1/144 EX-Model Exass Review

•May 7, 2011 • 2 Comments

“InOps have confirmed that the missile used to destroy the Philadelphia was launched from an underground silo connected to Nod’s Nuclear Launch Facility in Cairo. Detection of this facility by sat-surveillance prior to the Philadelphia incident was difficult because most of the structures were buried underground or disguised. Since the start of TW3, Nod has removed the masking above ground to facilitate launch operations. The underground silo that launched the Philadelphia strike is now inactive, with Nod’s launch operations transferred to a central raised platform with a much lower cycle time between missile launches.”

-Intelligence Database, Strike on Philadelphia originated at Nod’s Cairo Nuclear Launch Facility.

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

Today I’ll be reviewing the 1/144 scale EX-Model Exass from the Gundam Seed Destiny line.

It appeared early into the start of Gundam Seed Destiny and was piloted by Neo Roanoke of the Phantom Pain group. After using it to assist in the escape of the Chaos, Gaia and Abyss Gundams, he continued to use it until the Break of the World incident. From that point on Neo switched to his custom purple Windam (which, sadly, we will never see a model kit of) for the rest of his battles on earth. What became of the Exass, we will never know. However a blue variant used by Morgan Chevalier does exist.

To start of, this is by far my first model kit from the EX-Model line. If you must know, he EX-Model line does mostly some of the other less prominent units from different series such as ships and tanks. After seeing what I presumed was one of the last Exass’s in a dying lineage, I simply had to get my hands on it. I expected it to be considerably detailed and pre-colored just like the HG line.

Boy was I disappointed.

Right off the box, the main bulk of the parts trees are all completely pink. In fact, any of the minor colors that show up on the Exass such as the baby pink and white are completely absent. Even the beam effect parts provided are clear. Not that its really that big a deal considering the surprises Bandai has given us before, but it adds another nail to the coffin.

Despite that however, there are some good points to it and I will go on to explain in a moment. But first…

The only articulation your gonna get on the Exass is in its main weapon, two beam cannons mounted on the underside of the unit. The turret is capable of rotating 360 degrees and the cannons themselves are also able to rotate 360 on the sides of the turret, though it can be abit finicky. On a similar not the weapon is rather long, just as much as the Exass is as long as a mobile suit is tall. Theres also a gimmick on the top part of the body to reveal missile pods.

For accessories, the Exass comes with quite a bunch. You get,

– 1 gray stand (for the Exass)

– 1 machine gun add-on

– 4 purple stands (for the gun pods)

– 4 clear beam effect parts

– 4 pairs of gun pod cannons

– 2 pieces of black wires

The machine gun add on connects to a hole at the front bottom of the unit. When not in use, a cover is provided to seal up that unsightly hole. The same gimmick is used for the gun pods and the beam effect parts. Interestingly enough you get four beam effect parts.

The cannon parts for the gun pods work on the same feature. When not in use, theres a cover to simulate the cannons being stored. Once again like the beam parts you get four pairs of cannons to use.

This means you can have all four gun pods fully functioning and fully armed!

I only have to gripes about the Exass. Firstly is the fact that it requires quite a good deal of coloring. Abit of a beginners trap, especially if you were to believe that the EX-Model line is just like the HG line. I managed to color mine using Gundam markers. While abit fail, at least it beats having a mostly pink Exass.

Secondly and lastly would be the connection points between the Exass and its gun pods. Seriously. Those little triangular pieces are effing brittle and wont stay in place least I wrap the entire thing in elephant glue (and my God, elephant glue is serious stuff). I accidentally dropped it off my bed and straight away one of it broke. Gah. Elephant glue once again to the rescue. The worse part is that trying to remove the gun pods may sometimes damage the pieces as well.

Pros:

Play value

Cons:

Requires painting for maximum detail

Fragile gun pod connection point

Overall, the EX-Model line kinda disappointed me. While I do plan to get the Mobieus Zero/Skygrasper two-in-one set (also which from EX) I can anticipate that it too would require a good level of work to it. However in the end, the Exass is certainly quite a good model too look at both in detail, scale, and whatnot and would certainly look good alongside other models from the early Gundam Seed Destiny series. But due to its brittleness, Im probably not gonna try moving the gun pods too often.

