Birthday Wishes & AFA Pictures

•November 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Urban combat is a messy and dangerous business. When fighting in a city environment, Field Commanders should use every advantage to minimize casualties. Garrisoning civilian structures with infantry is a tactic that generates multiple rewards, including massive defensive bonuses and increased safety for the troops.

Buildings can provide cover and a fire base for infantry as they shoot at targets outside without being directly exposed to enemy fire. Garrisoned Buildings protect soldiers from heavy Anti-Personnel weapons mounted on vehicles. That being said, Field Commanders should be wary of enemy units that specialize in clearing the Garrisoned Buildings, particularly those equipped with grenades and flamethrowers.

Remember: Caught in the cross-fire while you’re out in the open? Order your troops into a building.”

-Intelligence Database, Garrisoning Structures with Infantry

Adapted from Tiberium Wars

Its been awhile, but due to some screw ups on the client’s side with my final year project, I put aside the pictures for Anime Festival Asia 2010. just to clarify, this is my first time at such an event, and a first for reviewing such a thing. So I might have missed out some stuff and others may not be in sequential order.

Now then before this goes way overdue, lets jump right into it!

The first thing you see when you enter the pearly gates is a large banner which advertises the Gunpla from the recently shown Gundam Double 0 movie. Of course, Im partially here for the mobile suits, but we’ll get back to it shortly.

Take a left turn from the entrance and your in cushion heaven. Or at least where a good majority of the anime endorsed cushions, pillows and dakimakuras. Some of the Gundam Double 0 cushions where also sold during the screening of the movie back then. But at the same price for back and now, I think I’ll hold the line for this one.

Of course, you cant walk past this area without seeing the large Domo erm… plushie? Cushion? Figurine?

Speaking of figurines, next on the list is the Dollfie stand. Now really, I dont have much of a thing for, or against dollfies. The look so strangely real, but yet in an artificial way. Sure, being as close to actual humans is a good thing, but anime and manga characters turned figurines are all meant to look ‘deformed’ in some way. Be it having larger heads or bigger eyes. Its what makes them what they really are like in an anime.

Anyway, before this turns into a nitpicking, I’d like to say, the one thing I really like about dollfie’s are their outfits. Alot of them are really beautifully tailored. Some people even go to the extent of making their own custom outfits for their models. And that really goes to say something. Im not in the loop with this kind of thing, but its a hidden popularity here in Singapore.

For the record, other than Miku, I cant tell who are the rest of those characters in the picture below. I believe a good few are Touhou characters though.

And lets not forget the one thing DeviantArt has taught us: Everything is better with llamas.

Now on to something I have a bit more experience on. Figmas. Or figurines in general. There’s  a whole section dedicated to exhibiting these wonderfully crafted plastic figures. Some of which makes me wanna invest in a few.

Well first off you got our two main characters from the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series. Fate and Nanoha. I haven’t actually watched the series, but I’m telling ya, Fate’s got one hell of an awesome weapon. Makes ya wonder how they package it.

Then theres also the K-ON crew. I really love the accessories these girls come with.

Also since my new camera wont let me get all the girls in the same picture without compromising detail, here’s our beloved Azu-nyan. =3

Once again, amazing detail on the accessories.

Next up the cast of Glee. Lots of great detail and accessories.

And of course my first encounter with the Mirai figma. I dont believe its actually being sold just yet, but seems worthy of an investment. =3

Ah yes, what would secondary school life be without reading McGuyver.

And then you have these cheaper alternatives to figurines but more expensive versions of gachapons.

I have a Lala figure at home. Suffice to say, she ain’t standing to well even with that base…

Now back to the main road. What would the AFA be without some Bandai publicity? Of course we wont just be focusing on Gunpla. First up this magnificent shrine dedicated to the grand Mazinger.

Next up… Phone Braver 7?…

Am’I missing something here? No seriously!

And then a showcase of some of the already released and upcoming Gunpla.

Of course the grand icon of this section would be to actually see first hand the upcoming 1/60 PG Strike Freedom. And let me say that of all the PG’s till now, this ones a perfect gem in my opinion.

Then theres also the 1/48 Char’s Zaku to pair up with the already released 1/48 Gundam. Another honorable mention is the 1/144 Real Grade Char’s Zaku.

A plamo Omnimon anyone? Certainly very magnificent looking. Another worthy investment for the Digimon fans.

