Gunpla TV is branching out and in this episode we take a look at plamo that is not related to Gundam. For those who don’t know there are many manufacturers in Japan producing snap-fit plastic model kits rivaling Bandai’s Gundam line. If you love Gundam, you’ll love these kits.
We’d like to note that this video was filmed the day before the giant earthquake in Japan. A lot of the stuff you see on the shelves in this video ended up on the floor during the quake, but don’t worry, their snap-fit plastic models. They survived without a problem.
In this episode:
– Bandai’s Macross line
– Super Robot Wars
– Armored Core
Maybe worth mentioning that not all the Macross kits transform. The Bandai Macross Frontier kits in 1:72 do. Bandai has started releasing non-transforming Macross Frontier kits in 1:100. Bandai also sells reissues of Imai and Arii Macross kits from the 1980s, most of which do not transform. And the Wave and Hasegawa Macross kits don’t transform.
Hasegawa’s VF-1 Battroid kit has been a favorite of mine since its introduction. I think it’s one of the best mecha kits ever. The VF-25 is neat, too, though: it’s a design that lends itself well to transforming models (unlike most of the other Macross designs, which undergo more proportional skewing in their transformations on-screen – models of those are more of a compromise by necessity) – and even though a transforming model kit presents some problems, it is a cool kit and I’ve always meant to get one. Don’t know if you’re planning to do the build in the episodes or just build it and show it off – either way it’ll be cool to see it.
I’ve been very intrigued by the Armored Core kits, but am hesitant because I am not sure how much paint and/or gluing is needed. I would love to see more of one of those kits in the future.
I’m very happy to see that model kits beside the Gundam series are getting some exposure. I would definitely also want to see how Syd do a build video on some of those as well, in particular the HMM Zoid model series, Kotobukiya’s Virtual On and Broken Blade series. (I was going to suggest Hasegawa’s Virtual On kits as well, but having built 3 of that series of model kits, I know they are not ones easy to work with in a build tutorial video.)
Egg: I am very into the AC kits, (mostly the AC3 Crest/Mirage stuff, not so much the AC4 stuff) though I’ve only completed one of ’em so far… I can tell you a bit about ’em.
First, they’ve got a lot of little parts. They’re very detailed designs, most of ’em, with lots of little detail bits molded as separate parts. It’s very easy to lose those little bits if you’re not careful – but once installed they generally stay put. (It’s really more of a problem if you paint: keeping track of all those little separate bits…)
Second – I really can’t recommend not painting -any- kit, that’s just me. But I guess as unpainted kits go the AC line looks pretty good. A few releases have parts with pre-painted colors or markings – which isn’t so great if you want to paint yourself but probably very helpful if you don’t paint.
The color schemes on the AC designs, like the designs themselves, are pretty intricate, and so even the fully color-molded Koto kits don’t get everything right. It’s minor stuff for the most part… Like on the one I built (the blue “Crest Close Combat” type) – the core is blue, and there’s supposed to be a black rectangular bit in front of the neck – and it’s molded blue instead… Or the antenna on the side of the head is molded in gray but the little minus-mold details on the side of the antenna are supposed to be white… Like I said, little stuff. Koto goes a long way to make these kits color-correct.
Personally I love the AC line but I think, even in such a case, it’s important to be clear about the kits’ limitations and other issues. Recognizing such issues is essential if you’re to deal with them successfully.
One problem I had with some of the older AC releases was that snap-fit on certain parts was -too- tight. Like, so tight that I couldn’t snap the parts together. This was a real problem on the first couple Crest kits (with the “LH-80” legs, the legs used on the first C-90 kit and on the Close Combat Type) – the front part of the leg is this thin silver-colored piece that has to snap on to the whole front of the lower leg – but the snap-fit for those rectangular pegs is too tight. If you don’t fix this before assembly you may risk breaking that part during assembly. I had similar problems with some of the parts on the “Selena” kit. I haven’t worked too extensively with Koto’s newer AC kits so I don’t know if this is an issue still… I’d say just be aware of the situation. If it starts to look like it may be a problem, make the snap-fit holes larger so it’s not such a tight fit.
Another thing – some people have complained about polycap breakage with these kits. I haven’t had much of a problem with that, but it may be something to consider. Most of the polycaps are installed such that they’re pretty easy to remove (and, I guess, replace) should the need arise. Some of the add-on sets (like the weapon arms and the extra heads) include full polycap sheets, so if you find yourself needing replacements, that’s a pretty good way to go.
Personally I’ve got to recommend the Mirage Uranus kit. To me it’s the greatest-looking kit of the whole line. Just a very richly detailed design. But I’m sure you can make up your own mind about what you like… 🙂
can you get a transforming battroid from the first show roy fokkers one think it was called skull 1 or something had a look but can only see non transforming ones
spardin: there are two options, at present, to buy a transforming VF-1 model kit.
The first, probably the better option at this point, is the Yamato 1:60 scale version. They make transforming toys of many of the Macross fighters, and they offer an unassembled, unpainted version of this toy as their VF-1S no-paint kit” – unfortunately, I guess it’s no longer available… You can still get the pre-assembled, pre-painted toy versions of course: these are the same exact thing except… pre-assembled, and pre-painted.
The other option is the Bandai Reissue of the old Imai transforming VF-1 kit from the 1980s. You have to understand what you’d be getting into with one of those, though. It’s not a snap-kit, it does require paint. It’s not what you’d call “perfect transformation” (you have to replace the nose section with a separate part during the transformation process) – and from what I’ve heard the transformation mechanisms on it aren’t especially durable.
Personally, I’d say forget transformation, go with one of the non-transforming kits by Hasegawa or Wave. If you’re going to put the effort into building and painting a model kit, you probably don’t want to be transforming it too much or you could damage its finish… If you’re not going to paint it, you may as well just get a pre-assembled Yamato…
I’m so glad everything is back to normal, the models showed us that most caught my attention is the mirage and led vf-25, but most are very bright but I like to see some model Patlabor Series ingram as being one of my favorites or Gunbuster, I hope that in a future program can display.
gotta like this episode but what about the Code Geass model kit! They’re awsome too.
You forgot to give the link to it.
They’re “covered” with the “… and more!” bit.
Good to get a summary on other kits and manufacturers. A lot of these models I saw in Japanese modeling magazines which I can’t read. Awesome video! In one of your earlier videos you asked the viewers to submit a comment explaining what you want to see in the future from HLJ TV. I’m a bit lazy and can’t be bothered hunting down the other video so I am just going to voice my opinion here. Being that this video touches on the larger world of Japanese plastic models, it might be a good place for my thoughts on future HLJ TV content. So being an engineer I tend to like to analyze things. A lot of the joy I get from Gunpla or sci fi anime plamodels is talking about and thinking about the possible potential for the application of mecha for practical human use. The thing that I love about Gundam is that a lot of the mecha designs from the UC timeline are based around functionality. Sometimes things get a bit wild (ex: the Psycho Gundam) but generally every aspect of the Gundam design has a function. Functional design breads beautiful design. It is really the essence of esthetics (but not necessarily art). Mastering the craft of functional, yet beautiful object design is hard to achieve but easy to recognize. In my opinion the Japanese mecha designers are pioneers of the future. They really influence technical creativity with their creations. I would love to see you do interviews with the developers of Gundams. Maybe get some input on what type of research they do before they decide to incorporate ideas into their designs. The original Gundam designers must have sat down and discussed what sorts of technologies are plausible in the future and how they would effect human life. This would be a fascinating interview. I understand that I am asking a lot of you to go out and take it to the next level like this, but you would seriously take HLJ TV to a flat out legit standing. Peace!