Review by Anavel
When you think of injection plastic model kits one name is the first to probably come to mind. This company is Bandai, whose long history of injection plastic model kits began with the original Gundam series in 1979. Bandai's years of experience make their products a tough act to beat. If anybody has the potential to top Bandai, it's Kotobukiya
Kotobukiya, a long time producer of resin and vinyl kits has branched into injection plastic kits in the last few years. From their first plastic kit in 2003 Kotobukiya has made steady improvement in the quality of their kits, the quality of their recent 1:100 Alteisen being no exception.
Kotobukiya has produced several Super Robot Wars kits in the 1:144 scale in the past. The Alteisen is their second entry into their "EO-Tech" line of 1:100 scale kits. A third entry (R-1) is planned to be released later this year.
A large 16X13X4.5 box should give you and idea of the size and number of parts that make up this kit. (Glyos included for scale)
The various runners of parts still bagged. A total of 23 runners molded in various colors, polystyrene and abs plastic.
This kit is big and has a very high parts count. There is no inner frame, but almost no painting is required, and every detail is molded in its own part. No glue is required and the kit can be built entirely snap fit. Most parts go together well, a few pieces were a tad difficult to assemble, and in a few circumstances I noticed minor stress marks adjacent to a peg and hole joint.
I have built a few Kotobukiya kits in the last couple of years and two things that have always bugged me are their choices in seam and sprue placement. This kit is very good, and a vast improvement over their older kits. Most sprue marks are concealed or located in non visible areas. There still remain a good number that are in exposed areas. If you are good at removing these marks or plan on painting the kit, there should not be a problem. They clean up well, but there were a couple spots where the parts had already been broken off in the packaging. Because of the stress in the joint, the plastic turns white, and usually makes its way down below the finish surface of the piece, making it impossible to fully remove without the use of paint.
The only two areas with what I would call poor seam placement are the lower and upper arms, but the parts line up quite well, and the seam is nowhere near as visible as many I have encountered in the past.
Features + Accessories
Kotobukiya has been making figures (both pre-painted and kits) for a long time. Both their EO-Tech kits released so far have included fixed posed, pre-painted figures of the mecha's pilot. Here you can see Kyosuke Nanbu, pilot of the Alteisen. The figure comes with a stand, sculpt and paint quality are very good.
A first for Kotobukiya, they have included a light up gimmick with this kit. A single LED in the head lights up the eyes and heat horn. The horn is can be swapped from a solid red part to a translucent red one. Wires run down the neck into the torso. From there the connection is made to the backpack where two LR44 batteries are held. The backpack itself acts as the switch, pressing it towards the body turns the led on, and pulling it away turns it off. As for the batteries, unfortunately they are not included, and if you venture to your local three letter pharmacy they will cost you a painful five dollars a piece.
As far as other gimmicks go, the heavy claymore launchers on the shoulders can be opened, and the cylinder for the revolver stake can be swung out. The outer cockpit hatch can also be opened, to reveal another non-opening hatch underneath.
There are no hand held weapons for the Alteisen. Aside from the mecha itself, you are left with an additional heat horn, two fixed posed closed fists, and two poseable hands.
This kit is very well articulated. While not up to current Bandai standards, it has plenty of joints to get the job done. Elbows and knees are double jointed, ankles and shoulders have five degrees of freedom. Head, waist and hips are ball jointed. Skirt armor moves, as well as the armor in front of the feet.
Preparing to reload, would have been nice if they included a speed loader.
Balance is quite good with plenty of joints to accommodate a large variety of poses. Hips can also swing forward to allow for a wider front to back stance.
Overall this is a very good kit. I highly recommend it to any fan of the design. Easily the best SRW kit released by Kotobukiya so far. Hopefully they continue to improve sprue and seam placement issues. Personally I could have done without the LED gimmick, if it would have brought the price down somewhat.
Kotobukiya kits typically run more than Bandai's, they simply do not have the infrastructure from 30 years of experience put in place, and I highly doubt Kotobukiya's SRW kits sell nearly as much as Bandai's trusty Gundam.
Once again, I highly recommend this kit and look forward to the next two EO-Tech kits, R-1 and Wildwurger
|Posted 2 September, 2008 - 09:16 by Anavel