Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Olde World Miniatures (Kickstarter Loot!)

I arrived home this past Saturday to find a lovely box from Olde World Miniatures on my porch. Hooray for Kickstarter's that actually produce rewards!

I didn't go too far in on this one, but there were a couple minis that just looked like they'd be fun to paint and too nice to miss out on.

Here is what I got...

A box!

They include a copy of the same classy sticker as on the box inside the box
First up was the mini that originally suckered me in, Lilly, the Huntress...

Elf chick with a bow... not feeding any stereotypes here!
Next up, is a mini that I just found too interesting to skip, Inin the Wonderer...

Awesome Ronin looking dude!
And last we a have what I think looks like a goblin with a Napoleon complex, the Free Trade Company Field Marshal...

There is a lot going on here...
The hat that really sold me on this guy...
I know it's hard to tell just what you are looking at when a mini is pieces, so jump over to the Olde World Miniatures website and you can see what these minis look like all put together...

But how is the quality? Well, to be honest, I'd forgot these were going to be resin minis till I opened the package! How is the resin? It's good! It's not as clean as Ax Faction or Kingdom Death resin, but also not as expensive. There are a couple mold lines that will take a bit of cleaning, but nothing unreasonable. I'd say they compare well with minis in their price range.

I'm on a bit of a plastic kit kick right now, but these look like they will be a lot of fun to paint up when I get to them!

Thanks for stopping by, comments are always welcome.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yamato 2199 Cosmo Fleet Set 1

I've just about finished the three 1/1000 scale ships that come with the Yamato 2199 Cosmo Fleet 1 box set. There are a couple of details I plan to hit later, but I'm saving them until I have several ready to do all at once. The windows on the ships bridges, for example will be done with a mix of Future and Tamiya Clear Green acrylic, but I'm going to wait until I have several ships ready for that step. The stands are also going to be done in either a very gloss, or all matte coat. Currently they are a little jumbled as I used them to hold the ships whilst spraying them with gloss, then matte coating.

These ships are a fairly small scale, 1/1000. For the first three I decided to go with a no paint option, but I did do some panel lining and applied decals. Here are the results...

The first ship, the Destroyer, Yukikaze...

This is a small ship. A very small ship. But that didn't keep Bandai from putting a lot of detail into it. Nearly invisible in the picture above are two little cigar shaped bits that hang from the bottom of the ship. Here are a couple shots of those while I was working on them...

The grid is 1 inch...
Total length of all four parts on each, about 1/2"!
The next ship in the fleet is the Cruiser, Murasame...

And the last 1/1000 ship that comes in this box, the Battleship, Kirishima...


 Finally, a group shot...

 All in all these were very enjoyable ships to assemble. Some of the parts are tiny and prone to diving for the carpet when not held firmly, but that's the price of detail I suppose. As I mentioned above, there is no paint on these at this time. The panel lining was done using a method of mixing enamel paint with lighter fluid... sounds odd, eh? The details are explained better on Major Williams Gundam Blog than I could ever communicate. That site has a lot of other useful how-to's as well and is worth a look. The decals I used are of the three ships named, but the kit comes with many alternate names (in Japanese so I can't read them!) and ship numbers. To get a good finish on the decals, I first used the airbrush to spray the assembled kits with straight Future Floor Polish, then applied the decals. The high gloss surface prevents the 'silvering' that often makes decals look... well, like decals. After panel lines and decals, I mixed some Tamiya Flat Base (part# X-21) with Future to apply a matte coat. A good guide to this can be found on the Fichtenfoo website (along with a metric ass-ton of other awesome/useful stuff).

I wanted to see how these came out with minimal to no painting and, because of Bandai's full color parts, I think they came out great! The flat coat helps to take the plastic 'shine' off and give them a more finished look. The panel lines add a bit of depth and detail. And the decals round out the visual package. So what's next? Well, for my next Yamato kit(s) I think I want to try some pre-shading. It will be a challenge at this scale and my current airbrush skill level but you never get better if you don't stretch!

I also mentioned in a previous post that Bandai has kept with the tradition of including a small bonus kit of some sort with each model (though this only seems to happen in the good guy ship kits). Here is a quick shot of two of the bonus ships, one from the Cosmo Fleet 1 set and one from the Yamato kit.

They seem a little pastel, but that is actually the colors they were in the story. I've painted the white lines on the landing deck and that is all. I used a marker for the panel lines and then just hit them with Testors Dullcote.

As for the next kit to work on? Well thanks to John at Starship Modeler, I have quite a selection to chose my next Yamato 2199 project from!

