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The Scream Man
5th January 2009, 09:21 PM
That being me ;)

So i am a huge macross fan as anyone who has seen my little thread on my toy collection would know. i love Kowamoris planes; from the VF-0 to the Vf-27, i think his designs are amazing. So when i heard that the new masterpeice Starscream was Kowamori designed, i was intruiged.

Now, i am at best a casual TF fan. i liked the original series as a kid, but not as much as an adult. i STILL havent seen all ofbeats Wars aor any of Beast Machines, havent seena ny of the Japanese only shows, missed RID completely and only saw bits of the Armada/Energon/Cyberton shows. Toy wise, i got back into TF's with beast wars for a short time, but didnt last into the Transmetal/Fuzor period. i started getting into the world againwith the Dreamwave stuff and Armada toys, and it snowballed from there. I have ALOT of transformers, but not nearly as m,any as many of the members here. And even then, my natural inclination towards heroic characters over evil ones means i often only get the Autobots (Or equivilant) of a line. Decepticons are rare for me.

So i waited, and reviews on Starscream seemed mixed. My Macross friends seemed to like it fo th most part, though many said it was fiddley. Transformers fans seemed VERY divided, but the overall opinion wasnt good, so I decided to pass.

Flash forward to just before Chrissy and whist checking out TFsource.com for Alternator Mirage (who is cool, BTW, but i dont like him as much as i thought i would.) i saw Skywarp going relatively cheap. he was black and cool looking so I thought what the hell and grabbed him. i figured worst case scenario, the Jet looked good id just display that and never transform him.

Well, he arrived today and lemme tell u that I was amazed. The jet mode is striking, the robot mode is surprisingly versitile, and the whole package comes togetehr very nicely. now ive transformed hima few times now, and i have to tell u; this 'fiddley' thing i kept hearing about is NOTHING compared to some of the macross stuff.

Anyone who has trouble with these, o NOT by the yamato toys YF-21, because this is a cakewalk compared to that alone! Even the 19 is a bit trickier than this! i found skywarp to be a very clever and intuitive transform both ways. he locks tight, nothing falls off, there are no scary moments....i guess Im just floored by wht the issue is here! Heck ,i had more trouble with masterpiece Prime the first time than i did with this!

i hope im not coming across as "Im so much smarter than you all!" because my spelling alone shoul prove Im not! Im Genuinely confused about what the gripes with the toy are! Hell, i like this one so much Im gonna get Thundercracker and Starscream too! these are great!

And coming from a fan of the good guy, this is high praise, let me tell u :)

kup
5th January 2009, 09:42 PM
Please Keep in mind two things:

- The fans are mostly "divided" on the first release of the mold which had that flimsy model like plastic and then unusual colors on Starscream. None of the subsequent releases have had the thin plastic issue and have been more accurate to the animation/toy character colors.

- Kawamori didn't design MP Starscream, he 'improved' on the original mold that Takara had already developed in order to produce a more realistic vehicle mode but also made some modification to the robot mode to fit more into his design style (tail fins on hips).

Keep in mind that many fans (including myself) were not happy with the Kawamori modifications from the original mold particularly on the MP-03 release. However with the stronger plastic of following releases, it is possible to 'reverse' the Kawamori modifications on the robot mode by rearanging the tail fin parts.

GoktimusPrime
6th January 2009, 08:49 AM
Anyone who has trouble with these, o NOT by the yamato toys YF-21, because this is a cakewalk compared to that alone! Even the 19 is a bit trickier than this! i found skywarp to be a very clever and intuitive transform both ways. he locks tight, nothing falls off, there are no scary moments....i guess Im just floored by wht the issue is here! Heck ,i had more trouble with masterpiece Prime the first time than i did with this!
I totally agree in terms of Macross Plus Valkyries being way trickier to transform compared to Masterpiece Seekers, and I find the YF-22 to be a lot harder than the YF-19. But kup is right in saying that a lot of the complaints about the flaws of the Seekers was based on the original Masterpiece Starscream. To HasTak's credit they did listen to these complaints and all subsequent versions of the mould have seen improvements.

