30 September 2008

Nanoha Instructor Uniform - GSC

Nanoha in her instructor uniform.

I already planned to have this figure photographed for awhile ago, but because of a little incident and some packs of school assignments, i had to postpone this photo session until now. I think the only chance for photo session i had is in a holiday. That's why it's rare to find any photoshoot posts in the middle of working days.

Made by GSC, great quality as always.

Okay, let's get down to the review. At first, i didn't find this figure very interesting, but after seeing some factors, i decided to get her by ordering this figure in my local store. Anyway, this figure is made by Good Smile Company. Everyone knows GSC always brings us quality, and this figure is one of the proof that GSC does.

She's the cheerful and innocent (white devil) Nanoha.

Let's start with her face. There's no flaw in her face at ALL. Her skin is looking very smooth and soft. Her eyes really isn't just usual figure eyes, they really lit up and has the "alive" feeling in them. Furthermore, her smile will struck your heart even more. Her expression really shows the real cheerful and innocent Nanoha.

Her hair is just, interesting!

Her hair is well, nothing's wrong on it. Even GSC made this part goes down to a detail like her hairpin (the green rubber, forgive me for my vocabulary :P). Her signature front bang is still there. Loli Nanoha wears a twintailed hair, and adult Nanoha wears a side ponytail. I think her hairdo is one of a kind.

She got her breast size a little reduced.

Going down to her chest, which has so-so size. I kinda disappointed with her breast size. Nanoha and Fate has the biggest breast in Nanoha series, but this figure doesn't show any sign of it. Even Elwing's breast is bigger than Nanoha's. But hey, smaller breast doesn't mean smaller enjoyment.

Details maybe small, but they're still parts of the arts.

Diving down into details, i see her necktie is really well sculpted and painted here. Small things like collars, tie, buttons, and things like that are maybe small details, but they play big parts in figure arts. And just as the photo implies, GSC did a very good job in details.

Another details in her arms, like sleeve collar and that silver thing.

Continuing my rants about detail, this photo also proves that GSC did a very good job in making this figure. Another thing that i usually mention in my review is "things that i never realized in the anime", and that thing is silver thing in her shoulder. Just focusing to the storyline and never goes into detail is people's habit in watching anime, that's why figures like this help us understand how hard character designer's works are.

Painted fingernails.

This is the first time i had a figure with painted fingernails. All of my figures except this Nanoha doesn't have their fingernails painted, so i guess this thing is news to me. I've seen once in review of Tamaki Kousaka maid version (Kotobukiya), and now i know what it feels like to have a figure with painted fingernails, it's not something big but it's really amazing.

Another view of painted fingernail.

Her right hand's fingernails are also painted. That's a normal thing, because it would be weird if only her left hand has painted fingernails. But this photo shows more than that. You can also see detail on her base. I think this is the best and the most creative base I've ever met. Too bad, i won't get down to the details on her base.

Her belt, not much to say about this...

If you're learning computer graphics, especially about OpenGL, then you'll notice something about the belts. What's the connection? It's about textures in OpenGL. Using textures on an flat object gives a realistic feeling on that object, and apparently GSC also applied this technique on the belt, using black and white paint on it.

Her left shoe.

Another interesting thing not to be missed is her shoes. Once again, I'll keep talking about details and details. Her shoestring is very well sculpted here. There's no flaw about this, i can guarantee that. This shoe is actually has a hole in the back, to connect with the peg on the base. This figure is actually isn't really that balanced because of her butt, that's why a peg is a must.

Her right foot, which is in an unusual position.

It's must be unusual to see a girl posing like this. Yeah, it must be weird. That's why, you can see her right foot up there. She can even raise her foot higher than her head, she must have a flexible body.

Shoeprints! That's just crazy!?

I bet no one has ever seen this details, her shoeprint! This is one of detail that i missed (anyone ever see this?) in the anime. I wonder how can they go into a crazy details like this! I guess because of this sitting pose, GSC has to make some texture for her shoeprints other than a flat shoeprints.

Raging Heart Excellion, Axle form.

In this figure, she got her Raging Heart ready, even without her battle jacket. This Raging Heart is very well sculpted. Red orb, cartridge, and the whole body is just so perfect! Despite all that details and beauty, there's a flaw in this Raging Heart.

Handle with care!

Actually, the gold parts of this Raging Heart is kinda heavy, enough to get the Raging Heart break right in the "neck part". Actually, i had this Raging Heart broken once. The white stick isn't really that strong to hold Raging Heart's main body. That's why there's a high possibility for this Raging Heart to break.

