Should FSS go mainstream?

Models and Toys Related to Five Star Stories

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WayS'Lo'

Post by WayS'Lo' » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:50 am

Wow.... that is a shame if it's true. From the forefront of the FSS model market to nowhere? comes as a suprise. Btw who is releasing the Tani KOG?

elemental

Post by elemental » Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:29 am

Worst. News. Ever. :(

Or maybe not as bad as it first sounds. Volks' departure will leave a hole in the market. I am sure Nagano would like to see that hole filled, just as much as the rest of us resin-heads.

Perhaps, as Vincent suggests, the talented Hirai - or other Volks FSS sculptors - will do a bit of work for WSC. Or perhaps they will even start a new company. Perhaps... that might even be a good thing. Perhaps Volks has been holding back on us, and now their talent pool might be free to release stuff they have never been able to do working for Volks. Time will tell...

The saddest part, I guess, is that when Volks' license expires there will likely never be any more re-releases of some really nice kits in their back catalogue. That is a real shame. :(

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Post by Falk » Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:25 pm

:|

So from what John says, it's not only FSS but their whole GK production ?
(well they stop their FSS licencing and halt the whole garage kit production)
So this doesn't mean that the FSS licence is to expensive or somethign like that.

Loosing the FSS part is already bad, but also the a and x-brand figures.

Would that mean resin kit market isn't going well ?
Could this mean the recast market harms the official market more than we think ?

I mean WSC hasn't produced much resin kit lately right ? (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not a specialist and not up to date on the release for everything non-FSS)
Volks not that much neither (at least for FSS) and will concentrate on their ugly (personnal statement^^) dolls ?
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Post by John F. Moscato » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:45 pm

The reason VOLKS is ceasing production of resin kits seems to be for more or less the same reason a lot of other firms are: the GK industry is dying. I've been noticing this incrementally for almost a decade, and I partly understand: the number of "true" model builders" is dwindling and being replaced with gunpla weekend warriors that prefer to snap-together pre-colored kits, and just have to apply stickers and maybe some black-pen panel lines.

The new generation of kids are being weaned on videogames: visually exciting, instant-gratification at the push of a button, and simply don't posess the patience to develop true modelling skills, so the core market for traditional, labor-intensive models recedes, and model companies adapt accordingly. You can even see a shift in plastic models: look at all the 1/32 aircraft kits being released at a phenomenal pace. The traditional modelers are getting older, and don't want to cope with countless teeny-tiny 1/72 kits & microscopic details; they're older, probably have less time for hobbies due to their families and work, and can't justify a closet full of small kits, so they buy fewer overall kits, but larger and better detailed ones.

As for FSS kits in particular, I think that recasts have hurt the industry considerably, but also, I think that the model manufacturers have pretty much tapped the market to its max in terms of customer numbers, and not enough new customers/fans coming in to justify continuity, let alone growth. Face it, even the most hard-core FSS builders can only buy so many (original) models in one year, and when you know that you can get a recast for roughly have the price of an original, it becomes avery tempting alternative, doesn't it?

This does nothing to help fledgeling GK firms, and in the case of Volks, I can totally understand their logic in dropping GKs: why spend X amount of money on royalties and high manufacturing costs to make GKs, which only sell so well, and a lot of times end up being bootlegged, when they can create their own doll line for which they pay NO royalties to anyone, and the net profits are maybe 2 or 3 times X?

In the end, Volks is doing what any normal business would: looking out for their own best interests. Hopefully, as Elemental said, the remaining FSS meisters will regroup and simply keep making kits under a different banner; be it WSC or something else. Though it may not be the most profitable market, I still firmly believe that there's money to be made in it.
John F. Moscato

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Post by Sheizzel » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:47 pm

Hi John,

I know you're not the type of person who goes out and spread rumors without any reliable sources. That is why I brought up the point Volks is re-issuing so many of the old kits and not have anything new coming out. I guess I like Volks too much that is hard for me to believe they've decided to take this path :cry: .

