Monday, October 12, 2015

Play Arts Kai Gabranth Part 3

Deceptively flexible

An introduction of Play Arts Kai Gabranth's articulation design after a "surprise" visit to the Sunday Movie Theater yesterday and Part 2 of this review series. ^^

Using the double-pointed ball-type neck joint, the head can be tilted forward/backward for a wide range.

The double-pointed ball-type neck joint mentioned above.

Not surprisingly, the head's side to side swivel is obstructed by the fixed collar, technically the top part of the cape.

The head can still be bent from side to side, but to do so, it needs to be adjusted high to stay away from the cape first.

Very limited lift for the arm from the side of the body is another limitation in articulation I could see miles away before testing for it on the actual figure.

Again, the cape has a role to play in the above limitation - its collision with the shoulder armor poses severe limitation on the shoulder bend.

Swinging the shoulder around definitely lifts the arm, but now the shoulder armor is hitting the armpit and the limitation persists, in an upside-down position. XD

From the above, swinging the shoulder forward/backward is easy for Gabranth.

The shoulder armor itself can be tilted independently of the upper arm for a slight degree.

The shoulder armor is detached from the upper arm to reveal its ball-type joint, which is designed to be right on top the shoulder hinge.

Not surprisingly, with the shoulder armor removed, the range for the arm's lift from the side of the body is improved significantly.

The shoulders can be expanded forward for about 45 degrees.

The shoulder joint's expansion is pretty much the same as the feature on Play Arts Kai Cammy, but not as flexible. Then again, as the shoulder block is black, coupled with assistance from the cape to reduce its appearance, it doesn't look as obvious and awkward when deployed.

The bicep and forearm can be swivelled independently of their respective joints.

The couters (elbow armors) and wrist pad can also be swivelled independently of the joints they are attached to (elbow and wrist respectively).

Slightly over 90 degrees for the elbow bend.

Standard swivel and hinge movement for the hand units.

Side-to-side and forward/backward bends are possible for the body.

Thanks to the separate ball-type joints inside the figure's abdomen and waist, Gabranth can be flexed to either side of the body.

The placard (waist area of the body armor) and belt are designed to be separated from the overall armor to prevent any obstruction on the body's movements.

A small section of the belt is fixed to the waist on the back, which is enough to maintain its position on the figure in normal poses.

The cape is made of soft plastic and can be lifted rather easily. Its heft requires support from a stand for the cape's dynamic pose to be sustained.

Simple ball-type joint for the hips.

Standard but still pretty impressive range for the legs' horizontal expansion.

In comparison, the legs' wide degree of forward/backward swings is much more impressive.

About 90 degrees for the knee bend.

Standard double-hinge knee joint.

Like the shoulder armor, the large armor part on the thigh can be tilted independently of the component it's on, but its articulation seems inconsequential to the leg's overall articulation.

Standard swivel and hinge movement for the foot.

With all of its flexible joints, a very natural-looking kneeling pose is possible for Gabranth despite its heavy-armored appearance. ^^

The cape works as an extra support for the figure from behind.

I was ready to accept that Gabranth may not be as good as other action figures in the posability department due to its size, weight and armor-clad design, but it seems that the designers did put a lot of thought into the figure's design to address the aforelisted factors in relation to its posability. The couters being separate parts are a good design point that allows them to be adjusted to not obstruct the elbow movement. The same can be said about the soft plastic placard - its soft material and separation from the main armor help to minimize its obstruction to the hip movement.

The articulation is not perfect - there are many components with low movement range as seen from the introduction earlier on, but it's certain interesting to see some of the clever part designs implemented to give Gabranth the ability to do more than just one or two poses. ^^

Some of the heavy-duty joints are designed to be tighter and sturdier to support Gabranth's weight. The shoulder joints are tight, despite them being ball-type joints to help sustain the figure's weapon poses; the knees' and ankles' hinge joints have ratcheting points that provide strong support to the legs and upper body. The cape sort-of provides a little cheat in support (XD) when it's touching the surface, but even when it's not, like the plain standing pose shown in the previous posting, the knee and ankle joints are more than capable of holding their own in supporting the figure. ^^

Some action poses from Gabranth to demonstrate its articulation design:

More action poses from this Play Arts Kai action figure coming up in the next posting. ^^

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