Should FSS go mainstream?

Models and Toys Related to Five Star Stories

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WayS'Lo'

Should FSS go mainstream?

Post by WayS'Lo' » Thu Nov 18, 2004 11:24 pm

Hi all
Just wandering what people thought about this idea, should FSS go mainstream in the model world? What i mean is, should high quality AFFORDABLE plastic model kits be developed and made available, allowing a greater number of fss fans to enjoy what has so far been the domain of the richer fans?
This arguement ran in Gundam.com when it was still around and i was wandering what the ppl round here think. We all know that plastic fss is possible and that plastic injection technology now means that plastic models could *easily* reach the same standard as resin. Theres only been one new plastic model in about 7 years ( or whenever the GGI models camt) and i just refuse to believe that lack of interest would be an issue. There is obviously another reason from the higher ups but again, what do people here think? Should Factorys be taking a greater interest in producing high quality fss plastic kits for the mass market?

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Sheizzel
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Post by Sheizzel » Thu Nov 18, 2004 11:52 pm

My answer would be no. Look at where Gundam has gone and I don't wish FSS to be on the same path as what Gundams have been in recent years. I think it is better off keeping FSS in a lower profile than to have it become mainstream. For those who are interested in FSS will go out and get the kits and for those who don't, let them be left in the dark.

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Mave
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Post by Mave » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:01 am

Mainstream or not, I would welcome new plastic kits with MODERN engineering put into them.
Keeping it cloistered from the so called "mainstream crowd" sounds kinda elitist and why should only a few enjoy FSS? It deserves to get more attention and expo.

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Post by Sheizzel » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:13 am

Nagano seem to have the same idea of keeping FSS in a low profile.

There are a lot of FSS fans, just not as many when compared to other series such as Gundams.

Do you realized that FSS are hardcore? We figure ways to get FSS products, whether it itkits or reading materials by any means. When I said no, I just wanted to preserve what made FSS so special.

I'd think FSS has its respect in shows and expos in Japan, just not as much outside of Japan. A couple of years ago, WonderFestival has a huge exhibition. April 2002 issue of Model Graphix showed the huge exhibition which appeared like an Auto show in a huge room filled with FSS kits from figures to MHs.

Also, FSS had a huge showing in Comic Con in San Diego a couple of ago which brought Volks to North America. I wonder how it was received by the people who went and saw what FSS had to offer...

Speak about the Modern engineering all you want, but they won't be at the level or near of craftsmanship in resin. There are just too many intricate details in a MH to be ducpliated on plastic, I think.

WayS'Lo'

Post by WayS'Lo' » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:25 am

First of all, Fss low profile? You must be joking! Look how much coverage it gets in model magazines and expos! Low profile, yeah right! What i was hinting was a certain stubborness that Nagano has in that he only wants hardcore followers, like Nave says this is a pretty elitst view. And as for Gundam road, FSS will NEVER go down that road unless it is at Nagano's command as unlike such nagano works as lgaim, Gundam zz and brain powerd, Nagano has complete control over it. Its a rather stuborn view to believe that fss models can;t go mainstream without changing the way fss is now.

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Post by Sheizzel » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:44 am

You asked the question and I answered with my opinion, if you don't agree then I can't make you. I did also mentioned a "lower profile", compared to other series, I'll stick to what I said.

If you've read what I said then you would know that I acknowleged the exposure of FSS kits in shows/conventions since I have some of those reading materials.

Elitist and stubborness is what others may say but you can't blame Nagano for trying to preserve his work. Not everyone is as "open" minded as you are.

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Post by Mave » Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:56 am

Do you realized that FSS are hardcore? We figure ways to get FSS products, whether it itkits or reading materials by any means. When I said no, I just wanted to preserve what made FSS so special.


No offense but that sounds alittle elitist to me :roll:
Just because we work harder to obtain material doesnt mean that we deserve it more than others does it?
Its not the fandom that makes something special. Its the product. If the product is unique and well-made there is bound to be a demand. Just because it gets alittle more attention doesnt mean that the product will change, unless Nagano says so :P
Now Im not saying we should flood the market with FSS-products. But when the makers deliberately makes it hard to find material or kits (or keeping it at a certain pricerange) then there is something wrong...
Speak about the Modern engineering all you want, but they won't be at the level or near of craftsmanship in resin. There are just too many intricate details in a MH to be ducpliated on plastic, I think.
Either you havent seen an injection kit in years or you are just using mecha injection kits as reference. There are plenty of plastic kits with detail that rivals their resin counterparts. Im thinking of military kits now but the technology is certainly there and it only needs to be applied to mecha kits.

