Wednesday, May 30, 2007

MG Gelgoog Ver. 2.0

As you all know, the next Master Grade MS-14S Char's Gelgoog Ver. 2.0. From the images on GA Graphics, as well as reviews on the previous MGs made into Ver. 2.0, Gelgoog Ver. 2.0 is going to be a huge sensation in the Gunpla community.

Unlike Zaku II ver. 2.0 which looks very differently from its predecessor, Gelgoog ver. 2.0 looks very similar to Ver. 1.0, but with PG-standard designs on its body

Gelgoog can be said as 'Zeon's Gundam', since its mechanical specs and performance are much higher than Zaku II's. Furthermore, it's the first Zeon MS capable to carry beam armaments. Unfortunately, it's too late for the Zeon to mass-produce Gelgoog to win the war, as too many of their veteran soldiers died in Zeon's Earth invasion campaign. Most of the pilots using Gelgoog in the last defense of A Boa Qu are inexperience to make use of Gelgoog's combat ability.

The original MG Gelgoog was launched in 1996, starting with Char's version. After that, another four Gelgoogs were made: the mass productive version, Johnny Raiden's version, Gato's unit and Char's Ver. One Year War. All of them use the same body frame, and the changes made are almost too superficial. So, it seems that in Gelgoog's case, it's not as modular as Zaku since there aren't many variations can be made from the model kit.

Nonetheless, Gelgoog is sill a famous MS, no doubt Char is one of the reason why it is so. On the other hand, there are quite a lot of spots for improvement from Ver. 1.0, mainly the movement of entire lower body, and my personal experience with the mass productive type is the shield. I hope that they either make it lighter, or improve both the arms and the back so that they can hold the shield firmly.

Of course I would go for the later, since I don't want the shield to be scaled down at all.

Original images are from GA Graphics.

It's nice to see that there's a logical proportion of size between the part with or without the armor pieces on, the arm unit in this image for example

Instead of one layer of armor with a single inner frame in Ver. 1.0, Ver. 2.0 features more than one layer of interior mechanism, like the rocker thrusters behind the 'caged' frame

Inner frame for the armor itself! Cool~

Monday, May 28, 2007

Upcoming Gundam Products

I've being off line with Gundam news on the net for some time now, and the latest update for me is still regarding the previous Shizuoka Hobbby Show. Read Gunota Headlines yesterday, and realized that so many Gundam products have bing announced, with details on release dates and prices. You've seen them before on Gunota, I supposed, as well as Winterheim, but I'm going to repeat them anyway, along with my own thoughts about each of them.

All images are from Hobby Net. Click on the image to link to the product page. Since the prices are based on Japanese releases, all of them are inclusive of 5% tax.

MG Gundam Ver. OYW Real-TV Color (late July, 3360 Yen) - since this model will be a repackaging of MG Gundam Ver. OYW in the real-TV color, it was announced explicitly at this will not be MG 100. Such announcement was crucial before Shizuoka Hobby Show, as many thought that Bandai's plan for MG 100 is going to be this one. Anyway, if it's not on the official count for MG 100, it means you're not going to get anything new out of it. Along with the change of color, you should consider yourself lucky if you get a new set of decals and sticker from this kit.

HGUC Blue Destiny Unit 1 (31 July, 1575 Yen) - hate to say this, but the only thing new for Blue Destiny 1 is the GM head! The change of armament set (beam rifle and shield of the previous Blue Destiny Unit 2 to ground type machine gun and ground type shield) hardly provides any surprise, since the two 'new' weapons can be seen in HGUC RX-79[G] Ground Type Gundam.

HGUC Zock (late July, 2625 Yen) - Salute to Hajime Katoki senshe for the courage to redesign this fella, even though it's obvious that even for a master like him, he has no idea how to make the legs better. I think since Zock has very little mobility, and lack of any hand-carried weapon, Bandai poured in all effort to make the interior better, most notably the movement of the mono-eye camera. If the response for this kit is good, we might even get to see the MG version of Zock in the future.

SD Stargazer (late August, 630 Yen) - I've seen the picture of the actual model on display during Shizuoka Hobby Show, and frankly, the beam rings which are supposed to be the biggest selling point of Stargazer were being designed pretty badly. Instead of the whole ring coiling the model, they are just bits of transparent parts hanging on the backpack. But then again, maybe it's just a prototype during the event. Also, foil sticker of both normal and Voiture Leimier activation mode SHOULD BE available as well.

