Monday, July 21, 2008

Alas, my fair queen, I hath brought forth Gunpla Updates

Here are some recently released Gunpla...

SD Zhaoyun Gundam Hieisen

The Zhaoyun Gundam Hieisen...say that back to me 5 times...thought so. "It's an SD gundam model, who cares?!" I do, so shut up. It's pretty cool anyway...and SD

HG 1/144 GN-X

I must say, the model is impressive. It really gets the menacing power of this super powered grunt unit out. I wasn't too interested when the model was announced, but the pictures above do it some justice. And you gotta respect a mobile suit that gave the Gundams a run for their money...

1/100 Tieren Land Version's a 1/100 scale Tieren. Honestly, I think the Tieren is one of the ugliest grunt units ever designed for a Gundam series. Even a GM would look like royalty next to a Tieren, and I mean that. Well, whatever...maybe someone has the courtesy to add this thing to their collection.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gundam 00 Season 2 Preview

The story and character summaries are out for the next season of Gundam 00. Pictures of the new Gundams are also available. All information is thanks to Gunota.


"2312 A.D.

4 years since the final battle between Celestial Being and the UN Forces. Humanity, having established the Earth Sphere Federation, forms an independent security preservation force, Arrows, separate from the formal Federation army to further unify nations and the will of mankind. But the reality was the inhumane oppression of anti-government powers, doctrines & ideologies in the name of unity.

Saji Crossroad, who followed the path to becoming a space engineer to keep a promise to Louise Halevy and fulfill a dream, is also compelled to become involved in Federation government reform.

Meanwhile, Setsuna F. Seiei, surviving the final battle 4 years ago, saw the future of the world that had been changed by Celestial Being. With the defeat of guardian Alejandro Corner, he dreamed of a peaceful world without conflict. But before his own eyes was the reality of the continuing strain on peace, the oppression caused by Arrows. He decides once more to fight with Gundam, the power with the potential to change the world.

Where will Setsuna's and Saji's paths take them as the world is set into motion once more?"

Tagline (in contrast to the first season tagline "Rebirth begins through destruction"): "(We will) destroy the rebirth"

(Merged portraits do not represent the actual height comparison of each character)

Setsuna F. Seiei
"21-years-old. A fated child soldier from the Middle East's Republic of Krugis. Saved by the 0 Gundam during that time and became a Gundam Meister with Celestial Being. 4 years after the battle with allied forces, what does he think of as he looks at the world newly unified by the Earth Sphere Federation...?"

Lockon Stratos
"29-years-old. A member of Celestial Being and pilot of the marksman-type Keldim Gundam. Heads into battle with Haro."

Allelujah Haptism
"24-years-old. From the HRL's Superhuman Institute and pilot of the retired Gundam Kyrios. Went missing after the fierce battle with allied forces 4 years ago. He seems to have had a past with super soldier Soma Peries from the same Superhuman Institute..."

Tieria Erde
"Age unknown. Injured in the decisive final battle with allied forces 4 years ago, he was rescued by Celestial Being and did his best in their reconstruction. While he once followed Veda's judgment absolutely, he now looks for the meaning in combat through his own decisions."

002ndSeason03_s 002ndSeason04_s 002ndSeason05_s 002ndSeason06_s
* Not actual height comparison of the Gundams.

GN-0000 00 Gundam
Pilot: Setsuna F. Seiei
"Gundam Exia's successor unit. Its greatest feature is its 2 GN Drives equipped on the shoulders. This allows it to boast particle emission volumes surpassing all other units."

Keldim Gundam
Pilot: Lockon Stratos
"Gundam Dynames' successor unit. It also supports sniper combat to reflect the characteristics of its pilot."

Arios Gundam
Pilot: Allelujah Haptism
"Gundam Kyrios' successor unit. Similar to the Kyrios, it has the ability to transform. It can be said that it's suited for high-speed movement."

Selavii Gundam
Pilot: Tieria Erde
"Gundam Virtue's successor unit. A heavy armament model similar to the Virtue. Equipped with GN cannons on both shoulders that boast greater firepower than the Virtue. "

Translation from Gunota Headlines. All images from Gundam Double O official site.

My thoughts: Well, there's not much I can say about the story right now, but I CAN say that I'm really disappointed with the new Gundam designs. They don't look radically different, it just seems like somebody redesigned them to look worse than they already were. The 00 Gundam is pretty interesting, but none of these designs are interesting enough for me to say anything besides "meh". I know most of you must be wondering, "What?! Lockon is alive?!" Well, the answer to your question is probably no. They confirmed that he is dead for good, and that he isn't coming back. Lockon Stratos is just a codename, so chances are it is Neil's twin brother, who we caught a glimpse of for like 5 seconds during season 1. Kind of a dick move if you ask me...


