Monday, December 15, 2014

ZCGirl 1/6 Sniper Muriel Black Ver. Part 2

Messy hair business

Still focusing on the plain, straight-out-of-box form of ZCGirl's 1/6 Sniper Muriel Black Ver. after the introduction in the previous posting. ^^

There are some configuration needed to realize a fully equipped Muriel, like her box back image as shown in the previous posting, but since all those extra weapons, and option parts involed have their own gimmicks to be introduced, I'm not going to rush on that. ^^ However, there's one thing about this straight-out-of-box form of Muriel that I do want to take care of before any further introduction about her.

While the implanted fabric hair give her a very realistic look, messy hairdo as a realistic problem can give Muriel a rather poor look. ^^;

Muriel's well shaped, and nicely combed hair as shown on the box art almost seems too good to be true. ^^;

Long before deciding to review Muriel, I was reading up here and there about how to overcome messy fabric hair on 1/6 scale action figures. There were plenty of discussion on that topic on various forums after the release of Hot Toys' "The Avengers" Black Widow in February last year, since many collectors were looking for ways to realize the most movie-accurate look on their Black Widow figures. While I did gain quite a bit of insights on 1/6 scale action figure related maintenance techniques from those forum postings, I didn't manage to get an accurate solution for Muriel's hair issue. ^^; In the end, after a long period of pondering, I decided that a bit of adventuring, and experimenting is worth the risk to give Muriel a better hairdo. ^^

And what's my solution for the problem? If the fabric hair are made to give the figure a realistic look, then perhaps something we use to style our hair would work on it. ^^ Following that "wonderful" rationale, XD I got this from a local hair salon:

OSiS+ hold hairspray from Schwarzkopf Professional.
What I'm expecting the product to do for Muriel is self-explanatory in its label. ^^

"Ultra long lasting hold", "extreme control", "fast drying" are some of this hold hairspray's benefits, which sound perfect for Muriel. ^^

An ordinary comb is also prepared for the work.
I read that many collectors use metal comb specialized for 1/6 scale action figure to manage their hair, but I couldn't find that tool at all. ^^;

The head is separated from the neck joint to prepare for the styling work.

A somewhat generic ball-type joint peg for 1/6 scale action figures can be seen on top the neck joint.

The figure's body is wrapped up using plastic sheet cut from plastic bag to protect the jacket from the hairspray.

The entire face area of Muriel is covered up using plastic sheet as well, taped to her headband area.
For her unique ERT (Eye Rotation Technique) gimmick, the entire face part can actually be detached from the head, but without the complete head to serve as a "reference", it's going to be tough to determine if the combed hairdo is going to suit the figure's look, which is why I went through to trouble of masking the face instead of just removing it. ^^

Muriel is all covered up, and ready for her hair styling session. XD

With two or three bursts from the hairspray, plus many rounds of combing, a better look for Muriel's hairdo is starting to form. ^^

The different plastic sheets are removed when the look I'm most satisfied with the hairdo is achieved.
This is going to be Muriel's improved look forever now. ^^

There are a few "rogue" hair strands that refused to follow their designated flow/hairstyle no matter how much I tried to comb on them. ^^; I was seriously thinking about trimming them off with a pair of scissors, but I didn't pursue that idea any further, as my courage in experimenting with Muriel's hair just stopped at using the hairspray. XD They are there, and as annoying as they may be, they are not too obtrusive in appearance. A better look for Muriel is still possible, with further tweaking using additional tools, but I'm willing to go with the final, somewhat flawed look shown above, which is why I said "the look I'm most satisfied with" in the comment above, instead of something like the "best possible/perfect" look, because it's not. ^^;

On a separate note, with her vent yet to be equipped onto the figure, and her jacket being removable at the same time, there are plenty of chances for the hairdo to be messed up again in the future. Being cautious with the hairdo is definitely something I'll be watching out for in future postings, but I don't believe it's going to save it too much. ^^;

Another minor adjustment to Muriel in her "plain form":

(Left) The strength of the glue that kept the knee pads attached to their respective bases has diminished after all these years. The knee pads can no longer adhere to their bases after falling off the first time. ^^;
(Right) A slice of double-sided tape is used to replace the glue.