HGUC Gouf Custom from the 08th MS Team series. About damn time Zeonic doves!

Then theres the little figures that are almost on par with a good quality gachapon. Alot of them are actually quite beautifully sculpted for their size.

And might I say this is the a very detailed sculpture for something so small.

While on the subject of Gachapon, heres an eye catcher. But really now, a pink Accguy? We’ve got a bear Accguy, so whats next? Pink Bear Accguy?

I sense a milking scheme!

Lastly, what would Mobile Suit Gundam be without their mascot, the Haro. While these dont explode, set off system traps, store your super weapon keys or control your bit system, they do a good job in storing any doodads that can fit into the side of its wings.

Hmmmm I should have mentioned it before, but nendos or nendoroids, play a huge role in merchandising alongside with figurines. You might think for a bobble headed character might be alot more cheaper than their full length counterparts, but hoho, you are so wrong.

I’ve seen one go up to the hundreds. And as much as I wanted to get one myself, my screaming wallet wouldn’t let me.

While we’re still on a Miku craze, theres Project Diva. A time-it-right-button-masher arcade similar to DJ max when it first went on the arcade. And its very popular over here knowing the large number of vocaloid fans. When someone cranks it up to 140 beats per min and rolls the game like a kids toy, the crowd just applauds in delight.

And then what would Miku be without her weapon of choice. I’ve always wondered why a leek? Democratic vegetarians…

Danny Choo made an appearance at AFA. Whether or not he actually learnt Singlish to commune with us more easily is debatable. But like the Mirai figurine mentioned above, there was something else he brought to the party. The magnificent Mirai mobile.

And of course its AFA counterpart. Suprisingly enough they were not placed together in the same exhibition ring.

Black Tactical made an appearance as well. Which would explain the grand number of marines, SWAT teams and police members at the festival.

Of course these guns are replicas and are perfectly legal to have in your home or to scare the shit out of your neighbour. But let me warn you that what you see on the display is terribly far from what you actually purchase. In fact to making your gun look like the one on display, will be just as good as custom painting a Gunpla.

I couldnt help but get a picture of the Nanoha girls showing the boys how to pwn at Weiss Schwarz trading card game.

Alright, where do I start on this one…

Okay what would you get if you take Sherlock Holmes, multiply him by four (not inclusive of Watson), divide his intellect by said number, lower his age by twenty, swap his gender, turn his hair color into anything imaginable by the spectrum of a rainbow and add a dash of moe moe kyun? *gasp*

You get Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. And believe me, its everything I just mentioned above.

Okay maybe I’m abit baised on this. I didnt know such a series existed until I saw it with my own eyes, so I’m pretty sure there’s alot more to it than just that. They sure seemed to be advertising this series alot over here, so I take it its an upcoming fandom. I should check out one of these days.

For the moment, just eat your heart out on some of the merchandise.

AH yes, School Days. Haven’t we all been traumatized enough by THAT one?

I also managed get snapshot of a reminder of how I’m one year too late. T_T

Ah yes, finally we have a tour around the Graffiti wall. While empty early on, it got crowded by the late half of the day. Its interesting to see aspiring artists doing their stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them were from DeviantArt.

Other than for just messing around with a large piece of paper, the Graffiti wall also features works from other well renowned artists as well, showcasing some of the public’s best submissions as well as local animation talents. Even though I could snap away at all the great stuff here, I decided to settle for my particular favorites.

First up, an anthromorphic east meets west.

And then there’s Longcat, whom we all know is, well, very looooooooong.

I swear I saw the picture below somewhere on DeviantArt! Needless to say this one really still grabs my attention.

And of course, whats a doodle board without leaving behind something for the masses to remember.

I swear though, the direction my Leafeos is looking is purely coincidental.

All in all, AFA 2010 was a first time and a grand time for me. Being able to be at one of the biggest Anime events of the year was certainly a great experience. Hopefully the next one will be in Singapore. And next time round, I’m bringing my stationary and a much larger wallet.

Oh ya, to all who wished me a Happy Birthday be letter, facebook, in person or whatever, thanks a bunch. =)

-Raisha

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TT Hongli Brand, 1/144 Ahead Review

•November 13, 2010 • 2 Comments

“It is more important for us to employ intelligent combined-arms tactics than it is for GDI because it is the Pen that is mightier than the Sword. And we are both the Pen and the Sword when skilled modern armies are commanded by intelligent strategies brought upon by a true military strategist.”

