31 December 2009
Time sure flies, and 2009 is coming to an end already.
What can I say much this year in general? Not much to be honest. There has been some ups and downs for me throughout the year. I have spent more on merchandise this year compared to last year, and I would probably have to cut down to just shokugans and gunpla in the near future. Not really because of the increasing prices, but mainly with the space I have left. Despite the fact that I did get myself a shelf very recently, that does not necessarily mean I have more space now (I can now get to open more of my unboxed stuff rather than get more new stuff)... I have also been a bit more busy than last year, which got me to cut down on the anime series I am watching and got me harder to keep up with the blogging recently. I hope things will be more manageable for me in 2010, and that I can get to keep up with the blogging as well.
Boxes and boxes of gunpla underneath my bed
More gunpla backlog, including Master Grade models for the first time (3 so far - G-3 OYW Ver, Exia Ignition Mode, and Aile Strike Gundam + Bazooka). Despite people's fandom over the MG, I tend to stick to the 1/144s. Maybe I can get around to build some MG models next year.
Lovely Fate is lovely.
Figures... Probably not going to get anymore in the mean time after the massive Fate. In fact Fate has been the one and only static figure I have bought this year, and is such a space hogger that digging a space for her is not easy. Poseable figures like figma are still a "maybe", but would try to limit on the purchase and be more picky on choices (as if I'm not picky enough in the first place).
I wonder whether I can get to do a review of this lovely figure of Fate? Will need to find enough space to do a (compromise) photoshoot too if I do so ._.
On the other hand, I must thank you as readers or just passer-bys for coming by and commenting on my blog! The comments you have kindly given have helped me to appreciate your opinions on the stuff I have blogged about, or help me correct the things I am not familiar with. Every little bit helps I must say!
Decided not to do a review of the special figma Miku Live Stage ver. , but here's a picture to end it off. The wings are actually from 1/144 HG O Gundam model kit.
Well, with 2009 ending soon it's also the end of a decade, so let's greet 2010 with a new look. I wish you a Happy New Year!
28 December 2009
The shelf I have pre-ordered last week has arrived :o
And as you can see, it's not the Detolf as I have mentioned in my previous post. This one is called Billy, which is supposed to be a bookcase of some kind. Nevertheless, me and my mother have chosen this one for the flexibility, reasonable potential as a display shelf, as well as its price.
Putting random stuff in the shelf. I still have to plan what to put on each layer. Billy comes with 4 wooden boards, and I've bought myself 4 extra glass boards for the shelf. The very large space there was supposed to be reserved for Fate before I unpacked the massive figure out of the box...
... But that did not work out well orz. While there's enough height and length to fit her including the impressive Riot Zamber, I have completely underestimated her hair. Her hair took up too much space, and the base stuck out like a sore thumb and I cannot close the shelf door as a result -_-
And so she has to go on top of the shelf now. The base still sticks out, and would interfere with the door unless I stacked some unused boards to clear the way.
As I am still randomly putting things in there, none of these are finalised. First off various 1/144 gunpla and some tanks are stuffed at the bottom. Most of these tanks at the bottom are 1/72 scale, and unlike the rest of my 1/144 panzer collection these ones hardly got to see the light of the day until now.
Gundam Astraea and Gundam Exia Roll Out Colour with their weapons laid out. The loadout and variety Astraea has kinda belittles Exia's melee only weaponry. I was planning to have more larger gunpla to put there once I've finished building some from my backlog.
1/144 Metal Troops landing craft diorama and 1/100 Tieren. The diorama was under my bed all the time as I had no space to display it when I first bought it in April. I have yet to unpack the stuff in order for it to look like a diorama.
Brought my figures down from the top layer to my eye level (where Fate is supposed to be originally). The figmas are on one side on the right as seen here.
And various Shana figures on the other side. Yea you can call me a Shana fanboy if you want; I can't find anything to defend against this statement right now.
As the large space reserved for Fate is now unsuitable, I've put in one more glass board to split up the space. For now the upper space has some One Year War gunpla, or more specifically grunts vs cannon fodders and more grunts.
The top space is left empty for now until I know what to put in there.
