Su-37UB Terminator Scarlet Twin
Review by VF5SS
The Muv Luv Alternative franchise continues to soldier on against man-eating aliens (and shoestring budgets) with a 26 episode anime series based off the combination visual novel/ manga/ light novel spin-off called Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. This particular entry revolves around a group of attractive young anime men and women who are testing the next generation of Tactical Surface Fighters (TSF) and associated weapons to combat the indefatigable enemy known as the BETA (Beings of ExtTraterrestrial origin who are Adversary of mankind). In a world where high-flying aircraft are quickly decimated by aliens with laser spewing eyeballs, the TSFs have taken the place conventional combat aircraft in an alternative history scenario. Other aspects of Muv Luv's universe include the continued existence of both the Soviet Union and Imperial Japan because both of those things are just so handy in a science fiction universe.
The Su-37UB Terminator (on the left) is the current top-of-the-line TSF employed by the Soviet Union. It is one and a half generations ahead of the MiG-21 Balalaika (on the right) and appears much more sleek and aerodynamic than its forebear. This particular Su-37UB is piloted by a pair of mysterious young Russians who seem to share a bond that goes beyond words.
The Su-37UB's main pilot, Cryska Barchenowa, has a face that echoes the solidarity of Mother Russia.
As I mentioned in my review of the Muv Luv Alternative MiG-21 Balalaika, I feel that the Revoltech toy line is perfectly suited for making action figures of the Tactical Surface Fighters. Their straightforward design sense and emphasis on functionality over elaborate gimmicks means little is lost in the translation to a physical object. Like any good robot show, the Total Eclipse anime convinced me to get another TSF Revoltech figure. The Su-37UB Terminator initially caught my eye with its dynamic scene in the show's opening (which might be a little too lewd for CollectionDX), so I decided to purchase that one.
One aspect to Muv Luv that continues to tickle my fancy, is how most of the Tactical Surface Fighters are real life fighter jets re-imagined as 18 meter tall robots. The actual Su-37 is a one-off prototype converted from the Russian Sukhoi Su-35. Numerous details of the real Su-37 have been incorporated into the design of the Muv Luv machine. One obvious example is how the Su-37UB shares the same style of camouflage as many Russian fighter jets and sports the infamous red star insignia of the Russian Air Force.
Like most Revoltechs, the Su-37UB is a typical sized action figure at about 5 inches tall. Being made out of solid PVC parts make the whole figure quite sturdy. The Su-37UB travels well enough that I decided to be a huge dork and take it to local Callahan State Park for a photo session. It fit easily inside my camera bag, which is a little less glamorous than an orbital insertion pod.
The Su-37UB Terminator is a serious looking figure. It has such a sleek and powerful aura that with a little forced perspective, it appears to transform a simple wooden bench into a runway. A combination of numerous Revoltech joints with smart placement allows the Su-37UB to stand in a natural looking neutral stance
I like the effect of the two-tone when the figure is posed on an outcropping of rocks. Throughout this photo session I found the Su-37UB is pretty good at standing on uneven surfaces. The wider feet and thicker legs shift the center of mass down enough that it feels more stable than the MiG-21.
Like all TSFs, the Su-37UB has a pair of Jump Units connected to its waist area that allow it to fly and hover above the ground at high speeds. On this figure, each Jump Unit is connected with double-jointed Revoltech joint which allows you to position the Jump Units right where you want them. They do not feel particularly fragile but they are made of a harder plastic than the rest of the figure so be wary of chipping the winglets if you were to say, take the toy to a park and pose the figure on top of rocks.
The Jump Units themselves are styled after the Su-37UB's real life namesake and look like adorable little jet drones.
One thing I want to get out of the way before continuing is just showing that yes this Su-37UB comes with the now standard effect part for the feet of the figure. It is the same part that comes with most modern Revoltechs just done in milky clear white plastic. I do appreciate the idea of combining the typical plug-in foot base with a more kinetic looking effect part, I find the look and feel of these parts to be consistently awful. I had a hard time plugging it into the bottom of the Su-37UB's feet, which did not endure me to its presence. In the end this accessory did not make the journey to the park as nature itself the greatest effect part of them all.
