Chris Seto's blog
tomopop  Associate Editor

2:52 PM on 05.10.2013

Calling all Brits!

This is more for my curiosity than anything but I thought it would be worth asking how many of our readers are from the fair British Isles and also, who (if any) have plans to attend the London Comic con/MCM Expo at the end of the month.

If there are quite a few of you, there is the potential to set up some sort of meet so we can share stories, tip and whatnot (which is always more entertaining than the event itself!)

So, can I get some quick shoutouts from anyone planning on attending the event?   read

10:32 AM on 03.12.2013

A Wild Taiga Appears

Man, it's been a long time since I wrote up a c-blog post and, truth be told, I haven't cos I've been lazy. That and I haven't really done anything which is worth sharing, not since KOS-MOS ver4, which made it onto the front page as a show and tell feature.

Sure I've done a few since then. Takamachi Nanoha and Hanekawa Tsubasa come to mind but I didn't really feel like sharing those 2. For me, they weren't quite at the level of showing off... Well, maybe nanoha was.

But I really like how my latest kit turned out so I'm letting her roam free! Here's Aisaka Taiga from Abirun

I got her completed pretty quickly as well, which was a pleasant surprise. For now, I'll leave some photos here for you all to peruse. More can be found on my personal blog

Now, onto the next project, which somehow picked itself... One thing's for sure, my backlog isn't going to go anywhere soon. Still gotta do up my 1/4 scale Bayonetta and T-ELOS.   read

3:28 PM on 09.25.2010

Summer GK Blowout!

Feels like an age since I last wrote a Cblog post... Oh wait, it WAS an age ago! Anyway, I thought that I'd share some pics of the garage kit acquisitions over the summer.

The LAFM Sheryl Nome figure got put into the shot as well as she was technically a summer purchase! I managed to do preliminary builds of the majority of the kits so here's what they look like!

I did a more detailed post on the kits on my personal blog but I'll share a few pics of the ones I think you guys will be most interested in!

FIrst up, we have the "World is Mine" Hatsune Miku kit by Kiking. You may remember her from this post.

Just don't ask me how I got her. It took a few favours a little arm twisting on an old friend of mine and that's all I'm going to say!
The second kit is the 1/4 scale Bayonetta from Volks.

She's even more impressive in person and, although she still doesn't match KOS-MOS, she's a great kit! Huge too! Like KOS-MOS, she's not a figure you will be able to fit on a single detolf shelf! Speaking of which, here's how the 2 stack up...

Yes, I know... After almost a year I still haven't painted KOS-MOS. She's up next, I promise!!! These things take time!

And with that, I think I'm spent for quite a while. Good thing that there's no major releases on the horizon, except for the PG strike freedom gundam. This Summer was really expensive!!   read

11:20 AM on 02.07.2010

Wonderfestival Winter 2010: company side!

Well, The first wonderfestival event for the year is about done now so we'll be seeing photos of the event trickle through over the next day or so.
But some of the bigger sites such as dengeki and moeyo have already posted up pics of the event, focusing mostly on what the big companies were showing off.

Personally, I'm way more interested in the individual booths where the GK makers are, but there were some interesting figures on show from the larger guys. I'll try and avoid the ones which have been announced prior but this is still just a portion of what's been shown thus far.

goodsmile company

Nendo Saber

nendo Love plus

nendo Puchi Nanoha characters

Figma child haruhi

Figma Adult Mikuru

yet ANOTHER Hatsune Miku...


Senjogahara Hitagi

Saki Minifigures


One for the one piece fans, it looks like Megahouse are continuing with their POP series for figures. This one is of HebiHime. There are a few others too but I'm not a fan of one piece...


Revoltech Vash the Stampede!!!! *Waits till cheers die down a little*

Revoltech Wolfward *more cheers*


Loli fate

Aegis riding on Palladion (colour me impressed!)