Having said that, I still find the MP seekers to be poor TF action figures. Nice display pieces, but not terribly fun to play with - which in my book makes them fail as toys. :( The Classics jets are much better as TF toys... it's just a shame that HasTak never had the inclination to give us Thundercracker, Dirge and Thrust as standard store releases. (-_-)

- Kawamori didn't design MP Starscream, he 'improved' on the original mold that Takara had already developed in order to produce a more realistic vehicle mode but also made some modification to the robot mode to fit more into his design style (tail fins on hips).
While it's true that Kawamori did take the helm and redesigned the toy from its prototype, Kawamori did actually oversee the design of this toy from the very beginning.

Reference 1 (http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=6672)
Reference 2 (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Starscream_(G1)_toys#Masterpiece)

kup
6th January 2009, 09:02 AM
While it's true that Kawamori did take the helm and redesigned the toy from its prototype, Kawamori did actually oversee the design of this toy from the very beginning.

Reference 1 (http://tformers.com/article.php?sid=6672)
Reference 2 (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Starscream_(G1)_toys#Masterpiece)

Sorry but your own source contradicts that:

"When I was looking at the Starscream prototype that Takara Tomy had made, they told me, "We don't mind if you make significant changes," so this was an opportunity to put forward various proposals."

Original Takara developed Prototype:

http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/7896/tfmp033004zf.jpg

http://fantofan.jp/news/mag/dengekihobby/jul2006-1.jpg

Note that the tail fin and fuselage overall section used to be much smaller (as in flat) and attached to his legs just like the G1 toy. Kawamori made that section thicker in order to improve the realism of the jet mode which he did remarkably well and succeeded. However for no reason other than his own preference, he decided to take them out of his legs and hang them of his hips for a 'Samurai swords' type look which conforms more to his own design style.

The decision of attaching the tail fins to the hips is the main issue that I have with his modifcations, not taking the original release execution into account, I am happy with his modifications except the tail fins in robot mode. They should have stayed on the legs.

Hereticpoo
6th January 2009, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the translation Gok, I always wondered what the instructions actually say.

I wish I could buy replacement legs for my MP Seekers, therefore making them toys instead of display pieces as Gok said.

I've experimented with taking the skirt off the MP Seekers and find that its close to the prototype, but not exact. You have to angle the pieces too much because of the vertical stabilers length. It looks like the bot has broken a Fibula. (The lower leg bone, on the outside)

If only you could extend the engines a little, Like 3 or 4 mm, that way you'd have a proper heal. FansProject?

BTW has Kawamori ever aged? Hmm, Something Sus there, something Sus :D

kup
6th January 2009, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the translation Gok, I always wondered what the instructions actually say.

I wish I could buy replacement legs for my MP Seekers, therefore making them toys instead of display pieces as Gok said.

I've experimented with taking the skirt off the MP Seekers and find that its close to the prototype, but not exact. You have to angle the pieces too much because of the vertical stabilers length. It looks like the bot has broken a Fibula. (The lower leg bone, on the outside)

If only you could extend the engines a little, Like 3 or 4 mm, that way you'd have a proper heal. FansProject?

BTW has Kawamori ever aged? Hmm, Something Sus there, something Sus :D

That's how I display and play with mine:

http://kupscigar.com/tf/differ.jpg
http://kupscigar.com/tf/differ2.jpg

I also do the same when I display my MP seekers:

http://kupscigar.com/tf3/4-1.jpg

I also like to shift the parts like that for greater leg joint movement and stability for a greater variety of poses. The parts attached to the hips are way too restrictive. The tail fins also add much needed heels when attached to the legs. Also note that you don't have to 'pull out the back wings' to accommodate the hip kibble any more but keep them in place for a more G1 look.

GoktimusPrime
6th January 2009, 10:32 AM
Sorry but your own source contradicts that:

"When I was looking at the Starscream prototype that Takara Tomy had made, they told me, "We don't mind if you make significant changes," so this was an opportunity to put forward various proposals."
That doesn't mean that Kawamori wasn't involved in some capacity from the outset though. It merely indicates that it was his decision, as team leader, to make specific changes to the prototype.

Furthermore,
"Just as I had initially based the (Super Dimensional Fortress Macross) VF-1 Valkyrie on the F-14, I thought that it would be interesting if I could take up the challenge of creating a transforming item based on an F-15 motif. So now I'm pleasantly surprised that this has been actually achieved." - Kawamori Shouji <---this statement indicates that he was part of the design team from the outset.

And according to TFwiki: "Shoji Kawamori was recruited to oversee the design and engineering of this toy."

