Narika Shihoudou from Beat Blades Haruka


Alter Narika Shihoudou from Beat Blades Haruka Review

Alter’s Narika is a figure that I’ve been anticipating since she was announced. I really like Alicesoft’s character designs and given Alter’s history of producing superb figures, I had high expectations for Narika. As usual, Alter does not disappoint, as they’ve made another amazing figure.
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Mirim from Queen’s Blade Rebellion


MegaHouse Mirim from Queen's Blade Rebellion Review

Up to this point I’ve passed over the figures from Queen’s Blade, but when I saw the promo pictures for Mirim, I knew she was going on my buy list. With a profession given as “Ultra-Vibration Valkyrie,” how could I resist her? Add in a cute outfit and a chainsaw sword and I was sold.
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Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative


Good Smile Company Sumika Kagami from Muv-Luv Alternative Review

I hadn’t planned on getting any more of Good Smile Company’s Muv-Luv figures after Meiya Mitsurugi, but I can’t deny that Sumika really is cute. Furthermore, my Rogue preorder at BBTS was scheduled to ship at the end of August, and as fate would have it, that same store had Sumika on sale for a relatively cheap price. How could I not take advantage of such a serendipitous occurrence? It is like the planets have aligned, the cards have turned up just so, fates have intersected at a confluence of capitalism and happiness. It was meant to be, and so I tossed her in my shopping cart, added her to my order with Rogue, and now she is here.
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Saber from Fate/stay night (Clayz Version)


Clayz Saber from Fate Stay Night Review

Saber has been in the news quite a bit recently, so with a bit of a respite before the impending flood of figure releases at the end of this month, now is as good a time as any to go way back in history and take a look at one of the earliest Saber figures. This particular Saber is from Clayz and is sculpted in a mighty 1/6 scale. If I remember correctly, I picked this figure up in early 2006, and even then it was rather hard to find.
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More Figure Picture Wallpaper and Site Redesign

I got a new computer monitor a few days ago (a Dell 2408WFP, if anybody is curious) to replace my old, tired, dimming 4:3 display (a Dell 2001FP, if anyone is also curious about that). I need new widescreen wallpaper for my monitor and the easiest source to acquire them from is my own pictures, so I made some more wallpapers.

Senhime

Sengoku Rance Senhime Wallpaper
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1920×1200

Dark Elf

Lineage Dark Elf Wallpaper
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1920×1200

Marie

Starless Marie Mamiya Wallpaper
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1920×1200

Human Mage

Lineage Human Mage Wallpaper
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1920×1200

Nadie

El Cazador Nadie Wallpaper
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1920×1200

I also changed the site layout a bit. When I started this blog, I figured that I’d get bored and quit after a couple months and so I didn’t spend much time on the theme. Later, when I figured that I ought to establish a more pleasing appearance for my site, I looked for an existing, turnkey solution that I could easily customize to my taste. To my disappointment I couldn’t find one that I liked more than the one I already had, so I just modified the hell out of my old theme. I hope I didn’t break anything in the process, as I’m not a particularly good web designer.

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Human Mage Photo Reshoot

Continuing through the figure photo re-shooting project, I took some new pictures of Good Smile Company’s Lineage II mage.




This was one of the more difficult photo sets I’ve taken. I originally used red cloth for the ground surface and it looked conspicuously incongruous with the foliage and flowers and such. I decided to reshoot the photos (making the final set a re-reshoot) using dirt for the ground, except since I didn’t like the idea of strewing actual dirt on my computer desk, I used instant coffee. Of course, I forgot that I hugely dislike the smell of coffee, which tends to make me feel nauseous. The process of taking these pictures was thus particularly arduous, and I’ve still got three fans blowing air in here to try to ventilate this space.

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Nadie from El Cazador de la Bruja


Alter Nadie from El Cazador de la Bruja Review

With no figures in the mail, I turn to my existing collection for photography practice. Let’s take a look at Nadie, one of the heroines of El Cazador de la Bruja. Nadie is a fairly old figure and she’s been on my shelf for a while; I had to clean some spiderwebs off of her before I took pictures. Yucko.
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Senhime and Mishiro Re-shoots

I said something a week or two ago about having a bunch of preorders due this month. Ha! I’ve watched with helpless dismay as figure after figure is pushed back to September and October. It’s almost enough to drive a man to tears. To assuage my lachrymose despondency I went ahead and re-photographed Senhime and Mishiro Akatsuki, the girl with the helicopter hair.

Does anyone think that anything is actually getting released this month? Should figure manufacturers just preemptively bump back all of their releases by a month? Was Michael Vick’s signing by the Eagles a good move? Maybe it’s time to work through the figure review backlog; Alter’s Nadie might be next up, then.

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Subaru Photo Reshoot (or Angry Girl in the Snow)

Back when I really did not know what I was doing, I took this picture of Subaru, the cutest amputee ninja around:


Man that looks bad. The background is bad. The figure looks bad. Everything is bad. The rest of the review’s pictures were just as bad. Now that I’m a bit more experienced with taking pictures, I decided to re-do Subaru’s photos:




Lately I’ve been making an effort at providing an interesting backdrop for my figure pictures. I think it makes for a much more appealing photo, and the backgrounds are a lot of fun (albeit rather time-consuming) to create. I’m also trying a few different things with respect to photographic technique. I’ve switched to the cheap 50mm f/1.8 lens for all my figure pictures, and I’m spending more time performing post-processing. My figure reviews take a lot longer to complete, but I think the time spent is worthwhile.

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Dark Elf Female from Lineage II


Good Smile Company Dark Elf Female from Lineage II Review

Now this is a figure that I never thought I would own. The dark elf female was originally produced back in 2007 and sold in limited quantities in Japan. Those on this side of the pond had to contrive alternate means to acquire her, which usually entails exorbitant expenses. As my means were quite limited back then, I had to pass on her, much to my chagrin. My regret was compounded by the reality that in this hobby, if you miss out, you seldom get a second chance.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that she would be sold this summer not by Japanese retailers like Hobby Search or HLJ, but by Entertainment Earth and Big Bad Toy Store, each an American toy retailer that principally offers American products. I got my preorder in with the quickness and the dark elf arrived last week. There are lots of reviews of her already – this figure being two years old – but here are my thoughts.
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