A label

Dream C Club figures

[b] Chara ani[b] (those guys who are bringing the Himari from Omamori Himari figure Colette posted a little while ago

Misao from Asura Cryin'


Various Valkyria Chronicles figures. I'm guessing trading figures due to the lack of detail and polish


Adult (& evil) vivio

Loli Fate

Linebarrel (probably the poseable action figure they showed off last year alongside KOS-MOS ver 4)

Selvaria Bles (better than the one currently out IMO)

Momohime *Gets blasted away by the loud cheers*

That's about it for now. I'm sure the tomopop staff are busy preparing their own posts on all the new announcements and stuff. I'll update with any other interesting bits if I see them.
I'm definitely raring to see what the GK side had to offer, even if I won't be buying any this time round. I've already posted a few of the ones I rather liked on my blog. I wonder if they all made it in time...

All pics are from Moeyo and Dengeki online (for now...)   read

6:04 PM on 02.04.2010

Dimension Diver Q&A

I don't think Dimension DIver needs an introduction in Tomopop.

They are the group responsible for a range of poseable resin kits such as Aegis:

And Samus Aran:

They have been featured on Tomopop several times before

You can reach their main site here

And now, here comes the cool stuff.
Tokyohunter has said that he will be interviewing Dimension Diver very soon but he needs questions to ask them!

That's where you come in Tomopoppers!!!

What you YOU like to ask Dimension Diver??

Questions can be about anything, How they started out? What their next plans are? which is their favourite kit? You can even suggest a project for them to work on if you want!!! (just don't everyone focus on that last bit, we want to try and keep things balanced...)

All you have to do is leave you questions for Dimension Diver in the comments to this Cblog and I will collect them up after the weekend and send them over to Tokyohunter. Simple as that!

The interview will then be posted up on the Tokyohunter site (he says in March so I'll let you know when it's up)

That's about it.
Locked and loaded! Fire away!!   read

6:12 AM on 01.28.2010

Thinking fast: Aegis or Metis?

OK fellow tomopoppers, I need some advice which (hopefully) will be more informed and thought out than a coin toss (which was what I initially planned)

You have all seen the Dimension Diver kits before and Jonathan has done another post on them recently so I won't bore you.
Instead I ask you this, which one should I get?

I've decided to take the plunge and actually try to get one from wonderfestival, seeing as there are no real Knockout Garage kits being previewed so far.
Admittedly, there is a chance that the rampage ghost Thanatos might make an appearance and that would be way cooler than any of the dimension diver kits but we can't work on "what if"s

[EDIT: aww feck!!! Just when I started talking about "what ifs" Tokyohunter just posted up that he's taking preorders for said rampage ghost kits. Sods law... It's a bit cheaper than the dimension diver kits tho so I *might* be able to sneak one in... and live off instant noodles for a month!]

Being a bit of an avid gamer, it's the video game characters which appeal to me more. Tho if kouryu and anryu could combine into tenryujin then I would have already bought those 2!!
Samus is out, despite the fact that the circle have said that they won't be making any more after this run. I love Metroid but samus is just too damn boring.

So that leaves trusty Aegis or the lesser appreciated Metis.

Which one would you guys go for?

@thebobness: would you believe my luck? Volks are going to sell the nanoha strikers PVC figures at WF!! 4th time the charm for me!! I finally get feito!! (hopefully)   read

12:01 PM on 12.30.2009

PG 00 Gundam: Not-so-awesome

I received a PG 00 Gundam for christmas and so, with somewhat limited internet availablilty back with my family, I've spent some time building the newest addition to the Perfect grade family... And I'm not impressed.

I'm not sure how Andres fared with his 00 Gundam build, but mine was incredibly annoying. So far I have completed just the main body. I still have the Twin GN drives and the O Raiser to build but my chief complaint is about the body anyway...

Or rather, the joints. You see, bandai have put in a new system in to the OO gundam where the joints won't move unless you press in the circular section on certain areas. It's good in that the parts will never sag and the kit can hold poses really well, but have you tried to put the damn things together???
I haven't been this frustrated with a kit since I built my PG Evangelion Unit 1, and that one is legendary for being able to annoy, frustrate and generally cause all sorts of pain to it's builder.