Also from this Hobby Magazine interview (http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/designer-shoji-kawamori-interview-mp03-design-deci/8612/):
"When Takara came to Shoji with the Masterpiece Starscream project they gave him lots of free range in the design. Shoji was adamant from the beginning that he wanted to design a realistic looking jet, and the robot mode would be secondary."

Furthermore TakaraTOMY's official MP Starscream web site (http://www.takaratomy.co.jp/products/TF/g1/mp/mp03.html) specifically credits Kawamori as the design supervisor (デザイン監修).

kup
6th January 2009, 10:40 AM
I don't know, the first quote I posted sounded more definite and if he had been involved from the start he would have said 'we' instead of referring to Takara-Tomy as a separate design team when bringing up the prototype.

"When Takara came to Shoji with the Masterpiece Starscream project they gave him lots of free range in the design. Shoji was adamant from the beginning that he wanted to design a realistic looking jet, and the robot mode would be secondary."

Furthermore TakaraTOMY's official MP Starscream web site specifically credits Kawamori as the design supervisor (デザイン監修).
__________________

I prefer to go by the Interview which is a primary source while that statement is secondary. Also it is a bit open to interpretation. He could have meant the beginning of when he was brought into the design team.

All that is beside the point anyway as the Kawamori 'improvements' were the defining changes to the protoype but as has been mentioned before, the mold changes were not as bad as the actual manufacturing execution of MP-03 because the tail fins and hip kibble can be managed and Takara Tomy did good at sticking to character colors and stronger plastic with later releases of the mold.

Hereticpoo
6th January 2009, 11:13 AM
Cool pics Kup.

Your mods look flush, ie they look like part of the jets body. When I attach the parts to the peg on the calf I have to angle them. Do you press the foot/toes down or something? (I'll post a pic tonight)

BTW I have two of the 1/48 VF-1's and they are brilliant. But they cost twice as much as a Seeker. ;)

kup
6th January 2009, 12:04 PM
Cool pics Kup.

Your mods look flush, ie they look like part of the jets body. When I attach the parts to the peg on the calf I have to angle them. Do you press the foot/toes down or something? (I'll post a pic tonight)

BTW I have two of the 1/48 VF-1's and they are brilliant. But they cost twice as much as a Seeker. ;)

The whole tail fin assembly should attach to a peg and fit inside a frame on the side of the legs which are used to house the parts in jet mode. I angle the toes down so that they touch the 'ground' but you shouldn't have to do it too much and the figure should be stable as the tail fins act as heels.

The Scream Man
6th January 2009, 12:18 PM
Ah, I didnt realise it was a bigger fault with Starscream than the others. Does that problem persist even to the US version of Starscream?

As for the hipbars; that isnt necessarily a design thing Kowamori loves. he has them on the 19 and 21, its true, and possibly some of his secondary valk designs. but the maing fighters usually have free hips...certaint the VF-0,1,3,11,17,25 and (I think ) 27 dont have them. Neither does the SV-51. Maybe he wanted to make the jet mode look better (And he did) but i dont think the robot mode is sacrificed to much.

Gok: The leg articulation is a little limited, i admit. But otherwise it's not bad for play (And i am a big believer that toys should be played with). not perfect, but i find it easier to fiddlye with than the way to heavy Optimus masterpiece....

Eazy D
6th January 2009, 09:35 PM
Hey,

I think Kawamori seems to go through phases with his designs. The Mac plus and MP seekers all have the samurai effect with the hip kibble. The frontier valks [aside from the VF-171] have the wing kibble on the back. I personally preferred the original prototype but what I ended up being pleased about was the fact that if I wanted a more toon accurate screamer all I had to do was disconnect the rear winglets/tail fin assembly from the ball jnt at the hip. Screamer looks way better than even the protoype like that since he has no kibble on the legs at all. I also like the fact that the wings can be angled upward to give that really devilish, menacing look. My bigger gripe is the conformal tanks on his intakes which look fugly in robot mode and are purely there to streamline the jet mode. At least they are removable too.

Overall, although Kawamori's modifications initally irritated me I appreciate the fact that most of the mods can be removed in robot mode to give a really slick, menacing toon-like screamer robot

PS - I'm guessing you post as Scream man on Macrossworld?