GFF Metal Composite 1-100 G3 Gundam (late July, 12390 Yen) - Just a re-release of the previous Gundam into G3, basically only the color and the marking change. Well, if you want, the packaging can be counted as well, since it's so expensive. Make me wonder if Bandai will do the same thing to Super HCM-Pro Gundam as well.

GFF Metal Composite Psycho Gundam (late August, 10500 Yen) - Probably one of the more anticipated releases among today's discussion. The incorporation of metal parts is most probably for the stability of the model and the transformation process. Since it's in 1-144 scale, Psycho Gundam will dwarf your other GFFs when they being placed together.

GFF Musha Gundam (late September, 5040 Yen) - I discussed about this fella not long ago, it's so great seeing it being made into a GFF figure. The armors are really wicked. My favorite are the shoulder armors with the pipe-like border which are gold in color. No doubt the final color will be the same as well. Better still, this GFF features two set of armors - the light (?) - not shown here, and heavy (?) versions. Would be nice to see just how flexible it'll be in posing with its trident, spear and katana.

Zeonagraphy Zaku II High Mobility Type (late August, 8190 Yen) - The three High Mobility Type Zaku II shown here are truly from the MSV series, with unknown pilots and information. At first I thought the red and blue versions are from the Dual Stars of Carnage, but their left shoulder armors are the typical three-spike version, instead of horns from skull markings. Since the set are just the same Zaku II in different color scheme, one have to be a hardcore Zeon supporter to be willing to buy this.

EMSIA Gelgoog Cannon (late July, 2100 Yen) - Still fresh from the memory of HGUC Mass Productive Type Gelgoog/Gelgoog Canon, and another Gelgoog Canon will be released. Bandai is really sly. Can't see much from the image, but the designs on the shoulder joint, knee, torso and so on will decide how well this kit really is. I'm not surprise if the final product features the same compatibility like the HGUC version.

EMSIA Wing Gundam Zero Custom (late September, 2625 Yen) - I was wondering just how long Bandai'll withhold this from the fans. The featured wings were improved for both the PG and MG versions, but Gundam fans who do not assemble models are still buying hard plastics :-) I'm looking forward for more updates on this kit, specifically details about the wings.

MSIA Shiranui Akatsuki (late July, 1890 Yen) - Not bad at all for a MSIA figure, the gold armors are pretty shiny to me. Those who do not fancy the Cosmic Region version or the actual 1-100 model can go for this one. Then again, it only comes with the Shiranui pack, not inclusive of Oowashi Flyer. That's bad, sicne you'll need to buy another Akatsuki just for the backpack.

HCM-Pro Evangelion Unit 01 and 00 (Unit 01 - late August, 3990 Yen and Unit 00 - late September, 3360 Yen) - I used to think that these two releases means that Bandai is waging a war with Kaiyado's Revotech series, but it turns out that there's no war at all. These two HCM-Pro figures are quite tall (both 18cm) and a whole array of not just weapons, but equipments and accessories are included. Not too bad for Evangelion fans, but of course, watch out for the prices as well.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

MG Zaku II: Ver. 1.0 versus Ver. 2.0

Just got my MG Zaku II Ver. 2.0 from Gilbert today, probably the first in Kuching :3 Haha, that's not the point here anyway. It's just that it's so great to finally see it in my own hands after just seeing pictures and reviews on the Internet, and what's more, owning it and imaging the day when I finally get the time to assemble it...

Walau, saliva all over the floor ^_^;;

People who are not into Gunpla-ing must think I'm crazy, and I can't really blame them. I have talked about this kit many, many times prior to its release. At one point, I even mistook it as MG 100 because of its cool designs. Plus, I always fancy Zeon MS and models over Gundams, and Zaku II Ver. 2.0 is about the latest Zeon MG since Strike Freedom last December.

With such a great design for its inner frame, the action pose shown on the box art of Zaku II Ver. 2.0 is no problem mo for the actual model. Then again, there's a 12-year gap between the two versions, so it'll be unfair to make any comparison actually.

Not only the shoulder armor is being molded as a single piece, Bandai also designed the inner frame for the shoulder armor, which is also in one-piece! You wouldn't get this even in the PG version!

