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Everything posted by NeoverseOmega

  1. Thanks man! I just posted lower resolution versions of these on their Facebook page - there are already some REAALLY sweet looking 3-D models people have posted that blow their current design out of the water so I don't expect this study will get much traction - hopefully MAAS is humble enough to pay attention and look at what people are saying! Again, starting from the hover-tank design goes a long way - the transport mode was a big part of the show. I DO kinda hope they notice and use my ideas for the torso transformation though- most soldier modes for this mecha end up looking a bit like a sumo in order to make room for the arms when the waist should taper, and the crotch plate needs to be able to tuck completely out of the way for transformation - I think using the groin as a "storage bin" seems like a near perfect solution - but I admit, I'm biased . . . .sometimes I actually like my own ideas.
  2. Yowza - as much as I wanted to see a modern interpretation of the Spartas, it doesn't seem all that, well, modern - it's a bit like I would have expected from Yamato back in the nineties when they were just starting on their Macross Plus toys. Back in the day I was going to commission a 3-D artist to help me construct a model of the unit (I knew a little 3-D, but I didn't consider myself good enough to construct anything that could be used for CAD). So I sat down with graph paper and worked out a basic set of proportions and transformation scheme that I thought could physically work - heh, as the graph paper was only quadrille and small, I had to "estimate" where I thought 16ths would be, but it was roughly 1/35th scale at 7 inches. He told me he thought it would work with a little tweaking, and as ashamed as I was of it at the time, I don't think I'm deluding myself too much when I say it still works better proportionately than what MAAS Toys is doing. The key is starting with the hoversled design. If you get the hardest one out of the way, the rest is comparatively cake. As lousy as those snapshots are, now I kinda want to import them into illustrator and reconstruct them with vectors to see if I can clean them up and tweak some of the issues.
  3. NeoverseOmega

    Hi-Metal R

    Awesome! It's great to see some Bandai love for the VF-4! I have to admit, I'm slightly (ever so slightly) disappointed they didn't try to improve on the Arcadia model. For the VF-1 they came up with an interesting slider mechanism for the arms, set the head down to get rid of the priest collar, and got a little bit better arm and back pack proportions - possibly at the cost of some proportions in fighter mode, but a noticeable attempt at improvement. Their VF-2SS nailed all the things the Evolution toys version got wrong. Their VF-19 included a sliding neck cover and hinged leg covers and seemed to beef up the head and upper body where Arcadia got the chunky thighs and legs. Bandai at least seems to have looked pretty carefully at their competition and tried to improve upon what's already been done. This, at least to my eye, looks like an almost perfectly scaled down replica of the Yamato/Arcadia VF-4 (most of the differences I see are just in the angle of that Obari thrust and how it effects the look of everything around it) - I keep wanting to see a collapsing mechanism in the lower legs to make them a little more proportionate to the upper body, slightly longer upper arms, a more accurate head sculpt, etc. It looks great, don't get me wrong (at friggin' 1/100 to boot) and if they go DX I'd love to see what they can pull off - but I can't help but feel like somebody at Bandai was just like "I got a copy of Yamato's CAD, lets scale it down and make the screws bigger so it doesn't fall apart"..... Heh, we are most critical of the things we love the most are we not . . . . . Still, I look forward to it - a VF-4 that won't cost more than my first car! And at that scale - holy crap, there is no denying that bird looks sweet, such a beautiful plane!
  4. NeoverseOmega

    Hi-Metal R

    That Nexx 2SS looks sweet - I'll happily scarf it up. Hopefully if enough of us snatch these bad boys up maybe someone will finally have the guts to do this hunk of Valkyrie love:
  5. Agreed. While this is a step up in some ways from the HMR, the 1/35 they were showing off really seemed to nail the design, at least in battroid mode. This seems like a few steps back. If it helps the fighter mode I might understand, but that chest looks too flat, even for fighter mode it should be more convex.
  6. I just started an internship with a Virtual Reality startup company in San Francisco - the characters, logos and poster art are my creations! Our game, Velocibeasts, is showing at GDC today and HTC seems interested! I'm not sure if I'm allowed to plug something directly here, but if nothing else I'd like to show off a few of my beasties .