I hope somehow those talented sculptors will find jobs and kits to sculpt elsewhere...

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Post by KOG » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:24 pm

This news about Volks is very depressing to read, just as I'm coming back from Thanksgiving vacation. :(

On the one hand, it's good for my wallet... as FSS kit collecting is always a bit of a financial burden. And with less kits to think about buying, I can focus more and more on building what I already have...

But still, it will be an incredible shame if few or none of the amazing new designs that are sure to appear in the years ahead ever make it into kit form.

I guess a lot more weight will rest on the shoulders of WSC now. Like others said, hopefully some of those talented sculptors at Volks will be able to work for some other company...

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Post by KOG » Sat Nov 27, 2004 7:29 pm

While i see your point, resins, no matter what form they take, are still pretty hard to come by, not to mention you don't get quite the amount you do with even a plastic ffs kit. This might not be the issue for people like me or you, but when your trying to appeal to new fans this is quite important. This is after all what this is all about and this is something the plastic led does quite well since its priced to compete with the higher end hguc kits and trounces most in terms of quality. I put it's comercial standing (or lack thereof) down to marketing.
Well, there's two ways to look at the availability question I guess. Some people, such as myself, like just about all MH. And since places like hobbyfan and E2046 always have stock of at least some kits, then it's very easy to get a new kit if you aren't picky about which MH you're getting. But I guess it's harder for a new fan, who only likes a few designs. It may indeed become very difficult to find a kit of exactly the MH you want, especially if you happen to like something rather old. I think the reason why plastic FSS kits have been thus far limited to the 'major' designs is because it's very hard to predict what designs will sell very well. From what I've seen, people seem to have very different ideas what are 'good' and 'bad' FSS designs. Other than LED/KOG/Junchoon/Vatshu, what other designs are guaranteed to have enough fans to make a plastic kit profitable? I couldn't even begin to guess. Personally I love A Toll, but on the other hand, many seem not to like it. I reckon Bang Doll is widely popular, but that might be one of the hardest designs to do in plastic. For right now... I'd hazard a guess that an Engage might be the best idea for a plastic kit. It's a new design that has good popularity, and it also taps into the Junchoon fanbase. But really, I have no idea if Engage would be the best idea... and I suppose Wave has no idea either.


Like i said above its not relaly to do with skill its to do with price. When a new fan gets a model kit of a design he likes, he wants to make sure that he buys one that is appropriate to his skill, if hes new to gundam and he buys a pg and messes it up thats a very costly error. The same with fss, resins for newbies are somtimes far too threatening cause they know that if its messed up theyve just lost alot of money. Again, gogo wave led, unfortunately tho, it provides the new fan with a choice of... 1. and a half. maybe.
I guess I'm used to thinking of FSS modeling as a... fringe interest. Most of the time, I expect that people who build FSS kits have already had experience with other forms of modeling. I'm very much surprised if many people choose FSS as their FIRST modeling effort. Since people usually don't stumble upon FSS until they've first been exposed to other mecha anime/manga series. As for myself, I didn't discover FSS until 1992, when I found some FSS articles in an issue of Hobby Japan I had bought. And of course, I had bought it primarily for the gundam stuff in it. I don't think it's too unsafe to say that many other people come across FSS in the same way.
Unlike most plastic kits... resin kits can often be very forgiving when it comes to mistakes. In my opinion anyway. Now, if you build a plastic kit poorly... it's very difficult to revisit it later. Since it's already glued up, and you can't take it apart to mess around with it again. On the other hand, unless you've ROYALLY messed up a resin kit (broken pieces carelessly or something), it's usually possible to totally take the kit apart, strip the paint, and rebuild it again from the ground up. I've actually done this with a fair few of my kits. The first resin mech I ever built was an original AF LED Mirage w/ Flame Unit. Maybe... 8 years ago now? It was a pretty shabby effort, all things considered. Didn't use any pics. Handpainted all the white, horribly finished. But just this year, I took it all apart, rebuilt it with proper pinning, refined many elements, and gave it a 100% new paintjob. And the difference is amazing. The point of this story is just to say that not all is lost if you do a poor job your first time out on a resin kit. It's usually pretty easy to go back and have another crack at it. To date, I've rebuilt/repainted at least half a dozen of my older kits...