The coolest stuff must be the parts for the conductive pipes. Can't wait to slide those rings into the pipes~

I'm sure all the models in my room will welcome their new comrade as well.

Well, at least I think so~

And when Freedom Gundam sees what Zaku II did,

Muahahaha~ I'll be laughing even more when I got my MG Acguy next week. Wuhhuh~

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Gundams of the Three Kingdom

Assembly of the BB Kingdom!

As you all know, the new BB Gundam series will be based on the Romance of the Three Kingdom, the famous Chinese literature of war and heroism. Not sure whether the story will be made into anime, or will be just in manga, but in terms of the BB models, I have already posted about the three main characters/Gundams: Liu Bei, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu quite some time ago but more are pouring out of Bandai's factory.

Liu Bei (刘备) Gundam. Seems like they design him to be a powerful warrior instead of the general-commanding-from-safe-distance as seen in the story

Guan Yu (关羽) Gundam, look at the beard :-)

Zhang Fei (张飞) Gundam - at least the red color scheme looks aggresive enough :-)

At the recent Shizuoka Hobby Show, more characters from the series are on display, and I'm quite sure we'll be seeing most of them, if not all, before the end of this year. Anyway, some of the designs really make me laugh, like Zhang Fei is based on Z Gundam, while Lu Xun (陆逊) is Zeta Plus A1, and Zhou Yu (周瑜) is Hyaku Shiki. In the Gundam universe, all of them are MSs under A.E.U.G. or Karaba; In the real story of the Three Kingdom, Lu Xun is the general of the kingdom Wu (吴) after the death of Zhou Yu, and Zhang Fei is one of the many powerful knights of Shu (蜀), Liu Bei's kingdom. Since he is being characterized as being extremely short on temper in the story, I was expecting his design to be of God Gundam or Gouf Custom, but the Zeta-refit is quite cool nonetheless.

Zhou Yu is Hyaku Shiki, makes me wonder what's the criteria to decide who's which MS

Lu Xun Gundam - Being a variation of Z Gundam, I wonder if he's transformable

Sun Quan (孙权) is the king of Wu. The best design of all the BB Gundam in this series so far?

Also, some non-Gundam characters are coming up as well. Shi Ma Yi (司马懿), the head military chancellor of Wei (魏), and he's Sazabi in disguise! Cool! Also, Xia Hou Dun (夏侯惇) is Den'an Gei from Gundam F91. Since most of them are villain characters from the Gundam Universe, it's quite obvious that Wei is the enemy in the anime series, as it is in the original story as well.

Cao Cao (曹操)'s design, pretty villainous indeed, being the king of Wei

Xia Hou Dun, one of Cao Cao's top generals. Does he look like he's going to be a good guy with this kind of design? I guess not :-D

Shi Ma Yi the white Sazabi. Reminds me of Saruman the White

Lu Bu (吕布)'s design - Too bad for him, he's supposedly a very handsome and skillful warrior in the story. Well, at least the halberd is loyal to the original design.

On the other hand, a new design on SD Sazabi. I wonder when are we going to get a new SD Sazabi kit, I mean the real stuff. Should be quite cool as compared to the first one ages ago.

No caption for this Gundam, but judging from him holding a feather fan, I think this is Zhu Ge Liang (诸葛亮), Liu Bei's famous all knowing military adviser!

All images are The Gundam Base Side 1.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shizuoka Hobby Show news

I think the whole world is still in commotion over the recent Shizuoka Hobby Show in Japan. For Gundam fans, the announcement of MG 100 is no doubt the most important news of all. However, Shizuoka Hobby Show is not just about Gundam, dozens of other firms are displaying their products as well.

My pick is 1/100 Alteisen from Kotobukiya. I hope they do a better job for this kit as compared to the 1/144 scale version. Some of their Zoids models are quite good as well, I wonder whether they will be in the HMM series.

1-100 Alteisen on display at Shizuoka Hobby Show. Image from Suruga Denryoku/Sukumizu

Anyway, check out the links (all of them :-) for more juicy images from the event:
* GA Graphic
* Danny Choo's Blog
* Hobby Shop Midori
* Tsukurikake Mokei Dojo
* Yoshimu's Blog
* Pam's Homepage
* Gunpla Secret Factory
* Hobby Shop COMVOY
* Gundam Collection Shop
* Pesu Kari HP
* The Gundam Base Side 1
* Mycom Journal
* Otasuke
* Suruga Denryoku/Sukumizu
* Yanlog
* Japan K.K.S. Association

Thursday, May 17, 2007

MG 100 is... ...