  7. Ironically this strikes me as someone trying too hard to do the opposite of what Michael Bay's transformers did. It's cohesive, has a distinctive silhouette, and strangely enough comes together in a way that even makes me think of the anime magic in an 80's cartoon rendered in 3D. It outright rejects the splintery, jagged designs we've seen recently - so much so that it actually doesn't seem to get the elements that those designs actually have right . . . . . More than likely they are also over responding to the silly cardboard box element of the original Megazords. Yes, it looked cheesy - but it wasn't the fault of the design, it was the fault of the fact that you had to shove an actual person inside of it. That's obviously not necessary for modern 3D models . . . . It looks like the kind of assembler I drew as a five year old . . . . . particularly the arms and legs. Granted, what we are looking at looks like a happy meal toy, and I hope only vaguely represents the actual machine!
  8. There's a lot of concerns on this design for me - I want to be cautiously optimistic though. Seeing the reviews comparing the Nexx 2ss to the Sylvie tells me that they DID actually add clips and connectors and thickened up the plastic (and then totally threw that all out the window on the SAP, but I digress....). Even that little attempt at improvement, and the fact that they got the designer for the CM's legioss to take a crack at it (who, at the very least did a good job at making a comparatively sturdy toy - which is the very thing Evo needs most at the moment) reminds me a little of early Yamato - they messed up a lot, but there was a noticeable desire for improvement that added up to some really amazing things over time. They seem, at least, to be aware of some of their problems and trying to fix them. What's truly disappointing about it though, is that when Yamato were trying their early Valkyries, there really wasn't any precedent for them. They were looking at garage kits and old toys and trying to do something new. There IS a history now though - Yamato is a prime example - and the Legioss has been done by Gakken, Toynami, and CM's - there is a lot of reference material. While there is a lot of anime magic in this design, it's actually far less than in almost every 20th century Macross valkyrie. So many people have come so close (even the mixed results of the old half transformable gakken 1/72 with it's beautifully proportioned robot) that I can't help but feel like everyone who has worked on the design recently just doesn't know how much material is out there. Heh, just knowing the Moscato model EXISTS should effect how designers look at this. I will admit, looking at the side by side for fighter mode, if they can push the feet in and line things up to fit a little better (considering one arm looks fine, I'm hoping the other is just mis-transformation) it looks pretty good in that mode (thought to me the nose is still silly long and the feet too narrow). I suppose when all is said and done, it will depend on how this thing feels in the hand. Visually it's a huge step up from the CM's, and it does SOME thinks a little better visually than the toynami (though to me, a lot of the problems are in the torso - it seems so squeezed together compared to the rest of the unit with those really long chest blocks and groin thrusters that it looks like the blocky robot of the line art got the dynamic one of the anime stretched out and pinched into the middle - this of course effects the head as well as the snowball effect of disproportions crashes into its face. If it feels like the CM's and looks even as good as these shots suggest, it will be overall the best so far - (perhaps damning with faint praise, but that's the reality of it). At this point it all hinges on how well it holds together and feels in the hand.
  9. Hmmm, just watched the movie, and I'd give it a solid "meh". It has good moments, but it can't seem to decide whether to over-explain everything for an audience that doesn't read comic books, or load it with comic references that not many people (even some legitimate comic nerds) are going to get. However, whatever I feel about Zack Snyder, he is in a rather unenviable position. The Nolan trilogy attempted to make a series of Batman movies that were just great movies, and he didn't have to care about how his take would fit in a DC universe. BVS is coming after the audience has realized that it is possible to have a superhero film that also happens to just be a good film - but now that DC realizes that there is money to be made hand over fist this movie has to be a big screen comic-book that sets up a franchise - that's too much happening in one film for even a great director to juggle in a compressed time. Much less a guy that paints a great, dark, stylized image, but doesn't seem to know what to do with the story it's depicting. Honestly though - I think simply having a warm, smiling, "human" superman would have gone a long way - he can still be darker, he can still be doubt-ridden and complicated, but it seems like Snyder is trying to turn Superman and Lex Luthor into Batman and Joker. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that this superman poses and broods when he rescues someone (and we don't even see him do that enough) whereas Christopher Reeve's version comforted and cheered the people he rescued - it felt like he did it because he enjoyed it and because he cared, not because it was a burden.