I just hope this idea gets buried, and soon!!!

Not much longer to go. I'll most likely put a complete blog post in once it's finished but so far, it's been really disappointing. The PG Red frame was more fun to build!!   read

6:27 PM on 12.17.2009

GSC Saber Lily! ...or not.

Better late than never, I suppose. I finally decided to take my saber lily out of her box and take a few photos.
But after seeing god knows how many blog posts and reviews about her and even more photos, I really wonder what it was I saw in this figure to begin with.
It doesn't help that I essentially got her by accident. I got swept up by the hype machine when she was announced, placed a preorder and then forgot about her until HLJ sent me a shipping notice. No lie!!!

I guess I could have just sold her on, but I paid for her so I thought I should at least think of something to do with the figure. One reason why I don't like buying PVC figures is because they're mass produced. there's no variation between the products and everybodys figure is the same. While there are some exceptions, I prefer my figures to be a little different from the rank and file so why not try and make saber lily a little different from the norm?

You may remember the saber lily mod which Colette posted a while back. Well, i've not gone that far (not yet anyway) but we all have to start somewhere, right?

So I made a few changes to my saber lily.

Notice it yet?

How about now?

Well, if you can't see it now...
That's right, I tore her apart and made her cast off!! My blog post for this week basically takes you through the steps to do it yourself if you have the guts/feel like doing something a little crazy.

The question is, what comes next? It'll be a while before I return to Saber Lily, seeing as I have 2 projects on the go at the moment (one of which should be completed soon. I'll post it here when it's done) so there's no rush to decide. I was originally planning to keep the colourscheme the same and just tidy her up a little but it seems that a few other people also remember colettes post and wonder if I could do a saber lily alter. Well, I don't see any problems with that, tho it won't be the same as the one already seen. I'm not buying more sabers just for their weapons!
I did half-joke that I could do it afterall. but I'm open to suggestions. Alternatively, I could just glue the parts back on and sell her on.

So, what do you tomopoppers want to see? Help decide the fate of Saber Lily!!!
and for a final pic, here's all the parts after I was done with her. (it may be considered guro. You have been warned)

5:03 PM on 11.20.2009

Minor GK update: Volks upcoming releases

I know that Garage kits aren't really something which most of the community members are particularly interested in. It tends to fall into the "look but do not touch" category, but still, there may be some things here which some readers may find interesting.

First up, an expansion of the post written by Jonathon Tubbs. He recently wrote a post regarding 2 kits from volks based on characters from the eroge "Toushin Toushi 3," Level Kami Kumiko (if my Reading of the stuff on the volks website is correct) and Azami Cricket but decided to forego the remaining 3, for whatever reason.
Well, One of them now has colour pics so I thought I would pick up where he left off.

Still waiting for colour pics of this character, who's apparently named Namir Hamsand...

Yes, apparently those will be 2 seaparate kits!

Finally, from the Toushin Toushi 3 side of things, there's Izayoi Touka (Thank F*ck for kanji dictionary apps!!)

Out of all of them, I like Touka the best but I think I'll be skipping these due to budget constraints and a general lack of knowledge and interest in the source material.
Buf if any of you want to take the plunge, They should be made available on Cyberfrontier ∀06 on the 21st and 22nd December, with sales opening at the volks store soon after.

And next, some re-releases but ones which will probably be of more interest to people.

FIrst up there's the 1/4 Kanu Unchuu sculpted by Chorosuke, who also did the KOS-MOS ver 4 Which I am now a proud owner of.

I'm sure I've seen her floating around in tomopop somewhere along with the rest of the kanu army but this is a official prepainted statue (no assembly required) so it's different from before, with a pricetag to match...
58,800 yen will be the asking price for her, tho when compared to KOSMOS, that isn't too bad esp since she comes prepainted...
Actually getting her will also be another matter as it looks like she will only be on sale at special conference events... Guess this is another Tokyohunter job, assuming that he's back up and running.

And finally, it looks like Volks are releasing a prepainted version of their 1/∞ Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann kit.

