White Glint & V.O.B Set Movie Color Version
Review by VF5SS
Among many mecha games, none have made as big a splash like Armored Core. By giving players the ability to completely customize their titular Armored Cores (ACs) in everything from the weapons they carried down to the color of the tiniest detail, Armored Core has become one of the longest running game series with over a dozen titles. However, even within this very player-centric universe there has always existed "that guy from the opening." As the game series went, these short-lived stars would leap out of their pre-rendered intros and into the game's plot. In Armored Core: For Answer, "that guy" is the masterpiece AC known as White Glint.
Mechanical designer Shoji Kawamori illustrated all of the AC parts for the earliest entries in the game series. After Armored Core 2, he was replaced with various in-house designers at From Software. As a tribute to the original game, Kawamori was asked to design the flagship AC for the Armored Core: For Answer. Drawing on his various Macross designs as well as the machines from Armored Core 2, Kawamori created a distinctly styled and amazingly sleek machine that burst onto the scene as a "one-of-a-kind" AC.
Thanks to our friends at Kotobukiya for providing this kit.
Now before I get into this review, I want to stress that even after having built close to 40 model kits of various types that I am still an amateur. This is a straight build of the kit with very little glue used and no paint. Fortunately, White Glint is a pleasantly straight-forward kit with no confusing or frustrating bits. I finished the AC itself in about a week with the Vanguard Overed Boost taking an additional two days. If there is one thing that may frustrate the detail oriented modeler it's that Kotobukiya kits tend to arrange entirely new parts trees if a section of the model needs to be recolored or retooled. Unlike Bandai kits, there is no System Injection to cut down on the number of runners so there is a small amount of unused parts in this release of White Glint.
And now here's a quick overview of my experience building the White Glint.
Every good robot starts with a great pair of legs.
"Your arm's off!" "No it's not!"
The completed White Glint stands around seven inches tall. All of its parts are sharply molded with lots of fine detail throughout. The majority of this model is made from white plastic with a special pearly luster.
On the back, White Glint is loaded with its signature boosters, which can displayed all folded up...
...or fully exposed. Note I haven't added the 14(!) small booster cones to the shoulder engines yet.
White Glint is a sharp design, quite literally. For instance that stabilizer on the forehead is pointy enough to draw blood. Additionally, there are a few options available for the visor. There is one clear blue visor, one clear, and one done in gray plastic to allow many different avenues of customization.
The arms are capable of supporting optional parts from the other Kotobukiya kits.
The legs feature movable fins and pistons.
White Glint comes with its signature 051ANNR Rifle, considered to be a masterpiece weapon by the game.
It also comes with the 063ANAR Rifle, which is a more conventional design that features a removable magazine.
Also included as an optional hand weapon is the 04-MARVE assault rifle.
To round out its araments, the kit comes with a pair of SALINE05 split missile launchers. Each has an opening hatch.
White Glint also comes with a pre-painted display base which is made of three hexagon-shaped parts. The pieces can be locked together in any desired configuration but this way works the best.
White Glint features a good amount of articulation and its joints are tight and relatively unimpeded.
The display base can attach to the figure via a polycap on the underside of White Glint's groin.
The figure uses a combination of over a dozen optional vent pieces and a few pull out parts to replicate the AC's "Assault Armor" mode as seen in the opening.
Transformation and model kits has always been like two star-crossed lovers who tend to only shine under the light of a half-eyed moon. This kit is no different. At best I can describe the transformation as being doable, but tedious. Unfortunately I had to disassemble the chest area just to get it to collapse correctly.
White Glint does make a pretty majestic...uh, flying thing.
The 14 little shoulder booster cones complete the look of this mode.
While the main White Glint kit is not exceptionally difficult, the Vanguard Overed Boost (V.O.B.) ups the levels of frustration. Between the numerous plastic tubes that poke out of the main booster (one of which refused to stay on even with glue) and the 14 small lengths of plastic piping that has to be run in and out between caps on the shoulder boosters, you're in for a massive test of patience. On the plus side, the V.O.B. is compatible with several of the Armored Core: Next Series Kotobukiya kits.
While White Glint complete with the V.O.B. make for an impressive display piece, this is where the playability of the model plummets to near zero. There has always been a necessary tug-of-war between articulation and detail. On its own, White Glint is a very satisfying build with very little frustration along the way. The V.O.B. is a nice extra, but I must acknowledge it is for the truly detail obsessed and not a modeling novice such as myself. Overall, I found this set to be a very enjoyable kit that managed to reawaken the unforgettable tactile sensations of snapping little plastic bits together. Both White Glint and the V.O.B. are available separately so you may buy the most appealing this you see here.
|Posted 1 August, 2010 - 14:25 by VF5SS|