The POI of this figure is her naughty pose!

I had a hard time to pick which part should be the POI of this figure. But now i know it's not always about the part, but it's about "her naughty pose". Yes my friend, it's her naughty pose that won my heart. I know some people may find her pose very weird. There's no one in this world would pose like that. But that's just the way it is... This is anime figure, and this is the place where anyone can be creative and imaginative!

This is the reason why her pose became the POI of this figure.

There are stronger reason why i had to pick her pose to be the POI of this figure. The stronger reason lies in the photo above. She wears a miniskirt which makes it easier to show her pantie, but with this pose, we'll have an even more clear sight of her yellow pantie! This is why i had to pick her pose as the POI of this figure.

Well, that's it for now folks. Next up is photos of my brother's Wing Gundam Zero Custom, so look forward to it!

26 September 2008

Blanc Neige haul - Disappointment

Oh yeah, HLJ box marking the beginning of my holiday.

Yet another haul for this busy September. Yeah, at last after some weeks of assignments and stuffs, i got my holiday right now, starting from today and will end in 8 October. Too bad, in the first day after this holiday, mid-tests will smile and welcome me from this holiday. Anyway, to mark the start of this holiday, let's start with Blanc Neige haul, she just arrived 2 days ago.

Blanc Neige - Kotobukiya.

One of my favorite character in Shining Wind, Blanc Neige, the ice queen. Well she's really an ice queen, whether it's because her ice magic, or her ice cold personality. She has somewhat a cool-dere personality, cool on the outside, nice on the inside. Personally, i like her new outfit from Shining Wind, it's like a prom dress to me.

Thanks Kotobukiya for bringing this ice queen to a figure.

Got this ice queen from HLJ, kinda late i guess, because HLJ kept postponing the shipment due to Japanese national holiday at that time. Anyway, my thanks goes to Kotobukiya for keep making Shining Wind figures. My collection of Koto's Shining Wind figures keeps growing, from Kureha, Elwing, and now Blanc Neige.

I like Blanc Neige from Shining Wind version. How about you?

Blanc Neige in Shining Wind version has a new dress, new cape, and a new hairstyle. Her outfit though still has the same color tone with her Shining Tears outfit, except it has lesser saturation. She also has a longer hair than before. The same thing to expect from her is her personality, cool as always.

The parts: cape, body, and staff.

After opening the box and inside plastic, i found myself in a little bit of disappointment. I understand that the color of the base is pale light blue, in order to match Blanc Neige's color tone itself. But after looking for a little while, i found that the base is somewhat looks like it's made
with cheap plastic. And not only that, the inside part of her cape is so awfully painted that it looks like another cheap plastic. Fortunately, it's just the inside part of the cape, so it won't be seen that much.

Screwed figure on the base, just as usual.

Oh yeah, Kotobukiya still continues their habit to screw the figure on the base. Not much to discuss, it's good to prevent falling off from the base, broken peg, or leaning, eventhough the figure itself has very low potential of leaning.

Blanc Neige without her cape on.

After some issues with her base and the cape, i found out that nothing's wrong with her body and outfit, except for a little flaw in the paintwork, around the black line of the dress to be exact. Anyway, she looks good without her cape on. I never see her without her cape in the anime, so i guess the view here is kinda rare and news to me.

Blanc Neige with her cape on.

I'm having a hard time whether i should put her cape on or not. She looks good without her cape, but she also still looks good with her cape. What do you guys think? Help me decide to put her cape on or not! Her cape is somewhat a signature of her, because as i remember, she never got her cape off her shoulder.

Her hair is badly sculpted and painted.

She looks okay from afar, but from a closer look, once again i found another flaw. Right on her front hair and side front hair. There's so many nasty seam line (plastic line), and bad paintwork. I don't know if this because i got a flawed product or else, but i know it looks bad on the hair and I'm very disappointed with this.

Well, that's it for now. More to come, continuation of my Nanoha photoshoot which is postponed for a long time, and any other new figures and Gundam. So keep looking forward to it!

21 September 2008

My assignments kept me away from otaku life...

I have to keep myself behind the desk this week...

Just a short update for this week. My assignments unexpectedly keep increasing over this week (09/15 - 09/20). And to add the "excitement", all those assignments' deadlines are next week (starting tomorrow). It really sounds like hard works. Ordered by deadlines, here are my assignments:
- Chi Square and Kolmogorov Smirnov method - Simulation and Modelling
- Javascript - Internet Application
- Summary of chapter 8 (Assembly Language for IBM PC) - Microprocessor 1
- String and array practice - Microprocessor 1
- Baseline Project Plan - System Analysis and Design
- Paper about a data warehousing tool - OLAP and Data Warehousing
Except for Microprocessor summary, i have most of them 90% completed in this week, that's why i have no time at all to keep my otaku life running. I said about Nanoha photoshoot in the last post, in the end i haven't done that yet.