Walau! MG 100 is not Destiny, ZZ, RX-78-2 or any Zeon machines, but...

Turn A Gundam

Walau! Turn A Gundam, the most unconventional Gundam of all-time. Anyone see that coming?

This will stir up the greatest controversy in the Gunpla fans community for sure. Stay tuned for more details.

Another amphibious Zeon MS will be released in July, the fat-so Zock at a price of nearly 3,000 Yen. The movement of the mono-camera eye will be a huge selling point. From the snapshot in the website, it seems like there's a hell lot of details for its inner frame.

Anyway, who's going to care about Zock? I'm already speechless about the MG 100. o_O

Images are from Run Chicken S.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The End of an Era

This posting is a tribute to one of my football heroes: Robbie Fowler.

Fans’ reaction after the Charlton match. One has to be a legend to receive so much respect from the fans.

To begin with, Robbie Fowler is the reason I started watching Liverpool and later become their supporter. The first match I watched was the one where he scored a hat trick against Arsenal in less than five minutes back in 1995. I was spellbound by his performance, and paid a lot of attention to him and the club after the match.

Robbie Fowler’s days when he was still a lad in the team

One of Robbie Fowler’s trademarks was a piece of plaster across his nose when he was playing. I can’t recall when he stopped using it :-)

During my secondary school days, there were many friends around me who were very fond of football, particularly the Premiership. In my class, there were different club supporters, and you know back in those days, boys were very hardheaded about their supported team. Different people has different ways of expressing their affiliation, like keychain, school bag with the club’s crest, even the brand of the jacket worn to school must be die-hard loyal to the team. For me, I have some nicely laminated posters of Robbie Fowler as my desktop wallpaper (literally), and surprisingly, my teachers did not prohibit such ‘modification’ done to the school property. Those posters seem priceless now that Robbie Fowler is leaving.

Some of the posters of Robbie Fowler from the good old days. The double-page sized cut-out is from Mike when we were classmates in Secondary Four (2000)

Cool facts about Robbie Fowler from Match Annual 2000. Back then, he was the youngest among the first five Premiership players to have scored over 100 goals in the league. The others are Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, Les Ferdinand, and Andy Cole.

Back to football, Liverpool back in those days, which were more than 10 years ago, has almost nothing in common with the squad at the moment. Back then, the club’s performance was quite inconsistent. As the second runners-up of the Premiership this season, finishing five or six back then was nothing; with losses more than 10 matches per season was also quite common. But when they were in good form, they could really trash their opponents with four or five goals or even more, which was a hell lot of fun to watch. Robbie Fowler, as the leading striker of the team played a huge role in the success of the club back then. His performance pretty much decided the result of Liverpool’s matches. When he did not score, the drought may last a few matches; when he was back, he would give the fans two or more goals in a single match, and continue the spree until another drought hit.

Three of Liverpool’s players many seasons back: Titi Camara, Fowler and Rigobert Song. Now, all of them are history for the club.

Robbie Fowler has great speed, and a lethal touch in the penalty box. Just give him the ball, and he will eventually score most of the time. He is also quite aggressive in terms of tackling for a small player. Not surprisingly, he is one of highest goal scorers for both Liverpool and the entire Premiership. However, Robbie Fowler did not gain many caps as a national squad player for England. He was originally featured in England’s first-eleven for World Cup 98, but was dropped due to last minute injury. Many said that his absence gave way to the rise of Michael Owen, his teammate in Liverpool, who was his substitute to the World Cup.

Robbie Fowler is also quite a man of surprise. He once rejected a penalty against Arsenal, when David Seaman, the goalkeeper, was seemingly fouling him. I remember he won a Fair Play Award by FIFA after that. Some of his other behaviors on the pitch however, were both controversial and incomprehensible. He once sniffed the white line of the penalty box as a mean of celebrating his goal score, and was involved in a fight with Graeme Le Saux, a Chelsea defender and his England teammate after he waved his backside to him. Anyway, he made the headlines in all these incidents.

