Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sci-fi Revoltech Iron Man Mark VI Part 3

Initial design that works well

A look at Sci-fi Revoltech Iron Man Mark VI's articulation design, and gimmicks after the previous posting. ^^

Horizontal tilt for the head can be adjusted very easily.

The head's own Revoltech joint allows the head to be bent upward very easily, but the collision between the chin and the neck prevents the head's downward bend. However, that's not an issue, ...

.. since an additional Revoltech joint at the neck's base not only allows the head to be bent downward for a wide range, the same articulation is possible for its backward bend as well.

A special feature of the neck joint: there's a hingeable flap that would be pushed inward when the head is bent downward. Its purpose seems to be for filling in the visible gap in front of the neck when the head is bent backward, without obstructing the neck's articulation. ^^
Unfortunately, that flap doesn't spring back out on its own when the head is repositioned to its own original display angle, so you would need to adjust it yourself.

The head, and neck are separated from the body to get a better idea of how the parts work. ^^

The neck joint flap's mechanism is very simple, but works quite effectively in providing the visual "assistance". XD

The shoulder armor is independently movable. It's connected to the back of the shoulder via a small Revoltech joint to minimize its restriction on the upper arm's movement range. ^^

The shoulder armor's forward bend is obstructed by the collision between the rounded edge behind the armor and the Mark VI's bicep. ^^;

Very wide shoulder articulation range thanks to the shoulder armor which will automatically "get out the way" when the upper arm starts to collide with the shoulder. XD

Swinging the arms forward/backward is very easy.
As you can see, either shoulder joint is a large Revoltech joint.

The upper arm can swivel around the shoulder joint.

The arm's backward bend is obstructed by the collision between the bicep and a tiny protruding golden part at the edge of the shoulder. ^^;

Not enough with just the upper arm swivel, the forearm can swivel around the elbow as well, giving the arm an extra articulation capability.

Very flexible wrist movements enabled by Revoltech joints.
The flexibility of the wrist armor in bending against the forearm automatically when the wrist is bent outward can be seen clearly in the image above.

Side-to-side and forward-backward movements are enabled by the Revoltech waist joint.

The abdomen armor is a separated soft plastic piece on the body that can be pushed inward. Its application is to show a slightly retracted abdomen when the body is bent to the front. ^^

The upper body is detached from the figure at its chest level to get a better idea of how the abdomen armor work. ^^

The soft plastic joint connecting the abdomen armor to the base of the waist can be seen. As compared to the same component on Mark II, Mark VI's abdomen works a lot more flexibly. ^^

Mark VI's hip joint design is identical to that on Mark II.

Very wide hip expansion enabled by the hinge component of the hip joints. ^^

With a smoother edge for its hips, Mark VI can do a perfect forward split. ^^ This range of flexibility for the hips is not available on Mark II. ^^;

A nice bonus for the hips' articulation: separated thigh swivel. ^^

Standard articulation range for the knee.
With wider gap behind the thigh to accommodate the knee joint when it's bent backward, Mark VI's knee bend is actually more flexible than that of Mark II. ^^

The knee armor is on a Revoltech joint, but instead of being connected to the lower leg, it sits at the lower edge of the thigh instead. It's a little weird-looking, ^^; but with the Revoltech knee joint having (almost) the exact same color as the armor itself, the exposed joint area doesn't look out of place. ^^

The standard double-point Revoltech joint used for the figure's knee.

The ankle incorporates a Revoltech joint as well.
Unlike Mark II, the front ankle guard is not a separate piece, but the there's ample room for the foot to be hinged forward/backward.

A closer look at the rather ordinary ankle joint design.

The flexibility enabled by the hips, knees and ankles makes adjusting a very natural-looking kneeling pose for Mark VI extremely easy. ^^

Despite being an earlier design in Sci-fi Revoltech's Iron Man lineup, I really feel that Mark VI's articulation design is much better than Mark II's, which seems like a surprising disappointment for the latter. ^^; Some of Mark VI's articulation features that I like:
(1) the application of the hingeable flap in hiding the gap in front of the figure's neck;
(2) the shoulder armor looks better when it's connected to the back of the shoulder, instead of behind the bicep;
(3) the larger Revoltech shoulder joint sets a more visible gap between it and the bicep, but allowing an easier, and more flexible upper arm swivel;
(4) the smaller wrist armor looks, and works better with the wrist joint;
(5) the more rounded edges of the hips allow the legs to be bent more smoothly;
(6) the wider gap behind the thigh allows the knee to be bent backward for a wider degree as well.

All those points are made in comparison to the same components on Mark II, which immediately expose some of its weaknesses in hindsight. ^^;

As mentioned in the previous posting, some of those limitations on Mark II are perhaps set by its mechanical settings, so it would be unfair to make such direct comparisons. However, there should be ways to work around those mechanical settings to improve the playability of the action figures, since they are meant to be flexibly posable in the first place. The "hip hinges" design on War Machine is a good example of this point. They are obviously additional parts meant for War Machine as an action figure only, particularly in this Sci-fi Revoltech format, and do not exist according to the mechanical design of that Iron Man suit. If such odd additional parts can be added onto War Machine to help its posability and display, I don't see why some of articulation features noted above cannot be given to Mark II, especially when they work so well on Mark VI. ^^

Why change the winning formulas? ^^;

Despite what I said, I still like Mark II very much for its suit design. Its chest repulsor light-up gimmick is a fun feature that isn't available on Mark VI, so it's not completely bad. ^^ On the other hand, as shown in this posting, Mark VI's well designed articulation features should be a good indicator of how fun it would turn out to be in action poses. ^^

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

More action poses from Mark VI in the next posting. ^^

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