Oh well... next week is the last week before another week of national holiday, so i still have to hold my breath for another week. And after the holiday week, there will be mid-tests. I think I'll start the photoshoot for most of my new figures in this holiday. Not to mention playing Disgaea 3 and watching some number of anime.

Sakagami Tomoyo - Kotobukiya is going to be re-released this December

Anyway, Kyou and Tomoyo figures from Kotobukiya are going to be re-released this December so I'm taking up this chance to order Sakagami Tomoyo. There's also a sale in HLJ. I think there won't be any interesting figures for you collectors, but i managed to found a Force Impulse MG kit for my brother. And the last is my Blanc Neige is on the way to my place, just a little more day and she'll arrive.

So that's it for now. I can't surely say there will be updates in this week, so yeah.... that's all folks!

15 September 2008

This weekend...

What's inside a lens.

From Thursday to Sunday, eventful things happened. At Thursday, me and my project team members were working on System Analysis and Design project. One of my friend have enough curiosity to open up my broken lens, and look at what's inside. So the photo above is the result. At first i didn't want to agree with his action, but i have my own curiosity, so yeah, i took a screwdrivers set and got my friend open this lens up.

The green round PCB is actually at the top of the layer. I think it contains IC and microprocessors stuffs to calculate range, focal length, and send EXIF data to the body. There's a wire connected to a motor, and i think that motor works for AF function. And the rest is lens body, i couldn't get the glass out of the lens body yet.

At Friday, i met ron~. Yeah, at last we met, and played Soul Calibur 4. Well, we got nothing better to do. I learned so many things from him, not just SC4, but things about otaku, Japan, Comiket, figures, PSN, etc. We actually also learned the same field, that is IT. Even though it's just a 2 hour meeting, because i had to attend my Oracle Administration Workshop training later after that, but i had fun with him. All i can say is, see you at your next vacation ron~ :D.

The (not so) new Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens, ready to use.

Saturday, i met my friend who got involved with the lens problem, and he got me a replacement. I'm very grateful for this replacement, because with this, i can continue on getting more photograph. I think I'll do photo session for Nanoha this Friday, depending on my left works. I hope that most of my works already finished before this Friday.

And for Sunday, there's nothing special in this day. I couldn't touch my PS3 because at Thursday, my brothers ordered PS3 game, Ratchet and Clank Future : Tools of Destruction ~ the best edition, arrived and they played it all the time, and i didn't have a chance to play anything. Well, at least i got their NDS on my hand and beaten episode 5 of Phoenix Wright : Ace Attorney in this whole day.

Also i noticed something with my random image widget, Haruhi X Mikuru and Kanu docking images were deleted by Photobucket (They doesn't allow adult contents). Damn!!! Photobucket doesn't allow the hottest part of this widget shows up! Well, this posed a bigger problem: almost all image hosting gives us a randomly generated address, while Photobucket gives us a static address that supports my random image script, so changing image hosting won't solve anything. That's why i have to stick with Photobucket and upload images that still allowed by Photobucket.

Anyway, i already downloaded some of "symmetrical_docking" tagged images in danbooru, too bad i left all of them in my bro's computer (which is not in my house right now). So, there won't be any new image here for this week (maybe).

If you, by any chance, know image hosting service that gives static address AND allow "adult content", please tell me and I'll upload my pics right away! That's it for now...

10 September 2008

A little change in my blog

Symmetrical docking is delicious.

I made some little changes regarding layout in my blog. The first change is the banner. I made the banner smaller than before. The first banner was 1000px wide, and now it's 900px wide. I didn't resize the image, but i cropped it 100px wide from the left. And before i cropped the image, i moved SONICVER2 title and Random things happen... aside so it didn't get cropped.

The second change is adding new widget (or gadget in Blogger's term), random image. It's not a random image gadget, but it's HTML / Javascript gadget. Yesterday i learned about Javascript Event and DOM in Internet Application Development class, and i thought that i could give it a try in my blog, and the random image is the result.

Do you like Kagami with megane?