I can't recommend that store enough for model spaceships. They stock a lot of kits and upgrade parts for kits. The shipping is reasonable and fast too. Plus, he threw in a little pin with my latest order... I'm a sucker for little extras.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, I'm off to fiddle with plastic kits for a bit!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Liked Anime Before It Was Cool...

I liked anime before it was cool. In fact, I don't even think it was called anime yet. I would come home from school so anxious to see the next episode of Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato in Japan) that I'm sure my parents thought I had a disorder of some sort. I really felt like I was on that trip to Iscandar to save the Earth and if I missed the show, they might not make it. It was a great show and I've read that it was the first serial animated show, meaning that you watched them in a certain order to get the story. It was so different and so serious compared to most after school cartoons, and I couldn't get enough.

Fast forward about thirty years, almost forty since the original aired in Japan, and we are gifted the series, "Yamato 2199" by those wonderful animators in Japan. I've just finished watching the entire 26 episodes and it is AWESOME. The story is the same as the original, though they've changed a few things up a bit; added a character or two, plot tweaks, science tweaks... but overall it's the same story, just updated and slathered in awesome-sauce. I also feel like having the original story to follow forced them to avoid some of the pitfalls that turn me off of most anime. For instance, the ships are piloted completely by adults. There is no special gifted fourteen year old who happens into a weapon of war and is preternaturally an expert at using it. That's anime code for realism, ha!

Needless to say, being the geek I am, I had to find some way to enjoy hobby stuffs whilst paying tribute to this beautiful blast from my past. Enter, the Bandai Yamato 2199 series of 1/1000 model kits.

There have been Yamato kits since the 1970's in all sorts of scales. Over the course of my life I've owned and lost, broke, or otherwise stopped owning a half dozen at least. However the new series is, so far, a more focused effort on the part of Bandai. The kits are all 1/1000 scale. Not huge, but they are doing a better job than ever sticking to scale, and these are all new tooling using the latest magic that they do to create plastic kits. And when it comes to Bandai plastic kits, it is magic. Being a 'not huge' scale, they also give you multiple ships when the ships are smaller. And, they've returned to an old tradition of putting a small non-scale ship in the boxes as a bonus. Nice!

So if you've read this far, you deserve some pictures... if you just skipped to here go back and read the wordy bits, we'll wait for you...

Quick, before they get back, let's go!

Presenting the United Nations Cosmo Navy Combined Cosmo Fleet Set 1.

This box set comes with three ships that are featured in Episode 1 at the Battle of Pluto. I'll not get my geek all over you by naming them, but basically it's a battleship, a cruiser, and a destroyer class ship.

Inside are lots of sprues full of bits. All modeled in color so you can get away with minimal or no painting and still have a decent looking model.
The kits include waterslide decals... they even sneak decals for other ships in to encourage collecting them all

This bag includes the sprue of the non-scale bonus ship, a Triple Deck Aircraft Carrier!

And a couple shots of the instructions. They are in Japanese, but all parts are numbered and the pictures explain things more than adequately.
Front Cover
Rear Cover
I'm super excited about this kit. I have a couple more coming the next few weeks, including the Yamato! Although I consider myself an 'Inner' Geek, these are the kind of thing I'd like to do up nice and put on display. That way when people ask me about them, I can tell them the whole story about the time I set sail through space to the planet Iscandar to save the human race.

If you've never seen the series, I'd recommend it. You'll have to read the 2199 version as it is subtitled only right now. There are talks of it coming over as Star Blazers 2199 though, so a dubbed version may be available in a few years. One problem with the current version is it is available only in Japan and the prices are... um... insane? We're talking close to $600 for six Blu-rays. And the DVD version is harder to find and really not any cheaper. There are other ways to watch a bit of it though. Keeping in mind that I'll buy it as soon as it's released over here (so the price is within reason) I'd offer this link as a good place to start if you'd like to check the series out.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Smartmax Mauser Earth Unboxing

So, eventually I'll have to stop unboxing stuff and actually work on something. But not yet...

Today I'm sharing the goodies I got from SmartMax. I saw their photos of the 1/35 scale Mauser Earth Tacbots some time ago on their Facebook page. I really liked the retro steambot sort of aesthetic so when I found myself with a bit of money in the Paypal account, I decided to grab them.

While on the site to grab the Tacbots, I stumbled on another robot along the same lines. "Streetbot Willy"... just the name is cool, but the mini is pretty cool looking too! So, he had to come home with the others. I keep thinking there is an awesome Weird War I diorama in this bunch somewhere.

