Monday, 18 March 2013

Heroes on Both Sides

Definitely NOT Short...
Just a quick drive-by posting to show off my recently liberated General Grievous. I've been doing a lot of film editing over the last few days but I've also had a serious Star Wars itch brewing; turns out that breaking another character out of my Revenge of the Sith Blu Ray pack was the way to scratch it. This is the first time I've tried to edit a lighsaber effect in Photoshop - and I definitely need more practice - but I'm pretty happy overall with how this shot turned out.

Just on the subject, this seems like a pretty cool figure so far - I'd read he's quite hard to balance, but I've not had any difficulties with that yet, and the soft goods are some of the best I've seen. I'm sure he'll get a Shelf Review at some point...

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Bargain Hunter

I went on a food shop to Sainsbury's today, where last week I'd picked up a TVC Naboo Royal Guard for about three quid (review to follow!). As always I went straight to the toy aisle, only to be met by an empty shelf where the vintage figures were and a price tag showing them at the further reduced clearance price of £1! I was so gutted I missed this deal that I went well out of my way to the nearest B&M, where I was lucky enough to find a freshly stocked load of 2010 Saga Legends. 

I hadn't found anything at this B&M before then, so it was a complete stab in the dark, but a happy end to my mission. I picked up a Stormtrooper and Hoth Han Solo for £4.99 each, filling two massive gaps in my collection and instantly fuelling new diorama ideas. Of course, I should finish some of the dioramas I've already started first...

Monday, 11 March 2013

Shelf Review: Luke Skywalker (Bespin Battle Pack)

Shelf Reviews! Wherein I write bitesize reviews of figures I've acquired second hand. Why let the MISP guys get all the fun?

Five Points of AWESOME.
Ah, Bespin Luke Skywalker. My favourite of all the looks Luke sports during the trilogy, it's the kind of outfit you'd expect a space explorer to wear - well, certainly more so than desert farm robes or 'none blacker' Jedi robes, anyway. That he's also wearing it during one of cinema's most iconic moments doesn't hurt either...

Enjoy that right hand whilst you can, Luke...
I'll jump right into the controversy/outrage surrounding this figure - yes, it has five points of articulation - swivel legs and shoulders, and a ball jointed head. This led to online derision when the set was announced, but since release I gather it's been very difficult to find, and secondary market prices have been high. I'm guessing that's because this is an AMAZING TOY, and well worth picking up if you can find it.

"All His Life Has He Looked Away..."
What makes it work so well is the incredible sculpt, and the feeling from handling it that it's a solid plaything. I'm not anti-SA at all, but as the VC Bespin Luke shows, that increase in articulation can hinder the look of the figure, and considering my collection stands posed on a shelf (awaiting its turn to be photographed, I should point out), looks matter more to me than double-jointed knees or whatever.

The other plus is the fantastic paint job. His outfit is a blanket biege colour, but the detailing on the belt and holster, with silver highlights on the buckle and studs and blaster barrel really set the figure off. The hair being yellow is a nice nod to the vintage Bespin Luke, and the paint apps on the eyes, clearly blue and well painted, is a great final touch. As someone said to me on Flickr, if this were a POTF2 figure it would be the jewel of the collection, and I agree - as an actual update of the vintage 1980 figure, this is definitive.

There's a minor issue of paint flaking on the left hand on mine, not sure if it's been scratched or what - one of the perils of buying second hand. I suppose that indicates this figure shares some of the vintage line's drawbacks as well! A further issue is the lightsaber - the hilt has a belt plug, which is unusable since the belt has no port and the blade is on anyway. Again, not sure if this is the wrong accessory for the figure or if it was a poor choice of mold re-use, but it does somewhat hinder how Luke holds the weapon.

Facing Destiny
Those two issues aside, this is a fantastic rendition of Bespin Luke, and it stands proudly alongside my ANH and ROTJ SA-Lukes without looking out of place. If this level of quality is any indication of what the 2013 Saga Legends collection will be like, it's going to be an exciting year to be a Star Wars fan.

As a final aside, sorry for the lack of updates over the last month - I've been extremely busy with my course, and will continue to be so until May (when it's time to find a real job!) - still, I hope to post when I can.

Thanks for reading!

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