristics other than Derpy here, worth basing their names on.
Anyway, our family is slowly getting used to owning cats, after Razorclaw, their momma moved in with us after I made the mistake of feeding her one night.
the cat never left and got pregnant twice, and both times we lost the litter to the outside world. Derpy's batch on the other hand has gotten on the good side of my mom, hence allowing them to stay around (but I let them out every night to avoid getting cat shit fucking everywhere), thus giving them the impulse to climb and explore everything and anything. I pray, every day that I leave the house, that they don't mess up my workshop, or leave mouse corpses on my seat with their tiny, vicious, hook claws.
I've had terrible luck with the kittens in the past, oftentimes they'd scuttle off after tipping over my paint bottles and huddle into tiny, unreachable corners to escape my wrath, climb up the table and just insist on sleeping on the keyboard whatever it is I'm reading, and hiss at me when I pick them up, or tip over a mountain of my readings or books and cause an avalanche. This new batch is no different, cats being the insufferable and unruly little bastards that they are.
|why are you adorable? damn you.|
And yet, at the end of the day, after many tiny cuts on my hands and arms, I still can't let these little guys go. I carry them around, pet them and play with the little guys, getting more used to them, and become a bit more patient, no matter how many times they knock shit over.
I mean, it's just natural after all, this curiosity they have, this obsession with every nook and cranny. They're learning, and so am I, eventually this house will seem small to them and they'll be fit enough to leave home, they might not come back again but I hope they do, hopeful that one day they'll grow up like their mother and just be annoying when they're hungry and then bugger off when they're full or bored of me, or hop on the table when they need someone to scratch the back of their ears. They're not really that bad, when they get a sense of the place and the people they live with, the cats become pretty chill, and in those evening that require me to burn myself out writing papers a night before the deadline, having a cat just hop up next to you and sleep by your laptop just takes the edge off everything (to me, at least). Never mind that they've torn the sofa into unrecognizable fluff, broke a few vases and shred up the long-ass set of .pdfs you're currently printing and need to read before 3pm the following day, they will take time off their busy schedule of daily chaos to just sit next to you and thank you for keeping them around.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
This is the start of another Masamune Shirow based custom and my second attempt at Motoko Kusanagi, this time, being closer to her Stand Alone Complex appearance, so it'll be pretty straightforward. So far the hair still needs work, and the corset might need a bit more raising on the side of the body. will wait until I get a white microlady body before I start on the legs though.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Just felt like sharing this, really, not really becoming an eco advocate but this was actually the first time in a while where I felt that writing was relaxing to me, despite the subject matter being otherwise.
On “Prehistoric Greenhouse Data from Ocean Floor Could Predict Earth's Future, Study Finds”
In an article found in the website Science Daily dated October 31, 2011, University of Missouri researchers have found that certain climate patterns indicated in the circulation of ocean dated from the Late Cretaceous period might be the key into predicting the current trends of climate change in our time.
This information intrigues me in that it supports an earlier discussion in class (notably the Daisy world experiment from the Gaia Theory) in which the cycles of warm and cold were brought up. While this study does confirm to my mind the essence of the daisy world simulation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisyworld), where everything is right with the world and we just need to sit back and wait to shrivel up from dehydration until the next alpha species comes along, (and according to something i watched on Discovery waaay back, they'll be squids.) it is rather alarming that in the article, it is mentioned that collectively we—as human beings—are able to match the climate conditions inferred from the fossil records of fish found during that period, meaning that the heating up of the planet that took millions of years to achieve naturally is being repeated in an accelerated rate by the activities of human society and our hummers within a short span of time. Somehow, part of me is proud of it like it was some Guinness World Record.
Research like this serves both as a warning and more importantly a step in the right direction in terms of formulating contingencies to climate change, by referring to what has occurred before and predicting where it could possibly lead. Having an understanding on how the planet regulates itself and how we can manage ourselves in the midst of this event, and ensuring that we can prolong our existence on the planet--however a bother it might be for everything else on this rock-- helps me sleep at night, amidst the constant possibility that the world might go kaput on me any day in my lifetime.
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Prehistoric greenhouse data from ocean floor could predict Earth's future, study finds." ScienceDaily, 27 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2011
On “Prehistoric Greenhouse Data from Ocean Floor Could Predict Earth's Future, Study Finds”