The_Damned
7th January 2009, 03:36 AM
i really like the seeker mp's and have 3 out of the 4 released just need to get thundercracker, i think they look fine without any mod.

i even like the realistic look of green scream :eek:

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h117/THE_DAMNED666/IMG_2598.jpg

GoktimusPrime
7th January 2009, 09:18 AM
Does that problem persist even to the US version of Starscream?
Not so much... the Hasbro version is a noteable improvement over the first "green" version of Starscream. Skywarp and Thundercracker are better than Hasbro Starscream... I've personally found each subsequent version of the MP Seeker mould to be an improvement over the last one.

The Scream Man
7th January 2009, 01:12 PM
Eazy D: Yes i do. I post EVERYWHERE as some version Scream Man.

Gok: So the best combo is really Hasbro SS, then the Takara Thundercracker? Thats cool, I was leaning that way anyway.

heroic_decepticon
7th January 2009, 05:31 PM
However for no reason other than his own preference, he decided to take them out of his legs and hang them of his hips for a 'Samurai swords' type look which conforms more to his own design style.

The decision of attaching the tail fins to the hips is the main issue that I have with his modifcations, not taking the original release execution into account, I am happy with his modifications except the tail fins in robot mode. They should have stayed on the legs.

(might be the wrong place to say this) but I really hate those modifications he made. The original prototype as a general release would have been much preferred.

kup
7th January 2009, 05:47 PM
(might be the wrong place to say this) but I really hate those modifications he made. The original prototype as a general release would have been much preferred.

I am also not a fan of the mods but I have learned to live with them and appreciate them in the jet mode but I also would have preferred the original prototype.

I remember that before MP-03 I was really hyped up on MP Starscream after those prototype pics were leaked. But when the Kawamori modified version was announced with pics, I threw a massive tantrum even worse than the one I did for MP Grimlock not having a modernized IDW T-Rex alt mode :o

GoktimusPrime
7th January 2009, 05:54 PM
Gok: So the best combo is really Hasbro SS, then the Takara Thundercracker? Thats cool, I was leaning that way anyway.
Yes. I have both Takara and Hasbro Starscream and I would recommend the Hasbro one, unless you're really a fan of the Takara version's green colour scheme.

Lord_Zed
7th January 2009, 06:55 PM
On the topic of MP Starscream and his progeny I am completely with you Scream_man, but then I to am also Macross and Kawamori fans, I have a whole bunch of his mecha design artbooks that I love to paw through. Also I love transforming jets, so I can say without doubt that at this time my favourte Decepticon toy is MP Skywarp.




Having said that, I still find the MP seekers to be poor TF action figures. Nice display pieces, but not terribly fun to play with - which in my book makes them fail as toys. :( The Classics jets are much better as TF toys... it's just a shame that HasTak never had the inclination to give us Thundercracker, Dirge and Thrust as standard store releases. (-_-)



While I can't argue that the classics are more of a toy, toy and the MP's more of a collectors toy, I have personaly found both the original Syarscream and Skywarp sufficently durable for all my play needs, as such I Transform and fly the MP seekers around the room more than I do the classics ones. For me the MP's comand me to fiddle with them so I get more entertainment value out of them, which is just as well to cause they cost a lot more to.

GoktimusPrime
7th January 2009, 08:03 PM
I have personaly found both the original Syarscream and Skywarp sufficently durable for all my play needs, as such I Transform and fly the MP seekers around the room more than I do the classics ones.
My play needs require fast-action rough and tumbling (which is why I really liked the fast and blurry fight shots in the TF movie - that's how real fights look like!)! They're at war, damnit! :p

jacksplatt11
7th January 2009, 08:13 PM
My play needs require fast-action rough and tumbling

Maybe it's just my dirty mind but that could be badly taken out of context

:p

GoktimusPrime
7th January 2009, 08:21 PM
Try grappling/wrestling (I mean real wrestling, not Entertainment Wrestling (TM)) sometime. That'll get you used to extremely close male physical contact real quick. ;)

http://www.louisvillemartialarts.net/images/pagePics/frontPageGrappling.jpghttp://www.grapplearts.com/Images/Grappling-Techniques/Submission-vs-jujutsu/Modern-leglock-5.jpghttp://mmamadness.com/images/mmagraphics/MMApedia_images/SubmissionWrestling.gif
Autobot martial arts are primarily based on grappling and submissions, e.g.: Diffusion, Jet-Judo (imagine wrestling an opponent in mid-supersonic-flight!)

jacksplatt11
7th January 2009, 08:27 PM
Ahh to be honest I wasn't thinking of males being rough and tumbling when I made that comment... But I think I'll just leave that post ^^ there alone...

