And so, after a slight delay, (or a very long one considering how long this kit has been in my “to do” pile) here is my third Yoko kit!
Looking back, I’m not sure why I went and purchased her, but having now completed the kit, I’m glad that I did, even though it did mean breaking one of my age old rules of only buying one kit per character version. This is my second vs Antispiralversion of Yoko in my collection. My first one was completed way back in 2008! I’ve come a long way since then in terms of skill…
Continue reading Shot through the Heart, and you’re to Blame!
Just a quick update for this weeks post. Yoko has actually been completed but I haven’t had the chance to do a photoshoot with her yet, so she’s coming next week. So for this week, I’m showing off the 2 kits I was able to snag from Wonder Festival. I’ve been trying to get the 2 busou shinki kits from Grizzry Panda for a while and was pretty bummed when QuesQ announced that they had the original kits and were making PVC versions of them for general release (What happened to that anyway?) but Grizzry Panda then went and made 2 new kits and those are the ones I picked up. Their colour scheme is based on the alternate releases of Atlene and Altines but I’m going to paint them in their original colours.
A preliminary build has been done but I’ve found a problem with Ines in that I got 2 parts which are the same for the left and right leg for the frame so I can’t actually build it! Luckily, Grizzry Panda has been great and helped me out with a few things and will send replacement parts later, probably when the next time he sells the kits at an event.
However, I would point out that his kits are amazingly well produced. Perhaps it’s because they’re designed and made with a 3D printer in mind but the parts fit is FLAWLESS! every part fits perfectly and there’s no flak or excess resin aside from a few bits of flash. His kits have gone a long way since his early stuff. I took out his old Homura kit and they are leagues apart in terms of build quality! Still, with Yoko out of the way, I’m likely to go on to Homura next, since it won’t be good to keep 3 unbuilt Grizzry Panda kits in my to-do pile.
Well, this was a rather pleasant surprise. A new concert from the makers of Distant Worlds and a premier in London!! Yeah, I went!
The new show was given the complete title “A New World: Intimate music from Final Fantasy” and that was a pretty accurate description. Instead of a full orchestra seen in Distant Worlds, this show was held together by a string quartet, Piano, basic percussion, second cello, second violin, clarinet, Saxophone and french horn. That was it! This gave the tracks a very different feel from the usual music, although some have been done before.
The venue itself was much smaller. It was done at the London Symphony Orchestra Jerwood Hall and there was only really enough space for a few hundred guests at best so this was very intimate indeed.
See what I mean? You may also notice that there were mics on the stage. We were told that the concert was being recorded so expect some kind of live CD to be produced soon.
Continue reading A whole New World
Oh god… So… Much… KanColle…
And I thought having a large number of Miku kits was bad, but this was just INSANE!!! It was like every other figure was KanColle related! Still, in the middle of all that, I still managed to find some kits which I really liked and I was also able to purchase 2 new kits this time, something I haven’t done in a while! Here are my 2 successful purchases!
Yeah!! I finally got my Busou Shinki kits!!! These are the version 2 models which Grizzry Panda made after selling the original designs to QuesQ. You can expect PVC releases of the original pair soon but these are all new! Of course, I’ll be painting them in their original colours!
As for the rest, there’s a mix of old and new which caught my eye in the various galleries I check out…
Continue reading Wonder Festival Winter 2014 Roundup!
Free-to-play is a rather dirty phrase for video games right now. Mention it and you either think of really crappy games which hold back lots of content and items behind a paywall or games which basically force you to pony up to proceed. Some can work (Team Fortress 2, some MMORPGs) but most don’t and the latest series to go free-to-play is the rather fondly remembered Ace Combat Series from Bandai-Namco
The new game is called Ace Combat infinity and the worldwide Beta was just released on PS3 yesterday to give us a taste of how it will play. In terms of gameplay, it’s a throwback to the older style of ace combat games. The last game in the series, Assault horizon, tried to spice things up with the introduction of “dogfight mode” and helicopter stages, neither of which were well received so after that, they went back to the simple jet action which has served the series so well.
There is a basic single player option in the game but the meat of it is in the multiplayer. In a little twist to the formula, rather than having you dogfight other players, you’re all sent as a large squad to complete a certain mission. You’re then split into 2 teams and you compete with eachother for the high score. The winning team gets bonus points but you don’t compete with other players directly.
After each stage, you get experience points which goes towards researching additional powerups for your jets as well as new fighters. However, the game doesn’t really tell you how the experience is distributed so if you want a specific jet, you just need to keep playing, and playing… and playing… But at least upgrades are free!
For the beta, everything is free (which is good) but when it fully comes out, we’re in for a bit of pain when the paywall comes out. As reminded by Q, the economy of Ace Combat Infinity is geared towards restricting the amount of play. It was first tried out with the Japan only game Gundam Battle Operation but will go worldwide with Infinity. Basically, each mission played costs fuel, which is a separate commodity in this game. Fuel refills automatically given enough time but the rate at which it refills basically means you’re limited to one mission every 2 hours or so. How do you play more? You guessed it, you pay for it with real money! In a way, it’s basically the old arcade style of economy where you’d just pump a machine full of coins to play a game except you don’t have any cool game specific setup to mess around with and that one of the reasons the arcades died out was exactly because people didn’t want to pump machines full of coins anymore…
You can also spend money on cosmetic changes but the majority of the money will be made on people paying to play the game more. It’s a pretty cynical ploy but it’s not the worst example of free-to-play I’ve seen. And it’s proven to work since gundam battle operation was a moderate hit in Japan. I can kinda see it working for a quick game here and there like the old arcades but it depends on how much they charge for fuel. If it’s similar to the old arcade economy per game then it might work but it’s very easy to overcharge…
As far as mechanics and gameplay, Ace Combat Infinity is familiar and fun but that won’t mean anything if the paywall is raised too high. There’s also the matter of the game potentially becoming pay-to-win as those who pay for more playtime will get access to the better equipment much faster than others but at least it’s not as bad as selling the individual fighter jets for increasing prices or something similar… We’ll just have to see how things go once we know the cost of everything in the game. Still, I’ll likely play at least long enough to unlock the F-14 Tomcat, maybe deck it out with shark decals and play some missions while blaring out “Highway to the Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins on my sound system. a.k.a the Top Gun effect!!
