Confession: I’ve been pretty lazy with my hobby projects after the new year. Since I finished my PG Unicorn (no pics here I’m afraid, but there are a few on my twitter feed), I’ve been mostly hitting my gaming backlog (nearly finished Dai-2-Ji Super Robot Taisen OG after 2 YEARS!!) but I’ve also had a few AmiAmi orders come in as well. I just need to pick a new project to start work on but I’m still debating on which one to tackle…
In the meantime, I was hit with several items being delivered in rapid succession…
Not pictured is the Soul of Chogokin GaoGaiGar but I got that too! Noel was an oddity because I missed the initial pre-order window and ordered via Yokatta Japan. I think they placed an order with another shop so I had to pay a little more than the standard rate, which was OK. What was less OK was the fact that I wasn’t notified that it had arrived and even when I paid for the shipping, it took almost a month for Yokatta to get off their asses and actually ship the damn thing! Their service has gone way down since I last used them…
Figures wise, Noel is just as good as the first Hobby Japan figure, except this time, they gave her a gorgeous gloss finish for her clothes (the blue parts at least). I was considering doing a separate post for her but she gave less of an impact this time around due to the similarity with the first figure. Takao was a really pleasant surprise from Ques Q, a relative newcomer to the PVC market. They’ve bought up popular garage kits and made them into PVC figures. They got their hands on the Grizzry Panda Busou Shinki kits and they are seeing a release now so I should be getting mine soon. Takao was also reasonably priced, unlike the busou shinki girls, who are more expensive in PVC form than the original GK!! Tiki is just really fun and I’m mulling over the idea of putting her on my monitor alongsite Eas! And finally, I got Igawa Asagi from Taimanin Asagi 3. Despite her origin, this one is pretty SFW. for the most part anyway and since I didn’t hear much about her on the interwebs, I think we’ll take a closer look now, though this falls short of being a full review…
Continue reading First Loot of 2015! (And a look at Asagi!)
And no sooner does the year start, the new anime season comes and joins in! Not sure why, but I found the autumn season to be rather unmemorable. Nothing really jumped out. Still, there were some really entertaining shows so it wasn’t a bust and there were good shows but mostly sequels, which really dulls the excitement (especially when you know what’s going to happen. I’m looking at you UBW!!). Still, lets do the usual and take a look back at the season just finished and look towards the new shows!
Hi-School SeHa Girls
In terms of pure consistency (and massive nostalgia value) SeHa girls was probably the show I enjoyed the most but watching them in 10 minute bursts (as opposed to 3 eps stuck together into a 30 min episode like Robot Girls Z) made it hard to really get into. It works much better if you just marathon the whole thing but it’s still very fun. Otherwise, I guess my best full show of last season would be…
Aside from True Tears, I think if P.A. works does an original show, it needs to be 24 eps long to be good as they can’t seem to fit a decent story in 12 episodes. Luckily, ShiroBako is a 24 ep season so it’s one of the good ones (along with Hanasaku Iroha & NagiAsu). You really want to punch some of the support characters tho!
Runner up: Denkigai no Honya-san, Ore Twintail ni narimasu
Continue reading Anime Roundup: Winter 2015
And so, we wave goodbye to 2014. And as such, here’s a look back at the anime, movies and video games for the year (well, what I can remember of it!). After 2013, 2014 was much more stable and with more to look forward to. Plus, I was able to see Q again in Hong Kong, which is always a good thing! Wish I saw the others too but our calendars didn’t align. But enough about that, lets get on with the retrospective.
First of all though, I’m putting a disclaimer in here. I deliberately did not put in any of the really short shows in this top 5. Otherwise, I’m sure Robot Girls Z and Seha Girls would be in here but they’re so short, it didn’t quite sit right putting them in a list with full 20 minute 12/24 episode shows.
Build fighters was just great. After the duds that were Gundam 00 and Gundam Age, it felt really good to have a show which was not only entertaining but also just fun! And they did it by jettisoning all the usual stuff like space wars and social commentary! Build fighters was a breath of fresh air to the whole franchise and it did a better job than the last 2 shows and even its newer stablemate, Recongusta in G!
Log Horizon was basically SAO done right! It avoided all the pitfalls that SAO fell into and it also had a rocking OP theme! Season 2 is having a rougher time as part of the lure of S1 was how it had to explain how the world worked. S2 doesn’t have that luxury but it’s still pretty good.
Nagi no Asukara was one of the better offerings from PA Works. A longer story which was given time to be told and done very well. Some of the other offerings from PA Works can lack direction and/or structure (Glasslip, I’m looking at you). some of that can be attributed to the 12 episode structure of the season but with a 24 ep show, PA works showed what they can really do with an original story!
As for Hitsugi no Chaika, the show itself was decent but not really outstanding. But Chaika was!
And then there’s Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. One of the funniest shows of the year, beating out Seitokai Yakuindomo and several others into my top 5. And there’s always room for more Chiyo!