Which is why a flame cannon probably wouldn't be a major candidate for plastic conversion. Like i said some fss stuff just wont ever even be considered for plastic, not even by me!:shock: But there are plenty, especially the older designs like Junchoon and Bang that could. And about shapes, and baring in mind i do not own the actual thing so i don;t know how different the pictures make it out to be, but Bandai has produced MG and HG Dunbine kits and most of those designs are seamless as well. Like i said i do not know how different they are to the box pics and believe me id like tp find out ( preferably without buying one, Dunbine aint really my thing...)
Well, I don't own any Dunbine kits, so I can't comment on them. Saying they are seamless kits based on the box kits is... a bit pointless. As we all know the box pics are somewhat professional builds, and all seams will have been cleared away. Can't comment on what actual seams the kits have unless I can see scans of the manual, or see an unbuilt copy of the kit. What I DO own are the MG Patlabor kits. Ingram and Griffon. And even these simple designs have some seams to work out. Seams aren't really an issue for me here though... something I think I have not touched upon yet is the issue of complexity vs. stability. Some FSS designs are obviously simple (Junchoon, Cross Mirage), and these could translate to plastic without much trouble. But the more complex designs... A Toll, Bang Doll, Siren Alkana, Auge, and so on.... really have a lot of... layering. Lots of armored skirts and other extensions that overlap and hang over one another. The more 'floppy bits' you have, the harder it is to keep a plastic kit looking nice. In plastic, and in resin, the more fiddly a kit is, the more desirable it is to have it in a fixed pose. Poseable + FSS just don't mesh well in my opinion. And as we know, all plastic kits are expected to be fully poseable. If my Wave LED is already a hopelessly floppy mess, I can only imagine the nightmare that a plastic bang doll would become in time. And poseable resins are little better... that's why I'm currently converting my MM Bang Doll into a fixed pose effort.
Now, if they are going to do any more plastic kits... they are probably going to have to fit 2 criteria:
1) relatively popular
2) fairly simple in design so as to make the kit feasible and pleasant to build
With these 2 criteria in mind, the list of possibly subjects does become a bit limited. Currently, I would think a Wave 1/144 Junchoon and Vatshu would be the best bet. Simple designs, with a lot of fans. Wave doesn't seem to want to bother though... I really wonder how decently the 1/144 LEDs sold? I'm sure the variants bolstered sales and all... but still. I would have though Wave would be eager to follow up if the sales were really great.

I remember him being peeved about LGiam but if that had been the case, he would not have come back for gundam Zeta, then again for ZZ then AGAIN for Stardust. Not to mention, his designs for Zeta and DZeta are imo some of his best. I love the Quebeley and theres indication that he does too. And look at the Quebeley. it has nearly zero surface detail and i dare say it doesnt lose anything from it.
What did he do for Stardust? I was under the impression that was almost all Kawamori and Katoki. And Nagano's irritation did not all stem from L-Gaim, from what I've read. He was also dismayed that Bandai or whoever was in charge at the time did not like his concept for ZZ.

Im pretty sure FSS has more fans than Yukikaze, and id be playing with fire if i said that it has a comparable fan base to macross INSIDE JAPAN, but Macross fanbase outside japan is enourmous and i guess thats where it wins out. FSS hasnt faltered in nearly 20 years but before Zero, when was the last Macross series? Macross actually has alot to thank Yamato for in recnet times. I do actually think Nagano is deliberately stopping more widespread recognition.... u only have to look at why he fell out with Kaiyodo for proof of that. But the guys mind is ever changing so heres hoping.
Macross has not had as constant a stream of series as say... gundam. But it has maintained popularity through other mediums as well, such as games. And of course there have always been toys around, even before Yamato.