  10. Is it just me, or has Robotech gotten to the point that the best solution would be to continue it with an Army of Darkness style outright comedy? I want Huey from the Boondocks to take twenty minutes to mash a fighter pilot helmet over his two feet of hair, go by "Rick", and claim to be Japanese. His Veritech should also be covered with branding logos from Redbull and Vagisill, and protoculture should grow in a pitri dish and require a gigantic mushroom shaped bong for proper use . . . . my god, that script just writes itself!
  11. Wow, I have such mixed feelings about this MP Optimus Primal! Admittedly the paint does make it look a LOT better than the test shot's we've seen, and the original toy was a bright spot when transformers was on a massive downturn in the nineties (which the tv show managed to switch around with good story telling and later awesome transmetal toys) - so there is nostalgia and an actual like of the character going for it. In many ways it looks to me like I wished primal looked in the nineties (the transformation is closer to what I pictured originally, and meshes well with some of the later interpretations of the monkey/robot mode switch) - however this is supposed to be a masterpiece toy, and it has none of the innovation it should. I was hoping for actual hair, flexible pieces that allow robot parts to be completely hidden, perhaps even a torso joint so that it could look good both standing up and hunched over in ape mode (apes don't look straight down, they go swayback to look forward). It still appears to have some of the fun of the original - all the stored weapons for example (which I wish more transformers toys would do) but it looks more like, well, a classics or generations Primal than a masterpiece. Unlike a lot of people I always kind of liked the IDEA of transformers turning into organic animals (If you know there are transformable robots out there, would you be looking for an ape or a taxi cab?) but I knew there was no way to pull it off well in toy form with the toy technology then - I'd still like to see it done though in a story in which it makes more sense (hiding out on an earth already ruled by a small cabal of Decepticons for example). I half want to buy it just in the hope that they give me a T-rex megatron to go with it . . . . .
  12. We get blinded by the delivery here - it's the really awesome weathering, shading, and details that make people keep coming back to this. The nose is off, but the angle matches it up with the curves on the leg - it's a nice visual trick - but yeah, it takes away from the crazy "futuristic" fighter look it had - heh, for the nineties. Still, I get what people are saying - even with what this does wrong, it gets a little bit how the dynamic of the design works. The evolution toy steps towards that direction and seems to stumble before it gets there. I'm still happy to see it made, it captures the style and sensibilities (IMHO) of that era so well!
  13. Sigh - I want a wife that's like: "Damn, that's awesome - I want one too!" Instead I meet women who are convinced my love of transformable robots requires medication and a straitjacket . . . . and my entire collection consists of a VF-1, and a VF-19 . . . .
  14. Yup, I rather liked both Magnaboss and Tripredacus -although I'll agree getting that beetle back together could be a pain! I'd love to see them revisited with a masterpiece mentality. Heh, and magnets. I suspect that would be less frustrating than the clips they used. It wouldn't have been so bad if the ball joints didn't keep popping apart . . . . .
  15. They look so awesome side by side - damn I have such a love/hate relationship with my favorite anime mecha. They are so niche, and so expensive - but soooo beautiful! It's awesome that these are being made - Megahouse seems to have come a LONG way since they did the cyclones or the little palm action orgroid. If it was successful enough to do the Olsen, I hope we can see a transformable Nickick in the future too!