– Anton Slavik

Adapted from Tiberian Sun

Things here have been reduced to a crawl due to an ongoing major project which would determine my Diploma’s state of happiness. Therefore updates wont be coming in as often as before (if that weren’t often enough).

Anyway, today I’ll be doing a ‘special’ review of the TT Hongli Brand, 1/144 Ahead. Yes, I’ll be doing a review for a bootleg model kit. But before you hurl the bowling ball at me, I have to say this kit is quite surprising.

Before that, while on the same subject, allow me to present a pic of something I encountered a few months back in the neighborhood. You know those knock-off gachapon machines that are cheap as crap? Guess what I saw.

Is that who I think it is?!

Forgive the crappy quality as it was taken on the go. But In case you cant see clearly who that is…

Its mother-effin’ Setsuna ‘pimp’ Seie!!! D=

Really now, take the Super Yoyo franchise, add a dash of Bandai and this is what you get?

In China most likely. But really now, this fails on so many levels that its a win.

Now on a more related subject. A few months back I was at Vivo City wandering the wilderness. I happen to chance upon a model kit store which, of course, Im not naming (hint: its next to the cinema) . Inside I came across a bunch of Gunpla, all of which were of the TT Hongli knockoff brand. And looking at the box art, you can see exactly where they failed at pulling off a good ripoff heist.

00 Fighter eh? *summons Domon* I wanted to do a video recording of all the model kits there, but I was stopped abruptly by the storekeeper. What really caught my eye were the prices of these knockoffs.

Sweet niblets! SG$9.90! From my experience, a 1/144 HG 00 Gundam costs at around 23-26 dollars. Here its almost a third of that price.

It was a deal I could not refuse, I simply had to cash in on it. I decided to try my luck with the 1/144 Ahead. Naturally of course I was worried that this knock off would be like the terribly bad GHD brand. But 9.90 a piece, I was willing to take that risk. Besides, I had plans to make use of the scrap parts if its didnt work out. And if that weren’t  enough, I later go a discount from the storekeeper who cut the price down to SG$7.50. Sweeeeeeet~

From watching Prime92’s model kit reviews, I was under the impression that the TT Hongli brand of gunpla are not as bad as they seem. But will I be just as lucky with my luck of the draw?

The results are surprising.

And here it is! The 1/144 Ahead. And surprisingly its actually a rather good model for a knockoff. Well for one, its certainly isn’t falling on its own feet. Sure it has alot more problems than an official kit would have, but we’ll cover that later.

Showing up at the beginning of Gundam Double 0 season 2, the Ahead is the commander’s unit for the A-LAWS peacekeeping force. Its bears traits to that of the now mass produced GN-X III, but surprisingly, its closest living relative is actually the Tieren Ground type. And from this you can roughly see some of the traits from the Tieren that influenced its overall design, such as the legs and arms.

Articulation on the model is rather good. And in fact is reminiscent of the Tieren. Arms can rotate 360 at the shoulder and can move back and forth from the body thanks to its design. It also rotates below the shoulder and also rotates below the elbow which is unique.

The upper and lower body are connected by a ball joint which allows the upper body to move up and down. Those ‘side skirts’ dont really move at all actually. Since there are no front or back skirts, the legs can go forwards and backwards alot.

This is where I compliment the leg joints because they use the same design of the Tieren. And that means it is double jointed with alot of bend, can go forwards and backwards at the hip and the feet can turn 360, also with lots of movement.

In terms of accessories, the Ahead xomes with a few.

You get:

– 1 GN Submachine gun (plus two cartridges and a barrel for its beam rifle mode)

– 2 GN Beam sabers (all white as shown above)

– 1 GN physical shield

– 1 Automaton container

– 2 Anti-personnel automatons

The weapons are pretty standard for a mobile suit.  Unlike the GN-X, the Aheads use a much different looking beam weapon. The rifle has a foldable handle and the stock can connect to the arm of the Ahead for a more secure holding. Also, the kit comes with additional parts to turn into its beam rifle mode.

The two beam sabers are molded in white and theres no place to store them on the model. In fact they didnt even give you the handles for any clear beams to attach on which is a bummer.