Only cause it doesn't look like they will ever reissue them. The wave kits came down in price cause they were rereleased en masse. Despite their flaws they originally retailed at 12000 yen, more than both the kogs, and if they hadn't been reissued they would probably be considered collectors items now, much like u are suggesting with the GGI kogs.
Indeed, when you look at the quality of the GGIs compared to the early Wave works, and consider that the GGIs are actually cheaper, the price doesn't seem so bad after all. I'm sure the GGIs could be sold much more cheaply IF they released a large production run. But with things as they stand now, it doesn't seem too likely... I picked up all 3 GGIs a while ago, and still have all 3 clean and untouched in their boxes. I'm glad I grabbed them when I could...

With hindsight you are right about Hasegawa. But they are only just starting to delve into the robot theatre and while at the moment, they are following the pattenr you described i will give them a little more time to prove themselves. Like how they handle their Virtual on license, yes they just released a varient of the first VR but there arnt anywhere near as many VR variants as there are Valks. Besides if Hasegawa ever did a Booray theyd be set for at least a year.
Hasegawa still seems quite tentative about their mecha releases. Despite the apparent success of the VF-1 battroid series, they don't seem to be in any rush to follow up that success with other battroids. YF-19 and YF-21 battroids would seem popular and lucrative on paper, but they are still nowhere to be seen. And they have almost completed the Macross Zero aircraft series now, and still no VF-0 battroids in sight. I believe they may still come in future, but it's just indicative that Hasegawa is still not excited about plunging whole-heartedly into the mecha market. The Temjin is an interesting step, but it remains to be seen if they fill out the series with other VO designs. Boowray does have many variants, but in all honesty, would they release a kit of such an old design? Especially one with such... limited popularity?

Technically, ruling out all the recent MH designs with the exception of perhaps the Engages, and of course ruling out the Jagd as well, i can see how MH would work in plastic. The Wave three look very nice if built properly now, and they were made waaaaay back in the day, so it's not impossible. But Toyspress marketing strategy really baffles me sometimes. It appears as though they want to spread the word of fss, comiccon is a good example of that. But then when Kaiyodo release their affordable action figures to try and extend fss feasibility toys press go mad. I dunno. It would seem that Nagano wants people to like Fss for what it really is and not for the appearance of its mecha design. Having seen all too many Gundam fans take that approach i guess i have to respect that point of view.
Wave Junchoon and LED look nice, up to a point. But I can't say as I think Wave Vatshu looks very good at all. I mean, proportionally, it's fine, and it looks OK from a distance. It's very simplistic up close though, especially if you have resins to compare it to. And when you think about the fact that Wave decided to just re-issue their 1/100 LED in semi-clear plastic instead of making a proper 1/100 LED V3 in plastic... you can once again see that their heart is not all in it. It seems to me that Nagano only wants popularity to spread if the quality and integrity of his product remains fully intact. Cheap kits are all well and good... as long as they still look good. I suppose he decided the Kaiyodo toys did not look good. I'd have to agree. Maybe he didn't even realize at first that these cheap pre-made MHs were intended to be sold like action figures. Perhaps he disliked the idea of having his designs sold as 'toys'. It's impossible to say for sure.

