Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lightning Base Plate Type Green Ver.

Green lightning, not lighting

Back to a bit of Gunpla (sort of) after having fun with Lego bricks. ^^ Next up on the review is an accessories for Gunpla (and other models and figures): Lightning Base Plate Type Green Ver.

Not a new item anymore, this display base was announced almost three years back at the 49th All Japan Plamodel Radicon Show. While it's primarily a standing base - no display stand included, it's still part of the Action Base series, where it's compatible with other display base from Bandai.

What's special about this display base series is its lighting function. Powered by batteries (not included), there are LEDs beneath the clear round plate on the base that would light up to shine on the model standing on top of it. Speaking of the word "lighting", I'm not sure if the folks at Bandai were thinking of naming this series as "Lighting Base", which is a no-brainer but rather appropriate name; or were they really intended the name "Lightning Base" to be used for dramatic purpose instead. ^^; The light emitted from the LEDs beneath the base don't look like lightning at all to me. ^^;

No kidding, it's "Lightning" everywhere on the box. ^^

It's pretty much the same case as 1/60 scale Strike Freedom Gundam (Lightning Edition) that was released in 2005. I see no lightning on that model either. ^^;

Anyway, small matter with the name really. They can call it anything they want, it's still a standing base that lights up to me. XD The first three colors announced, also the only three of the series thus far are green, red and blue.

Personally, I didn't bother about getting this base at all when it was first announced. I always put my models back into their boxes after assembling them, so the function I wanted the most on my display base is the stand and its flexibility in supporting the kit's action poses for that very limited time I play with them, so a display base that only allows model kits to stand on it is out of my list. I had a bit of obsession for lighting gimmick on model kits not too long ago, so I decided to get one to see how the base work. I picked green as it's the more cool-looking color among the three. ^^

The model used to demonstrate the base on the box art is Gundam RX-78-2, as usual. ^^ This is the HG 1/144 Ver. G30th release, which was released in July 2009. It was the "latest" Gunpla version of RX-78-2 at that time when the base came out (December).

Like I said just now, it's "Lightning" everywhere on the box. ^^

Introduction of the base, instruction on how to apply the batteries and use the connector part, and its compatibility with other display bases are shown on the back of the box.

Box open.

Everything is in one sealed plastic package and no assembly of anything is required. That's quite rare for something from Bandai Hobby Division. ^^

Product serial code printed inside the box.

The display base itself.

The base's size: approximately 15cm by 15cm.

Size comparison with Action Base 1 and 2.

As it turns out, the base is exactly the same size and cut design as that from Action Base 1. ^^
It would be a crime if both bases are not compatible with each other XD

The cell pattern of the base.
The "tiles" are molded beneath the clear plate, as its top side is as smooth as a mirror.

The alignment of the cells in view can be altered by rotating the round plate.
The rotation isn't part of the battery-powered gimmick though.

The switch to turn on the light.

The base's bottom side.

One connector part is included, with a dedicated slot conveniently designed to store it when it's not in use.

The smaller square base from Action Base 1 can be connected to Lightning base directly.

As seen earlier on where the design of the octagonal corners are a completed match between the two bases, Action Base 1 is perfectly compatible with Lightning Base. ^^

An alternate configuration of the two bases.
Imagine how the honeycomb of bases that can be found from more Action Base 1s and Lightning Bases.

Without the smaller square base of Action Base 1, the two larger bases can be joined using the connector part shown earlier on.

A more compact combined bases.
This would be how more Lightning Bases link with one another no doubt.

Three AAA batteries are required for the lighting (or should I say Lightning XD) gimmick to work.

Lightning Base activated. ^^

A bit of embossment effect for the cells when they are shone by the LED lights.

By rotating the round base, more/less light is permitted to go through the rows of cells, which in turn alters the forms of lighting display on the base. ^^
Simple, but pretty effective I would say. ^^

Done with the introduction of the base and its features, let's see how well it is as a display base. ^^

Gundam RX-78-2 is a compulsory pick for the start. ^^
I haven't assemble my HG 1/144 Ver. G30th, so there's no way for me to replicate that box art image. This HGUC version will do for the moment ^^;

With MG Impulse Gundam.
While the base seems pretty appropriate for a regular size MG kit to stand on, the light emitted doesn't get shone on the model as much as the effect on a 1/144 scale kit. ^^;

Green light is very appropriate to compliment Celestial Beings Gundam kits like 1/100 Gundam Exia I suppose. ^^

Not enough space for a 1/100 scale Gunpla to show any decent action pose without going off the base' edges. ^^;

Action Base 1's square base and 2's display stand to show HG 1/144 00 Raiser in this flight mode. ^^

Given the smaller size of the kit, plus shorter vertical distance between the model and the base, a large amount of green light can be shone onto the model. ^^

With a display stand, the size of the base no longer poses any restriction, but the model still needs to be kept close to the base for the best lighting effect to be observed. ^^

With BB Senshi Destiny Gundam.
Maybe red would be a better color to compliment this kit? ^^;

Trying out the base with non-Gunpla collectibles:

With Figma Meiya Mitsurugi.

With Revoltech Arbalest.

With Figma Drossel.

With Nendoroid Tsuruya-san.

Somehow with Nendoroid Tsuruya-san, the base's green light seems to be generating an eerie aura that compliments the character's wicked smile very well. XD It's a function never thought of by the base's designer I believe. ^^;

Overall, this is a pretty cool display base, as the green lighting effect is certainly beautiful in complimenting the display of Gunpla kits. Then again, it's a bit low on practicality in my opinion. ^^; I do not see anyone having the light turned on all the time just for one Gunpla kit per base. Think about the batteries needed for such continuous display. Also, the light doesn't look that awesome after a while. ^^; For photography effect and a short period of display time right after a particular kit is built, or for commercial use by hobby stores to highlight latest kits, it's great, otherwise, the green lighting effect might start to look a bit plain. ^^; The feature of changing the cells' alignment for alternate lighting effect is not helping much either, since there's no dramatic effect to be configured anyway. It's like a television with limited channels to watch. No matter how you press the remote controller, the number of channels is still the same.

In conclusion, this Lightning Base is pretty good for its lighting gimmick, but for a green display base that can be used over an extended period of time with no battery needed, plus the ability to support the model's action poses off the surface, I'd go with Action Base 1 Sparkle Green Ver. ^^ I have one of that yet to be assembled. ^^;

And it's half the price of this Lightning Base too. ^^

View full gallery:
Lightning Base Plate Type Green Ver.

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