However, one of the interesting things about this kit is its automaton container. The container itself is to pieces sandviched together and cant actually hold any automatons. It pegs into the butt of the model and replaces the thruster that was originally there.

But the kit also comes with two little automatons which are so puny, they dont even exceed the model’s foot. Unless kept well, they could go missing real easily.

Now on to the problems. Being a knockoff, there are certainly some problems that arise with it, so my judgment cant be exact on this. Surprisingly the real problems lie during the constructing of the kit rather than anything else.

Firstly, due to the mold flaw, the parts are all very stiff, which means you need to have the strength of an ox to get some parts together and the cautiousness of a mouse not to break anything.

Next, the polycaps the provide is shit. TT-Hongli polycaps are all out of shape and will require ALOT of trimming.

The plastic is bad. Its really bad quality plastic with lots of imprints on it.

Lastly some of the joints are loose and love to come off. I’m pretty sure the Bandai version doesn’t have any of these problems. This occurs alot to the lower arm. But considering none of my other models ever suffer from this, I take it its just a knockoff problem.

Due to this being a bootleg, I cant show you an accurate pros and cons list. But despite the above mentioned problems, the kit is actually quite likable.

All in all the Ahead is actually a great model to get, but was brought down by this fake version. I certainly dont recommend buying the knock-off if you can help it. But if you ever see the official one, by all means, its a great kit to add to your collection. Why?

If the knock off is already this good, I believe the official Bandai version will be excellent. Do yourself some justice and purchase the original, especially if you know you can afford it.

Final Rating: 4/5 stars

On a more unrelated not, I just got back from Anime Festival Asia 2010 which was held at Suntec City Singapore! Got abit of treasure from the trove, and I’ll be sure to show you the prime of the events in the next post.

-Raisha

Luka Luka Night Fever~

•October 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“If it’s on terra firma, the Steel Talons can crush it like a soda can. It’s when you kick a beehive full of Nod flyers that you start wishing there was a bunch of Sandstorms in your loadout.”

-Major Albert W. Eckhart, Steel Talons 151st Special Armor Brigade

Adapted from Tiberium Twilight

Just yesterday I was listening to this song on youtube. It was the first time I heard the song as I stumbled upon it by accident through a friend’s recommendation.

It was about 815pm when I was listening to it for quite a while. Later I had the urge to hit the hay early so I hopped into bed, but only to wake up halfway at around 1030pm. Didn’t bother me, so I just went back again to see if I could resume my sleep.

The freaky thing is that at the stroke of midnight I woke up feeling very discomforted, only to realize I just got a very bad fever. I took some medicine and only started to feel better at 4am.

The next day I did some looking up to the song in the afore-mentioned music video. What I found out was freaky.

The song itself is called ‘Luka Luka ★ Night Fever’. If you must know, the main chorus of the song literally says luka luka night fever hajikeru rizumu ni awasete.

Okay, maybe it was more like hilarious kinda freaky. But still I couldn’t help but wonder if the song was hexed or something. XD

A case of the Lavender Town theme curse? Or maybe some hidden subliminal message? Or perhaps I just haven’t been eating my veggies.

In any case, I’m spamming the song into my ears right now. If nothing happens, perhaps its just a freaky coincidence.

…If not. Ladies and gentlemen, I just found the ultimate prank weapon.

-Raisha

The Grand Finale

•October 12, 2010 • 1 Comment

“It is more important for us to employ intelligent combined-arms tactics than it is for GDI because it is the Pen that is mightier than the Sword. And we are both the Pen and the Sword when skilled modern armies are commanded by intelligent strategies brought upon by a true military strategist.”

-Anton Slavik

Adapted from Tiberian Sun

Nope, certainly not the grand finale of my blog. But finally the of my Student Internship Programme (SIP) ! For those who didn’t know about it, I alongside with a  rag-tag group, was posted for 3 months to the Ministry of Education (MOE).  And I finally have the time to do some recounting about it.

And I’m gonna need all the memory I can. Gosh darn report is due on friday! Other than that, I got two weeks off an up till now, I’ve managed to come up with some new concepts and bust some zombie brains.

Well on the bright side, the SIP wasnt a complete waste of time. Throughout the whole I managed to watch finish some Gundam series which, thanks to Megavideo, hindered my pleasure.

