Review by Rob
Kotobukiya has been showing a steady increase on the Muv Luv franchise, and the alternate variations of Takemikaduchi following the Type-00R were an inevitable result. The Type-00F marks the second addition to the series in model kit form. The Non-scale Takemikaduchi Type-00F is virtually the same thing as its draconian purple Type-00R, but the difference in color is only one part of what makes this a superior edition!
The Type-00F is a Tactical Surface Fighter from the video game/visual novel and manga series Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse developed by the studio Age. The story of Muv Luv is set in a fictional universe where Humanity faces extinction in a war against the BETA, the abbreviated word for the mouthful “Beings of Extra Terrestrial origin who are Adversaries to the human race.” Since fighter jets and planes are ineffective in fighting against them, giant humanoid mecha are the best means to combat the alien menace.
“However I think the main focus of Muv Luv is deciding which buxom pilot the main character wants to date… I don’t know. This series scares me. But the mecha are cool looking. ... and now back to the review.”
Takemikaduchi is the Japanese’s elite model of Tactical Surface Fighters and thus one of the greatest models in existence. The Type-00R is meant for members of the Japanese Imperial Household whereas the Type-00F is used by the Japanese Imperial Defense Forces. According to the manual and other sources, this Type-00F is piloted by a Yui Takamura.
Out of the box, the Takemikaduchi is comprised of a total of 22 Runners from 16 different trees and 6 duplicates. The model is molded in yellow plastic and has clear jewel pieces that are molded in purple plastic compared to the red from the Type-00R. The remaining runners are molded in the same tones of gray while the weapons are molded in a metallic-flake injection plastic. This helps to establish a unique separation from the model’s main colors.
As a full action model kit, the Takemikaduchi uses polycaps to reinforce its joints.
There are a total of TWO new pieces to the Type-00F, one of which has been added on to an existing runner while the only new runner is for the Type-00F’s visor eye and comes molded as a single piece in a square frame. Talk about minute details.
The obvious distinction between this model and the previous Type-00R is in its color scheme. The Type-00F is colored yellow and to its benefit the design’s features stand out greater than they do on the purple Type-00R.
Kotobukiya has a trend of painting one or two detailed parts for one of the design’s prominent features. For Takemikaduchi, they only painted the horn…. Thanks.
With the dramatically inverted color compared to the Type-00R, the Type-00F demands more attention than its predecessor as far painting is concerned. Even when building it out of the box, I strongly recommend giving it some time with paint and markers.
The hands from the Type-00F alone are an example of just how dynamic the model can look afterwards. The hands and the weapon cradles are the two areas of the model that are the most time consuming to detail because of how many there are.
From an out of the box perspective, the model looks exactly the same as the Type-00R but the Type-00F uses a new eye sensor and forehead piece. Compared to the original Takemikaduchi, the difference is almost impossible to notice.
The first Takemikaduchi was something outside of what I am used to as a model builder, but coming into the Type-00F I felt better prepared and had a better appreciation for its construction. From start to finish and with the extra work in between, the Takemikaduchi Type-00F only took me a couple of days to build, yet the overall work can be done in hours.
Even though Kotobukiya has finally rounded out their process into Snap-Together construction, I still found that the Takemikaduchi still requires a little glue. Compared to my previous effort, I wound up using my glue in the exact same spots as I did on the Type-00R. My biggest concern is still in the quality of Kotobukiya’s plastic. Areas that are sharply molded tend to be more brittle or edges have excess skin hanging. With some extra time and tool work with a sanding block and a hobby knife, these problems can go away.
The manual shows the neck joint as folding sharply at 90 degrees for where it connects with the torso. However the molded parts involved only stop at an odd angle. To correct this, I carved into these areas with my hobby knife and gave the hinge points the extra range to move. Whether this is a design flaw or how it is meant to be is beyond me.
Once it is completed, the Takemikaduchi stands at seven inches tall from the tip of its horn to heel. Compared to your average plastic model robot, the Takemikaduchi looks and feels delicate.
Type-00F Takemikaduchi is just as articulated as the Type-00R and remains as equally fragile. With its jump boosters attached, the model can have problems keeping its balance and has a tendency to fall backwards.
The arms feature a unique multi-jointed shoulder, allowing the arms to move outside of the confinement of the shoulder armor.
The Legs are sharply modeled to withstand the weight and still retains a considerable range of articulation. The added touch of the moving plates of the knee and thigh gives the legs a more striking look.
The booster units attached to the Takemikaduchi’s hips connect onto the model’s upper thighs and are jointed to move against the leg. Inverting and refolding the ball joint will allow the boosters to remain at hip level when the leg is flexed forward and keep the jets from dragging the model down.
The Type-00F still carries the weight of the Type-00R in the form of its accessories which are exactly the same without any modifications.
The rifles are an easy snap together set, but the swords are what truly deserve the time with a paint brush.
The Type-00F still uses the same weapon cradles as the Type-00R, and comes with the sets of arms for holding the swords and rifles that connect to the Takemikaduchi’s back as well as sets of “Closed” versions of the Weapon cradles, which leave the model with too many excess accessories.
There is a third set of arms designed to hold the machine guns outwards in a firing position which give the arms the freedom to hold its other weapons at the same time.
The armed portions on the forearms feature detachable blades to the back end and front.
… and much like Rambo, the Takemikaduchi comes with a more traditional combat knife.
The first Takemikaduchi hinted at the possibility, but the Type-00F comes with the display base, and it truly helps! The display base is molded in crystal yellow ABS plastic and features two jointed extensions for displaying the Takemikaduchi in a variety of poses. Compared to the Bandai standard Action Base, the display base from the Type-00F gives the model more freedom than height for its display value.
The base pegs into the rear of the model, which is the firmest place for holding the Takemikaduchi above the ground.
While on the base, the Takemikaduchi is really an impressive display piece, and gives the modeler the chance to really experiment with the model’s look.
Overall, the Type-00F was a case of Déjà vu with a little more preparedness for me. The first Takemikaduchi was a fun change of pace compared to Gundams, and building it a second time was a breeze. Its new color gives it a more striking difference from its first incarnation, and the inclusion of the display base is really appreciated.
On the downside, even with the Type-00F’s color and limited number of new parts, you are still building the same Takemikaduchi, the same way a second time.
Thanks go to Kotobukiya for another fine example of this bizarre new series!
|Posted 18 August, 2011 - 08:56 by Rob|