The knee pads are fixed. ^^

Introducing the main weapon assigned to Muriel: the CheyTac M200 Intervention sniper rifle. ^^

The sniper rifle came in storage mode inside the package.

Length of the rifle in storage mode: a little over 20cm.

Collapsed by default, the stock can be extended.
Also, the bolt lever can be flipped downward on the right hand side of the rifle.

A tab on the left hand side of the bolt lever keeps the latter from being hinged to the opposite side.

Inside the stock is the retracted monopod.
Connected to a movable hinge at the bottom of the stock, the monopod seems like it can be deployed, but I could not get it to come out after several attempts. ^^;

The optical sight, which is connected on top the rail, is removable.

Rear (left image), and front lens of the optical sight.
Due to their dark color, I'm not sure if they are made of clear parts, or just realized via a layer of glossy clear coat. ^^;

The carrying handle can be rotated (only) to the left hand side of the weapon.

Much like bolt lever shown earlier on, there's a square section beneath the rifle's forearm that the carrying handle's base tabs into, which prevents the handle from being hinged to the opposite side of the rifle.

The supporting bipod can be deployed.
Besides the stable support when they are deployed, the joints are very tight in keeping the legs in place when the bipod is retracted.

The barrel tube with the muzzle break can be detached.
In this default, plain form, the detachment doesn't seem to of any use, but its design will make more sense when one of weapon option parts is introduced, in another posting. ^^

The removed barrel tube.

Tiny rings on the bottom left side of the stock, and behind the carrying handle are meant for a rifle sling to be attached to the weapon I suppose, even though that's not included in this figure set. ^^;

Length of the rifle with the stock extended: 23cm.

More images of a fully deployed CheyTac M200 Intervention:

Closeups on the details:

And this is how the actual weapon looks like:

Images are from Military-Today.

How well the actual rifle's design, down to its niche details are replicated on the 1/6 scale figure is both amazing, and frightening. ^^

Muriel only comes with a pair of gloved hand units, which can be used to show her using, or carrying the sniper rifle.

Right trigger-type hand unit to hold the main handle.

Left open fist to carry the rifle using the weapon's carrying handle.

Equipped with the sniper rifle, a very basic standing pose would be very good for Muriel to show off her beauty, but still make a clear point that she's a military figure. ^^

Soul Stage Act 5 Action Support Type for Mechanics Clear Ver is used to provide some extra stability to Muriel's stance, but as you can see, even with its display stand completely straightened, the stand is just tall enough to reach Muriel's waist. ^^ Due to its scale, that height display is not exactly special, but it's definitely noteworthy when it was just a couple of days ago that the review on Garo Kiwami Damashii Kiba was completed. ^^ The stark size and height difference between the two is especially refreshing to me. ^^

Closeups on the details:



[Sniper rifle]



The jacket, especially its hood is the main "culprit" behind Muriel's bad hairdo in the first place. ^^; Besides pulling down the jacket's zip to about her chest level to free up more space for the neck area, the jacket itself has to be pulled downward to give it a tighter fit to the figure's body. It's a bit troublesome, but the work involved also gives the figure an added sense of realism, and that's certainly a huge attraction of 1/6 scale action figures. ^^ Anyway, with the jacket adjusted, more of Muriel's head can be displayed, in a much clearer fashion as well, which is really nice. ^^ As mentioned in the previous posting, Muriel herself is a very beautiful figure, and I believe that beauty can be more clearly appreciated now, with her hair properly sorted. ^^

By the way, I forgot to tell you this, but perhaps you noticed it already: while Muriel get to show off the sniper rifle, it's not ready for combat - there's no magazine. XD

A look at most of Muriel's accessories, and option parts in the next posting. ^^

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