MS Igloo

– MS Igloo: Apocalypse

– MS Igloo 2

– 0083 Stardust Memory

– 0080 War in the Pocket

– G Gundam (rewatched)

Overall, I’m glad I got posted to the MOE and things turned out well. Sure, Secondlife is a bitch to work with at first. But once you get the hang of using primitive primitives, and have a good coder at hand (kudos to Isaac), things were pretty darn smooth. Indeed it is one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever been on.

By then we made some mobile suits,

Vented our fury on some furries,

Imitated lightning rods,

Enraged a Basarios,

Pulled of a goatse,

Built skyscrapers,

And surfed Danbooru Safebooru.

I certainly wish CF were here in it as well. Heck, I’ll sacrifice D1000 anytime for this. T_T

Alright, enough talk! Its montage time!

From left to right: William, Myself, Isaac, Rashid, Erin, Janthini, Cliff and Nuraini

All in all, I learnt the vital importance of the project brief. And never do a tour de’ france when the board of leader are having a presentation.

Hopefully our major project in MOE will be secured.

And that… there will be less bullshift.

In the meantime, I’m gonna relax even if it kills me.

-Raisha

United by Name, Divided by Cause

•October 6, 2010 • 3 Comments

“And I assure you… the suffering you now endure is nothing compared to what will happen to us all if Kane is allowed to see his plan through.”

-A broadcast by Gideon from an unknown source that is shown on the One Truth.

Adapted from Tiberium Twilight

Members of the alliance, on October 5th, 2010, Famous gunpla info blogger, Ngee Khiong Chang has pushed ahead his original plans of closing shop. Now the blog Ngee Khiong (NK) has officially closed down, just five months short of its 5th anniversary.

I for one, was a prominent follower of NK. In fact every time I turn on the laptop the first site I will visit is none other than his. The site is a treasure trove of news images and sneak peeks of upcoming models which I would be too lazy to check out anywhere else. What I liked about it was that the site was constantly receiving updates on a daily, and on some occasions, hourly basis. All of which detailed and satisfying.

When the first news of the rumored closing reached the front post, many members speculated on the reason for the sudden move, ranging from a now busy schedule to sheer discontent. However it seems to be more in line with the latter.

Before the final act, NK left us with some topics to think about as they would be center of focus for his grand finale. The subjects he spoke of were:

-“UC fans/Gundam SEED & SEED Destiny fans”

– Pirated Gunplas

– What is the value of your Gunpla in your life?

– Websites seeking publicity, profit, hits and visitor number over real interest in Gundam and related hobby.

I’m not gonna be a hash and re-tell his final post, because it is quite a mouthful. But what he mentions in that final post certainly got me thinking. And I can help but agree that a great deal of the pointers are frighteningly true/existent.

While I’m not surprised B-07 has broadcast the news on his side (though he beat me to the chase), he too showed great discontent with the resulting aftermath of thoughts. Like-wise, I shall now speak about some of the topics NK told us to ponder about before. If you one of those who are tdlr, than yea, text chunk ahoy babe.

[The Fan base]

I remembered many years ago playing Gundam vs Zeta Gundam on my friends Playstation 2(?). Things were so much more simpler back then when Universal Century (UC) was the first and only time line. While I did play the game, I never had the opportunity to watch any of the animes or purchase the HGUC model kits. Because of that, other than prominent units like the Big Zam, Zaku II and Ball, a lot of the mobile suits in the game were a complete enigma too me.

In fact, my true liking to Gunpla occurred a few years forward when Gundam Seed started airing and I had the liberty of watching it openly on (the then) Kids Central channel. Being the first Gundam anime I’ve ever watch, the series was everything to me. And when I compared it and the mobile suits there to those of UC, it was obvious what my new love would be. After that the first few Gunpla I’ve ever bought would be from the Seed and Destiny universe.

From then on I was quick to snuff how utterly retarded UC mobile suits looked like. Some were goofy. Others didnt seem to even fit into reality. And then when Seed Destiny came up, everyone jumped the gun with Kira Yamato. While I didnt really care too much about Kira, I couldn’t take this lying down. Especially when good looking units like the Destiny Gundam and Strike Freedom are being labeled as horrific alongside him.