WayS'Lo'

Post by WayS'Lo' » Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:20 pm

But I guess it's harder for a new fan, who only likes a few designs. It may indeed become very difficult to find a kit of exactly the MH you want, especially if you happen to like something rather old.
Obviously i wouldn't consider myself as big an fss fan as most ppl here, but i fall into this catagory, while i can appreciate most designs i will only want a few of them. With Gundam there are some, many even, desings i wont touch with a barge pole but at least i can rely on some of the older ones i like to be around now or in the near future. I was having this problem recently looking for the s03 and it isnt even that old. Even the led v3 is rare now, though thankfully thats a dead cert to be recasted very soon.
Other than LED/KOG/Junchoon/Vatshu, what other designs are guaranteed to have enough fans to make a plastic kit profitable?
I put this down to marketing again, there are many many a nice fss desings out there the engages to name but 4 in one go. Look at the number of highly niche gundam kits are released these days, Xeku Eins, Zeong the MSM series... Course i may be being a bit naieve in thinking that the engage series could ever be more popular than the gundam MSM series ( :? ) but to me its all about letting ppl out there know.
I'm very much surprised if many people choose FSS as their FIRST modeling effort. Since people usually don't stumble upon FSS until they've first been exposed to other mecha anime/manga series.
I guess im another exception to the rule then. Back when i first got into gundam in Singapore circa 1996 my cousin and i were looking for our very first gundam kits when we came across these truely beautiful robot knights. We stared at them longingly for a very long time, but even the cheapest one there would have let us buy about 20 gundam wing 1/100s. With hindsight we might not have been able to make good use of them anyway, but had the wave 1/144 been out back then it could very well have been my first ever mecha kit.
The point of this story is just to say that not all is lost if you do a poor job your first time out on a resin kit. It's usually pretty easy to go back and have another crack at it.
While this could be true its not going to stop new fans being turned off by the price in the first place. A new fss fan isnt going to knwo what you just said, hes just going to see a very expensive model kit.
As we all know the box pics are somewhat professional builds, and all seams will have been cleared away.
This brings out a rather interesting point. If a model kit has seams that modelrs can easily do away with, then just what is the probelm in releasing an fss kit that has a few seams upon construction but with work can be built into something seamless? Does nagano really care that much if someone build a 1/100 wave led with just glue alone? surely that would look aweful! I have to say tho Bandai did produce very nice looking Lgaim Auge and A Taul which i hope to get in the near future.
If my Wave LED is already a hopelessly floppy mess, I can only imagine the nightmare that a plastic bang doll would become in time. And poseable resins are little better
The wave led is really old though, all old kits fss gundam whatever are guilty of this. Well have to see ho9w well the 1/144 holds up in a few years time but the resins should be even worse since resin limbs would be heavier.
1) relatively popular
2) fairly simple in design so as to make the kit feasible and pleasant to build
With these 2 criteria in mind, the list of possibly subjects does become a bit limited. Currently, I would think a Wave 1/144 Junchoon and Vatshu would be the best bet. Simple designs, with a lot of fans. Wave doesn't seem to want to bother though... I really wonder how decently the 1/144 LEDs sold? I'm sure the variants bolstered sales and all... but still. I would have though Wave would be eager to follow up if the sales were really great.
I wonder about this too actually... naturally id like to think they did well, after all there wldnt be so many variants if there were but there are a few things that point in the direction of sucess. The first was the emergance of the kog v3. Ok it was a cop out kit, but if the led had done abysmally then why would they have bothered? The fact that the sarion was delayed ( presumably to allow the led to shift more) can be interpreted as being worrying but wave seems to be rereleasing the series quite alot...
What did he do for Stardust? I was under the impression that was almost all Kawamori and Katoki. And Nagano's irritation did not all stem from L-Gaim, from what I've read. He was also dismayed that Bandai or whoever was in charge at the time did not like his concept for ZZ.
Nagano desinged some of the ships in the show. Its in the outline book if you have it, he designed more than what was pictured there tho i believe. And i forgot about Brain Powerd as well, he designed the mecha in that ( i dont like it personally but he seems to, since hes put elements of the design into fss) and Bandai released a kit of that too ( but its crap).
The Temjin is an interesting step, but it remains to be seen if they fill out the series with other VO designs. Boowray does have many variants, but in all honesty, would they release a kit of such an old design? Especially one with such... limited popularity?
Their Macross line seems to be in sharp decline, but as a VO fan i wait with baited breath. Wave only managed 5 designs and about 3 times as many variants before throwing in the towel but if youve ever built the wave vo kits its very obvious that they were learning big lessons as they went along. The Booray thing was a bit of a joke :P .
And when you think about the fact that Wave decided to just re-issue their 1/100 LED in semi-clear plastic instead of making a proper 1/100 LED V3 in plastic... you can once again see that their heart is not all in it. It seems to me that Nagano only wants popularity to spread if the quality and integrity of his product remains fully intact. Cheap kits are all well and good... as long as they still look good. I suppose he decided the Kaiyodo toys did not look good. I'd have to agree. Maybe he didn't even realize at first that these cheap pre-made MHs were intended to be sold like action figures. Perhaps he disliked the idea of having his designs sold as 'toys'. It's impossible to say for sure.
What they did with the led seems like a bit of a contradiction to me... It seems like the sort of thing that would outrage nagano if past experiance is to be believed but it manages to get through his tough screening none the less. Almost as though he *wants* to give the impression that plastic fss cant progress anymore than that... In any case the demand must have been there in order for the kit to have been produced in the first place.