The Su-37UB also comes with a standard Revoltech flight stand (with extension piece) cast in clear plastic. It does the job for getting the Su-37UB into the air but be careful not to fly too high if there are Laser Class BETA in the area.
I love the aesthetics of the Su-37UB. I find the overall look to be very evocative of the speed and power of a modern fighter jet. The head itself is quite striking with its numerous fins, pointed chin, and narrow eyes. It looks very mechanical and foreboding. The figure itself has a lot of neat little touches like little orange sensor lights and the aforementioned red star on the shoulder. The sculpt has numerous panel lines which can get lost in the camouflaged exterior. I can see some more ambitious fans accentuating these details with a paint wash or other modeling technique.
The Soviet Union extends a helping hand to those who will fight at its side. The Su-37UB comes with three pairs of hands: fists, gun holding hands, and open palm hands. These plug into the wrist with a simple peg on a hinge. One odd thing is they plug in at an angle so the hands can look weird when rotated at the wrist.
Most Tactical Surface Fighters come equipped with a pair of Mount Pylons that can carry extra weapons and equipment. On this figure each Mount Pylon is attached with a Revoltech double-joint so they can move around to deliver a fresh rifle to the Su-37UB's hands or acts as sub-arms that can fire a gun at odd angles. The figure comes with two identical guns which can be wedged into the Mount Pylons. This connection relies entirely on friction but works well enough out in the field.
The Su-37UB also comes with the standard Revocontainer for storing all of its small accessories. Unfortunately it cannot hold the figure's guns which is my excuse for forgetting one of them at home.
The articulation on the Su-37UB is fantastic. While the joints are not quite the same as most action figures, they have just as much range of motion and really let the Su-37UB come alive.
Once nice feature is the skirts mounted to the waist are on their own Revoltech joints so they can be positioned out of the way of the legs when posing.
Kneeling down is not a problem for the Su-37UB thanks for the deep bending knees and clicky crunching abdomen. Better pick up that gun quickly because the BETA never sleep!
For close combat with ugly aliens, the Su-37UB comes with a pair of Motor Blades (chainsaws) that plug into the raised portion of the forearms. While these parts aren't fragile, I would be wary of them surviving a shelf dive as the peg they use to plug in is relatively small. Myself? I laugh at this danger as I kneel down to snap photos of the toy straddling a boulder.
Each Mount Pylon can swing forward underneath the figure's arms to deliver some extra firepower without encumbering the Su-37UB's hands.
The Soviet Tactical Surface Fighter fleet stands tall in the face of the BETA onslaught.
Their equipment, training, and will to win is second to none.
A lone Su-37UB scouts for potential BETA incursions in the valley.
Lately I have been experimenting with nighttime photography. Using a Sylvania Light Flute, I took my figures out to the back porch and snapped some photos. The sleek lines of the Su-37UB pierce the darkness.
This Tactical Surface Fighter stands poised with both guns at the ready to wipe out any inferior life forms.
The figure looks intimidating with both guns on one side. I would have liked it if the toy came with four guns to fill both hands and Mount Pylons but that's what army building is for.
Strange things lurk about in the dead of night.
A sneak attack!
Even when a deadly foe thinks he has the advantage...
A trained soldier knows how to spot weakness...
And secure victory!
Mother Russia provides for her people and does not tolerate outsiders who harbor ill intent towards her and her children.
The inferior lifeforms must be purged. It is the people's will that will carry out this task.
The Soviet Union will not fall in the face of invaders for every great military genius knows you should never start a land war in Russia.
The Su-37UB Terminator is another excellent entry in the Muv Luv Alternative Revoltech line. It is a straightforward figure with a great design that manages to use the simple construction of Revoltech toys to its advantage. Since the MiG-21 Balalaika and this figure turned out really great in my eyes, I look forward to acquiring more Muv Luv Revoltechs as they become available. Perhaps I really can luv this much muv.
|Posted 11 October, 2012 - 17:46 by VF5SS|