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Post by Vincent Valentine » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:03 am

My opinion:

He's right. FSS is relatively low profile. Relatively. It IS pop culture after all, so how low profile can low profile be? Well, you've seen the gathering at the conventions.. but go elsewhere and ask anywhere at an anime con if they've heard of the Five Star Stories

Chances are... it will be a flat-out 'No'. Look at Naruto, look at Inuyasha. Any kid knows what these are today. But I've recently done a search for English FSS fansites.. and the simply, practically, don't exist. I believe that although FSS in Japan has a 'huge' following, it is still comparatively small amongst the anime pop culture fangroup.

As for the issue of plastic kits.. yes, I'd like to see it happen too.. so long as it doesn't walk down Bandai lane. Look at Gundams: Gimmicks and colours over accuracy.

FSS is getting it right today, and to be honest, I don't see how plastic can feasably reproduce the forms like the internal structures without being PG -Gundam in terms of price. Perhaps it IS possible, but I shudder at the amount of half-and-half seams that I'll be gluing.

Look at the Wave LED 1/144. In compare, it's proportions are gorgeous, the translucence and Fatima cockpit. But it costs more than most Master Grade kits. And then.. look at the detailing. It's there externally - but what about under-armour? Non existent save the skirt. So if we want to keep the level of quality and approach 1/100 scale, we can easily hit Y10, 000 at current trend per kit.

Now, if we argue quantity of production.. sure, I guess that can lower cost/unit.. but "Macross" is very mainstream in Japan, no? Look at their Hasegawa releases.. look at their prices.

Now FSS focuses more on 3-D forms.. aircraft can get away with an empty innard. .. MH can not. So I think that my estimate rings clear in this case. Good, affordable, mass production FSS will be cheap-er than resin, but not really by much. If it is, then quality must definitely be compromised.

And he's right about it... I guess that the 'elitist' behaviour that FSS isn't mainstream does hold its charms.. but personally, if it goes mainstream.. there's a chance that I can get a FSS anime - and the FSS community will grow. I'll surely be happy about that.

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Post by Sheizzel » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:07 am

I guess I wasn't making it clear that I was not trying to say something that's hard to obtain is what makes FSS special. For something that we all work so hard to obtain much be special, right?

When you guys said mainstream, what's so unique about it? When something that's mass produce compared to something that's produced in low number but very high quality, which will you want? You should know that FSS kit business are dominated by resin kits.

Something that's mainstream is bound to be flooded.

What gave you the idea of the companies deliberately make hard to find materials and kits? These things may be hard to find outside of Japan but not within Japan. Volks has Volks Showcase stores all over Japan, you think it's hard to travel down to your near hobby shop and pick up a kit? Companies that produces Not every company is as big as Bandai...

As for plastic kits, I don't know a lot of military kits enough to make a discussion out of it, but we aren't talking about military kits are we? You should know FSS MHs comes in all shapes and forms, and with details hidden here and there, I just can't imagine it being duplicate ih plastic form, an affordable one for that matter.

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Post by Mave » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:16 am

Totally agree with Vincents post about Gundam and gimmicks.
The recent Hasegawa-kits are prime examples of military-kits level of detail applied to a mecha kit. Simply gorgeous.

WayS'Lo'

Post by WayS'Lo' » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:21 am

First of all, i apologise if i came across as a tad arrogant, but i sort of intended this to be a discussion, i do respect everyones views, i was just replying to them. And i did read what you said properly and remember, japanese manufacturers market for the japanese market only so outside japan doesnt really register with most companies. Prior to 1997 what was Gundam in the USA? that didnt stop its japanese popularity did it? The 1/144 led is a good indication of what could be though. IP technology really has progressed more than ppl give it credit for, even the new wave led has very few seams, and alot of the newer mg kits have details on both sides of the outer armor, etc. Bare in mind im not talking about a full scale plastic fss invasion here! If only 5 of the core designs were updated into plastic, one for the next 5 years, i would be more than content. If a plastic fss kit costing 40 dollars is up to the standard of a resin, even slightly less, its still better imo than a resin costing 150 bucks.