Here's the detail on doing it:
1. Upload or your image, make sure it has the same extension and give them similar name like this, starting from zero:
and so on....
2. Make sure you upload it in photobucket where the front address is always the same for all images in 1 album, like this:
3. Prepare a blank image, just a 1 x 1px image.
4. Put this code in the HTML / Javascript gadget:

<script type="text/javascript">
function randomizeImage(){
//getting a random number between 0 to number of image minus 1, and then convert it to string
var number=new String(Math.floor(Math.random()*(insert your number of image here)));

//get the img element, and change the image's src
document.getElementById("randomImage").src="your front link here"+number+".jpg";

<img src="your blank image link" onload="randomizeImage()"/>
<img id="randomImage" src=""/>

So how's this code works exactly?
1. The function is self explanatory. It generates a random number between 0 to number of image minus 1. And then join the number with the link, and change the image source to the new link.
2. The tricky part lies in the event. By using blank image and onLoad event, you can call randomizeImage() function right after the page (the blank image to be exact) completed its loading.
3. Some of you may ask "why not put onLoad="randomizeImage()" in randomImage?". If i did this, then the random image would randomized each time the image completed its loading. So we need to find an element which only load ONCE and only ONCE in page loading.
That's where the blank image did its role. Blank image only load once, and after it's completely loaded then the onLoad event is triggered and randomizeImage() called.

I won't explain about DOM image, because it's gonna be long to explain that. Anyway, this random image script is still in testing. I already tested it in IE6, FF3, and Opera (dunno what version), so far so good, it worked fine. If some of you find that this random image didn't work, please tell me via comment.

I haven't learned about PHP, web database, and ajax, so i don't have any idea how to generate a random image using that method. You may find this method too primitive or whatever, but yeah, i only learned this far so this is the only thing i can do for now.

Anyway, the random images' theme is symmetrical docking, and i found most of the images from misakichii's post about docking. Many thanks goes to misakichii for providing these images. And that's it for now.

08 September 2008

My primary lens is ...

It's broken, and yeah... what else can i say?

...broken. Yeah, that's right, it's broken. If you see the picture above, you'll know how this lens cannot be used anymore. This is the old Canon EF-S 18-55mm. This lens is categorized as old, because this lens has already been in discontinued status, and replaced with Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS (Image Stabilizer).

Anyway, the lens is totally bent, and the motor inside already broken. It's hard to rotate the zoom, and it can't be used to change the zoom, focus, and auto-focus. So you DEFINITELY don't want to have this lens mounted on your Canon Body.

Sorry, Nanoha... Please wait until i got a new lens, okay?

So this happened last Friday, when i was doing a photo session of Nanoha instructor uniform version. I always invited my photography friends each time i did a photo session. And i did the photo session in my own room, with mini studio setup, and also with my camera connected to PC (EOS Utility - Remote Shooting). But this was also the cause of this accident.

Of course, there would be a USB cable lying on the floor. At the moment where i turned toward my PC to edit the photo directly in DPP (Digital Photo Professional - Canon's software), i put down my camera onto the table. Then, my friend walked out of my room, and then you guess it. The cable stuck on his foot, and pulled my camera down right to the floor.

The lens, actually, hit the floor first. So almost all the damage was absorbed by the lens, and it became bent like that. I'm glad that the SLR body itself didn't take any damage at all. So my camera is still in a good shape, but not my lens. Unfortunately, the broken lens is EF-S 18-55mm and it's my primary lens. So that means, i can't do any good photoshoot before i get a new lens.

It seems that i have to postpone Nanoha photoshoot for awhile...

04 September 2008

figma Konata - Mid year figure haul part 9

figma Izumi Konata - Max Factory

Crap, i really forgot this one! I totally forgot that i ordered Konata in local store, when i said Chua Churam was the last haul for this mid year. I pre-ordered this figma Konata from local store, and got this one pretty slow indeed. The local store owner told me that figma Konata would arrive at around a week after Nanoha arrived, but the truth is, figma Konata arrived 2 weeks after that.

figma Izumi Konata - Winter uniform version.

This is the 4th figma i have, and i think this figma has a bigger scale of the character than the other figma. She really has a huge head here, and her body is actually the heaviest body of all figma i have. Despite the quality of the figma, i find that there are always problems found in each figma:
- Haruhi : still no problem.
- Nanoha : front hairs are loose, get off easily from the head.
- Fate : very hard to insert left hand, high possibility to break.
- Konata : front hair and face are loose, get off easily.
It's pretty hard to overcome these problems, but they usually bug you when you're playing with them. As for me, i usually play with them once in every 2 weeks. Between this 2 weeks, i left them unchanged, just like normal fixed pose PVC figure.

Inside the box of figma Konata.