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Post by John F. Moscato » Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:20 pm

For what it's worth, it seems that FSS kit sales are pretty much in a slump in Japan; that's part of why Volks is dropping the liscence; they've got piles of them and they just won't move.

Now if you stop & think about it, plastic lits are quite costly to design & tool. To get a PASSABLY-decent 1/100 kit (GGI quality), you need maybe 2-3 people in prototyping or design (at a rough salary of 40K/yr each) and then the tooling of the dies... Roughly another 250K. Whole process takes anywhere from 8-14 months. When you add up the liscensing fees, packaging and all that other stuff, you realise that you need to sell a HELL of a lot of kits to get back into your money. Current FSS kit sales simply wouldn't justify the expenditure. That's why Wave are just re-using their existing/outdated LED IP tooling, to save money.

If anything, what FSS needs is true and prominent exposure outside of Japan or just the cult circles. The best way to do this would be through a new series of OVAs or movies; something to grab and hold the interest of the casual fan, or just to get new fans. The truth is, FSS never had more exposure/popularity explosion than when the animated film was released, and a few years following that: you had MH coverage in every modelling & anime magazine around, including Hobby Japan, which rarely has anything but Gundams on their cover otherwise.

Nagano doesn't need to dilute FSS or alter it, just get proper exposure for it. Though he may not have liked the old FSS movie, he also can't deny that it did wonders for its popularity, and he could STILL do animated versions of the storyline if he wanted to, and do them his way... But above all, he has to WANT to do it.
John F. Moscato

WayS'Lo'

Post by WayS'Lo' » Sat Nov 27, 2004 8:25 pm

If anything, what FSS needs is true and prominent exposure outside of Japan or just the cult circles. The best way to do this would be through a new series of OVAs or movies; something to grab and hold the interest of the casual fan, or just to get new fans. The truth is, FSS never had more exposure/popularity explosion than when the animated film was released, and a few years following that: you had MH coverage in every modelling & anime magazine around, including Hobby Japan, which rarely has anything but Gundams on their cover otherwise.

Nagano doesn't need to dilute FSS or alter it, just get proper exposure for it. Though he may not have liked the old FSS movie, he also can't deny that it did wonders for its popularity, and he could STILL do animated versions of the storyline if he wanted to, and do them his way... But above all, he has to WANT to do it.
This is EXACTLY what i mean! More people need to be made aware of FSS. What the manga is doing right now is a step in the right direction but i dont believe that it needsto go as far as an animated series. Its just a case of more has to be done over the very little done now. The fss fan and industry seems very complacent, and that might even be intentional.

