Thursday, 14 July 2011

Kotobukiya FMP Mode Lock: M9E Gernsback and M9D Falke Review

M9D Falke with IMI "Crimson Edge" Monomolecular cutter

M9E Gernsback with Bofors ASG96-B 57mm smooth-bore gun

Showing articulation achievable

Size comparison with 1/144 HG Gundam model
The Mode Lock line, originally based on the "Gunshell" building block style toy by Atelier-Sai, is released under Kotobukiya name with licensed character/ mecha designs.

In this line 3 designs were taken from Full Metal Panic anime series: M9E Gernsback, M9D Falke and ARX-7 Arbalest. All three share the same basin body, with different panels added on top. The changes greatly change their appearance aas well as their articulation.

M9D Falke is molded in black, and of the 2 here has the worst articulation. The extra armor on the thigh of the Falke make it looking a lot more muscular, but it constantly clash against the hip in all poses other than standing straight.

This problem is avoided on the M9E Gernsback. Molded in light grey, the large gun on his right hand is highly noticeable and slightly interfere with the arm mobility due to its size. Unlike Falke's blade, whic is a molded piece with a ball joint at the handle to conect to the hand, the hand is molded into the gun. Without the restrictive thigh armor, the Gernsback can easily knee on the ground and many other complex pose.

All in all, Mode Lock is a very good value for money series. Its ball joint assembly is designed mainly for customisation and playability, things that is missed out on more delicate model kits. The price tags on them were really low as well. The problem though is that they were molded in 1 colour, meaning painting is a must. The joints are also fully exposed and look awkward up close. Still it is a sad fact that this line failed to take off and ended before it really got a chance to shine.

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