From one transformable jet figure to a transformable jet model kit, ^^ I'm starting on a new plamo project, one that is from Kotobukiya this time. ^^
SRW OG 1/144 ART-1
Production company: Kotobukiya
Release date: July 2009
Price: 4,800 Yen (exclusive of tax).
Released in July 2009, this is 1/144 scale ART-1 from Kotobukiya's Super Robot Wars OG Original Generations series. It's not the first kit from that line that I got, but it seems like an interesting kit to be added onto my current plamo project list. ^^
Despite the lack of new releases at the moment, Kotobukiya's SRW OG series always seems interesting to me. Part of it is due to the mecha design of the model kits themselves. ^^ Even though I don't have a gaming console to play any of the SRW titles, they do feature many awesome mecha designs that I like very much. As a matter of fact, I get to know many of them through images shown in various hobby magazines, and random images posted on the Internet long before seeing some of them in action through the franchise's anime series and OVAs. ^^ Despite not knowing their origin, backstory, and even their exact names at that point, Alteisen, Cybuster, Valsion, Ryukooh, Koryuoh are some of my favorites because of their great designs. However, as their exact details tend to be sketchy in 2D format, it was really images of the completed model kits from this Kotobukiya series that let me learned more about some of the SRW mecha I like. ^^
Another reason for my interest in Kotobukiya's SRW OG series is the design of the model kits. ^^ Consistent with other series like Armored Core and Zoids HMM, the unique mecha selection, detailed color separation, inclusion of pre-painted parts, and other factors for the releases in the SRW OG line really fascinate me. ^^ With growing number of model kits from the company in my collection over the years, those aforementioned factors are not exactly new to me now, but there's still that "uniquely Kotobukiya" treatment in their model kits, often strange but enticing in a way (to me), that prompts me to get some of the kits. ^^ That special "feature" is especially obvious when compared to Bandai's Gunpla series that I'm more familiar with. Looking at the part distribution, and color separation of some of Kotobukiya's kits, I would imagine Bandai's approach if the company was in charge of developing them, based on my observation on releases from the latter at about the same time, and then often wonder why Kotobukiya would do what they did with those kits. XD
Such comparison is almost unavoidable for this SRW OG line I suppose, since many of the mecha are Gundam-esque in appearance. ^^ ART-1 for example, which has a slimmer body proportion, sharper look, darker color scheme, plus a more Gundam-like face design when compared to R-1, looks almost like the Titans' version of Delta Plus from "Gundam UC" in my opinion. ^^ I used to see it as the Titans' version of R-1 merely because of its colors, back when there was little to no information about the MS design from "Gundam UC". When Delta Plus was revealed, I almost wanted to call it an ART-1 with the head of Hyaku Shiki because of their similarities in appearance. XD
Comparison between ART-1 and Delta Plus (novel version).
Images are from MAHQ: ART-1, Delta Plus (novel version).
Then again, it's not the Gundam connection that made me decide to get this kit in the first place. My favorite feature about ART-1, which was executed well on this 1/144 scale plamo is its color scheme. The contrast between dark blue as the primary color of the entire mecha, with yellow vents, and white stripes is very beautiful. In "standard" Kotobukiya treatment, almost all the colors are beautifully realized, and through separate parts as well, giving the kit a high part count that can be considered an attraction as well. ^^ The most notable separate part given to realize the accurate color of ART-1 on the model is the shield's pattern. ^^ It would probably be from a few pieces of foil stickers if Bandai produced this kit (my speculation ^^;), but it's an intricately molded part instead. ^^ The assembly process involving parts with so many different colors is going to be extremely fun no doubt. ^^
And of course, its transformation gimmick too no doubt. ^^
Side views of the model kit box.
Introduction of the kit on the sides of box.
Factory production code (?) printed inside the box.
Introduction of the mecha, and its pilot in the instruction manual.
Part-swapping design for the transformation.
A look at the runners' design:
Runner A - Contains all blue parts mainly for the head, body, skirt and shoulder armors.
Pre-painted white patches on the skirt and shoulder armor parts.
(Left) Pre-painted eyes on one of the face parts.
(Right) One of the main parts that forms the replacement component for the flight mode's body.
(Left) One-piece parts for HG Revolvers' mount racks.
(Right) The fins on either side of the helmet have edges that need to be painted white.
The rear part of the shoulder armor require dark blue, and white paint work to realize its stripes.
Runner B - Contains all blue parts mainly for the wings, and weapons.
(Left) A large part with sharp tip for the shield.
(Right) Nicely molded parts for the shield's dorsal fins.
(Left) Sharp tips on the wing cover parts.
(Right) One-piece part for the tip of the tail.
Runner C (two pieces) - Contains all blue parts mainly for the upper arms, legs, and wings.
(Left) Sharp tips on the wing part.
(Right) Intricately molded cut areas on the legs' armors to integrate with the yellow vent parts.
Pre-painted white patched on the knee parts.
Runner D - Contains all navy blue parts mainly for the body, and weapons.
Excluding the display base, the shield part on this runner is the largest part in this kit. The tampo printed marking on the part is very accurate.
(Left) Another large part that forms the replacement component for the flight mode's body.
(Right) Nicely molded parts for the wrists.
Runner E (two pieces) - Contains all dark gray parts for the feet.
Two different parts for the front sole, one for the robot mode, while the other is for the flight mode. The molded details are pretty simple on the parts.
Runner F - Contains all gray parts mainly for the hand units, and body.
(Left) Very polygonal-looking fingers on the spread palms. ^^;
(Right) A very interestingly molded part that incorporated the waist with mount racks for the wings.
A large part for the shield.
Runner G (two pieces) - Contains all gray parts mainly for the feet in either mode.
Runner H - ABS runner that contains parts for the replacement component on the flight mode, and joints for various movable components.
(Left) Large parts that forms the replacement component for the flight mode's body.
(Right) Various parts with joints of peg-type, ball-type, and combination of both.
Runner I (two pieces) - ABS runner that contains more joint parts, mainly for the arms, and legs.
Runner J - Contains all yellow parts for various vents, and other yellow details on the kit.
(Left) Large plates for the top of the shoulder armors.
(Right) Some of these vent parts are the smallest in this kit.
Runner K - Contains all white parts for the stripes on the body, legs, shoulder armors, and shield.
A marvelous one-piece part that forms the stripe detail on the shield. ^^
Runner L - Contains all gray dark parts for the Boosted Rifle.
The rifle part is 13cm in length. ^^
Runner M (two pieces) - Contains all light gray parts for ART-1's other weapons.
Nicely molded one-piece parts for the Chainsaw Tonfa and Cold Metal Blade.
Elaborate molded details on the HG Revolver parts.
Runner O - Contains just two parts to form a display base for ART-1.
(Left) Size of the base: 11.5cm in length, 8cm in width.
(Right) Tampo printed markings on the part showing the mecha's and series's name.
A polycap runner.
All removed parts are organized and stored in individual paper containers.
A very rough test fitting of the shield parts to have a look at the white stripe on the navy blue base.
The beauty of the details, and the accuracy in the parts' production is quite amazing. ^^
The forehead part of the helmet has undergate design to eliminate the presence of nub mark when the part is removed.
Unfortunately, I didn't take a good look at other parts to see if they have this part design feature as well. ^^;
Will start painting and detailing certain selected parts from the kit in the next posting. ^^