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Post by KOG » Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:57 pm

this down to marketing again, there are many many a nice fss desings out there the engages to name but 4 in one go. Look at the number of highly niche gundam kits are released these days, Xeku Eins, Zeong the MSM series... Course i may be being a bit naieve in thinking that the engage series could ever be more popular than the gundam MSM series ( :? ) but to me its all about letting ppl out there know.
Apparently the Zeong and MSM series are highly popular. Maybe not in the NA or european market... but still a good fanbase in Asia. Go figure. I hate the things personally. Xeku Eins was a more daring release, and it seems it couldn't have done all that well since it hasn't been followed up with any of the other less well known Sentinel designs, and Bandai hasn't even bothered to cash in with the easy to make Xeku variants. Of course, Bandai is a lot more able to take a risk with a kit like this.

I guess im another exception to the rule then. Back when i first got into gundam in Singapore circa 1996 my cousin and i were looking for our very first gundam kits when we came across these truely beautiful robot knights. We stared at them longingly for a very long time, but even the cheapest one there would have let us buy about 20 gundam wing 1/100s. With hindsight we might not have been able to make good use of them anyway, but had the wave 1/144 been out back then it could very well have been my first ever mecha kit.
I think it's perhaps easier for those in asian markets to run across FSS fairly early on. But for those in NA or europe perhaps, gundam and macross items were (and still are) a lot more common in shops that cater to import interests. And of course, gundam is what's plastered on the cover of all the modeling mags too. Usually you have to dig to the back to find the FSS coverage. I hear of a lot of people who get into FSS after burning out on gundam, but I don't think I've seen anyone who gets into gundam after tiring of FSS. :) So yeah, while you may be an exception (and I'm sure there are other people out there with similar experiences), I'm willing to bet that the bulk of people who want to build an FSS kit have touched upon other kits first. And heck, even if FSS is the first thing one wants to build, there's nothing to stop one from buying some cheap non-FSS kits to practice on first. If the already available plastic FSS items aren't of interest, that is.

While this could be true its not going to stop new fans being turned off by the price in the first place. A new fss fan isnt going to knwo what you just said, hes just going to see a very expensive model kit.
I suppose it could be said the willingness to dive in and buy a first time FSS resin kit is something of a measure of how much one is interested in the modeling side of things? I mean, I was but a young high-schooler when I get my first FSS resin... and I was by no means well-off. I saw the kit in a local shop, and saved and saved... and saved some more. And then was finally able to get it after many many months... and of course at this point, I knew NOTHING about resin kits, or how to build them. I just knew I wanted that LED Mirage, and that there was no other way to get one... Now, by no means am I saying that FSS kits should be reserved only for the most dedicated fans. But perhaps Nagano thinks this way? Maybe he, on some level, likes the idea that most people who build FSS kits really deeply care about the kits, and FSS in general... perhaps he's seen so many shoddily built gundams that he fears seeing a LED or KOG treated in the same way... Mind you, this is all idle speculation.

This brings out a rather interesting point. If a model kit has seams that modelrs can easily do away with, then just what is the probelm in releasing an fss kit that has a few seams upon construction but with work can be built into something seamless? Does nagano really care that much if someone build a 1/100 wave led with just glue alone? surely that would look aweful! I have to say tho Bandai did produce very nice looking Lgaim Auge and A Taul which i hope to get in the near future.
Seams don't bother me all that much. Certainly, a kit with a lot of seams CAN get very tiresome to build. The seemingly endless glueing and puttying and sanding can make the modeling task very unpleasanet at times. But the real issue is.... seams on gundams and such things don't matter a lot. Generally the seams cut through large flat areas, so the seams are easy to clean up and hide. It's different on a FSS kit. If you take a complex design and have seams placed awkwardly, the seams can run through areas of detail and make the seams very hard to conceal without damaging detail areas. Of course, you can design the kit so that the seams don't run through detail areas... but this will generally require a much more complex breakdown of parts. And the more parts you have, the more sprues you will need, each one with an expensive set of steel moulds. So if you take a complex design and try to make it seamless... the number of parts needed can quickly make the kit very pricy indeed. Looking back at the GGI KOGs... these kits are relatively simple in construction. Lots of seams, not an outrageous number of sprues. And yet they still cost 7800yen+. So it's like.... you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Simple construction with low cost, but risk having seams running through complex detail areas? Or try to do a seam-free kit, but drive the cost of the kit up? Quite a predicament.

The wave led is really old though, all old kits fss gundam whatever are guilty of this. Well have to see ho9w well the 1/144 holds up in a few years time but the resins should be even worse since resin limbs would be heavier.
It's not really a problem that's completely solved in modern kits either. Heavy structures attached to the main body with polycap joints still have a tendency to weaken and sag over time. MG Zeta wings certainly have this problem. And even on my fairly new MG gundam ver Ka, the shield arm has a marked tendency to sag. As for resins... you're exactly right about the added weight being a problem. I gather that one can make a MM resin fairly stable with enough work... but still. I have to wonder if the work needed is worth it.

I wonder about this too actually... naturally id like to think they did well, after all there wldnt be so many variants if there were but there are a few things that point in the direction of sucess. The first was the emergance of the kog v3. Ok it was a cop out kit, but if the led had done abysmally then why would they have bothered? The fact that the sarion was delayed ( presumably to allow the led to shift more) can be interpreted as being worrying but wave seems to be rereleasing the series quite alot...
Well, variants are almost always a no-brainer. Very minimal work needed to alter the LED... so you don't need all that many sales to make it profitable. The only real reason to not produce a variant kit is if you think it won't sell at ALL. Or if the variation is too complex. But the LEDs... pretty simple changes really. Same thing with KOG V3. Not much work needed, but an easy to way to sell extra 1/144 KOGs.

Nagano desinged some of the ships in the show. Its in the outline book if you have it, he designed more than what was pictured there tho i believe. And i forgot about Brain Powerd as well, he designed the mecha in that ( i dont like it personally but he seems to, since hes put elements of the design into fss) and Bandai released a kit of that too ( but its crap).
Interesting. I didn't know he had done any ship designs. Generally I only pay attention to who's doing the mecha in gundam series. Since the ship style really doesn't appeal to me... I suspect by the time of Brain Powered, Nagano was allowed more leeway with his designs. As the designs are rather complex and detail-heavy. I suppose the digital age may now make it easier to animate these more complex designs?

Their Macross line seems to be in sharp decline, but as a VO fan i wait with baited breath. Wave only managed 5 designs and about 3 times as many variants before throwing in the towel but if youve ever built the wave vo kits its very obvious that they were learning big lessons as they went along. The Booray thing was a bit of a joke :P .
I wouldn't say the Macross line is in decline yet. They are still releasing new kits and variants at a good rate. I think they are just focusing on Macross Zero stuff right now while the line is still 'hot'. Once Macross Zero is tapped out, I'd be very much surprised indeed if they didn't return to other Macross series for source material.

What they did with the led seems like a bit of a contradiction to me... It seems like the sort of thing that would outrage nagano if past experiance is to be believed but it manages to get through his tough screening none the less. Almost as though he *wants* to give the impression that plastic fss cant progress anymore than that... In any case the demand must have been there in order for the kit to have been produced in the first place.
Well, I don't really see why Nagano would object to the clear LED. I mean, regular LED is supposed to have clear armor just like V3, so there's no reason to claim the kit is 'inaccurate'. It's quite similar to the initial 1/144 LED release with semi-clear armor. I don't really know how high the demand for this clear plastic 1/100 is... but I suppose it may please fans of the LED V3 who just can't afford one of the proper resin V3s. I wonder if some industrious fan may convert the 1/100 into a V3? I think this was done a while ago with the 1/144.

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