It’s usually the little things which sticks with you. When it comes to painting GK, the part which I look forward to the most is the detailing. The “little things”. Celia was fun but the amount of detailing needed was pretty small as she was mostly block colours. There was just a little gold here and there and panel lining. She was just so beautiful that it didn’t really matter. But Yoko has a fair bit to work on, and I’ve been distracted of late so I haven’t been working on her as much as I should have been. (thanks a bunch, super-expensive KOS-MOS!!)
but I’ve still managed to get some work done on her and there has been progress.
Painting large parts in a single colour with my airbrush is great and all, but I do like sitting down with just my paints, a few brushes and having to work on the little parts by hand. I still have the Gurren-dan logo on her back and her boots to paint but I’ll get to those soon enough!
A side shot of the details which have been done now. There’s not much left to do before Yoko is finished now. In terms of how things have gone, it’s pretty textbook. Nothing has really caused any issues, but since this is a volks kit (and a Try-GK at that) you don’t really expect any problems. Guess I should start thinking about my next project. I really want to start working on Bayonetta but I have nowhere to put her…
OK, I’ve put this off long enough. Over christmas, I received a Wii U as a gift and have been putting it through its paces somewhat so I figure now is a decent time to give my thoughts on it.
The Wii U has been having a hard time of late as its sales numbers are pretty damn low. Much of that can be attributed to a somewhat lacklustre games library. While there are some good games on the system, there isn’t enough to keep a sustained interest in the system. For me, I got a bundle with New Super mario Bros U and Super Mario 3D world. As an added bonus, the christmas period saw a sale for certain wii U titles on the online store and I was able to get launch title, Zombie U for £7. So armed with 3 titles, I put my new system through its paces!
Continue reading Mini Review: Wii U
Hurrah! The new anime season is upon us so dive into more shows and increase our backlog even further!! Wait…
Actually, the winter season tends to be one of the weaker ones of the year as it’s following on from the biggest one. Not that this has prevented my watch list from ballooning, mostly due to the studios having grasped my weakness and thrown in a plethora of mecha shows. And I will always make room for a mecha show! But first, let’s take a look at what has come by from last season.
Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova
This one was a bit of a surprise. A slow starter, initially it seemed to thrust you too far into the deep end and then dragged you along kicking and screaming but once you got your bearings, it turned out to be a very well thought out, well paced show and one I looked forward to quite a bit. It diverged a fair bit from the source material but I’m not too worried for any potential sequels.
Strike the Blood
Continue reading Anime Roundup: Winter 2014
The first proper post of 2014 and so we should go with a post which this blog was set up to share! You may remember that I was preparing a second kit for painting along with Celia. Well, with Celia completed it meant that I can go straight into painting Yoko! And it was a pretty quick job. The only issue I’ve experienced so far was that the tubing for my airbrush finally gave up the goat and started leaking. Had no choice but to buy new tubing in order to continue using my airbrush. Well, it had a good run!
but fortunately, it didn’t take much effort to get this far.
I’ve only done the solid colours for now so I still need to do the detailing on the parts but I might be doing a small live stream for Tomopop in the near future and I thought doing the detailing then would be kinda neat. I also just received a really big parcel which I wasn’t able to set up properly in time for a photoshoot this week (and probably won’t do one anyway). I’ve been waiting over a year for this thing!! Maybe you’ll see her on the stream or random events or meets.
Quick back shot for Yoko. You can see the Gurren Dan logo and she also has a bit of a buttcrack visible!
In any case, Yoko has actually been a fair bit of fun to paint, despite being sitting on my “to do” pile for so long. I think this is the oldest kit in my pile, save for the Knight of Gold which is reserved to be my last kit I ever make. Yoko recently got a re-release along with Saber as part of the Charagumin line of colour resin kits from Volks. Personally, I prefer the try-GK version, since you’ll need to paint her anyway. Anyway, I’m not sure when I’ll get around to finishing her off but I don’t suspect it’ll be much longer. That is, if I can pull myself away from Muramasa Rebirth on the Vita. Must… get… platinum… Trophy!!!
(I also got a Wii U over the holidays but only Super Mario bros Wii U and super Mario 3D world. 3D world is brilliant but super Mario Wii U is actually kinda frustrating. I also managed to get Zombie U for cheap during a sale on the online marketplace. Maybe I’ll do a more in depth review later on.)
Man, and I thought 2012 ended badly… 2013 seemed to just want to carry on the way it started and I am very glad to see the back of this year!!
Still, some things didn’t change, like the flux of anime shows which have come and gone. Some are remembered while others are forgotten. But here are the shows which made the biggest impression on me.
Majestic Prince was far and away my favourite show of the year but I am a mecha nut. Shin Sekai Yori was the show which stuck with me the most and Psycho Pass had a very interesting premise but kinda fizzled at the end. Mondaiji was just fun but I wanted more…
And now, the other list…
Continue reading Another one bites the dust