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Gunpla Update

HGUC 1/144 Kampfer
Here's the complete model of the HGUC Kampfer. Wow, it looks really good. The detail is great, and the HGUC should give it justice in terms of accuracy. I've mostly avoided the 1/144 scale, but the recent HGUC releases have really been making me want them. The quality of these models is just...promising. Maybe I'll get ahold of this one in August.

1/144 Enact(Demo Colors)
I preferred the Over Flag over the Enact, but seeing the completed model with color, it looks really nice. I'm not going to get it, but it's definitely worth noting. Still an August release.

HGUC 1/144 Rick Dom IIYep, it's the Rick Dom II. I never really liked this design, even if it was predominately featured in a bunch of Gundam shows. Well, it's coming out in HGUC so you be sure that it will be treated with respect. August release. Yayz.

HGUC 1/144 Sazabi

It was released in late June, but I can't miss up a chance to mention it. This is the pinnacle of HGUC models. The Sazabi is always the highest quality of any line it's been represented in, and the HGUC is no different. Look at it, it's so freaking pretty! Aaah! Excuse me. Anyway, yeah, OH MY GOD.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Rafael Nadal Wins 2008 Wimbledon Championship

What an electrifying tournament it was. Top ranked favorites like Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova dropped out early, typical powerhouses like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the Williams sisters cruised to the top like it was fated.
All the American players dropped out early, but I don't really care for any of the American players ( I think Andy Roddick deserves a chance at another Grand Slam win, but whatever). Anyway, an interesting thing to note was the long awaited reunion of the Williams sisters in a Grand Slam final. Both players always bring out the best in each other when they play, and despite being sisters, they never let up the effort and desire to win. In the end, the older Venus Williams came out triumphant.
There was only one other match that managed to overshadow the women's final, and that was obviously the men's final with top seeded Roger Federer and world No.2 Rafael Nadal. This was Roger Federer's sixth consecutive run in a Wimbledon final, and he was undefeated in all the finals. Honestly, I didn't think Nadal had it in him to beat Federer on grass. As much as he dominates Federer on clay, he would always end up losing to Federer on every other court surface. Today, he proved me wrong and took the rivalry to a whole new level.

Rafael Nadal collapses after a gut-wrenching 9-7 victory

Neither players ever let down their guard throughout the match, and kept their shots at a constant pace. Federer was making a lot more unforced errors that he usually does, and Nadal was using that to his advantage with his counter-puncher playing style. Nadal took the first two sets 6-4, 6-4, and Federer came back by winning the next two sets 6-7, 6-7. The last set pushed the two players to the extreme.

"I wonder how long this fake smile will hold"

The sixth and last set was when the tension really began. The score reached 2-2, and the match was suddenly delayed due to incoming rain. Fortunately, it let up after about 20 minutes and the match continued. The rain helped to build drama and make the anticipation so much harder to bear. Each player won game after game after game without breaking serve, until the score got to 7-7. It's not like Federer to lose his cool, but he must have cracked under the pressure because he lost break point and practically paved the way for Nadal's first non-clay Grand Slam win. Nadal obviously won his service game and won his very first Wimbledon championship, making that his fifth grand slam title.

"All that and I get a freaking plate?"

Honestly, I was rooting for Federer. He is currently my favorite player because I can depend on him to win all the time with his uber skillz. No but seriously, he is showing relentless effort and talent, and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. I think he is (and will be) the greatest player in tennis history. Rafa beat him in Wimbledon and proved that he could take the rivalry off clay and into grass, and is proving to be a really tough competitor. It's not that I doubt Federer obvious domination, but Nadal is becoming a force to be reckoned with. I'm sad that Federer lost, but I think Nadal deserved this more than anything. I applaud both players. The match was one of the greatest I've ever seen...


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Plamo Updates

1/72 Alto's VF-25

I've been watching and enjoying Macross Frontier (it's really good, I recommend it), and the new Valkyrie fighters are awesome. Here we have Bandai's 1/72 scale VF-25 model kit, due out very soon (July?). Anyway, it's unusual for Bandai to be doing a 1/72 scale model, but it is very promising because at least the details will be set in with minimal paint requirements. The Hasegawa models were highly detailed in terms of paneling and overall look, but the color was completely white and the plastic was really flimsy. So yeah, good thing Bandai is coming up with one, I'm totally getting this one when it comes out.

