Thursday, November 28, 2013

[Thoughts] Hobby Base Mechanical Hand - one fatal flaw

UPDATE:  I got to inspect a pair of MG hands from a MG Jesta, and I've edited the article with what I have to say in comparison.

UPDATE2: Currently, TatsuHobby and possibly Gentei Kits have a 'Bandai Parts Replacement Service' being offered--for roughly $10 USD + shipping you can get a pair of Bandai's ver. Ka hands (MG Nu ver ka, Sinanju Stein, Jesta, etc.) straight from the factory.     Sorry everyone it seems that Gentei Kits is far behind their parts service so I cannot guarantee they will get you replacement parts.

UPDATE3: Bootleg Bandai MG hands are available!  (Dragon Momoko/Huiyan Brand) Looking for comparisons . . . . they seem to scaled smaller than the Nu ver ka hands.  You can order from SamuelDecal or Ebay.  Here is a quick review of them by Meads.

     I just put together a few pair of these excellent manipulators from Hobby Base (via HLJ).  I won't do a review since an excellent one already exists here:

Long story short: I believe these are the BEST most-articulate hands you could possibly use for your older robot kits--short of stealing the ones that come with the MG Nu ver. Ka or similarly recent kit.  A huge selling point is that they come in 1/144 scale too!  Bandai has yet to make 1/144 scale hands that have as much articulation as the MG Sinanju's hands, for example.

Here's a size comparison of the 1/144 Hands

So until Bandai actually starts selling their hyper-articulate MG hands separately, I recommend these Hobby Base Mechanical Hands to spice up your old kits!  Unfortunately, because of the knuckle joint being easily broken I cannot recommend these over, say, the hands that come with many of Bandai's newer kits (as they are very good already).

According to PlayEvolution's review: the packaging states these hands are meant for fixed poses; should be glued after posing!  Just don't play with them too much if you do decide to purchase.

and I just have to mention this--but Google+ integration with Blogger right now . . . . is not very good.  90% of the time I cannot write comments to others' posts!

-Articulation just like a human hand, superior to Bandai's Builder Parts hands in that regard
-Available in 1/144
-Pre-assembled, for the most part, so you won't have to use a magnifying glass (hopefully)

-Does not close far enough to clasp beam sabers or smaller handles
-Knuckle joints are very weak; prone to breaking (may be a deal-breaker!)
     iirc, Bandai uses ball-joints for their knuckles which are probably easier to manage

Compared to Bandai's new Master Grade hands

     I had the opportunity to acquire some of Bandai's own hyper-articulate hands from a MG Jesta kit.  Other kits that come with these new hands include the Sinanju Stein and the Nu Ver. Ka.

So there are two reasons I would choose the Bandai hands over Hobby Base:

     1) ball jointed knuckles are better than whatever Hobby Base is using.  BUT the fingers will still have a tendency to fall off the rest of the hand. Neither brand is perfect but I believe Bandai has the advantage here.

     2) a tab for holding weapons which swivels in and out of the hand is very nice.  Althought with the hobby base hands you can always add your own system (e.g. brass rod).

PROBLEM: Bandai currently does not sell these hands separately.  You must get them from a Master Grade kit that comes with them (like the MG Nu Gundam ver. Ka).  Or use a parts replacement service like GenteiKits

Bandai, if your are listening please sell your newer MG-level hands available as a standalone! (i.e. Gundam Builder Parts)

Hobby Base, if your are listening please address the knuckle-joint issue!

     Apologies for the huge wall of text; I know 'aftermarket' hands is a niche for many modelers since their kits usually include excellent hands already.  But I hope this helped, even a little, others who are not satisfied with what came in the box. 

Other review: