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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 3 - Going Astray ... ...

Did not exactly want to do anything during weekdays but I managed to find time to get a white Gundam Marker for the fingers of the Astray. So, I set to work on my make shift work table with my newly purchased Lack LED Lamp from Ikea (it's only $5!!) and my new marker.

Then I realised what I needed now is a magnifying glass to make sure I paint those fingers properly.

Well, too late to look for one and it was a good thing that Bandai made the parts with such details that made the job less complicated.

Still, I spent around 1 hour or so to get this done. I had to apply a few coats of paint and waited for each coat to dry before applying the next coat. Good thing I don't need to apply nail polish.

I'm not exactly done as the base coat of blue is bleeding out onto the white coat. Will attempt to do some touch up the next time I decided to do some work.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 2 - Going Astray ... ...

Found an hour or two between running my regular Sunday errands to continue my Master Grade project.

Next up is the head. I did not want to use the labels provided as I have some Gundam Markers lying around. The effects of the marker is so much better than stickers.

The head unit was completed after almost an hour. Did a little bit of detailing to the head and more to be done when the whole unit is complete.

Today ended with the arms and shoulders completed but I messed up the paint on the shoulder plates. I don't think I want to bother to do anything about them until much later I guess.

Realized that the fingers needed white paint and I don't have any white marker in my possession. Looks like I need to make a trip to a hobby shop. Enough for the day. Until next weekend, Blue Frame Astray will stay as it is.

Day 1 - Going Astray ... ...

as I embarked on another Master Grade. I really did not see myself going through the torture after Unicorn. However, here I am again and I decided to do a better job. 

I chose the Blue Frame because of the color scheme and of course the huge sword (Red Frame do has the same weapon known as Tactical Arms II) which is what I like in a robot.

Have been reading around and picked up a few tips or two in building a Master Grade and decided to try out some. Here is a DIY spraying base (inspired by Shaun Wong) but I'm a little lazy here as I left the runners on.

This is my first attempt at spray painting a kit and indeed the quality of the kit looks so much better after a coat or two of paint. Well, still too early to say anything as they are still unassembled.

So starts my Day 1 after spraying and I spent about 1 hour plus to get the upper torso assembled. This time, I decided to pace my progress so I don't rush through.

Looking at the clock and it was already 1a.m. Called it a day. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Me Grimlock ... ...

become Masterpiece. Well, at least that is what Grimlock would have said.

Ok, this is my last Masterpiece which contains battery and thus, this blog entry. This is the latest of the Masterpiece series other than MP1B (Convoy Black version aka Nemesis Prime).

The standard packing outside and inside is what you find in all Masterpiece. Plenty of gimmicks but most of them are utterly useless.

Here it is out of the box but still in the tray. There are couple of stuff which I wouldn't even bother to take them out of the packaging such as the apron, serving tray with glasses, bow tie and the brain wave transmitter.

The reason is simple, Grimlock is supposedly brave and fearless as I remembered although the accessories provided were featured in the G1 animation.

This is a close up and comparison shots to show the internal of the chest area. The autobot insignia actually disappear in Dinosaur mode.

The saber lights up with a press of a button and personally I feel that I can do without it.

The LED light is in the clenched right fist and that made the fingers fixed and couldn't be opened.

The other weapon Grimlock has is the twin blaster and this figure does comes with decent articulation which enable poses as such.

What's not cool about the figure is the battery compartment is not concealed at all! "Me Grimlock, don't understand Japanese!"

This picture actually looks pretty good if you don't enlarge it because I used MS Paint. I really need to explore Photoshop.

Dino mode is as authentic as it was in the animation. In a nutshell, this is a well-made toy and transformation is a breeze. However, it shares the same fate as all other Masterpieces after Prime and Magnus; it's as plastic as a credit card.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mega What ... ...

I reluctantly had to open up MP05; Megatron up due to the fact there are batteries inside as well. I have this in my possession for the past 2 years and it was left alone to collect dust.

The good thing about the packaging is there are no twist ties at all. Actually twist ties applies to MP01 and MP02 only; don't ask me why.

Meggy may be a Masterpiece but the material used doesn't justify it. The overall feel is plastic from head to toe literally. The minimum die cast can be found in joints and that's about it. I was surprised I didn't break anything throughout the photo shoot.

The accessories includes energon sword, a piston, mace with chain and this little guy known as Kremzeek.

Firstly struggled with if I should transform it and then came the greater struggle of transforming it. This figure is one of those transformers which you don't want to transform it too often. However, I think the Walther P38 mode looks so much better than the robot mode.

I bought this upgrade set manufactured by Justitoys the same time I purchased MP05. It is very well made with loads of die cast parts and working barrels that fire bullets. The parts are essential if you want to display Meggy in the traditional G1 gun mode.

Here it is and I am so going to get a display case just to display Meggy in this mode. Until then, I need to transform it back to place it back in the box..........

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Transform and Take Out ... ...

was the intention of why I bother to open up the latest in the Masterpiece series by Takaratomy. However, it is always unintentional actions like this that makes one discover things that may have been forgotten.

The first one would be the number of twist ties there are on the plastic tray. I had spent a good 10 minutes twisting Prime free. Sometimes I wonder if the toy company is trying to deter theft or simply afraid of the toy escaping itself.

Free at last! Nemesis Prime or Convoy (black version) stands tall at around 12" and boy is he heavy. They will never make another masterpiece like this one which must have the most die cast material. This would be my 4th version of Prime with 1 Ultra Magnus.

Let's get to the point of why I have to open Prime up. I am not after the Matrix of Leadership but Prime here is proud about flashing it to us.

Here it is in bright red. Didn't see this coming as the previous versions all have white or was it blue LED?

Prime here would like to show how the power of the Matrix can be unleashed!

The weapons provided are all so familiar and Prime here will give you a brief on what they are. From left, you have the blaster, Megatron in his pistol mode (non-transformable) and the energon axe that is to be attached to either arm.

Oh, a call from Rodimus asking when will Prime give him the Matrix of Leadership.

Why talk to one when you can have conference call capability? Optimus calling to check on the situation with regards to the Matrix.

Ok, enough of horsing around and get to busy. In order to remove the batteries from the LED casing, you need to do some transformation. Once the batteries are out, Prime should stay prime. By the way, transformation is so simple....the manual is simply useless.

Cab mode: I guess the color does make a difference and black is indeed a very strong and appropriate color. The paint work is also better in my opinion as compared to MP04 which was B.A.D.

All right! Prime is all happy about not having to worry about leakage anymore that he decided to pay homage to G1 and transform in that form.
If you just need one Masterpiece and have not collected any. Get this before the price rockets.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Good Things do come small ... ...

My Son's First Gundam Kit

as I discovered today. Received these 1/200 scale Speed Grade Gundam Model kits given to me as gifts by an acquittance from Japan when he visited Singapore this week. Have seen these around but did not know what to expect from the packaging. It is the same scale as the HCM Pro but does it feels like a HCM Pro?

Decided to give one to my son and he chose the RX-78 (as expected) and I took the Wing Gundam. Gave him a little tutorial on kit building; as it was his first and off he went building his while I busy myself with mine. He managed to complete his RX-78 in about 2 hours (1st Photo). I'm proud of what he accomplished.

Didn't have the intention of blogging this so the photos were very randomly snapped. So, here's the Wing semi-complete.

I'm actually quite impressed by this line of this scale because of the details Bandai put into this. The plastic is most probably ABS material thus, very solid feel. The painting is acceptable with occasional smudges here and there. Tampo print on the kit is a plus. The verdict is that this is pretty close to a HCM Pro except that HCM Pro has more detailing and no assembly is required.

Decided to 'pimp my gundam' with my standard customisation tool; pilot marker. The original display base/stand now looks more bling with the golden and silver paint on.

Went on to panel-line the parts and add in more details using the pilot markers.

So, after about 1 hour or so, here is the complete product. NICE was what I told myself and perhaps I will look out for other models to collect if I ever see one around.

My only grime about this is the stand provided. It seems a tad too short and it does not create the 'lift' which gives the impression of flight. The legs are still touching the ground of the base.

The packaging photo really does no justice for this figure and had I not experience one before, I wouldn't pay for it as I decide on what I buy very much on what I see in a packaging.

The package picture looks so plain and unattractive

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Final Piece of Frontier ... ...

as in Macross Frontier will be Brera Sterne's VF-27 Lucifer Valkyrie by Bandai. I had initially gave this a past due to space and expenditure issues. However, I am glad I got this after all. This has to be one of the best valks from the Macross Frontier series as Bandai has looked into the flaws from the previous valks and perfected them in this final valk from the series (although, Grace O'Connor custom will be released soon, it is essentially the same mould).

Packaging is somewhat the same but where is the display stand/base?? Bandai decided to pull a fast one on collectors this time by leaving the stand out and retailing it separately. I would have ordered one if it can be used to display all three modes (Shame on you; Bandai!)

The styrofoam packaging is a standard for valks under this series and it does serve well in protecting this valks. This is very important especially for the VF-27 because there are many pointed edges and one will not appreciate a damage product upon unpacking.

The design is completely different from the rest of the VFs under this series but transformation is kept the same.

There are some smart improvement made susch as hidden clips built into the gun pod and under the valk for holding the gun pod in Fighter mode. However, it can be rather troublesome just to get the clip out under the valk.

One significant improvement is the Gerwalk mode of the VF-27. The VF-25s suffered weak connections joints at the back and requires a stand to hold it up. It can be very frustrating to get the Gerwalk mode displayed correctly. The VF-27 however, is exceptional when it comes to this mode and the bulk on the wings has little or no effect in terms of its CG.

If you find Mikhail's sniper rifle huge, this beam gun pod is as massive as well. Great attentions to details were paid to the gun pod making it a very important piece of accessory for the VF-27. The standard publicity pose of the VF-27 holding the beam gun pod is easily achieved and it actually looks great without a stand.

1. Get this if you want to complete your collection of Macross Frontier's valks
2. Get this and then foget about the Grace's Custom unless you want everything in completion
3. One of the best made valks under the Macross Frontier series, a MUST Get
4. No display can easily do without

If you have been waiting out for a better product say in the likes of Yamato's valkyrie; this is it. You can afford to have just one variant each of the VF-25s but you definitely need to have 1 VF-27.

Bottom line for the Macross Frontier line under Bandai: From Good to Great