A few years after Gerard Houllier came to the club, it was quite clear to me that Robbie Fowler was not the first choice for the French coach, as he favored pairing Michael Owen and Emile Heskey upfront. The height of the coach-player conflict lead to his departure from the club to Leed United for 11 million Pound, and subsequently Manchester City for 3 million Pound. Personally, I think that his performances in both these clubs were never as good as his days in Liverpool, even though he scored some goals for them. He was also in and out of the injury list most of the time, which deterred him from gaining a consistent form in the Premiership.

It was such a delight for me, when the new gaffer, Rafael Benitez brought him back to Liverpool from Manchester City early last year. Even though his role has long been taken over by other younger and more promising players like Kuyt, Crouch, Agger, and so on, and that Fowler is more to a substitute than a regular first-eleven, it is always pleasant to see him back wearing the all red jersey on the pitch. Somehow, I think that Anfield is the only place for Robbie Fowler as a footballer.

The last match I watched him played was when he was substituted during the second leg of the Champions League semis against Chelsea. Too bad for him, Chelsea lost the penalty shoot-out even before Fowler could have a piece of the thrill.

At the age of 32, Robbie Fowler played his last Premiership match against Charlton. It was a disappointment that he did not score in that match, but the fans love him anyway. Before and after the match, he was given a long standing ovation by the audience at Anfield. Making him the captain of the team was just a bonus, but fans will forever remember him for bringing so much joy and inspiration to the club throughout the decade.

Fowler’s last match helped to seal second runners-up in the Premiership for Liverpool this season. Too bad he did not score.

All the best to you, God of Anfield!

Belated Gundam Product News

Sorry for being absent from my blog again for all this while, assignments in school are really piling up right now, as I'm approaching the end of my current study period.

You will notice that I’ve added several banner ads or links in my blog. You may say that I'm turning my blog commercial now, I can't argue on that. Not only am I measuring the financial capability of this blog, but those ads also help to give me some extra pressure to keep updating my blog as frequently as possible.

Some of the affiliate programs I participated include Nuffnang (for the long banner ad above the title), Google Adsense (the text links) and Associates Center. If you don’t have an immense hatred towards putting ads on your blog ^^; you might be interested to try out these programs as well.

I'll also be opening the two galleries mentioned on my sidebar soon, probably by this or next week. I think many people have lose interest in knowing what’s inside after seeing 'coming soon' being labeled for those links for such a long time +_+;; So sorry about that, I'll get them ready as soon as possible.

And now onto business, some belated news regarding model kits released for this month:

Char's Zaku II Ver. 2.0 – Some of the visible changes made to Ground Type Zaku II Ver. 2.0 for this release include thrusters for the legs, a new backpack, pilot figures of Char and a mini trailer. Not sure how drastic the inner frame of the legs has being modified to incorporate those thrusters, but I’m feeling kind of disappointed as no new armament is added for this fella. I was looking forward to at least two Sturm Fausts to be included, as seen in MS IgLoo. Even though the mini trailer is quite cool, but it’s just an accessory. Never the less, people who has the Ver. 1.0 of Char’s Zaku II can spare some of the weapons in that kit to be used on this one :-)

All images above are from The Gundam Base Side One

Action Display Stand (Char’s color) – a red display stand with Char’s marking and decals! Good for its new MG release, but like I said in the previous post, Sazabi can’t use it, plus from reading the construction manual of the display stand, I don’t think Char’s Z’Gok can either. For both these kits, you’ll need some modification done to them in order to use the stand. Anyway, imagine combining this stand with the usual one, with Char’s Zaku II and Gundam RX-78-2 Ver. OYW on action poses. Cool~

Image from The Gundam Base Side One

Cosmic Region Providence/Legend Gundam – Finally, a CR figure that is compatible between two mecha. As expected, I think, since these two shared a much closer bond as compared to Kira’s Freedom/Strike Freedom and Athrun’s Justice/Infinite Justice. Even the pilots (Rau Le Creuset/Rey Za Burrel) are arguably the same person as well. This figure is being given a more mechanical feel with more details on the body and some cool markings. But of course, like the other CR release, the price is not going to be your regular cup of tea.

Images from Amazon Japan

For those who are interested in other mecha, probably these two can get your attention as well:
1. Keroro PLAMO Collection Keroro Robo Mk. II
2. In Action!! Offshoot Xabungle