Thursday, November 29, 2012

1/1 HoiHoi-san Part 1

Hoi hoi!

Starting a new plamo kit project after the incomplete review of HGUC Unicorn Gundam [Unicorn Mode], and this one is a very special kit. ^^

This is 1/1 scale HoiHoi-san released by Kotobukiya back in September 2009. Its release was quite a sensation I remember, as the nature of the model kit seemed really unique. ^^ Even though it's supposed to be a robot, HoiHoi-san's appearance as a little girl in maid outfit qualifies it to be considered a character kit instead. ^^ The model kit's design caters to average normal modelers' level of modeling skills by having various pre-painted parts. The kit is also for advanced modelers as decal sheets are also included for those who choose to paint the entire kit.

The scale is very special as well I think. How many model kits out there are of actual scale with the character design? XD Then again, HoiHoi-san could get away with that since it's supposed to be very small in actual design. ^^

In my opinion, it's the cuteness of HoiHoi-san as a character that made this kit a huge success for Kotobukiya. While the story was around for quite a while before the release of this model kit, very few merchandise of HoiHoi-san existed in the market. The lack of attention for HoiHoi-san (in Japan) is quite a mystery to me really. ^^; Given how huge cutesy anime girl (moe) and robot (moeru) are in the hobby market, the combination of both on HoiHoi-san should make the character widely popular with tons of merchandises coming out every now and then. This model kit really gave the the character and its series a whole new level of exposure in and outside Japan I think, which is a good thing. ^^ HoiHoi-san really deserves more love from everybody. ^^

In terms of the model kit design, having pre-painted parts included is not really a big deal in my opinion. As Kotobukiya declared foil stickers their number one enemy to avoid in making model kits (ha!), most of their model kits come with pre-painted parts. Even the pre-painted eye and face parts are not too much of a surprise to me, as 1/144 scale Valsione from SRW OG series has the same feature. Valsione was released in February 2009, about half a year before HoiHoi-san. Did the positive outcome of Valsione's design influenced the release of HoiHoi-san? Maybe. ^^

On the flip side, a rather common but very troublesome feature of Kotobukiya's model kit design can also be seen on this kit. ^^; I'll talk about this when the different runners are introduced later.

On a personal level, this kit is considered very special because it's actually the first "full" Kotobukiya model kit I worked on. ^^ MW-20 Gatling Gun and MW-28 Impact Edge from Modeling Support Goods (M.S.G.) Weapon Unit series reviewed in the past are also products of Kotobukiya, but I always regard them as accessories, not model kit, even though technically they are made of plastic and assembly is required. HoiHoi-san is a very nice start to experiencing Kotobukiya's model kit I think.

Well, honestly speaking, I've two variations of HoiHoi-san's kit - Heavy Combat and Heavy Combat Nightmare in my collection as well, so I'm trying to spread out the work of building them. ^^

HoiHoi-san's rival, Combat-san can be seen hiding behind a tea cup on the box art, which is a very nice touch to the overall illustration. ^^

Introduction of the kit on one side of box.

Textual product info on the other box side.


All runners of this kit.

The small decal sheet mentioned earlier on.

Colorful instruction manual. ^^

If you look at the actual character design of HoiHoi-san as shown on the manual (third manual image above), you will notice that it has four fingers on each hand. The model kit however, gives HoiHoi-san five fingers on each hand. Is that Kotobukiya's effort to make HoiHoi-san more human-like thus more appealing to people who don't know her? I'm not sure. ^^; But it's a totally unnecessary design deviation I think. It would be very amusing if people would reject all the other goodness of the model kit just because the character has one less finger on each hand as compared to a normal human being. HoiHoi-san is supposedly fictitious anyway. ^^

A look at the runners' design:

Runner A - Light brown (?) runner containing parts for HoiHoi-san's hair.

Some of the big parts on the runner.
Their "hill-like" molded shape certainly adds a lot to the runner's volume inside the box. ^^;

Nicely molded hair pieces with very pointy edges. ^^

(Left) USB port XD
(Right) A very angry-looking part. XD

Runner B - Light flesh-colored runner containing parts for the face, arms and legs.

The face part is pre-painted with eyebrows and eyelashes.

Runner C - White runner containing parts for the hand units, shoes, body and apron.

(Left) Like the hair parts on Runner A, the molded shape of the apron makes it dimensionally bigger on this runner.
(Right) The bottom front of the apron is printed with HoiHoi-san's name and model number (?).

The empty spaces on the runner house the face parts but they are separated so that the eyes can be printed I believe. The sprue gates on the runner can be seen very easily.

Runner D - Black runner containing parts mainly for the dress and large "rabbit ears" headband. ^^

The one-piece dress part is easily the biggest part in the entire kit. ^^

Three very cure bow tie parts. ^^

Runner E (left) - White runner containing parts for the hip and joint parts for the ankle and shoulder.
Runner F (right) - Light flesh-colored runner containing parts for various joints.
Both runners are made of ABS hard plastic.

(Left) The black layer on the two disc-parts is to indicate the interior of HoiHoi-san's shoes.
(Right) Joint parts that look like polycap pieces. ^^

Runner G - Gray runner containing weapon parts.
One single runner for all weapon parts is the common troublesome model kit feature of Kotobukiya's releases I mentioned earlier on. Tons of paint work will be required for these weapon parts. ^^

Nicely molded details for the broom head's fiber.

Polycap set with no special designated code.

Decal sheet.

All removed parts are organized and stored in individual paper containers.

The face parts are stored in a separate box.

Will start working on the kit in the next posting. ^^

1 comment:

Evaritus Lau said...

Ah bro just starting this ? You gotta love it, though the seamline on the arms is kinda annoying, but other than that, yeah it is one wonderful kit to build on. Recently I've did a commission work for this kit, I find it very easy to work on, especially those katana. :3