What's an unboxing without a box...
Turns out I live in Etats Unis and Tacbots are born in France...

In the top of the box is a card which touts their 5eu worldwide shipping. Of course, if you have the card, you probably already know about the shipping...

First up is "Buster". He's from Canada, eh!
My Canada assumption is based on the maple leaf...

The cast looks really clean and there are no defects that I can find. Mold lines are so hard to find I'm wondering how much of this might be cast in a single part mold then pulled out complete. Whatever they are doing, it works.

The other two Tacbots share a common physiology with only the weapons being different. For the next two Tacbots I'll just show the items unique to the bot... and the base. They also share a common base, but it is a nice base. In fact, the high quality overall remains throughout all the kits.

"Harpo" is next with a shotgun type weapon...

Then we have "Chuck" with dual pistols completing the Tacbot triad...

The Tacbots are part of the Mauser Earth "Atlantic Union" so I think continuing off the maple leaf motif of buster and making the other two bots from the US and UK might be a nice running theme. As you can see from the pictures of the part above, there is a lot of freedom for posing as the arms and legs are basically just ball joints throughout.

The last item in the box is Streetbot Willy! It's fun just saying his name. I imagine him to be the civilian bot refitted for violent shenanigans. While he is all different parts from the Tacbots, he still manages to maintain the same retro vibe.
The Willy-bits, including the one damaged bit in the whole box.
Willy's parts are all excellently cast, like the Tacbots. Willy does have the one damaged part in the whole shipment. You can see where I've drawn a black arrow between the two parts of the arm that are no longer connected. Since this is obviously a weak point, I'll reinforce it with a pin.

Overall I'm pretty happy with these guys. As I mentioned, I think they'd make a great diorama... maybe striking heroic poses while some soldiers are taking cover behind them? I can't imagine 1/35 scale soldiers will be hard to find... I'm looking at you Tamyia.

Thanks for stopping by, if you have any questions or comments... well, leave a comment.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Kingdom Death Minis Unboxing

I've been eying the Kingdom Death minis for a long time. I'm really (really) bummed that I wasn't able to get in on the Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter last year. I've sold a few items on eBay recently and had a Paypal balance so I figured now was as good a time as any to grab a couple minis.

There is a problem though, the Kingdom Death store is perpetually sold out... of most things. But, Cool Mini or Not has an online store and they stock Kingdom Death minis! They are also sold out of most things, but I did find a couple minis I wanted to check out. So, point-click-ship and here they are!

As a quick aside, the Kingdom Death web store has restocked some items and released some new minis. Most of the new stuff is, you guessed it, sold out. I missed out on one mini because I didn't see the email notification until five hours after it was sent. But when I got up at five a.m. as I must do for my job, I saw the email and went straight to my computer! I got some more minis that I'd liked the look of, and a couple of the new minis too. I assume they'll ship eventually but I've had no shipping notification yet. Honestly, I can't believe the guy who runs Kingdom Death, Adam Poots, has time to release anything new whilst orchestrating the Kickstarter fulfillment.

On to the unboxing!

The items shipped in a nondescript box that you really don't need a picture of.. just imagine brown, plain, and a lot of right angles.

Inside that box, though, was the goodies.

The stuff in the box of boxes
Art cards are always a nice touch. Ax Faction is really good about handing out the art with the minis as well. I'll post some of my recent acquisitions from them in a post in the near future.

The first mini is the White Speaker. I don't pretend to be an expert on the fluff of Kingdom Death, but I think they have magic powers... probably in their boobs. They're practically bursting with magic...

Box Interior
Tiny parts!
Close up of the main dish
The White Speaker looks like a fabulous sculpt and good quality too. I can't find any real issues with it. Like all minis it will need some clean up of flash and mold lines, but these are minimal.

The second mini is the Great Game Hunter Pinup. She's like the regular Great Game Hunter, only with slightly less clothes. She's not naked, but she's not dressed like any of the hunters I've seen around here.

Box contents
Less tiny parts, yea!
Another great sculpt with no flaws I can find. Less parts will make this mini the easier of these two to get to work on. There is also a naked slave to hold the Hunters crossbow, a nice touch.

These are great minis and I'm glad I took the plunge and ordered a few more while they were in stock. The quality really is phenomenal. Kingdom Death is now up there with Ax Faction for my resin mini purveyors of choice. And who knows, maybe I'll put some paint on these one day? If I get that brave I'll be sure to share the train wreck with you here on the blog.

Thanks for stopping by!
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