Review by JoshB
Ludens is Kojima Production's flagship character. Of course, Kojima Productions is the studio behind such games as Metal Gear Solid, and Death Stranding. Helmed by Hideo Kojima, his productions have a signature style that is recognized by gamers around the world.
This kit, made by Kotobukiya, features Ludens as depicted by Kojima Productions art designer, Yoji Shinkawa. It features the ability to switch Ludens between the normal figure and wearing the EVA Creative suit.
Ludens arrives courtesy of HobbyLink Japan
This is a deceptively complicated kit. I am a mediocre modeler, so maybe more seasoned builders will find it easier, but there were some difficult bits to figure out. Bandai makes their instructions much more clear to be sure. I also find that Koto often includes parts that you will never use, due to them re-using sprues from other kits.
I also think that the parts placement on the sprues are not as great as Bandai. Bandai makes a good effort to put the connection points on the parts in non-visible spaces, but Koto says F*ck that, we're going to put them right onto an exterior smooth surface. This means you spend twice as much time cleaning up sprue marks as you would normally.
The build took about 4 hours, and starts with the head, then the torso, then the first set of limbs. Then, when you think you are done, there is another set of limbs.
Parts are molded in color, but applying decals and panel-lining helps greatly.
I struggled to get this part to snap together for about 20 minutes until I realized it was an interior part that wasn't lining up.
Below is the kit without any decals or panel lines. I used a Gundam Marker to go over certain lines, but I tried not to overdo it. The decals are the water slide type, which are difficult for me to work with. Some of them flaked off a day after applying them. Real modelers may say that you are supposed to fill, prime, paint and then apply decals, and then apply a sealant.
Nobody got time for that.
With basic decal application. (There aren't many)
Lets start with Ludens without her armor. There are a lot of pieces to choose from.
The figure is a bit bigger than a figma, so it's probably 1/8 scale maybe? Hard to say. But the additional size gives you the opportunity for greater poseability. Assembled, she poses like a toy, but try not to forget she is not. Bad things will happen.
Each version has its own set of hands, which are mercifully cast in rubber, making swapping them out easy. Of course, half the time the peg just removes from the arm, but they are easy enough to put back.
Toy Ass production has come a long way.
You can use a Frame Arms stand, or a Tamashii Stand, to hold the figure in place. Neither are included. In fact, the entire kit is compatible with Kotobukiya's Frame Arms Girls line.
Remember what I said about not treating it like a toy? Well, when trying to turn the head, it broke off.
That little ring allows the neck to rock side to side, and a hinge goes back and forth. Why not make this a double ball joint? Needlessly complicated. I have the fix though...
While the head is off, it's a good opportunity to swap the faceplates. You get 3 expressions and a skull plate. You need to entirely disassemble the head to swap them, so I suggest you find the one you like and settle on that.
To switch to the EVA armor, you have to do a lot. All of the limbs need to be removed, the front torso plate needs to be removed and replaced, and the backpack needs to be added, with straps and hoses connected. Again, just find the mode you like the best and leave it at that.
The resulting suit is very cool, and is how she will be displayed. You loose torso movement in this mode, but the rest stays very flexible.
I tried out the skull faceplate, but I didn't like it.
A second (not wearable) mask is included, just to hold.
The only other accessory she includes is a flag with the Kojima Productions logo on it. You can choose from either the black or translucent blue flag.
Of course you could use the flag pole as a spear.