  16. Transformers always seemed cyclical to me. After G2 the Beast Wars line started out with robots that auto transformed with one touch, but over time got to the point where you had seventeen to twenty step transformations - Tigerhawk and Dragon-Megatron for example. Then Beast Machines failed hard, and they went back to very simple car-formers with pretty basic transformations. Then they started to release things like classics and masterpiece and the complexity started ratcheting itself up again culminating in ROTF Optimus (which I agree, with better paint apps and a few improvements that they could have accomplished easily by removing the voice gimmicks, would be a masterpiece level figure). Now the cycle has shifted to an overall downswing in complexity and ambition. However, I think Has/tak is starting to realize that in many ways it's OLDER fans that are the future of Transformers and all they have to do is plant the seed in childhood to continue the cycle. Heh, they could succeed by having a cool show or movie with simple toys that kids can play with but be subtly disappointed in by seeing how much the toy simplifies the character (so many toys I had as a kid were fun to play with but even then I could see that steps were skipped and shortcuts taken - particularly with the kamawori inspired designs), knowing that when they grow up they'll jump at a "masterpiece" version as soon as the nostalgia starts striking. I would also like to see them handle more unique assemblers though - as much as I prefer the idea of transformable machines to living animals the Beast Wars assemblers were so unique and different compared to the usual "Go-Lion" arrangement that I'd love to see them revisited in a way that uses modern toy technology to do a little more justice to the individual units - or at least has the guts to use, say, a single robot that splits into both arms, or forms both the head and wings. Am I the only one that gets kind of bored with the "assembly line" approach to assemblers?
  17. While it IS an oddball design, honestly there is far more anime magic in designs like the YF-19, YF-22, VF-17 and others than there is with this. I think we can all see design possibilities that would improve the toy immensely. Some things are simple aesthetics (the legs are curvy and almost "muscular" in the line art - interestingly that shape makes both the battroid AND the fighter look more dynamic), others a little more out-of-the box (like folding faux "intakes" in front of the shoulders in jet mode that cover the leg hinges and lock them in place), and of course a better hinge system for the backpack thrusters that not only ditches that awkward joint, but lifts them up higher in battroid mode. I think it would also help if the cockpit could be angled as well (or have the chest plate slide back on an angled slider)- it definitely sits differently in jet mode than battroid, and that angle effects how it lines up with the curves of the cockpit cover. What surprises me is that Evolution didn't use magnets to hold the jet mode together - they use them in so many of their other collectibles. Bandai and Arcadia could clean up the problems on this without any problem if they bring their A-game. Heck, after seeing the new Orguss, I think Megahouse could nail it. The funny thing is, the VF designs in Mac2 actually seem easier to adapt into toys than the original VF-1. The cockpit cover doesn't fold in and disappear, there's no crazy side covers folding out of almost nowhere, and the wide leg placement means you don't have to squish the arms down to fit - compared to almost everything Yamato/Arcadia has done, this should be a walk in the park. At the same time, this really seems like the work of some small garage company that has some real love for it's products, but the skills and tools involved are what you'd expect from a garage modeller trying to go pro with the resources in his basement. I really do wish them the best and hope they get enough business (and pay enough attention to the feedback) that they could come back with better. I wanna see a VF-2J dammit - for some reason to me it was the design that felt the most "Macross" out of what was in M2, and it has a few cool tricks in its transformation that make it unique (I really dig the double hinged intake covers, the cool backwards rotating arms that actually have side covers built in, and the wings that could flip into a reverse wing mode for gerwalk).
  18. The sad thing about all this waiting is that most of us have had time to come up with at least two or three general transformation schemes for this bad boy, and I have a sneaking suspicion that as a result when the fighter lines erupt into a killer robot we'll just say: "meh, so that's what he did". Too much buildup is not always a good idea - I still want to see it, but I'm becoming less excited than exasperated - it's not like it's likely to be a plot point (unless they turn into giant Vajra or actual dragons instead of Battroids, or have Gerwalk modes that look like Gluags or other Zentraedi mecha- all possible I suppose but unlikely). Don't get me wrong, the deviation in fighter type and transformation scheme alone tells me that this is likely to be one of my favorite Valks in a while, but I get the feeling I'll be more satisfied than enthusiastic when it happens. Kind of like when you finally watch a movie that everyone keeps telling you is so awesome but you just don't get the chance to see until much later - it almost always seems really unimpressive at first viewing, but you later realize that the movie was actually perfectly good, but nothing could live up to what got built up in your head.
  19. This toy is tragic in a lot of ways. All I've seen this company produce is some reasonably well done Gattai style super robots - venturing out into transformable territory is apparently very difficult. You can see this not only with Yamato/Arcadia, Bandai, and all the knockoff transformable robots done over the years. Yes, there are some AWESOME third party transformer companies, but keep in mind they came into being for EXACTLY that purpose and that purpose alone (AND for a franchise that is probably easily ten times more popular than ANY Macross). This is a niche within a niche within a niche being done by a company that is used to working with super-robots that function just by taking things apart and putting them back together differently. They have to price things based on producing a tiny run on top of this, hoping that that doesn't cause their small base to decide it's just not worth it. Heh, economics is like junior high - it's all about popularity! The version 1 VF-1 by Yamato was ballsy but kind of awful - they had the guts to not imitate previous attempts, but in doing so lost all the advantages the old designs had. I can't blame new guys for going straight to the Bandai model mold to start their 3D work - at least they know the shapes and parts do actually move into the forms they want them too and probably cut R&D time and costs by a truckload. Sadly, if this were released at the same time as Macross 7 came out and was competing with Bandai's old fire-valk, this piece would look pretty awesome - heck, in some ways this is less a departure than the CM's Legioss or the version one VF-25 was, even though the plastic quality looks waaaaaay off . . . . as usual, if I weren't so broke, I'd love to support them enough to send the message that their attempt is appreciated enough that I hope they learn from it. Heh, and one of my holy grails would be a VF-2J, so I'd love to see them improve enough to tackle that and succeed. Competition is great and I always love seeing classic transforming mecha being rediscovered - it's just a shame that by the time this beautifully 90's design got visited, it was by an inexperienced newbie who could only do a fantastic job at making it look like it should have looked in the 90's . . . . Still, I hope it does well enough that we either see that 2J, or Bandai says "Hey, maybe we should actually do these . . . " I also hope it's more like CM's Legioss than it looks - if it is rock solid and a joy to hold and play with I think more people would be willing to give them a second shot.
  20. Is it wrong that I read all these pages of interesting discussion on possible economic impact, military functionality, in series historical examples and comparative tactics and find myself thinking: it's because Kamawori loves aircraft - if he had a fetish for tanks, Macross would be full of variable ground units . . . .
  21. Actually I love the invader too - but because it's unique and it's "fugliness" actually strikes me as strangely believable and even kind of intimidating. The beautifully minimalistic elegance of the VF-1 and similarly inspired designs is hard to beat, but in some ways has been beaten into the ground for me. I can't see them like I used to because there have been so many imitations and iterations. This Drakken based design excites me more than anything has since the plus/7 era - I suspect a very Zentran battroid which I look forward too!
  22. NeoverseOmega

    Hi-Metal R

    Definitely - I think the 1/100 already does so much right if they scaled that basic design up to 1/60 and added integrated heat shield, landing gear, transforming side covers (as shown above) and the mechanical detail for the inner transformation parts they had on the model kit, it would be enough of an upgrade to make people snap it up. I'm debating about the anime accurate leg transformation though - it looks cool, but for it to be more solid than that floppy model it needs to be metal. In theory getting rid of that swing bar in the back can allow them to bring the chest and back closer together getting rid of some of the gappiness behind the head and allowing the side-covers to fit, but if it makes keeping the legs clipped on in either mode less stable it might not be worth it. As far as the 1/100 scale . . . . I've always considered myself a perfect transformation kind of guy, but in this case I can live with a tweaked version of the current 1/100 for two major reasons. For one, I do think it already has some advantages over the Arcadia in design and proportions (particularly in battroid mode), and secondly,if they can keep the price point under 90 dollars, I can actually get a full collection. As it stands, I can buy at best one valkyrie a year, and if anything goes wrong (furnace goes out, moving, etc.) that's not even an option - now that the Arcadia releases are largely over three hundred, as much as I love them I've been largely priced out of the market. I scrimped and saved for a VF-4 (which if you've seen me on that thread you know was my dream valk), I was forced to move and the money I saved ended up having to be put into the security deposit. Similarly the money saved for the Arcadia VF-19 went out with my furnace. Up to this point, my goal has simply been one of each - one vf-1, one VF-19, etc. At this price range I could buy the entire Vermillion squadron for less than that one VF-0D and possibly still give them an enemy mecha to pose with without feeling like I'm destroying my budget. If anything, I would change the 1S head and skull placement, tweak the nosecone and cockpit (I suspect kamawori is thinking of making the nosecone removeable so that the GBP armor doesn't have the extended crotch 1/48th yamato had) and touch up the foot joint mechanism because it can be a tad floppy. While I'd love to see an integrated heatshield, if it takes it over 90 bucks I can live without it. Overall even if they left the design alone at a low enough price point, I'd snatch these up (heh, I can paint over that awful skull and steal a decal) - knowing that improvements are being made gives me cautious hope.