Here is something that caught my attention. Unfortunately, no it's not an upcoming master grade release of the Tallgeese I. This is actually made out of the 1/100 Tallgeese III model kit. For those of you who don't know, the 1/100 Tallgeese III kit came with parts that allowed you to make any of the three Tallgeese mobile suits. The colors are by default Tallgeese III colors, so the painting and detailing would be left up to you. Here is an INCREDIBLE Tallgeese I model, made by FichtenFoo. You can find more of his work at The detail on this one is incredible, I could swear it's a master grade version of the Tallgeese. It would be an incredible addition to my collection, a pity I can't buy it from him or something...

Master Grade Shin Musha Gundam
A lot of buzz has been directed towards the latest in the Master Grade line. Here is the Shin Musha Gundam. It is essentially the RX-78-2 Gundam Ver.Ka in cool red samurai armour. It was released last month, and has been getting a lot of attention, probably because it looks really badass. I don't know, the highly detailed armour is definitely impressive, but it looks kind of out of place on a gundam. It still looks cool though, maybe if the head had some sort of helmet it would look complete. If I decide to buy it, I'll review it immediately.

1/100 Gundam Astraea Type-F
The recently released prototype of the Gundam Exia, Astraea Type-F. Honestly, the all-red color scheme is a bit awkward, and it's not too interesting overall. Red is unique, I guess, so it's worth taking a look at, at the very least.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

1/100 Gundam Exia [Review]

Today we review the 1/100 scale Gundam Exia from the Gundam 00 line. The Exia belongs to Setsuna F. Seiei, the lead character in the anime. It is mainly a melee fighter, and boasts seven close range sword weapons. The model itself resembles its anime counterpart very closely, and is capable of taking nearly all the poses it takes in the anime. More on that later...

The plastic pieces are molded in almost all the necessary colors. That includes white, yellow, red, blue, dark gray, and clear. Yeah, clear is not a color, whatever. The light blue/gray parts on its thighs and the middle of its shins are actually rubber pieces that fit into an area left open for the rubber piece. Dark stickers go on the round sides of the knee and a clear piece fits over it to give it that glass orb look. The same applies for the center chest piece and the sides of the head. Basically, almost every color and detail is covered without the use of paint. The yellow on the sides of the head is left blank for you to paint with a fine point, but that shouldn't be too hard. As usual, the eyes are stickers.

They sure went all out with the details on the back. The entire body has plenty of panel lines for you to detail it, but the separately colored pieces give it a really nice, fuller look already. The GN drive on its back has a shiny sticker with lines going vertically, and it wraps around the GN drive to give it that spinning engine look.

True to its title of the Seven Swords, it comes with all 7 blade weapons. It comes with the GN Blade attached to the small shield, which folds up to reveal the beam gun under the blade. The blade and the gun holds up to be in the position of a hand held sword instead of a blade pointing forward. I don't recall the Exia ever holding up the sword like this in the anime, but its been awhile since I've watched the series so whatever. Anyway, it also comes with the two GN swords, which comes in two sizes and attaches to the waist. The swords are totally white, so they really lack that metallic look. You can do some paneling to at least make it look interesting.

Now here is my only gripe with this model. I don't know if its bad molding with my particular kit, but it is designed badly anyway. The two swords rest on small round attachers that are located on the very top of the Exia's thighs/hips. Not only do these attachers have trouble staying on the hips, but the swords themselves rest on the attachers via a puny piece of plastic that sticks into an equally puny hole on the sides of the swords. When trying to pose the model, any of these four things will have trouble staying on. It has caused me so much stress. Anyway, it also comes with two long beam sabers, pink as usual. The last two weapons are its short beam daggers, which aren't too interesting. Besides its swords, it also comes with the large shield, which is nicely detailed.

Articulation for this model is very good. It's flexible enough to do a near-full split. The leg itself is double jointed; it bends at the knee and right below. The joints are very sturdy so the poses hold well. The foot folds between the front and the heel. The thigh is actually not connected by a ball joint on the pelvis, it attaches to the peg coming out directly down from the round hip parts, so the leg can actually turn 360 degrees horizontally. The arms are similar, they turn at the elbow and have another joint below the elbow.

The Exia and this new line of Gundam 00 1/100 models really display how far the no grade 1/100 models come in terms of quality. When compared to older 1/100 models like the 1/100 God Gundam, the Exia almost seems like an older master grade. The paneling, colors, sturdiness, and attention to detail really show off its higher quality. The joints are nicely reinforced and bend all around so it can take all kinds of poses without hinder. The proportions are almost right. The legs seem a bit thicker than normal, but its tolerable. Anyway, this is quality no-grade at its best.