If you haven't got one already or you simply want an official work as opposed to an E2046 job then it should be available at Comiket for 39,900 yen.

Finally, Garage kit haven has put up a post on GK works which should, hopefully, be ready in time for the winter wonderfestival. Some look a little rough right now, but they should be done in time for the event. A fair few have also started surfacing on the FG boards and the like so I'm sure I'll come across more as the event comes closer. If there are any real stand out ones, I'll post them up. Is there any particular character or series people are hoping for?   read

7:08 PM on 11.04.2009

September & October Purchases

Feels like it has been a while since I last posted on the cblogs, wait... it has been a while!!
In any case, I have returned with a post regarding my purchases for the last few months.

Now, before I continue, I suggest that you sit down for this. It's pretty long. And watch yourself! Things could get ugly!!

This is the lot. a mix of PVC figures, artbooks and soem event exclusive items. So let's break it down a little.

Saber Lily, Sheryl Nome and HoiHoi are present and accounted for. Reycal should be here as well, but I forgot to put her in the photo...
Still haven't built HoiHoi yet either.

Next up, the books. Replicant is a quarterly magazine which focuses exclusively on figures, both PVC and GK and are a pretty good source of info for new kits, event coverage and tutorials, along with Figure maniacs, which does a similar thing. Replicant Works is a collection of pics from all the figures which were shown in the magazine for a specific year. This is volume 5, which covers 2007. I also have volume 6 which covers 2008. There is no 2009 version yet.
And next to it, there's the MS girls artbook, which I purchased from radiant, a member of the community.
It's basically filled with drawings of cute girls in one-piece swimsuits and armour in specific areas to make them look like various mobile suits from a variety of UC gundam Shows.
I have had the scans for ages so when an opportunity to buy the book came, I snapped it up right away!!

Then we have my purchases from Chara hobby waaaaaay back in august. I used the Tokyo Hunter service for these. woo!!!!!
I bought a Fighters special VF25 with event exclusive Sheryly Nome Base and the nyan nyan mascot!

A more detailed post on the above items can be found on my blog, here.

And now for the big one. Hope you're still sitting down.

I did say that I wasn't going to do another FSS kit for a long time after I completed my KoG but I just couldn't say no to this one. It's one of my grail kits and played a massive part in exposing me to the Five Star Stories in the first place! I loved it all those years ago and I love it now! But I probably won't be building it for a while still. But you're probably wondering what that box underneath it is.

Well... Steel yourselves...

It's this!!!

Looking familiar? well, here's a quick prelim build I did.

That's right. I bought an original 1/4 scale (not 1/6 as jonathan erroneously said on his HRSR post) VOLKS KOS-MOS ver 4!!!
I'll wait for you to pick up your jaws...
and watch those hands!!

A breakdown can, again be found on my blog, here   read

7:19 PM on 09.16.2009

My First Time: Scars of the Past

Now, I'm sure that the members of the tomopop community have some sort of collection, be they Gunpla, PVC figures, munnies or anything else for that matter. I'm sure they also vary in size as well.
And I will also go out on a limb and say that everyone remembers their first purchase with great fondness.
It makes perfect sense! Afterall, if you did not like your first purchase, you will not be so inclined to buy another and so, if you first experience was poor, then it would be likely that your collection would not be!!

And with that in mind, for this musing, I decided to go back to the distant past, long before my first official garage kit (which doubles as my first Yahoo! japan auction purchase and my most expensive item to date and for the near future), My first resin kit (a sailormoon recast I did as a gift to a friend) or even my first PVC figure (which was actually after the sailormoon) and land in the realm of Gundam kits and my very first foray into anime merchandise. Beyond there are my memories of the tabletop game Warhammer 40,000 but lets not go there...

So to begin with, I thought I would share with you a pic of my collection. I've linked the pic to the full sized one so click to see the whole thing if you're having problems.