Final Rating 2.5/5 stars

-Raisha

Looking Beyond

•May 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“The landscape of many Blue and Yellow Zones is dotted with tall cylindrical structures known as Tiberium Spikes. These automated extraction platforms slowly pull Tiberium out of subterranean deposits and refine it on location so that resources are available for immediate use. GDI Commanders are encouraged to commandeer Tiberium Spikes in the field to help sustain their forward operating bases. A combat engineer deployed into a Tiberium Spike can channel resources to the production structure of a base.

Commanders are encouraged to provide compensation to the legitimate owners of commandeered Tiberium Spikes in the form of GDI vouchers that can be redeemed in Reykjavik for credits. Note that Spikes extract at different rates depending on the size and nature of the underlying Tiberium deposits, so the flow of resources may vary from location to location.”

-Commandeering Tiberium Spikes

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

Gah, with my army enlistment at November, I’ve got 6 months of absolutely nothing to do.

That said, I’ve been thinking of getting a job. But somehow another half of me is thinking of using the time for more better purpose. Namely to improve my digital drawing and coloring abilities in preparation for Sentinal Revelations.

Currently me and CF are at least at 60% through the storyboard. We’ve been meeting up on fridays/saturdays the past week and are quite satisfied at the direction its going. Suffice to say, it seems the storyboard wont be done until sometime next year. If we’re lucky it may be done before we get enlisted. Even then theres the final run-though and the script before we finally get down to drawing it.

With that, the series will be going live in approximately 2 years.

And man, that be bloody long. I blame the enlistment mostly for the 2 years, but I guess that cant be helped. And then after that theres many decisions to make, which brings me to my next point.

What to do after that. I brought the topic up to CF the other night and we’re now at a quandary as to what to do. Just as much as I want to see this series garner some fame on the internet, I cant help but wonder how lucrative it will be unless we actually publish it (locally or otherwise).

If we officially publish the series in the future, chances are we wont be able to upload it on DA or anywhere else. Purchasing it will be the only way to read it and it might be hard for fans outside of the country to get their hands on it.

That said I’m not even sure if there are any publishing companies that would take in our work. TCZ studio (the people behind Celestial Zone) might just have a look (and when I say might, I mean slim chance), but if not there are very few other options especially within Singapore. However if it works out, it will be very easy to get the word out, garner some fans and roll in some gold and even make a lucrative stable business out of it.

On the other hand, if we do it free it will be quite hard to make a stable income out of it. However, the viewers will definitely rejoice at something they can easily view online than having to purchase it. That said the only source of income from this method is merchandising, something I haven’t really thought fully (Naki dakimakuras? LOL) and may not be very stable.

Decisions decisions… I’m all for option 1 for the monetary gain. But I cant help but wanna do option 2 not just the for monetary gain but also for the fame and pride of it being our work.

In any case, I’d like to hear how you guys would go about trying to bring a potential comic series into the lime light. Is publishing this series in Singapore even possible? And would you rather publish it as a comic, or go free as a webcomic?

Man, thats alot of text to make you tl;dr. Perhaps a trip to this coming AFA would raise something….

-Raisha

Save in the Name of True Love

•April 29, 2011 • 1 Comment

Nod has fielded a new version of their classic Anti-Infantry weapon system known as the Flame Tank. The new model carriers heavier amour, has a turret to allow for easier targeting, and uses dual flame-throwers that can stay inaction for long periods of time without refueling. It replaces the older “Devil’s Tongue”, last used in TW2.

Flame Tanks are devastating against all forms of Infantry and can clear out garrisoned buildings with terrifying efficiency. InOps advises Field Commanders to engage Flame Tanks with armored vehicles or aircraft firing cannons or rockets. The enclosed crew compartments in armored vehicles will also protect against the inferno generated by the flame throwers.

-Nod Deploys New Tool of Terror

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

Hurrrrrr…..

I’m back from quite a big hiatus. Not because I was busy or anything but more like I was just lazy. Hopefully I’ll be more active from this point until the point where I get enlisted into the army. That said, I’d better get on with the reviews. I’ll probably start with something small like the 1/144 EX Model Exass which I purchased a month back.

On a more lighter note, I was recently convinced by CF to watch Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (yea say that ten times as fast as you can). My Impression of it initially was that is was gonna be a light hearted magical girl show akin to Pretty Cure or something like that.

