Monday, May 26, 2014

Hobby Base Ultimate Joint Series EX Mechanical Hands (Angular) 1/144 Gray Part 3 [Final]

Not universal enough (for direct application)

Continuing with the review on Hobby Base's Ultimate Joint Series EX Mechanical Hands (Angular) 1/144 Gray set after the previous posting, with the fully articulated type as the focus this time. ^^

(Eagerly) trying out all the fingers' hinge movement after removing the parts from the runner. ^^
They work incredibly well. ^^

Extra caution is needed when the metacarpophalangeal joints (eight in total) are removed from the runner so that none of the tiny pegs and hinge slots is damaged.

Parts of the two hands.

Attaching the finger to the metacarpophalangeal joint.

All the fingers are assembled onto the palm part.

Each finger has its own unique numbering, and corresponds to a specific metacarpophalangeal joint. Seeing no difference between the parts, I didn't follow the numbering. ^^

Without the top palm part to lock everything in place, the fingers can be hinged outward using their metacarpophalangeal joints for a very wide degree. The resulting unnecessary "arrangement" looks almost like the pre-molded manipulator parts in Master Grade kits like Jesta, or Nu Gundam Ver. Ka. ^^

Separable components of the hands before the final assembly.

Done for the two hand units. ^^

Without moving the fingers, the hands looks like a set of highly detailed fixed fists. ^^

Quick comparison with the closed fists completed in the previous posting: the details are very close. That similarity in appearance makes the full articulation feature of the fingers even more impressive.

Details of the palm.
Also, with everything locked in place, the fingers cannot be hinged outward so "wildly" like how they were shown earlier on. ^^ The hands are completely "normal" now. XD

Like the closed fists, the hand units have hinge joints for their wrists.

Very flexible poses with the fingers. Their movement feels very solid as well.

Comparison with the closed fists completed in the previous posting and HG 1/144 Genoace Custom's default open fists.
The two pairs of option hands are evidently wider, but not disproportionately so.

Identical to that on the closed fists, a layer of paper tape is attached to the ball joint of the articulated hands so that they can be secured to the wrists of HG 1/144 Genoace Custom's. ^^

As expected, the beam rifle (with the knife sticking in front of it) is too heavy for the fingers to support. ^^;

The Simulation Gun can be held very easily and securely. ^^

While smaller weapons are no problem for the articulated hands, I think it would be a lot less troublesome for action pose arrangement if the default open fists are used for holding rifle or gun type weapons, since having all the fingers wrapped tightly around the handle and trigger isn't going to be super amazing to see anyway, and that certainly doesn't help to reveal the articulation feat of the hand units. ^^; Why waste the potential of the hands on just trying to hold something with them, when they are capable of showing off more expressive poses. ^^

Finally, Genoace Custom's looks like he's trying to reach for his Heat Stick inside the shield. ^^

"Hey you! Come back here. Don't quit the game when I can show more than just rock now with my new hands." ^^

The fingers are actually strong enough to hold on to the beam saber with very little grip on it. ^^

Finally, a thrusting pose with the beam saber is now possible with the model. ^^

Making full use of the different hinges to configure a natural-looking grip on the beam saber handle. ^^

Trying out the hand units on other Gunplas of the same scale:

(1) HGUC Nu Gundam

Swapped the articulated fist onto the wrist.
The connection is very secure. ^^

Nu Gundam's hand is somewhat bigger than the option hand, which is not surprising given Nu Gundam's overall size.

The option hand is the perfect substitute to allow Nu Gundam be posed reaching for its beam sword with a spread palm. ^^

The option can hold the beam sword very easily. ^^

A more expressive grip on the handle can be shown. ^^

Plenty of new possibilities for more expressive action poses to be shown on 1/144 scale model kits. ^^

Comparison between Nu Gundam's own closed fist, and one from this option part set. The design of the former is impressive enough I think. ^^

(2) HG 1/144 Tieren Ground Type

Swapped the closed fist onto the wrist.
Never mind the awkward look (^^;), the connection is very secure. ^^

The option hand is clearly bigger than Tieren's own fist.

(3) HG 1/144 Gundam Exia

Swapped the articulated fist onto the wrist.
Despite not having a polycap for its wrist joint, the connection is still quite secure.

Not only is the option hand bigger, all the line details on the back of hand are also missing. ^^

One of the heavily promoted beam saber pose on the Metal Build version of Gundam Exia can now be replicated by this HG kit. ^^

The longer, white handle (as compared to Genoace Custom's Heat Stick) allows the flexible fingers to be shown in full glory. ^^

(4) HG 1/144 Gundam Heavyarms Custom

The wrist slot is too big even for the bandaged ball joint of the option hand to be secured to it. Some modification is needed to enlarge the joint before the option hands can be fully used by this kit.

Ironically, the default polycap hand of Gundam Heavyarms Custom is the smallest among the few put in comparison with the option hand, but its wrist joint is the biggest. ^^;

Even before assembling it, I realize that this option part set will not offer a universal hand unit set for those looking for a quick replacement for their model kits. There are too many variables to be taken into consideration, a few which are shown in the attempts above: wrist slot (Gundam Heavyarms Custom), details (Gundam Exia), and many other factors: special shape or size (HG 1/144 GN-X, HGUC Guncannon, HGUC Rick Dias, or HGUC Qubeley), special color for the fingers (HG 1/144 Gundam Throne Zwei, HG 1/144 Hydra Gundam). Extra effort is needed to customize the hand units to suit the unique features of the different kits, which can be extremely challenging due to the pre-molded hinges. I don't think they are meant to be modified or painted. ^^; However, for "average, normal" kits (XD), the option hands are very useful to create more dynamic-looking poses. ^^

The articulated hand units themselves are actually pretty fun to play with too. ^^

On a related note, almost exactly one year after the release of this angular type mechanical hand sets in four versions, Hobby Base added another four sets to the series, but with rounded fingers instead (1/144 Gray, 1/144 Dark Gray, 1/100 Gray, and 1/100 Dark Gray). ^^ That's certainly a good news for those who wish to have the same kind of articulated hands for their Zeon kits. ^^

All reviews on Hobby Base's Ultimate Joint Series EX Mechanical Hands (Angular) 1/144 Gray:
Part 1: Want to give me a hand? The more the better
Part 2: Bigger hands, smaller wrists
Part 3 [Final]: Not universal enough (for direct application)

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Hobby Base's Ultimate Joint Series EX Mechanical Hands (Angular) 1/144 Gray

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