Virtual On Raiden II
Review by The Enthusiast
The enduring popularity of Virtual On is a testament to the exceptional mechanical design work of Hajime Katoki. Fifteen years on, the mecha from Sega’s arcade and console hit Cyber Troopers Virtual On remain fresh and compelling.
One of the principal Virtuoids is Raiden, here realized as a high-end model kit by Kotobukiya. Raiden’s box is impressively large and well illustrated, with a handsome rendering on the front and details of the model and videogame screenshots on the sides.
Inside rests about thirty runners of parts, an instruction booklet, and a small sheet of water-slide decals.
The build is complex and time consuming (it took me around ten hours to complete). Kotobukiya’s signature laminations of sharply detailed parts creates a rich, layered series of components. The part count and construction process is roughly equal to Bandai’s Master Grade series. Kotobukiya mostly holds its own with MG models, but I found the sprue placement to be problematic. Whereas Bandai has honed its molding technique to incorporate conical sprues in discreet locations, this model uses big, fat sprues in highly visible places. As a moderately serious modeler, I’m distracted by the sprue bruises in the final product, and not willing to go the next step to sand, putty, and paint the model to take it to the next level.
That said, the finished product is a nice looking robot. Raiden is well articulated, considering his blocky, heavily armored design.
The laminations of different colored plastics are stunning, particularly in Raiden’s feet. I appreciate the sophistication of a part of the model you’ll rarely see.
I love that the Virtuoids have Sega Dreamcasts on their backs.
The palette of colors is attractive, and you won’t need to paint this to get a good looking piece. I like the use of the clear pink parts at the vents. I used a gundam marker to pick up a few panel lines and added some of the slide decals to finish it off.
Kotubikaya provides parts to make two sets of hands, a large bazooka, and a set of claw-like chest-mounted lasers.
The chest lasers are a neat touch, with unique criss-crossed transparent parts.
The gun is plain, and its construction is sloppy and easily falls apart.
Raiden is a fun build and a fine model. It’s not a toy by any means, but if you enjoy Virtual On and building models, he’s a great addition to your collection.
|Posted 7 November, 2009 - 17:03 by The Enthusiast|