But oh man, was I wrong. Minor spoilers ahead, the first few episodes literally takes logic and throws it out of the window. You’d gotta be pretty damn dedicated, that or abstractive, to actually want to continue past episode 3. However as things go on, it starts to makes more sense thanks to that fcking cat Kyubey, and eventually the events leading to episode 10 would answer the mystery revolving around the plot of the series.

Well, in any case the series finale is by far the most epic thing I have ever watched in my life. Im pretty sure there are more better ones out there, but considering the genre of the series and the direction it was going, I couldnt ask for anything more.

To say the least, its a love story about courage and hope and sacrifice.

What else can I say? This be one of the more psychological shows I’ve seen. Surprisingly It kinda reminded me of Bokurano, both of which dealing with hopes and death. But at least Madoka Magica has the more epic ending. If I were more of the emotional type, I would have wept buckets. Who knows? Maybe the next season will finally be a real light hearted magical girl show.

I’m pretty sure CF will be doing a review of it (not that his 4koma autopsy series gave it away) but I’m sure our thoughts about it are quite equal. Next up on the watch list, Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors? Or maybe Infinite Stratos?

In any case, I need some Morning Lescue~

-Raisha

Year of the Psychic Bunnygirl

•February 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“An advanced Nod Tiberium weapon research program was recently uncovered when a GDI strike team in North Africa stormed a Nod facility originally thought to be a Chemical Weapons factory. Science division evaluation of the Wreckage subsequently confirmed several large scale Tiberium weaponisation efforts underway. Of most concern to InOps is evidence of significant progress towards the creation of a liquid Tiberium device of unprecedented destructive power. The liquid form of Tiberium is a relatively new manifestation of the alien substance and its properties are not well known. Nod’s Liquid Tiberium research appears to be 5 to 10 years ahead of Science Division.

There were also indications that Nod is working on a more conventional airborne Tiberium explosive and a catalyst for detonating existing Tiberium crystal deposits in a sub-critical reaction.

Analysis of past Nod R&D efforts (which tend to be redundant and decentralised in nature) suggests the Nod Lab in North Africa was only one of several facilities participating in the Tiberium weaponisation efforts.”

-Intelligence Database, Nod Weaponising New Form of Tiberium

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

I like my bunny. Don’t you?

Sure you do. And don’t bother telling me what happens next.

On the same subject, its IS the year of the bunny rabbit according to the zodiac calender. While I did have plans for my good three days of bounty hunting, what better way to spend the second day then on a trip to Universal Studios Singapore. I certainly had better things to do on a good Saturday morning, but at least the trip was worth while. By worthwhile meaning waiting in 2 hour long queues for 3 min rides and overly priced souvenirs.

The only thing worthwhile was the Curse of the Mummy ride at pseudo-Egypt, cos’¬† Battlestar Galactica was down for maintenance. All the rest were pretty mediocre, I guess it really was worth my full days run for this. And I certainly will be back when the Transformers ride is ready. Which is probably long after NS.

Since it was the first and perhaps only I’ll ever get to be there so I decided to bag in my camera and snap ahoy. Prepare for one hell of an image dump. Trip took place 2 weeks ago. Since its still early February, I might as well cash in on it.

Worlds largest chia pet.

Truthfully, I never thought I’d see the day we’d have this big globe in Singapore.

Old school cars ripe for the picking.

Yet another set of old school cars.

Im under the impression B-07 gto its big break with cigars. Who knows.ūüėĄ

Disappointingly, I was expecting to get hit by a big fiery red beam of doom right about now.

HOHOHO. Thats rich.

No comment. Maybe William might be familiar…

I wonder if they’ve got one for Isaac’s love issues. *forever_alone.jpg*

-Raisha

1/144 HGUC Hy-Gogg Review

•January 12, 2011 • 2 Comments

“Nod aircraft have evolved considerably since TW2. Nod is fielding the VTOL Venom Scout, the batwing Vertigo Stealth Bomber, a Carryall that can transport troops and equipment, and a high altitude, long range bomber called the Armageddon.

Venoms are lightly armed and armored but can take on a wide variety of targets on the ground and in the air – they are even capable of engaging our Orcas in air-to-air combat.

The Vertigo evades detection by most GDI sensors and only “de-cloaks” to drop it powerful bombs on target structures and vehicles.