Continue reading Moving along…
It’s been a while since I last did a gunpla. In fact, the last one was the RG Freedom gundam which was completed almost 2 years ago! And before that, the last MG kit was Unicorn way back in 2009! I did the PG kits in between them like the awesome Red frame, 00 Gundam and strike freedom but PG kits are a separate beast.
Well, it’s time to change that. It’s almost a tradition for me to get at least 1 gunpla kit when I go to Hong Kong but I forgot last time so I made sure I wasn’t going to make the same mistake a second time around and purchased the MG Build Strike Gundam from Gundam Build Fighters. No Universe Booster unfortunately so there’s no Star Build Strike but I think I prefer the vanilla build strike!
Now, the kit isn’t completely done yet as it’s a straight OOB build. I still need to do the panel lines and minor details but it’s enough to show off for now.
I think the RG kits left a bad taste in my mouth as the Build Strike was actually quite fun to put together. Having said that, it took me 3 sittings to complete the whole thing and I’m sure I used to be able to rattle off MG kits in 1 evening. I must be getting old!
Continue reading Please set your GP base!
Well, after a much needed break I have come back from a trip to Hong Kong! I seem to do this once every few years it seems but this time was much more subdued than before. Still, it didn’t stop me from getting loot! It’s just not as much as before!
And here is the bulk of it! What can I say? You can never have too much Sheryl Nome! Also, I remembered to actually buy a gunpla while I was over there! Last time, I forgot and I was really kicking myself for forgetting. Previously, I had ALWAYS returned with at least 1 gunpla kit. Sometimes, it was a couple of MG kits, other times it was a PG kit (like when I bought the PG GP-01 and had to post it back due to its size!) I wanted more but due to luggage constraints, I was only able to purchase 1 and I settled on the Build Strike Gundam from Gundam Build Fighters. And despite the smaller size of items, I really didn’t have any space left in my luggage to bring anything else back (tho I probably would have liked to try to bring back a HGBF burning and winning gundam despite my preference towards 1/100 scale or taller). There were also a few figures which I would have loved to have bought but had absolutely no way of getting them back home, like the Alter Kazuno from Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon! The various Sheryl figures were acquired by walking around the various small stores around Mong Kok and Wan Chai. I was very fortunate to have been able to see Q from Daybreaks Bell again and had a great time while walking with him, checking out the various stores!
As for the MS Unicorn Girl extra parts, I was actually rather uninterested when they first came up for pre-order but when I saw it at one of the Animate shops in HK, I caved. I haven’t actually bothered to take the parts out of the box and onto the MS girl yet but I’m sure I’ll do it soon. It’s also likely that the Build Strike will be my next project as I need to get back into the groove before I tackle the Neo Zeong and PG unicorn later!
Continue reading Re-Returning!
Yay! She’s finished, and just in time too cos I’m off on holiday for a week after this! In any case, here’s the completed Charagumin Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles!
like most Charagumin kits, she’s actually very quick to build and paint once you get going and because the parts are (mostly) molded in the correct colour, you can actually get away with skipping the priming of the parts. The paint sticks pretty well so long as you clean the parts like you should.
Continue reading Blue flame of the Valkyria!
Just a very quick update on Selvaria this time. Thankfully, being a colour resin kit, painting has gone by very quickly since the parts are already molded in the correct colours (kind of).
Much of the detailing has been done now with just the cuffs needing to be done. After that, I just need to tidy up some of the fine details to make her more presentable and paint the eyes and she’s done. I might redo the hair though. I do kinda like the effect but I think the hair is too dark for our little Valkyria. In any case, the project is coming to a close now so I should start thinking about my next work. I’m thinking either Heartbeat Hatsune Miku or Fate… Or perhaps I should get one of my 1/4 scale kits out of the way since I intend to add Selvaria to the list next year when Volks makes her available.
Been a pretty busy couple of weeks after a slow start. Went to my 3rd Distant Worlds concert on Saturday and Selvaria is making incredibly quick progress due to her being a Charagumin kit. Even running out of paint and not getting more until the middle of last week didn’t slow her progress down. In fact, I would wager that she will be complete very soon, although not too soon as I have been spending a lot of time on Freedom Wars on my PS Vita!
The game is the latest full game release on the Vita (something we haven’t seen in a while) and is basically a monster hunter type game. There are a few available on the Vita but I never really got into Soul Sacrifice and God Eater 2 was never released outside of japan. I fell into God Eater burst quite late but went in quite deep when I bought it on sale for my Vita a while back. There was something compelling about going to complete all the missions and Freedom Wars scratches the same itch for me.
There is a plot but it doesn’t really mean much in the game. It’s the far distant future and people are divided into 2 classes, citizens and sinners. Citizens are basically the upper class who are deemed to have specific skillsets which help their city while sinners are considered a drain on limited resources and are given a mandatory 1,000,000 year prison sentence once they are born. It’s not all cushy for the citizens though as they are considered resources and so are frequently captured by rival cities to help them maintain their systems. As a sinner, you find yourself with your long prison sentence and no rights at the start of the game (seriously, you’re not allowed to sleep lying down initially!) and any infractions means additional years on your sentence but they don’t really add to much in the long run. An addition of 10 years means little to a 1,000,000 year sentence! As you progress, you earn points which can be spent on privileges such as sleeping lying down, running for more than 5 seconds and being allowed to leave your cell! That’s when the game properly takes off.