EDIT: as requested, I have linked more clear closeups of the kits below. And since I did some sort of semblance to organising, I was able to write a very rough description too!

gundam Seed 1/144 HG and Gundam Wing 1/100 HG
Gundam X 1/100, Seed MG kits, Older UC MG and 2 PG kits
MG kits, the other PGs and a few assorted other items...

For a collection spanning over 10 years, it's not huge but not exactly tiny either. Not pictured are my 3 MG kits from Gundam seed destiny or any incomplete kits, like my PG red frame or MG unicorn and Exia. But you might be able to spot some Evangelion and patlabor kits in there too.
Now, with a collection like that, you're probably thinking that I must have really enjoyed my first experience with building gunpla, which is why I continued to buy the kits and build them. And, for the most part, you are correct. The oldest kit in that picture was my MG GP01-fb Zephyranthes and I did find the building process to be really fun and the final product was most pleasing. I also have some close ties with that gundam and the OVA it was from. Stardust memory was also my first UC gundam show and the PG model was one of my earliest PG kits!

However, the GP01-fb was not my first ever gunpla...

Lost in the mists of time, there was once a MG kit in my collection which was older than the aged GP01, a kit which strikes fear and loathing to those who know of it's reputation. A kit so evil, Death by fire, like how dao2 showed us in a previous cblog post, would be considered too good for it!! And it was this...

One of the earliest master grade kits made, it was released back in 1994 (and I picked it up a while after during a random family trip to Hong Kong. I think it was '96), back before Gundam Wing made it to the UK (or US for that matter I think, but someone else will need to confirm), when anime was still really, really niche, gundam was unheard of in the west and even evangelion was yet to take it's vice-like grip on the western anime fanbase.
The kit is notorious among builders who have experienced building it and it's issues were numerous and would not be resolved for 7 years starting with the release of the Zeta plus A1 and ending with the release of the zeta gundam ver 2 in 2005.

Those of you who have never seen or built the zeta are probably wondering how hard it could have been, so I'll go through the bits i remember

- the kit was really back heavy and couldn't stand without support.
- many parts (esp the shield) would not remain in place and easily fell off.
- the arms were connected by ball joints (think how the ankles on recent kits work) at the shoulders but were too loose to hold any kind of pose.
- The hands were not designed to grab the weapons. In fact, the only weapon the kit could handle, without it falling out of the hands were the beam sabers.
-The binders on the back would sag
- The transformation sequence would not work as the parts would not remain in position so the shape would not hold.

It has been said that the only way to make the ver 1 zeta kit work would be to glue the various parts into place and I would agree. Unfortunately, you would sacrifice both poseability and the transformation gimmick for it.

Ironically, the zeta MG was actually just a scaled down version of the Perfect Grade. both shared very similar designs and the transformation sequence was identical on paper. But the PG had many extras to help it along which the MG didn't have, such as pegs to hold the binders in place, hooks on the hands to help hold the weapons and a much more solid build.
Modern MG kits have evolved using past PG technology to give builders the poseability and details they have come to expect, so much so that the recent MG kits remind me strongly of the old PG kits. The inner frame design came the perfect grade line for example. The pegs on the hands to hold the weapons in newer MG? Yup, from the perfect grade. They've even started to put in lighting gimmicks!!

In a way, you could say that the MG zeta was a pioneer, a kit ahead of it's time. but that doesn't change the fact that it sucked!!! (incidentally, the top pic is of my PG Zeta, not the lost member).
I have no idea where the kit is now (probably in a ditch somewhere). There are some remnants of it around tho, I still have the beam rifle for example, but even now, the memories of the zeta haunt me.

And yet, despite this rather large setback, when I returned to Hong Kong a year later, the experience did't deter me from Gunpla as I immediately made a line straight to the model shops at my earliest opportunity. I even remember trying to decide between the RX-79 G Ground Gundam (8th MS team), the gundam mk 2 (zeta again) or the GP01-fb. The rest is history.

