Tuesday, February 20, 2018

SD BB Senshi Unicorn Gundam 03 Phenex



Ah the Phenex, my favorite MS. The third unit of the Unicorn Gundams, the Phenex is the most obscure of the three since it didn't appear in the anime, and also definitely the most excessive of it's bretheren. With it's bright gold and blue colorscheme, large Armed Armor de's for wings, and a large, streamlined v-fin, this MS just appealed to all of my tastes, and as if I didn't like the Unicorn enough already, this variant improved on what I already considered my top. So obviously, I need to try and get as many kits of the Phenex as possible to show my dedication. The problem? Well the HG and PG are all some form of exclusive, and the MG is kinda at PG price thanks to the plating. So due to this, I had to settle for the cheapest and most viable option, the BB Senshi.


Box:



The boxart of the Phenex is this CGI image of the SD Phenex shooting into the distance with it's psychoframe glowing blue. It's nice boxart, and I enjoy it.


Parts:



For parts, you get one multicolored runner...




...two blue runners...




...4 lame gold runners...




...and two polycap ball runners. Safe to say this kit comes with a lot of plastic for an SD.




You also get a decently sized sticker sheet, as well as an decal sticker sheet.


Manual:



The manual has an obviously painted image of the SD Phenex as well as some info on the Ms at the cover. Inside you'll have part count, instructions...



...a cute little comic like most newer BB Senshi have...



...and the mighty color guide.


Completed Product (Unicorn Mode):



Snapped together and decals applied and I gotta admit, I'm not a fan of this Unicorn Mode, and you can probably guess why. Half of the kit is in destroy mode, and there is no way to change that. I get that this is an SD and that there are budget constraints, and I completely understand that this is a stupid complaint because at least we have psycoframe where the original SD Unicorn did not, still, I can't lie when I say it bugs the hell out of me as it interrupts the clean and simple design of the Unicorn mode. the rest of the kit though looks good for the most part, we have longer legs and larger arms than usual, but it still looks obvious that this is a BB Senshi and not an NXEDGE or Ex-Standard. The hollow Armed Armor DE's look kind of bad since they face the front but it's an SD so you gotta expect these. the lame gold and clear blue plastic used also doesn't give this thing the best tolerances, fitting is tight, and the certain parts can break easily, especially on the backpack. The lame gold is usually something I'd complain about, but I find that for the Phenex, the shade is actually quite befitting of the MS, so I'm actually very happy with it. Overall the kit itself is a nice representation of the Unicorn mode for the parts that are actually in Unicorn mode.


Articulation:



The head is on a ball joint and moves around surprisingly well even, although the shoulder pads do hinder things a bit.



Shoulders barely move out.




Barely swing forward either.




Elbow is a decent 45˚ bend




Waist can swivel but surprisingly it isn't a full 180˚.




Feet kicks up surprisingly well.




However this is where my main problem presides. There is barely ankle pivot in any direction, and this makes it difficult to pose and make it look decent.


Accessories:



You get two simple weapons with the SD Phenex, and no the beam saber hilt is not gold OOB, it is indeed a clear blue toothpick.




The beam magnum works as expected, you plug it in and do some shooting poses, woopee.


Transformation:



Now we get to the fun part, transformation. First, take off both of the fake beam saber hilts.




...then, you reattach them facing upwards like they would on any other gundam.




Next, you remove the cheeks off the head.




Swing up the horn, and use a tool of some sort to push the face piece out.




Get the face piece, and simply switch the faces.




Put it back in.




Net, you reattach the cheeks upside down to how they were in the Unicorn mode.




Open the v-fin, and the head is transformed.




Now you can reattach the head to the torso.




Now for the torso, pull out the sides...




...and flip down the tit panels. You also pull down the waist section, but I forgot to do that because I'm forgetful.




For the shoulder, take off their top pieces.




You'll find that one top has a peg on one side of the shoulder, and the shoulder parts have two holes on each side, one deeper than the other. Remember this.




Now you take out the side of the shoulder, and tab it in the hole closer to the edge.




After that, remember those holes and pegs? Swap the tops of the shoulders, and put the pegs into the shallower hole so it doesn't fall down completely to finish the arms.




Finally, the backpack is simple.




Spread out the fins on the middle and bottom...




...and open up the shoulder X's inside.


Completed Product (Destroy Mode):

(Ignore the untransformed tit panel on the left.)


Now this is the mode you want to display this kit in. Now that the psycoframe are meant to be showing and don't obstruct the aesthetic, it's a much better looking and uniform SD kit. The destroy mode has a bulkier appearance with the armor becoming wider from the transformation, and it gives a cutely intimidating appearance to the kit.




Now since he's in Destroy Mode, he's meant to be able to use his beam saber.




He looks decent, but poseability is the same, and therefore, limited.




You also get the spare parts from the original SD Unicorn, so if you are bothered by the psycoframe on the standard kit, you could build the kit using these parts instead. Note that it's not easy at all to swap between them though due to the tight tolerances of the lame gold plastic, and the elbows do not bend at all.


Size Comparison:




In both modes, he's quite large for an SD, and among others, has quite a presence.


Verdict:

The SD Phenex is a decent BB Senshi kit, it's quite ambitious with it's appearance, part count, and gimmicks, but I think it serves as a good addition for the BB Senshi lineup. It does have a few nitpicks, like the tight tolerances which make it not the most solid or fun kit to pose. The psycoframe in destroy mode also could be annoying to some, me included, but you could either ignore them or swap most of them for the parts without any psycoframe. It certainly captures the essence of the Phenex well with it's stellar color separation and proportions, and it's it's design and big backpack give it a unique presence among other SD's. I'd recommend it if you're interested, but this isn't a kit you'd want to be playing around with unlike other SD's.

Pros:

- Includes some really neat marking decals.
- Great color separation for an SD.
- Transforming gimmick is a nice add on for an SD, even if it's mostly partsforming.

Cons:

- Unicorn mode has psycoframe showing.
- Tolerances are very tight due to the plastics used, parts can break easily if mishandled. 

Neutral:

- Includes leftover parts without psycoframe which could be useful if you want a more streamlined Unicorn mode, but using them also decreases it's poseability. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

SQ Yuuki Overview



Sword Art Online is a controversial series, been here done that, but despite this, I gotta say that Yuuki was a character I could really say was well done. I really enjoyed the series myself, but even with all that, Yuuki and the Mother's Rosario arc stood out compared to the whole show and was on a whole other level of good. Due to my love of the character, I wanted a figure of her, but sadly for me, her figma is an exclusive. Due to this, I resorted to the cheapest statue I could find of her, which led me to buy the Banpresto SQ figure. I wanted the one where her outfit was in Asuna's colors so it'd still have a reason for existing after I eventually got the figma, but couldn't find it so dealt with owning this. 


Box:



Nothing special for the box, you get an illustration of Yuuki in front of a beautiful field. You also get to see the an image of statue.


Parts:



In the box, you get her base, her main body, her sword, her sheath, and her head in separate containers.


Product:




OOB and you get a pretty good looking figure of Yuuki. Details are well painted and nothing is really missing. Her stance is a brave and simple standing pose, and looks inspiring. There is one little issue I have with this, and that's the fact the sheath does not plug in securely. It falls off very often and it's a real hassle to deal with.




The base has a little hole that the sword rests in so making her hold it isn't hard.




Overall this is a satisfying figure of Yuuki, and for those who want an affordable, small-ish sized figure of her, this is a fine option. The price is low, details are well painted, and the sculpting is great, so you can't really go wrong with it if you're a Yuuki fan.