The glass boards have pegs fitted with rubber tubings for better gripping and not damaging the glass surface at the same time. The wooden boards use the same pegs supporting them but without the rubber tubing.
As I said above, none of these arrangements are finalised, and you can see how inept I am at deciding what and how to display stuff, especially since I was simply shoving my stuff in to free some of my space on my desk in the first place. Well these will undergo changes from time to time. I still have one more glass board unused and is seen on the right hand side of the shelf. I did think of shoving my 1/144 tanks in there, but I would probably need the whole shelf to do that. So for now they are simply dotted across my room as before - i.e. pretty much untouched for now. Well at least the figures and gunpla will not have to compete the space with my various military miniatures... For now.
25 December 2009
Finally got some more time to settle down and blog. Didn't know I would still be busy once I am back in Hong Kong @_@
Met up with robostrike and Asuka in Mong Kok on Wednesday. Since robostrike hails from Canada, we tried and plough through as many shops in Mong Kok as we could. Luckily we went through all the ones we knew in good time, and robostrike got most of the stuff he wanted on his list as well~
The Nendoroid Mio and Revoltech Toro (Summer Festival ver.) as seen above belong to Asuka and robostrike respectively. I did not bring anything to take pictures with. Yea shame on me -_-
Was busy looking up the map and going through the shops so I took hardly any photos for the day orz. Luckily Asuka has made a post on the meet-up already, and I am sure robostrike will post his when he goes back to Canada.
We also met Avan (aka Stepswalker) later in the day as well, who has Dollfie Dreams (and other stuff like Saint Seiya and PVC figures) and is a long time member of ToysDaily forum. He brought us around to another place with a good number of anime-related shops (one that I haven't known before), and a doll shop that he goes often for his Dollfies and accessories. He even knows the shopkeeper there too so they have kindly let us take pictures of the shop.
And oooooh Dollfie Dream Fate o_o
EDITED: Turns out that this shop is Dollfie World, which is quite well known amongst the Dollfie owners. It also has a facebook group too.
And speaking of Fate, the ALTER's 1/7 figure of her who arrived a few weeks ago is... Awesome ^^;. As expected, the box is huge, and only with the combination of my 3 largest gunpla boxes (MG Aile Strike Gundam + Bazooka, MG Gundam Exia Ignition Mode, Ex-Model Hildolfr) did the box get a reasonable size to compare o_o. I did unpack her out once, but found out that I really had no space to put her for the time being. orz
This got my mother to prompt me to buy a shelf from Ikea orz. Pre-order is done already after doing some measurements (and no it's not a Detolf), and it will come some time this coming Sunday. Maybe I can do a review of the figure once a shelf is up?
Recent purchase part 1: Military miniatures, all 1/144 scale. Ranging from C-47 Skytrain, V-1 flying bomb, He162A, and Panavia Tornado. It seems aircrafts are the way to go for military shokugans these days, as the last time I saw new tank release was many years ago already.
And last but not least, figma Hatsune Miku Live Stage ver.
Yes, this is an impulse purchase I must admit orz. Bought approximately one year after I got the normal figma Miku, now I have a second Miku orz. Funny how I bought this from the same shop that I got my one and only nendoroid so far: Nendoroid Shana Dengeki Daioh ver. (aka Nekomimi Shana)
I don't think I will do a review of this Miku anyway since I don't plan on cutting out the paper parts for di:stage, and otherwise it's pretty much the same Miku with alternate faces and a more shiny look on the clothes. Unless there is a demand for it, you can check out the pictures and reviews on other places, like here and here.
That sums everything up for the time being. Will try and catch up with the blogroll as I am a bit behind these days. Nonetheless, Miku wishes you a Merry Christmas!
Image from Moe Imouto
21 December 2009
Ever wanted to get a wooden Zaku II model? Well here's a Char's Zaku II wooden sculpture for you to 'consider'.
34mm tall, 25mm wide. All wood-made. Comes with a bazooka and heat hawk. Bazooka can also be stored at the back.
First mentioned in Chara Hobby 2009 I think. Hand sculpted from high class natural wood and made in China.
Head and shoulder seem to have limited articulation, despite being a wooden sculpture.