What posessed me to continue when my first kit was so full of fail? Who knows... Perhaps it was to do with my abnormal, bordering on unhealthy, love for all things mecha (seriously, put a mecha into a show as a main weapon and I'll watch it to the end, no matter how crap the show is. That's how I got through Divergence eve, Giniro no Olynsis and Demonbane!), A condition which has been nurtured since I was a little kid, watching dubbed animes like Daikyu Maryu Gaiking and Getter Robo G alongside stalwarts like transformers!
Perhaps my tenacity played a part as well, a trait which has served me well since I have entered the world of Garage kits. Just cos something doesn't go right the first time, doesn't mean an instant white flag!
Or it could have just been curiosity about the source material, which was as alien to me as the term "restraint" to the super collectors out there.

In any case, the zeta experience proved to have little effect on me and I ploughed on regardless, amassing a collection of 16 1/444 HG kits, 12 HG 1/100 kits, 16 MG kits and 5 PG kits (not counting those I own but have yet to build or the non Gundams, like the PG eva unit 1) so I guess I was one of the "lucky" ones who continued down the path despite an early upset.
I even remember filling a suitcase with nothing but gunpla on a return trip...

And the soul still burns. As long as Bandai make kits which interest me, I will continue to build them, even that overpriced PG 00 Gundam will be mine eventually (How could they think that the 00 Raiser should cost more than the Zeta or even the GP01 set?)
I must admit that my enthuiasm has waned as I find GK building to be more fulfilling and satisfying but the mecha love in me will never die!!

It will continue to burn and I will continue to build until such a time that I feel there are no more MG or PG kits worth building. And for that to happen, Bandai must first release a MG V2 assault buster gundam and Gundam X!!!
Game on, Bandai!

Building any sort of kit is a constantly learning experience and having set the bar somewhat high in terms of difficulty and annoyance, I guess it's no wonder that I moved up to ever more complex things over time (although my knight of gold really did test my upper limits) and being no stranger to *ahem* some minor difficulty very early on certainly hasn't hindered me in any of my current endevours.
So in some ways, the MG zeta may have been a good starting point, preparing me for problems much like that teacher everyone hates for being an ass but can't deny that they are good at what they do. Then again, maybe it was just a blip which I would much rather forget, but can't.

And I still hate the MG zeta kit...   read

6:35 PM on 09.07.2009

August Haul... and an interesting question!

I've managed to collate most of my august purchases and made a blog post on them, but I thought I would share with other communities as well.

From the pic we have:

Fraulein Movie Yoko
Revoltech Arch Gurren Lagann
MG Gundam Exia Ignition mode
Volks Try-GK Yoko
and 2 Wonderfestival Garage kits!!

I'll focus on the GK now, since I don't think many people have seen these yet.

As always, I did a preliminary build of my Try-GK yoko. Here's how she looks!

Brilliant job, just like with saber, tho there are some odd design choices in there, like making the jacket into 3 parts and molding the hotpants as 2 separate parts which go over her panties...

Next up is my first purchase from Wonderfestival. Toradora's Aisaka Taiga.

I really liked this kit and it stood out from the rest of the glut so I took a chance and won her in an auction using a deputy service. I didn't think much of the service tho. Too many extra charges and not flexible should you wish to increase your bid.

But my favourite purchase is this...

That's right!!! I'm waving the flag for SHERYL NOME!!!!!!

This particular kit was a real nightmare to track down and obtain, but I managed it with a lot of help from a friend. She's definitely going to be my next project but she needs some serious work first. As far as parts go, hers are pretty bad...

And I leave you with an interesting question which was raised on a comment on my blog. A reader asked if I was to consider selling my old kits or perhaps offer my services to paint a kit for those who wish to own a completed GK but didn't want to do them up themselves.
I have to admit that I never really thought about it but if there are those out there who would like me to paint a kit for them, I would consider it.

So, what do the tomopoppers think? Should I try doing a commission or 2? And before everyone starts screaming yes, I have to warn you that I don't see myself doing half a dozen 1/4 scale KOSMOS kits, but a KOF elizabeth or Mature kit, for example, would not be out of the question. At least that will be the case when I recover fully from my wrist injury.   read

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