But after some time of seeing the larger picture, and the power of the internets which compelled me to watch the other UC and sub-series, I realized they weren’t actually that eye-rape to watch. Sure Mobile Suit Gundam looked very… ‘choppy’ (come on, it was made in 1979), but later generations from the same series, such as 08th MS Team, started to get considerably better in animation and storyline. It really cheeses me off that the newer generation cant appreciate a classic, and the ‘oldies’ cant embrace the modern. While that isn’t bad on its own, its when the Elitists who kick this up a notch by declaring ‘war’ on fans of different series thats when the trouble begins.

[Pirated Models]

Well I’m not too big a fan with pirated goods because a good deal of them really sucked bad. And you dont really need Prime92’s review to confirm it. However some pirates are ever so up to date with technology to make better stuff such as the TT-Hongli brand.

A few months back, I purchased a knock off 1/144 TT-Hongli brand Ahead from a shop at Vivo City mall out of curiosity. And surprisingly at SG$7 it was pretty darn good.  I’m planning to review that, but of course that’s a different story. For knock off, it was almost comparable to the Bandai HGs and much more cheaper.

With near original quality, and almost one third the original price, its not big surprise why some people purchase bootleg models. Some use knock off’s as a cheaper alternative for modding, kitbashing and paint practice.

If I were to grow up with knockoffs, and the pathetic pocket money I got in the days, they would have been a part of me. That said, not every fan has complete access or resources to purchase official Bandai models.

While I certainly don’t support piracy and their bootleg models, I can understand the reasons for people to turn to them. For many who aren’t privileged to have them, it is certainly the best and only way to acquire that dream MS. And I don’t blame them for that.

[The Value of your Gunpla]

Imma’ gonna keep this part short. I love all my model kits. In fact some of the Gunpla which I disliked in the past are starting to grow on me. While most of my models are now from the Double 0 and Seed/Destiny line, I’m considering investing in some UC mobiles such as the Sazabi, Gundam Alex and Double Zeta. In fact the first and only HGUC model in my collection (as of this point, at the moment)is the Z-Gok Type E, and it did not disappoint me in any way.

In short, whatever that doesn’t strike my interest at first, given enough time to suck in, will eventually grow on me. And whatever model kits wind up in my possession, stay till worlds end.

[Popularity Lechers]

Well, I’m not one to say. I do like having viewership to my blog, But my content is so minor that it does not surpass to anything. But all in all, I love reviewing models just as much as fixing them. The reason the past 3-4 reviews were kinda rushed was because I was desperate to build up those in the stash and not let them pile up on me.

Is it just me or am’I, and a good handful, the on people on earth who can appreciate any Gundam series no matter how old, new, or different they are? Ultimately, NK’s closing would be the result of the ever so stubborn fanbase. The real problem here is because the Gundam fan base is divided to the core.

Dont get me wrong, I still have some nitpicks on some series. I liked Seed, but didn’t like the way Destiny turned out in the end. Turn A Gundam looks goofy with the boomerang mustache and the Zeong has antlers. But despite that, I don’t plot a vendetta against any of the above and tehir people. And with that, I don’t see why people should be actively bashing other peoples favorite series. Just look at youtube! Find any Gundam related video, OST’s, or uploaded episodes from any series and I can assure you there will be some assholes with their brain in their butt.

But really, it got worse when videos like this started showing up. While to the more sensible bunch, videos like these would be the subject of constant debate. But to others and perhaps those deliberately, it is an excuse/reason to start up a flame war. I can assure you a lot of these videos are just made to insult the fans of the series they support.

In a big twist of irony, this entire hoo-ha has become like a war on its own. While there are those who fight back because their favorite series is getting back lashed, there are also the despicable few who are hate-junkies and just want to cause disruption all across us. We’re slowly becoming everything a Gundam series has and that is war and non-understanding with each other. And unfortunetly, there’s no Project Meteor or Celestial Being to unite us all. Or is there?

No, I’m not advertising for Gundam vs Gundam (GVG). But somehow, it occured to me that GVG is like the Bandai’s embodiment of unity.

But your probably gonna say: “but how can this be unity if its clearly called Gundam VERSUS Gundam, noob?”

Here’s my justification. Picture this scenario: Your a UC fan and while playing through the arcade mode with Nu Gundam, you just wound up in a boss fight against the Quin Mantha with the Strike Freedom as you ally. What do you do? Both of you are gosh darn expensive, but you don’t turn against the Strike Freedom and blast him first right?

