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Friday, March 2, 2018

[REVIEW] TT Hongli MG Char's Zaku II ver. 2.0 review

I've finally finished building the TT Hongli MG Chars' Zaku 2. 

Building wise, one of the most obvious issue with this kit is the fitting of the parts. Most pegs need some force required to fit parts together.

For accessories, it has the standard issue equipment same as some of the other Zaku variants. It has the rifle, bazooka and the heat ax. It also has a mobile lift that you can use along with the pilot figure. I believe only this kit has this piece.

The biggest issue I experienced with this kit was the pipes that ran through the body. They just won't stay put in the connectors so I had to put some glue to secure them.

And here it is side by side with the Daban MG RX78-2 ver.3.0.

Since the Bandai version isn't that expensive, it's far better to get the Bandai kit instead. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

[WIP] DM MG Exia(Repairs) WIP 2

With the release of the PG Exia, I knew I had to update this project just before finishing it. On the last update I just finished lighting up all the GN condensers. But the PG Exia also lit up its GN cables. Plus the PG Exia has a new lighting system that uses RGB LEDs. 

Since I'm already half-way through my MG Exia project, I decided to light up the GN cables too.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to take much WIP pics. But this additional mods still do follow the same techniques I used for the other parts of the kit.

I have to admit I was in a bit of a rush to finish this part. It's just that I didn't have enough time to plan the mods properly and it's already taken far too long since I last worked on this and there's already a bit of backlog for the other projects that need attention.

One thing that I'm trying to implement in my projects is the use of a usb phone charger as a power supply to my kits. 

Now all that's left for this project is some panel lining and it's good as finished.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

[REVIEW] Daban MG RX78-2 ver. 3.0 review

I just finished building most of this kit. So here's a bit of mini review for this. I'll just talk about my build experience with this kit for now. 

The kit looks really good overall. I guess I got lucky since my kit didn't have any defect unlike some that I've seen around my gunpla groups. There were others that had defects like parts not fully molded. 

Snap building the kit required a bit more strength since pegs are a little too tight. This is something fixable if you can spend more time on the kit. 

Upon closer inspection, this is where the imperfections and issues become more noticeable. One of the issues that stand out for me are the uneven panels. The MG RX78-2 ver. 3.0 is known for having too many pieces on the armor parts for color separation. The Bandai kit doesn't have problems with this since the pieces are supposed to line up and level with each other. 

The issue with the Daban kit is most likely due to the manufacturing process where pieces aren't molded as well as they should be. Hence those hairline gaps between parts. Also due to the quality of the manufacturing process was the tight pegs that either require more force to fit or actually prevent parts from fully snapping together.  One example would be the pic of the knee armors directly above. The upper knee pieces should fit flushed with the other knee parts but they can only go so far. It's the kind of things I notice since I already have experienced building the Bandai kit.

The knees and elbow joints are extremely stiff. When I got this kit, my 1st worry was the arm construction. The kit's arm construction is a bit complicated and hard even on the Bandai kit. Extra care should be taken in building the arm on the Daban kit and make sure that parts fit together before fully assembling so you don't break any part. 

Another selling point of the 3.0 kit is the sliding panels. Though the fitting issue in this kit can be considered minor, it does affect the sliding panel gimmick in most areas, specially in the leg and arm parts. The panels on the Daban kit barely move though it doesn't affect articulation. And since the joints are stiff, care should be taken in moving them so as not to break any part of pop off any piece.

Also take note of the Daban kit's leg joint. Specifically the rectangle armor piece behind the knee. The knee joints are hard to put together due to the tight pegs so it'll be hard to fit everything together. The rectangle armor piece behind the knee tends to keep popping off whenever the knee joint is moved. This can be fixed easily by taking time to fit the knee pieces well or by gluing that piece.

Daban's articulated hands are also hard to build. I actually broke one of the fingers. I prefer Dragon Momoko's version if not Bandai's. Daban's articulated hands joints are still too stiff and brittle, there's also a lot of flashes that sometimes gets stuck to the joints that cause them to break when moved.

Considering the price of this kit, it's hard to expect that this won't have any issues. Good thing that the issues I've encountered with this kit can easily be fixed of one takes his/her time assembling this kit. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

[REVIEW] TT Hongli MG Char's Zaku II ver. 2.0 unboxing

Here's an unboxing review of the TTH MG Char's Zaku II 2.0 kit.

I have built a Bandai MG Zaku II before so I believe that I can review this kit objectively. 

The earliest record about this kit that I can find in the internet is around 2011 so I'm going to assume this kit came out around that time.

Aside from the obvious test changes. The box design is a direct copy of the Bandai kit.

The manual is also copied from the Bandai kit with most of the test changed to Chinese(?) and "Engrish". At least the manual is printed clearly so it's still easy to follow.

Again, runner designs and layout are same with the Bandai kit. After checking the runners, luckily, all the parts are completely molded. Initial inspection of the runners will show the quality of this kit. And considering this to be an old bootleg kit, quality is quite bad. 

I don't know if it's just because this kit is an old stock or if this is actually the quality of the TTHongli molds or both. But there are quite a few noticeable issues right out of the box.

Small pieces are badly molded, as seen from the pilot figures. But most of the details in the frame pieces look better. 

Details and panel lines on the armor parts are good enough though they are a bit shallow. Also most parts specially the armor pieces have a rough, almost scratched texture. 

So far most of the issues I've seen are cosmetic and I'm hoping this will affect build quality as minimal as possible.

The kit also comes with 1 sheet each of clear stickers and dry transfer decals. Due to the are of this kit. I'm not sure if the dry transfers are still usable.

Comparing this to the Bandai kit will show the obvious gap in quality between the kits compared to the recent bootleg kits. Based on my research, the Bandai MG Zaku II 2.0 is one of the best engineered kits of it's time. I believe it even rivals recent kits in terms of the amount of inner frame details and range of articulation. 

As of this writing, this kits costs 1/3 the Bandai kits' price. 


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