Lord_Zed
7th January 2009, 10:49 PM
My play needs require fast-action rough and tumbling (which is why I really liked the fast and blurry fight shots in the TF movie - that's how real fights look like!)! They're at war, damnit! :p


Exactly, so they should take it seriously if the Decepticons had brains they would just use thier superior flight ability to swoop over the Autobots and carpet bomb them into oblivion, it's not like civillian or friendly fire casulties mean anything to a con. Sure all that martial art stuff is good for hand to hand, but nothing beats having the biggest gun. and firing the biggest gun. :D

Tober
7th January 2009, 11:13 PM
MP-6 Skywarp is probably my favourite Transformers mold. I think that's what I voted for on Paulbot's Annual poll... it was that or BINALTECH Argent Meister.

I liked the inclusion of the FAST packs/conformal tanks on the jet but it ruined the bot mode for me.:( I can't undestand the green color of MP-3 either, he could easily have used Gunship Grey whch has a similar darkness if he was concerned about color blending or realism. Instead it's that weird green color he uses for the VF-1 Valkyrie FAST packs...:confused:

What gets to me tho is that it wouldn't have been that hard to have the cake and eat it too. By dissecting the conformal tank extension the cut away piece could have remained attached to the back and the tail-fin part modified to remain on the ankles so you don't need an A-stance pose to display it standing. It's also possible to leave the gattling guns attached to the ends of the wings too (or a tiny bit of blu-tak to keep them there) instead of having them sit next to his head.

The MP seeker mold looks good displayed with Alternators/BINALTECH toys tho. They share the same samurai armor aesthetic and the head size is about the same. I still believe MP-3 was envisioned as a Decepticon line of BINALTECH rather than a tribute to the Macross Plus YF-19 and 21 designs. The 1/60 scale also means it looks good displayed with Yamato Valks too, however if it was 1/48 scale it would have been the right scale to pose with MP-1 and MP-5, plus the modding opportunities as many F-15 models are 1/48.

The thing that REALLY annoys me about the MP seeker molds is the squashed head. :mad: :( I actually started doing CAD redesigns for it... costs alot to get rapid prototyping done tho, even small stuff. :(

I'm a big Kawamori and Macross fanboy too, but to me his only failure is what he did to the MP Seeker mold. And Barasa...

liegeprime
7th January 2009, 11:44 PM
I have Greenscream, Skywarp and a later Takara release G1 colored MP Screamer as well. Hasbro did release first the G1 colored Screamer but I prefer the Takara released version which doesn't have that horrid Battle damage markings Hasbro prefers to put ( just like in the MP prime Version). My MP G1 colored screamer is clean white, no black scorch blotches here and there. At first I thought it was all Hasbro releases, but I became aware that there was second release of the G1 colored Screamer when I read it somewhere in a foreign forum and when I was scouting for one during my holidays in Phils. The sellers were charging a bit more as well for the takara release - about 300- 500 pesos more ($10- $15) So I asked whats the difference and they pointed out that the Tkara released is "clean", packaging wise, its just a simple sticker of a silhouette F15 with Japanese words in the front of the packaging.

I agree with what has been said about the division of fans on MP-03. Its really 'coz of the ugly coloring and the fiddly plastic used, which easily shows stress marks and kinda ruins the look of the figure, this is especially at the wings connection plastics. I almost broke mine the first time I tried transforming Greenscream. After which he was displayed for months in Jet mode. Once I got the Takara G1 colored one, I was really pleased as the plastic material isn't as weak and soft as the original Greenscream plastic material. Skywarp is pure joy. I'm still waiting to get my mitts on Thundercracker (come Parra fair :)) and hoping he's not one with horrendous QC issues I can't tolerate ( money flushing down the drain). Another indeed is the tailfin kibble, although the modification in display made by kup is most helpful. I did try that once before, but ended up just retaining them in their balljoints and it grows on you anyhow. In time it doesn't bother me anymore. About the head size, well, it doesn't bother me , I didn't even think of it until Tober pointed it out. Mebbe 'coz The Alts also have small heads that I didn't even get concerned about it.

GoktimusPrime
8th January 2009, 07:40 AM
Lord Zed: I've replied to your last post here (http://www.otca.com.au/boards/showthread.php?p=74391#post74391) :)