The Nod Carryall is the counterpart to our V-35 Ox, a VTOL aircraft that can pick up and transport a wide variety of troops and equipment.

Finally, the Armageddon is seen infrequently but when it appears on the battlefield, it is usually bringing bad news. Nod Armageddon aircraft are used to deliver cluster mines and a number of exotic air-to-ground weapons.”

-Intelligence Database, InOps Field Guide to Nod Aircraft in TW3 Theaters of War

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

From the terror of A-LAWS to the terror of the Neo Zeon seas. Today I’ll be reviewing the 1/144 scale HGUC Hy-Gogg from the Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket mini series.

As mentioned in my Z-Gok E review, Steiner Hardy led a team armed with Hy-Goggs into the Earth Federation’s Artic base with the sole purpose of capturing or destroying the Gundam Alex prototype. While the operation was a failure, the Cyclops team however managed to do quite a number to the base before retreat, and is by far on of the most epic fight scenes you will ever see in War in the Pocket.

The Hy-Gogg moves away from the traditional Gogg design and incorporates quite a lot of new features of its own. It uses a very good shell structire for the shoulders and main body.

Now then, lets get down to that detail.

In terms of articulation, the Hy-Gogg has a unique way of doing things. Like the Z-Gok, it has no movable head as its head is part of the main body. It can rotate at the waist 360 degrees and lacks the up and down motion of the Z-Gok.

The Hy-Gogg’s arms a unique case. The arms consist of three joint segments each with a good amount of bend as well as the wrist capable of rotating 360 and bending at that point as well. Each finger is articulate to the hand and the shoulder is capable of rotating 360 and moving in and out of from the body quite well.

The legs are the least articulate of the entire model even though the legs have some joints as well. The knees are single jointed and dont really bend much. Each of the four toes on the foot can bend 90 degrees downward to support its cruise mode and the foot itself can rotate somewhat though limited.

So from what you can see, this unit has good articulation from the waist up. Simple, but decent enough for a mobile suit of its kind. Thanks to its large toes, it has no problem standing on it own feet. And even then, it can rely on it arms for support when needed as well.

For accessories, the Hy-Gogg comes with a few. You get two pairs of missile containers, a pair of missiles and a booster jetpack identical to the one which was given to the Z-Gok type E model kit.

The missiles peg into a hole on the ‘palm’ of the Hy-Gogg. That same hole as we all know also serves as the beam cannon of the unit. In order to attach the missile containers onto the hands, you must first remove a panel above the fingers and remove the cannon and finger components completely. This gives the hands enough room to sandwich the containers (which both comes in two pieces) onto it. Unfortunately, this means that you cant have the missiles on the model while the containers are on which is quite a bummer. But logically speaking it wouldn’t fit considering its scale.

Lastly the jet pack booster attaches from a peg onto a hole between the thrusters on the back of the Hy-Gogg. Simple enough just like its brother.

As mentioned before the Hy-Gogg supports  a special cruise mode when moving through water. To transform it you need to first remove the segmented parts of the arm from the shoulder and the hand from the arm itself and reattach the hand where the arm used to go. Equipping the missile containers is optional, but it would certainly improve its appearance. Having the jet pack on is optional as well.

Once that’s done fold down the shoulder armor so that it covers the arm/containers, straighten out the legs and fold down the toes. The results is as shown below.

On a similar note you can leave the short arms on when in MS mode, though it does look awfully retarded. I rather it be called ‘floppy’ than ‘stumpy’.

Lets get down to the problems. Surprisingly enough, the Hy-Gogg also shares a similar problem with the Z-Gok type E in the case of its arms. Not in terms of assembly, it was pretty easy to get it together, but in terms of movement. The arm joints of the Hy-Gogg have pipe-like designs on each segment. However the gap that allows the arm to bend through just barely clears the piping in the joints.

The result of this is that its lovely pipes often get caught when bending the arm and I fear I might break something if I apply too  much force.

Surprisingly again, the stickers weren’t much of a problem. Though small (most of it is the metallic red ones which go on gaps over the body/arm), with a good tweezers, you can get them in nice and snugly.

Now then, into the Stronghold grinder it goes and heres the result.

Pros:

Articulation

Playvalue

Cons:

-molding of arm joints

Overall the Hy-Gogg is a decently good model kit to have as it has slightly more play value and articulation than the Z-Gok type E. A must have if your absolutely addicted to aquatic Zeon mobile suits. Its a pity it cant store the missile in the container, but, oh well.

Final Rating: 3.5/5 stars

-Raisha

2010 in Review

•January 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“Both GDI and Nod rely on mobility and rapid deployment for success. Armies seem to come and go all the time as the balance of power shifts, often very quickly. Given the haste with which these operations are conducted, it’s not a surprise that a lot of equipment is being left behind. Our Blue Zones and Yellow Zones are becoming littered with logistics crates filled with military spares, data cores, and other equipment and supplies.

Both sides use the modular G-771G Container, a standard crate used by the commercial shipping industry for decades. You’ll find these containers everywhere – and they should be considered Targets of Opportunity for our boys in the field. If your troops crack one of these containers open, odds are they’ll find something useful.

G-771G containers are easy to spot: just look for geometric grey crates trimmed with diagonal stripes. They stick out like a sore thumb and anyone can pop them open with a bit of elbow grease.

Good hunting.”

-Intelligence Database, Logistic Crates: Targets of Opportunity, Memo from Supply Sergeant Brock Littleford

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

What better way to kick-start the new year than to do an old review. No not a model kit review of any kind, but a blog review, something WordPress was so kind to compile in my favor.

Alright then, lets take a look at those numbers.

“The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter‚ĄĘ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2010. That’s about 13 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 33 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 104 posts. There were 209¬†pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 65mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 2nd with 94 views. The most popular post that day was 1/144 HG Hiling¬†Care’s Garazzo Review.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were thehangerbay.wordpress.com, facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, forum.project-imas.com, and thefutureand-i.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for professor layton, 0 gundam, os tan, garazzo, and cherudim gundam.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

1/144 HG Hiling¬†Care’s Garazzo Review December 2009

2

1/144 HG Arios Gundam Review March 2010
1 comment

3

1/144 HG Cherudim Gundam Review February 2010
4 comments

4

1/144 0 Gundam (Double) Review June 2010

5

1/144 HG Seraphim Gundam Review November 2009
3 comments”

Fresher than ever eh? Probably showing that my blog isn’t¬†deader than ever. I’m¬†not surprised¬†the top five posts were model kit reviews. But really now, the Garazzo¬†was the most popular? I guess I undermined¬†that mobile suit. Of course working alongside with Hanger Bay B-07 for so long certainly does bring in the views.

In any case, I wish everyone a prosperous happy new year! Let us all now embrace in the ambience of Chinese New Year now and hope for the better. It will be really soon before my final year polytechnic project comes to an end, and with it I’ll need a little energon¬†and a lot of luck.

-Raisha

Yet another day… or is it?

•December 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Once a forward base has an airfield, many GDI infantry and vehicles gain the ability to Call for Transport at almost any time. The unit can radio for Transport from the field and a V-35 Ox VTOL airlifter will fly to the unit’s location, drop down on its thrust vectored engines, and pick up the unit. Once a destination is communicated to the Ox crew, the aircraft will ferry the airlifted unit to its destination and set it down on target.

Keep in mind that units are extremely vulnerable while in their air – an Ox is a juicy target for an enemy unit that has any form of anti-air capability.”

-Intelligence Database, Calling for Transport

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

Despite an almost overwhelming schedule and a late night party hard, it certainly wont stop me from making an  entry on this most spectacular day.

Ah yes, Christmas. That time of the year where we start to get warm feelings in our heart and dine out and party hard like there’s no tomorrow. For me Christmas aint like it used to. I remembered back then when I was much younger, Christmas meant the world to me. The fun of parties, the gathering of many old allies, the receiving of cool gifts from all and what not. However it seems like birthdays, the excitement kinda dies out as the years go on. Probably going t0 show I’m one heck of an old man.

But still, Im glad I was able to reunite with some of my old friends this holiday season. The best thing about Christmas is that you can party hard on an FYP and not even feel bad about it.

But damn, the days sure past fast. Soon Christmas will be over, new year will come and that will be over just as quick, and it will be 2011.

But until then, I’m gonna soak as much as the merry joy in the air. Lets not forget as well that it was this day that our Lord Jesus was born, for without him, we’d be doomed.

In any case, Merry Christmas to family, friends, allies, enemies and all. Hope you younger generation folks are having a ball of a time.

-Raisha