  23. Hahaha - Kevin is getting lots of excellent free advice waaaaaay too late. . . . . trust your "enemies" (which is kind of sad that we Macross fans get that label - in some cases we're more allied than they realize) to know your strengths better than you do. A think tank here could certainly get the franchise on track - I'd like to think it's because we're mostly intelligent people who love the subject matter, but lets face it, what has been done sucks SOOO bad they could probably use a ouija board and a sacrifice of KFC to a deity named Krouton and still do a better job. Heh, I'd work for peanuts compared to what they're spending now - despite two degrees and a minor in graphic design I'm just breaking 20 thousand a year. Heh, I do have enough customer service experience to know that the term is something they really don't understand.
  24. Heh - there were times when I did more Palladium RT gaming than actual assignments when I was at University. I miss those days sometimes. . . . Welcome Sleepy042! Don't let the banter throw you off - we MW's give each other grief sometimes for loving one thing or another (be it Macross 7, Macross II, Robotech, or Southern Cross) but when it all comes down to it, we're all fans and we're all different, and that's part of what makes hanging out here fun and enlightening! We're one fun, exciting, thoroughly dysfunctional family! The tongue in cheek abuse is part of the affection, er, at least most of the time. . . . Heads definitely need to roll at HG. They need to define for themselves what they want Robotech to be in the simplest and most practical sense - is it purely a nostalgia based property? Is it something that can possibly reclassify itself as "retro" and use its eighties quirks to make itself self aware and cool? Is it willing to piss off the old fans and reboot itself to capture a new generation? The sad thing is in good hands with a more skilled and less egotistical creative staff, any one of those is a possibility - but finding highly skilled and creative people who would be willing to work on Robotech now is going to be a hard road. The sad truth is, even in its heyday, Robotech bordered on being a nonentity - it was the almost ran against Voltron and Transformers that a few people really latched on to because of its visual expressiveness, emotional content, and verisimilitudinous mechanical design - three things that none of the derivative works seem to understand in more than the crudest respects. I don't think HG fully understood what it had even when it really had it . . . . . Without the stain of the HG we have come to know and loathe - the ridiculously ligitous, arrogant, lazy and emotionally manipulative, outright parasitical company it appears to be - I'm sure there are a lot of creative people who could be given this particular challenge and would say: "cool, this could be fun"! Cut the heads, and go about mending a LOT of fences, and then maybe they can do something with the property. Take Transformers for example - if HG had been willing to work with Hasbro on an anime accurate Jetfire along with a "VF-1S" repaint instead of suing them over a repainted G.I. Joe toy, imagine the money that could be made on toys for BOTH franchises (and the quality jump over Toynami). Imagine if they said to FASA, "Hey, there was some crazy legal stuff happening in the eighties and we both ended up with the same designs - that's all just silly history. Would you like to use the Unseen? We can sell a license for whatever we want to, just throw a little fiction in there to reference us - say some battlemech designs were pulled out of transmission coming out of a wormhole or something, put a little link to us and the Robotech universe on your page, and a little footnote in your gaming books when you use them and we're all good". Don't you think at least a few Battletech fans would get behind them if HG decided to produce destroid toys? Even without the legal issues of Tatsunoko and Big West, if they really understood their market and were willing to treat all the interconnected fans of the original designs with respect, they could have made a lot of money over the years. RT could be, if not thriving, getting by comfortably if they simply had a different attitude about their property. Now they need to do a lot of kowtowing. Foreheads to the floor. Possibly until bleeding or borderline unconscious. Then Robotech might have a chance to really be as good as some people think it once was.
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