Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Play Arts Kai Lightning Part 3

Trying the best to avoid the usual tradeoff between good look and posability

An introduction of Play Arts Kai Lightning's articulation design after the previous posting on Serah Farron. ^^

Backward and forward tilts for the head.
Forward bend is somewhat limited as the head is stopped very quickly by the neck armor for that movement.

Horizontal bend is not a problem at all for the head.

Utilizing the ball-type neck joint to give the head a series of free-range movements. ^^

Lightning has ball-type joints inside her chest and waist to boost the figure's side-to-side and backward/forward bending range.

Despite the shoulder plates, Lightning is capable of bending her arm upward for a wide degree. ^^

The shoulder can swing forward and backward.

Like the same joints on Cammy, Lightning's shoulder blocks can be bent forward for about 90 degrees to give the arms a much wider movement range.

The thinner gap between the shoulder joint and the slot behind it looks more tolerable than that on Cammy in my opinion. ^^
The black color of Lighting's costume helps to hide the gap quite nicely as well.

The split between the upper arm and Lightning's glove is actually a swivel joint that allows the forearm to be rotated without adjusting the shoulder.

As with most other figures, the elbow joint's straight peg allows the forearm to swivel around on the upper arm.

Standard 90-degree bends for the elbow and wrist.

The shoulder plates can be adjusted very flexibly using the ball-type joints they are connected to on Lightning's back.

(Left) The aforementioned ball-type joints for the shoulder plates on Lightning's back.
(Right) The letters "R" and "L" are molded behind the shoulder plates to help differentiating the parts.

Standard ball-type joint design for the hips with average side-to-side and backward/forward bending range.
Interestingly, the left leg's forward movement is not blocked by the large feather coat at all. The coat's joint is flexible enough to allow the component to move together with the leg. ^^

Even though they are not very easy to spot, there are separated thigh swivels for the legs. ^^

The feather coat pieces are made of soft plastic, allowing them to be bent very easily. ^^

The front and skirt armors are made of soft plastic as well.

Near 180 degrees bend for the knee.

The joint's color and some minor wrinkles molded on it help to disguise the joint as Lightning's legging. ^^

Forward/backward bend is very easy with the ankle joint, which uses the swivel and hinge combo type joint.

Side-to-side bend is possible as well, albeit quite difficult to adjust. ^^;

Paint chips on the edge of the ankle area that are caused by the ankle guards when they rub on the armors when the joints are bent forward and backward. ^^;

As with Cammy reviewed earlier this year, Lightning is actually a pretty standard action figure despite her large overall size. ^^ As it turns out, there's no unique joint design implemented on her, which is why I used 'standard' to describe the figure. ^^ However, there are (at least) two major impressive points about Lightning's posability in my opinion: (1) having so many movable points on a figure that is already so beautiful without the need for any special pose to be adjusted (see Part 2), ^^ (2) able to avoid trading off some of its vital articulation points for the look of the armors she's wearing. The second point is more important and interesting I guess. ^^ Before this posting, the large feather coat on Lightning's left hip seems more than likely to obstruct the hip's movement. As it turns out, that's not the case at all. ^^ The coat moves very easily and flexibly with the left leg when it's adjusted, which is pretty amazing. The feather coat's joint to Lightning's waist is strong, but loose at the same time to permit the large part's positioning. ^^

While articulation is not an issue for Lightning, stability of the figure is. ^^; With such small feet for such a large figure with heavy armors and weapons, it's perceivably difficult to adjust action poses for Lighting without additional support using a display stand. ^^

With support using Soul Stage Act 5 Action Support Type for Mechanics Clear Ver.

Even more action poses from Lightning will be featured after the introduction on Serah Farron's articulation design, coming up next in this double feature review series. ^^

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