Talk about girls from Lucky Star, most of the time they wore their uniform, whether it's winter uniform or a summer uniform. Personally, i prefer their winter uniform rather than summer uniform. With that long sleeves and the color combination of red and white. Looks really good on them. How about you? Which uniform do you prefer?

Choco cornet hands as an extra.

While Haruhi came with extra pair of shoes, Nanoha with her Raging Heart Excellion, and Fate with her Bardiche Assault, this Konata came with extra pair of hands (normal figma has 5 pairs of hands) the choco cornet hands. I think choco cornet is the symbol of Konata, because the 1st long talk in 1st episode of Lucky Star is about choco cornet, and at the next episode she still ate choco cornet for lunch.

Choco cornet is delicious, and so is she.

So as a symbol of Konata goodness, i think I'll take a shot of Konata enjoying her choco cornet. Konata isn't my favorite character in Lucky Star, but i still find this figma Konata cute, especially with those faces. To add the fun, i also pre-ordered figma Kagami in the local store, and i think I'll get her in October (1 month++ for shipping).

Konata x Haruhi is a brand new yuri pairing here.

So before Kagami arrived, Haruhi and Konata will become a "good friends". Konata really happy as she met her idolized anime character, Suzumiya Haruhi. Sorry, but I won't put any yuri scene here.

That's it for figma Konata, and this REALLY concludes the mid year figure haul, and this time I'm sure of it, because my next haul would be Blanc Neige (Kotobukiya) which is released in September. And also, i think I'm gonna do a photoshoot for Nanoha tomorrow, so as always, keep looking forward to it!

01 September 2008

Magical Battle Arena

Magical Battle Arena.

Don't ask me how i got this game. I think this game is a new game and just released at Comiket 74, please correct me if I'm wrong. I still haven't got the hang of this game. This is Magical Battle Arena, a doujin game created by fly-system. This game is a 3D action-fighting game. The game system is similar to Gundam simulator, or if you ever played Higurashi Daybreak then you'll know what I'm talking about.

Nanoha, Fate, and any other magician.

What makes this game special is of course, the characters. All of them are loli characters, with the best part of this game is appearance of Nanoha and Fate (in their loli form). If you ever wish to play Nanoha in a adventure or action or fighting game, you name it, bursting out her Divine Buster out to her enemies, then this is your game.

Here's a list of characters:
- Nanoha
- Fate
- Sakura (CCS)
- Kirara
- Sarara
- Lulu
- Noel
I don't know where the last 4 characters came from, but i know my favorite character, Fate Testarossa, is here and ready to hack and slash the enemy.

Story mode, just as usual.

This game has a story mode, where you can play some stages and beat the game with the character you want to play with. Lulu and Noel can't be used when you start your first game, and as usual, you have to beat certain character's story to get them unlocked. Other than story mode, this game has versus mode, training, and network play.

Fate charging for her Haken Saber throw.

So let's enter the real game. Let's look carefully at the screenshot. At the bottom left corner of the screen, there's a character icon you play. There's the name, and on the left side of the name there's team color. Below the name there's life gauge (green), charge 1, 2, and 3 gauge (yellow), and stamina gauge (blue). Around the character icon there's a red gauge for special gauge. Life gauge is obviously life gauge. Stamina used for dash and guard. I'll explain the rest later.

Each character has a move set like this:
A : Melee attack (combo), you can charge this for nice attack and damage
Z : Projectile attack, certain character can charge this attack
X : Guard
C : Dash (double press for super dash)
S : Filling stamina
Q : Descend
W : Ascend
D : Change target
S+A (hold and release) : charge 1 (see the yellow gauge above)
S+Z (hold and release) : charge 2
S+X (press) : charge 3
S+C (press) : special
Obviously, charge 1, 2, and 3 consume the charge gauge (yellow), and special consumes special gauge.

Fully charged Plasma Lancer = 8 X 2 bullet flying to target.

I haven't really touched any other character other than Fate Testarossa, so i don't know much about them. But here's a little detail for Fate:
A : Scythe form, charge for strong attack
Z : Plasma shooter (or whatever)
X : Guard
C : Sonic Move
S+A (hold and release) : Plasma Lancer
S+Z (hold and release) : Haken Saber Throw
S+X (press) : Change to Sonic Form or vice versa
S+C (press) : Change Bardiche to Zanber form

It's pretty easy to get the hang of it. The real hard thing to come is when you engaged in a 5-6 on 1 battle in story mode.

Divine Buster!

Overall, they really made a really good 3D graphics, nice effects, great soundtracks, and of course, the game itself is very enjoyable. If you enjoy playing Higurashi Daybreak, then this game is your next game.