Heck no.  And because the Quin Mantha is UC mobile, you dont let it have you way right? For that mission, the Freedom would be you greatest ally for the fight and the Quin Mantha, something you would want to blow to bits.

Thats why even in skirmish mode, you are not limited to the teammate you can choose because of the unit you pick. You don’t just get Seed/Destiny teammates just because you choose the Aegis. By playing all the mobile suits from different series, you really start to take a liking to some of them. Heck they might actually prompt you to watch th anime. I actually started to appreciate the Turn A after trying it out in game. ^^

In closing, NK has really shown us his inside story on the gripe and growls that eventually lead to its downfall. While we may see a small portion of it now and then, I believe this really exists and its real alright.

Why cant Gundam fans be united as one just as GVG has put it? Working together instead of against each other?

Surely an epic one. But I feel, only the community can amend these wrongs. Although it seems unlikely things will change, at least people should acknowledge that no matter how unique, different, old or new, we are all Gundam.

Why cant we just accept each other as part of it?

I don’t know how the above video is related, but I love it to the core. ^_^

-Raisha

A wakening of the trailblazer

•October 2, 2010 • 1 Comment

“Greetings citizens of New Adana! Long you have lived in sin, Kane’s sin! But today… today you will be judged.”

-Gideon addresses the people of New Adana during his attack.

Adapted from Tiberium Twilight

About a week back, Josh and I went to catch the Gundam Double 0 Movie: A wakening of the trailblazer. Okay, actually I kinda convinced him to tag along with him, cause I know this is the event of the year for fans like us and I rather not let him torrent it and spoil me all over. But in any case, I certainly did not regret travelling all the way to newton circus just to watch it.

At the same time, we had to commemorate the event with some photos now do we?

Be warned there’s be spoilers ahead.

I never thought I’d see the day a Gundam movie banner would be flash in Singapore. I thought they had enough of these since the unnamed Gundam Seed movie never saw any movement.

Well it wasnt as big a big turnout as I expected. It wasnt hallway-packed, but there certainly was a good amount of fans here at the Alliance Francaise De Singapour. They were selling some Gundam Double 0 pillows, but at SG$60, you wouldn’t catch me getting any. The posters were tempting though.

Now on to the main event! I couldn’t get any snaps of the movie, least odex gets on my tail, but I did do some snapping around in the cinema before it started. But there’s not really much to see around. And the grand movie began…

….and ended, faster than you know it. I must say,  it was one heck of a ride. And I did not regret it one bit.

Of course some questions were left unanswered at the end. But generally it was a happy ending for the series. Storywise, the plot was interesting. Aliens is certainly a first for a Gundam series. But from what they predicted in season one and two, I was generally expecting the aliens to be an army of Ribbons Almark (lolz) or something humanoid. But meh, metal dittos will suffice. And with the ability to mimic any technology they assimilate that is something no one was expecting.

Fight scenes are always welcomed. And the movie certainly had no shortage. But Tieria certainly got the short end of the stick, having his Gundam appear just to get destroyed before the start of the real battle. And whats this? He copilot the 00 Quanta to (in the form of Veda interface) to go ludicrous-speed to ELS land? Certainly its not his day. Well, at least the crew loli takes a liking to him. Lucky arse..

And finally the conclusion to it all. Humanity is at peace with the aliens (actually aliens seem almost non-existent now), people can now deep space travel without fear and earth is once again kid-friendly. Of course after all those years chronologically from the movie epilogue, who would have thought Setsuna would pull of a T-1000 on us and come back looking smexy as ever while time withered everyone else away?

All in all, the movie was damn hell worth-while. Although its no longer showing in Singapore anymore, I’d say if you get the chance, torrent it. Or better still, get the dvd (if it ever comes out).

Other than that, CF at B-07 has done a very comprehensive review of the movie which you can find here.

-Raisha

1/144 HG Ali Al-Saachez’s AEU Enact Custom Review

•September 30, 2010 • 1 Comment

“When we are crushing the black hearts of our oppressors, we will find our hands blackened. We cannot cultivate our garden without digging in the dirt.”

-Kane

Adapted from Tiberium Wars: Kane’s Wrath

Finally, the final review before I start building some model kits! Last on the list for now will be the 1/144 scale HG Ali Al-Saachez’s AEU Enact Custom (now there’s a mouth full) from the first season of Gundam Double 0.