Image from GA Graphics
To be released in late Feburary 2010, retail price 99750 Yen (tax inclusive) @_@
For something at such premium price, this Char's Zaku wooden sculpture is definitely not for ordinary collectors. Not exactly sure what kind of wood is used but it doesn't seem like cheap material to charge that much. On the other hand, I did hear from some people in ToysDaily forum how it's not environmental friendly to own something like this as it's using expensive wood when climate change is already an issue.
Perhaps ideal for a decoration item for a washitsu? Worship Char's Zaku II and hope you can do everything 3 times faster? XD
All other images from Lalabit Market
16 December 2009
I have always wanted to talk more about Hong Kong itself, but didn't know where to start off. Browsing through my camera recently I remember that I have taken a few random shots in Hong Kong, and I thought I would combine some of them in this post and give a bit of thought here and there.
Arcade version of Winning Eleven (can't remember which version though), also known as Pro Evolution Soccer. Unlike ordinary arcade machines, this one has an optional PS2-like controller for people to use, as this game series is originally for the PC and consoles. Here this guy is playing online against someone way over in Chiba, Japan.
Guys playing arcade version of Gundam Vs Gundam NEXT. With a much faster gameplay and more MS to choose from, this one is much more successful from the first Gundam Vs Gundam. As the PSP port has been released earlier this month I am eager to try the game myself when I go back next week, even though I don't have a PSP myself!
Gundam Nadleeh purging its armour from Gundam Virtue
This is actually one of the winners for Hong Kong Dengeki Gundam Model Tournament 2008, which was shown in ACGHK 2008 last year. I happen to have taken three photos of it back then, and was surprised to see it again this year in a local gunpla shop very near my home.
A closer shot of the said Gundam Nadleeh.
A 1/35 Nu Gundam bust, along with a custom made 1/100 Unicorn Gundam and Kshatriya. This is a shop in Kwong Wa Street (廣華街) that focuses on custom made Gundam models, like those from G-System. Needless to say, their qualities are something to be reckoned with... Along with the prices ^^;
Slightly closer look at the Unicorn Gundam and Kshatriya. The glowing psycho frame looks menacing!
Kwong Wa Street is well known not only for the shops that sell models (and gunpla), but also various airsoft guns. It's literally like seeing one arms dealer here, and another one right next door to it!
Not sure how many recalled me talking about a certain "secret ambition". Well this is a 1/35 version of Schwerer Gustav / Dora railway gun. The whole length is probably about the width of a single bed, and please don't ask me about the price of this; I don't really want to know... o_o;;
Anyone plays Yu-Gi-Oh? A friend of mine is really into them. Now and then he would bring his decks and suggest playing a few rounds in McDonalds during off-peak hours. I know some of the cards, and I prefer the old ones; the newer ones are too fanciful in my opinion. Besides Yu-Gi-Oh cards are not cheap, especially when you want to make a decent deck.
An Animate store, also known as 宇宙船 (literally space ship).
Animate (like those of the same name in Japan, but not under the same company I think) is a large "official" retailer that sells various anime merchandise, as well as magazines. While the stuff they sell are definitely authentic, their relatively high price tags on items earns a notorious nickname 賊船/海盗船 i.e. pirate ship. However, I did hear that they can be pretty good on pre-order, and so I pre-ordered my Alter Fate (which arrived earlier) from them. The total price was surprisingly good; it was less than the official retail price and no shipping fee as well (I am sure by saying this I will get grudges from overseas collectors who had to pay hefty amounts for the shipping).
Ah, the good ol' Yoshinoya. A simple beef bowl fastfood meal to keep people going for the day.
It's usually not hard to find a Japanese restaurant or a restaurant with elements of Japanese cuisine in Hong Kong. As seen here are a bowl of ramen with a glass of Hong Kong-style milk tea in a restaurant in the well-known Tung Choi Street (通菜街) aka Ladies Street (女人街).
I did think of doing more posts like this, but it would probably not happen in the near future, or at least until I get to spend more time in Hong Kong. Well, if I do get to then let this post be a prologue of some sort. If not then it's a one of a kind I suppose. I did hear people wanting to know where to find anime-merchandise shops in Hong Kong, so I wiill probably at least do a post for that sometime in the future. We shall see.