There’s not much to say about the hub, it’s pretty basic and drab with its main purpose being to give you areas in which to proceed with the story. The missions are where things really heat up! You pick missions to complete and can have up to 3 other players which can be AI or your friends. Each character also gets an “accessory” which is only AI controlled but basically acts as a secondary character to support you. There are 3 basic mission types, rescue citizens, destroy all enemies and a domination type game where you must capture certain points on the map and hold them at the end of the stage. Enemies come in 2 main forms, other sinners from other cities and mechanical enemies called abductors which vary in size from small pods to massive behemoths which have several parts and can capture citizens, your accessory (if incapacitated) or even yourself! If you lose your accessory, then you need to complete a special mission to get it back, and those can be rather tough!
The game has both ranged and melee weapons available and you can take up to 2 into a mission while being able to pick up a 3rd while in the mission. Ranged weapons like pistols and assault rifles are very effective on other sinners and small abductors but pretty useless on larger ones while heavy weapons (like miniguns and rocket launchers) and melee weapons are good against large abductors but terrible against smaller enemies. Some melee weapons also allow you to sever parts from the large abductors and diminish their effectiveness by depriving them of weapons and providing you with extra materials to collect. The game also has an additional weapon called the Thorn which has multiple uses. The primary one is that it latches on to most surfaces and can then be used to traverse large distances in a short space of time, kinda like web-slinging if you’re spider-man. Another use (and the one you’ll probably use most) is that it can be used to latch onto parts of an abductor and drag it down to give you and your team some time to really smack it down. Thorns come in 1 of 3 types, an offensive binding type, defensive shield type and a healing type. By charging your attack, you can access special abilities unique to that particular thorn. Shield thorns can create barriers which prevent enemy projectiles from going through but allows yours to pass and a fully charged bind thorn attack can stun enemies and stop them moving for a period of time. The ability to move using your thorn adds some verticality to the maps and really helps make the battles with larger enemies more dramatic as you can latch onto their shoulders and try to sever their arms for example and it helps make the game stand out.
That’s pretty much it for the description, how was the game?
Continue reading Mini Review: Freedom Wars
Sometimes, you just need to know when to take a step back for a bit. After lots of procrastinating and work on Homura which basically just led to the discovery of more faults which needed to be fixed… Volks finally put my ass into gear this weekend when they unveiled their 1/4 scale Selvaria Bles at Hobby Round 12! I’m definitely going for one of those, but that does mean that I have another selvaria which should be completed before I get the new big hotness and that would be the 1/6 scale charagumin Selvaria which I purchased a while back. Initially, I was really feeling like finally working on my 1/4 scale Volks Bayonetta kit since the sequel is due for release at the end of this week but Selvaria won out since it’s much easier to find space for a 1/6 scale standing figure as opposed to a 1/4 scale figure with a straddle pose!
Anyway, I firstly tried to get do a “before” shot of the figure before I started to paint her but wasn’t really successful as the parts fit were good but the balance was awful so many of the parts won’t stay together unless you glue them…
So the prelim build is missing a lot of parts, especially the cape but that will be present in the finished version.
One good thing about the charagumin line is that, since the parts are already coloured, you can technically do away with the priming of the parts as the paint will stick reasonably well after washing and the underlying colour should be pretty close to what you’re trying to achieve anyway (unless you’re going for a variant colour scheme, in which case, priming is needed again) but this particular kit still needs tonnes of detailing so that’s what I started on. Most of the detailing on the boots are easy but the problem comes when you get to the tights as they’re black with gold trim…
… which means that I had to spend a lot of time with thinned gold paint to get the colour into all the crevices which led to a lot of overspill. Once the gold paint dried, I had to go over the raised area again with black paint to tidy up the detailing, which took forever!!! On the plus side, unlike with Homura, the effects were immediate and it didn’t just highlight more problems which needed to be fixed so I only needed to do a once-over.
And this is the current situation with Selvaria. The left leg has been painted and detailed, including the skintone for the inner thigh and belly. The right leg still needs to be painted though and then I can start working my way up. The shot above was mostly to show the contrast between the painted and unpainted parts. Sufficed to say, it’s a REALLY good idea to paint Selvaria (or pretty much any Charagumin kit for that matter). We’ll have to see how quickly she progresses but she’s already way more fun to work on than HomuHomu…
The only problem is that Bayonetta 2 is waiting on the horizon…
Blimey, this season is going to get really busy! There are quite a few must watch shows for this season and I’m still wrapping up a couple of ones from the previous season! Have to admit that there were a few surprises from the summer season and not all of them were good. Still, lets take a look at the season just wrapped up first before Moving on to the new stuff!
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
HANDS DOWN the best show of the season. I was reading it before the anime aired so I already knew some of the dynamics and mini-stories but there was something about watching them animated which made all the jokes fresh and new! Definitely a keeper!
Continue reading Anime Roundup: Autumn 2014