Here’s one I’ve been hoping to obtain for a good while. Unfortunately, not everyone has their pockets filled with gold, so I had to wait a good while. I’m talking about the BEAST that is… Kotobukiya’s 1/100 Alteisen.
First of all, this kit is officially discontinued, which can render this review kinda pointless. But who knows, I got mine way after it got discontinued, so you may still be lucky enough to find one. I got mine from Jungle, which has some nice, NICE service. Their stock may not be as wide as Hobbylink Japan, but they got nice prices, along with fast delivery. I got this one in 2 weeks, give or take, directly from Japan, and with normal SAL mail! That’s something!
And by the way, this was the last one in their stock, so don’t bother looking for the kit in there. XD
Now for some pics!
Now, what I like about this kit. Apart from the mech design itself, Alteisen being among my favourite mechs, it’s got a surprisingly decent mobility for such a bulky robot, as well as balance! I mean, those pictures up there speak for themselves. Over 90º sidekick? That’s quite something!
Speaking of kicks, the hips come with sliders for the leg joints, which makes posing a lot easier. Also, the ankles come with an S-like armature, which helps greatly. Heck, you can even make this already big guy a lil’ taller by stretching those armatures. Talk about cheating your own height, eh? XD
And for height, for a 1/100 kit, this guy’s a monster. Counting shoulderpads, this thing is around 22cm tall! For you to get an idea, here’re a couple of pics of Alteisen next to my MG Gundam Spiegel and No-Grade Gundam 00, both in 1/100 scale, as well:
Like I said… this guy’s friggin’ big!
I must say, the color scheme they choose is absolutely great. You can paint it if you wanna, but personally? I find it good enough as-is. This is something that Bandai doesn’t do very often, which is putting the highest amount of detail possible into the plastic. From what I’ve seen, Kotobukiya chooses to go through that route. Good for them, and for us who prefer to leave our kits unpainted!
Now…gimmicks. Apart from coming with two sets of hands (closed fists and open hands with moveable fingers), it’s shoulderpads open to reveal it’s claymore missile pods, which, to open, you gotta hold the white “wing” from the shoulderpad, and push it a lil’, to reveal the missile heads. A pretty smart mechanism, I must say.
Also, as you probably have noticed, the head contains a LED that lights up not only the eyes, but also the horn, should you choose to use the clear one (it comes with an opaque horn and a clear horn), like I did. It runs on 2 LR44 batteries, which are placed on the backpack.
The revolver drum on the right arm is moveable, as if to reload. I’ll be talking more about this one in a bit…
Last, but not least, this kit includes a 12cm-tall figure of Kyosuke Nanbu, Alteisen’s pilot. And it doesn’t look too shabby, either. Nicely detailed, and for a “bonus”, it’s a reasonable size. Heck, it’s about the size of a 1/144 High-Grade kit! Not bad, not bad at all!
Now… whatever it is that I haven’t spoken of, so far… it’s because it’s something I didn’t like.
So, on to what sucks:
Keep in mind, I find the kit’s mobility to be GOOD, despite it’s shape and size, so I won’t be mentioning any poseability limitations!
First of all, I have to address the part fitting itself. Like I said on one of my most recent webcomic strips (as of the time I’m writing this), putting these together is like trying to fit a bus into a domestic garage. It’s a VERY bad sign when the plastic on some parts turns WHITE after fitting. Hell, even worse when this happens on JOINTS!
Remember the ankle mechanism I mentioned? Good as it is, I had to rub some sandpaper on the thing so it could friggin’ MOVE! The damn thing was so stiff that the ankle itself came off the leg sooner than it moved. Dunno if other people who bought this had the same issue, but I did, so there. And it’s not just this part, the overall kit suffers from stiffness here and there.
Another one is the LED circuit for the head. It’s a nice touch, but the wires are so damn thin that I nearly snapped one of them while simply fitting it into the model. I looked around and looks like some people DID snap theirs, which doesn’t surprise me. I might try to replace it with a thicker wire, but so far, what I got works. Also, would it hurt to include the batteries for the friggin’ thing?
But… of all the issues, my biggest kick in the balls must be… the axis for the revolver drum’s connection with the arm.
You see that whitened plastic dot, Kotobukiya? You see it?! That’s from a part that’s too thin and too frail to withstand the tension caused by the remaining parts! Yes, my friends… The rotation axis for that drum is a tiny little plastic pimple that can snap before you even know it! Luckily the drum can hold into the arm frame on it’s own, so no risk of having it fall off. And even when “opened”, it can still hold up depending on how you pose it… But still, this is a huge flaw from Kotobukiya!
So… in the end, how does this kit stand out? It’s not great… not even close. But it’s not bad, either. Despite it’s flaws, I still enjoyed building it. As I said, it looks plain BADASS, and it moves pretty well for such a beast. The LED’s a nice touch, and the claymore missile pods work great!
The fitting difficulties added a bit of a challenge to it, which made me feel even better once I finished it. I know, a flaw is a flaw, and I’m just trying to see the good side of it.
But heck… it’s nice of them to include a figure of the pilot, as well.
So, would I recommend this one? If you give priority to building perfectionism, you might wanna leave this alone. But if you’re a fan of Alteisen, and want something that looks imposing in your shelf, try your luck on finding one of these. Like I said, it’s discontinued, but there might still be a few around.
For those who like something with less flaws, and don’t mind the smaller scale, you can take a look at Kotobukiya’s 1/144 Alteisen ver. Progressive. Can’t speak for myself on this one, but I heard it fixed some of the issues from the 1/100.
Aaaaaaaand… that’s it. Hope you liked this lil’ review of mine. Feel free to leave your own thoughts, and seeya next time! ^^