It's this time of the year again when I am feeling 囧 (funny how I did that post just over a year ago too), which is why I am not active recently. On the bright side, I just have to endure the remainder of this week, then I can go home and see my Fate~
8 December 2009
Something struck about a particular character from the upcoming game Final Fantasy XIII (aka FFXIII) recently...
It appears that the clothing that Serah Farron wears are closely resembling to those sold in Shimamura, a large clothing / fashion retailer in Japan.
Click for full size image
And here it is - the whole wardrobe: Ranging from hairband, armbands, boots resembling high top converses, blouse, sleeveless coat (?), and even a waistbelt, it's amazing how people have the time and effort to compile this altogether. While not all items are 100% exact to the character's assets, they are still very close in resemblence. What's surprising though the total cost is not very high (~ 10350 Yen) as most of these items are budget-priced. This mean you can easily get yourself a Serah Farron cosplay by shopping in fashion stores. ^^;
Kotaku has also reported about this finding:
There are a lot of comments regarding on this. Some think that it's disappointing how her design uses not only those from existing products, but those that are cheap and can be bought in typical clothing stores. Some on the other hand think it's okay and Serah still looks cute and fine, with her clothes very accessible to buy. There's also a debate regarding the designer's fashion sense on Serah. What do you think of this? I am fairly neutral about this, but I am just surprised that most of the stuff are really affordable in the first place. I wonder whether we'll see a cosplay of Serah in the near future... Or more of things like this are on other characters in FFXIII ^^;
4 December 2009
Mobile Suit Gundam VS Gundam NEXT PLUS (機動戦士ガンダム vs. ガンダム NEXT PLUS) is the latest "team battle action" game of the popular Gundam VS series for the PSP console. Essentially a Gundam dream match / crossover, you can pit various Gundams or antagonist units against mobile suits from other series.
I have not talked about this game before, but it is actually one of the most anticipated game for me this year, despite not having a PSP.
Box art from SRW Hotnews
Featuring over 60 mobile suits from 18 series, you generally fight on a 2 vs 2 basis, and reduce the enemy's cost gauge from 6000 (by default) to 0 by destroying the enemy units while preventing yours to do the same thing. The cost of each unit is based on the strength, and is divided into 3 tiers: 1000, 2000, and 3000, so basically the higher the cost, the more powerful the mobile suit it is. However, using units with higher cost means you have fewer chances to respawn.
One of the main in-game feature for this game is the NEXT Dash system, where you can instantly dash away cancelling whatever you were doing previously or to evade an enemy's attack, similar to the Speed awaken for Alliance vs ZAFT II.
The PLUS mode one will meet a handful of exclusive units not seen in normal gameplay. Here one can see Graham Aker's flag battling Exia with Union flags flying in the background.
Huge MA (mobile armours) are spotted in arcade mode and PLUS mode as boss units. I have a feeling that some will be unlocked playable units under some circumstances, as the official websites did have movelists for them shortly before they are removed from view.
Several new units are added to the PSP game which the arcade does not have. 00 Raiser's crazy Raiser Sword can do up to 340 damage (not sure whether that's default settings though), enough to kill off a 1000 cost unit with one hit! @_@;; Image is a screenshot taken from NicoNico
Officially released on 3rd December at retail price of 6279 Yen (tax inclusive), some people in Japan and even Hong Kong have got the game early already. The general feedback is very positive, and apparently the game plays much smoother than the previous one, even online (!). The effects have been toned down for the performance, but that's ok in my opinion.
The first Gundam VS I've tried was Gundam SEED Destiny: Alliance vs Zaft II PLUS (which in my opinion is a great game in complete contrast to the anime itself). I've also played Federation vs Zeon and Gundam vs Zeta Gundam (space battles are hard!), so following down the series I am looking forward to trying this one out myself. Watched quite a lot of the arcade gameplay on YouTube as well as in Hong Kong myself, and it sure doesn't look easy for either first-timers or old-timers. It will take some time for me to get used to the NEXT Dash system.
While Final Fantasy XIII is tempting for me and my sister to get a PS3 (Slim), Gundam VS Gundam Next Plus on the other hand will be the game that will get me to acquire a PSP when I go home for Christmas, one way or the other XD
Official site link (with awesome BGM):