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Post by Vincent Valentine » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:33 am

First of which,

I'd like to thank Mave and Ways.. proving that the FSS fan is civil AND intelligent. What could have easily become a bickering flame war on any other message board has turned back into concession of a civil and intelligent discussion.




Back to the topic!

The Wave 1/144 LED is great, but by no means up to par with resin. The lack of underdetailing as I have outlined above is my primary concern with the kit. And it is easily approaching 40 USD.

I have noticed that Bandai these days are including an excellent amount of internal/underside detail. However, I must note that because of the nature of Injection plastic, it must be rather thin-esque details. A few panels and rivets. But FSS under armour has both height and texture. It is very likely that the under armour, if moulded, will need to come off as a separate peice - thereby raising costs quite a bit more.

But aside from that - I think that if we were to ask for engineering that removed the snap-fit pins and hinges (look under the 1/144's shoulder armour) and to have it offer the same level of detailing (even attempted) at resin would/could cost about Y7000 at 1/144th scale.

Suddenly.. resin seems 'not so bad'.

But the only saving grace here if FSS goes mainstream, cost / unit will fall. But by how much? As I said before, Macross is popular.. but their kits aren't.. cheap..

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Post by Mave » Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:40 am

When you guys said mainstream, what's so unique about it? When something that's mass produce compared to something that's produced in low number but very high quality, which will you want? You should know that FSS kit business are dominated by resin kits.

Something that's mainstream is bound to be flooded.
Thats exactly the thinking I think is wrong. I simply dont agree that uniqueness should really be governed by fewer numbers or special limited releases. I also think there doesnt have to be a quality drop just because they make a couple more.
We already know that FSS kits are mostly resin otherwise WayS wouldnt have started this topic or we be entangled in it :wink:


Of course FSS-related mtrl are easy to find in Japan, nobody ever contested that. I simply meant that Toyspress should atleast try to give a western release some more push than what they have been doing.

As for plastic kits, I don't know a lot of military kits enough to make a discussion out of it, but we aren't talking about military kits are we? You should know FSS MHs comes in all shapes and forms, and with details hidden here and there, I just can't imagine it being duplicate ih plastic form, an affordable one for that matter.
As I stated before, just look at the recent Hasegawas and imagine the same professionalism and engineering put into a FSS-kit...
Complicated design isnt an issue, otherwise we wouldnt have the resin kits to begin with. If the resin sculptors could solve such problems than I dont see why the injection sculptors would fail.
If you mean that they would put cheapass lame untrained sculptors that doesnt have a clue about MH:s then I agree that they should stick to resin :wink:

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Post by Sheizzel » Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:06 am

You know, I've realized that this is a never ending discussion. We all believed what we're saying to be true but what do we know, right? All we can do is buy what the companies offered to us. If not, skip it.

It's simple, there's either the cheaper way or the more expensive way to go about for FSS kits. To have something in between does not exist and from what I've said, there won't be in the future. I do understand what you guys've said and understand that there are two sides to every story and respect your comments and opinions.

Mave, excuse me, but because of my puny brain my imagination is very limited that I cannot somehow imagine engineering used on other kits will fit with FSS MHs :P . I'll stick to sniffing resin :P .

elemental

Post by elemental » Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:45 am

Nicely summed up, Sheizzel. But you posted before I could add my 2 cents.

FSS in plastic? Call me a snob or whatever, but I'll stick to resin, thanks. I understand where all you people are coming from, pining for cheaper, more accessible FSS kits; I just don't feel such a product is what I want from FSS.

The idea of PG FSS kits... :| just get a resin, already.

The other issue that no one has mentioned so far... what would "mainstream" plastic FSS kits do to the (stunningly excellent and without peer :wink: ) resin FSS kit industry? I don't think they would disappear, but if the resin kits were to suffer in any way at all... that would be a bad bad thing, in my opinion.

FSS in general becoming more mainstream outside Japan? Yes that would be a good thing. Nagano has tight enough control over it all. The quality would remain, and the chance of a decent anime (perhaps not necessary, but still an interesting concept) could only increase.

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