While the Enact has already had multiple appearances ever since its first ‘cut-up’ in episode 1, one in particular stood up amongst the rest as kick-arse. And that would be Ali Al-Saachez’s personal Enact. Well to be more precise, it’s actually a Morallia test type rather than an actual custom-made by him. Later on he would deck it from blue to his signature red color, minus the effects.

The Enact shares the same frame design as with the flag. Likewise articulation and transformation are both identical with some minor changes.

Because of this, the Enact’s articulation is limited so as to accommodate its mobile armor (MA) form. Its head can (surprisingly) go 360. Arms are unique in design. By default it can’t really go a great deal. But by pulling out a section of it from the main body (which is actually meant for the MA form), the enact can now move much more than before, but still not as much as other units.

Leg articulation suffer quite a bit. Going up, the feet suffer from strike syndrome, it is single jointed at the knees but can still bend quite a great deal. Thanks to the lack of front or side skirts, it can move forwards and backward and side to side.

The back thrusters can move up and down and the wings can slide in and out as well. So can the ones on his butt as well!

For accessories, the Enact comes with a few.

You get:

1 – Plasma blade/sonic knife (molded completely in red)

1 – Plasma blade/sonic knife handle

1 – open hand

1 – Blade rifle

1 – multi-tube missile launcher

1 – defence rod

So you get a nice variety of weapons for this kit. Starting of with the blade rifle which is capable of sliding out a blade (surprise surprise!)  from underneath the barrel.  Rather short in my opinion. I’m sure it was longer in the anime. It also has handles on both sides of the rifle, so your Ali can be a lefty or a righty.

The missile launcher has a handle which, when not on the rifle, can be held by the unit.

The plasma blade you get as mentioned is molded purely in red. Which means you have to color the blade itself blue to mimic the real deal. I’m not to cheesed off with it as he color makes me think that the Enact has a beam saber instead.

You also get just the handle itself which attached from a peg to a hole on either side of the arm.

Now for the main feature of this suit, and that is its mobile armor (MA) mode.

To transform it, first you slide the head down, next you crank the lower body (which is on a hinge at the waist) down, followed by the on the stomach forward.

After that you pull the arm joints out of the shoulders by a bit and fold the arms. Next bend the legs by the waist back via the hinge there as well as by the ball joint to the leg. By then, the pegs on the inner side of each arms will connect to small holes on the outer side of the legs (at the white area).

Lastly take the rifle, fold the handle forward by a bit and attach into the hole right between the stomach and the crotch.

Having the defense rod or missile pod on in this form is optional.

And with that you have the Enact in its MA form.

And it is indeed a rather nice mobile armor.  Rather on the small side if you ask me. But I’m not asking too much from an anorexic mobile suit. You can remove the missile gun when in this form if you want. I find having the blade out does give it a nice touch to rather impractical unless you’re a Graham.

On to the problems with this kit. And sadly to say, there is no shortage of it.

Firstly, like the Savior Gundam, a lot of the joints on this model is either too loose or too tight. Maybe my kit is defective, but some areas seem to make sense for the arrangements but others don’t.

An example would be the leg joint below the hip. Despite being attached by a ball joint, the legs are extremely tight! Whats worst is that the ball joint that is attached to the hip is just held by a thin piece of plastic. So despite having some good leg articulation, I can’t really do much in case something breaks due to stress. Other tight ends include the upper and lower torso joint.

With that in mind, the arm joints at the shoulders are very loose and just flop anywhere they want. Other loose ends include the hands, wings and head.

Stickers aren’t too big a deal but they can be annoying, especially the stomach and hand stickers. Those love coming off at the ends.

Lastly, because of its tiny feet, coupled with strike syndrome, the Enact requires an action base to get some good poses. Its even more bad off that Bandai doesn’t give you a stand.

In the end this would be the Enact Custom;

Pros:

Play-value

Cons:

Tight and loose joints in the wrong areas

Stickers

Requires a stand

Overall I was rather disappointed with the Enact Custom. Its got some good accessories, but with problems such as these I would not recommend this unless you really want a more bolder look to the Union Flags. And so as I celebrate the completion of all my current model reviews I shall offer tribute to the great saint of rice balls by sacrificing Prince Ali to the Grue.

Next up…. something light-hearted preferably.

Final Rating: 2/5 stars

-Raisha